Ten months after creating a law to legalize sports betting in Pennsylvania, the state is on the cusp of having general regulations for sports betting approved. The state’s gaming control board is expected to vote on regulations Wednesday at its regular meeting.
The regulations that will be reviewed and likely voted on will include what types of sports betting the board will allow and what will be prohibited, rules regarding the testing of systems that would be used for sports wagering, as well as compulsive and problem gambling issues.
The gaming control board rolled out temporary regulations in May. Those regulations were subject to a public-comment period, during which many stakeholders criticized the state for its high tax rate – Pennsylvania has a 34 percent state tax and a 2 percent local tax – and astronomical fees – the Keystone State requires a $10 million fee to get a sports betting license. In addition, colleges based in the state asked the state to reconsider its position on allowing bettors to bet on collegiate teams – like Penn State or the University of Pittsburgh – that are based within the state.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Regulations Set To Come, As Mount Airy Casino Is Among Three Petitioning for an Interactive Gaming License.
The gaming control board has no control over the tax rate or fees, though. Those were set by legislators last year when they passed HB 271, which legalized sports betting in the event that federal law allowed such. The Supreme Court took care of that in May. But the tax rate has made things slow going. No operator or casino has yet applied for a sports betting license, though several casinos have partnered with online gaming companies and/or are applying for interactive gaming certificates.
Other items of note on Wednesday’s agenda are the Pennsylvania casinos petitioning for interactive gaming certificates. According to the agenda, Chester Downs, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment and Mount Airy Casino Resort are all petitioning. On Friday, The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars, announced it will partner with Mount Airy to offer online gaming, including sports betting and poker.
Earlier this summer, the company signed a similar agreement with Resorts Casino in New Jersey that will allow customers in-play wagering on sporting events, as well as sports content professional and college football football, basketball, baseball and a host of other sports.
Mount Airy is the third Pennsylvania casino to announce a partnership that will enable mobile sports betting. The Philadelphia-based Parx casino announced a partnership with GAN last month, and Rush Street, owners of two Pennsylvania casinos, announced a partnership with Kambi in May.
“Offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with The Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings,” said Mount Airy Vice President of Marketing and Gaming Operations Vincent Jordan in a press release last week. “Introducing internet gaming through The Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”