PGCB Targets More Online Casino, Poker Brands with New QGE Process

PGCB Targets More Online Casino, Poker Brands with New QGE Process

PGCB - Pennsylvania Online Gaming

This week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced that there will be a new period for petitions to allow out-of-state online gaming operators to enter the market. The petitions must be submitted by Qualified Gaming Entities or QGEs.

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The QGE application process, which was announced by the PGCB, will begin on January 3, 2023 and run for a period of two months. It will offer a total of 12 certificates, which, in contrast to standard iGaming licenses, will not be associated with a specific land-based casino in Pennsylvania. 

The online casino and online poker verticals will each receive an equal share of the new offer, while the online sports betting vertical will not be included. 

Three of the six certificates that are available to operators of online casinos will authorize operators to offer slot games, and the remaining three certificates will be for operators of table games. The price of each certificate will be four million dollars.

PGCB to Offer 10 Certificates to 10 Operating Land-Based Casinos

There are currently 18 online casinos in the state operating under 10 land-based casino licenses. This is possible because the law does not limit the number of online casino skins that can be operated by a single land-based operator. However, none of the iGaming operators have the freedom to operate as a standalone QGE.

Following a similar application process in 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) offered 10 certificates to be competed for, including four for poker, three for slots, and three for table games; however, they only received two applications, from Golden Nugget and BetMGM. The new QGE application process is the second to be announced by the gaming regulator in the Keystone State.

The First QGE Is Still Pending the Delivery of the Certificate

BetMGM partnered with both Hollywood Casino Penn National and Morgantown to ensure its presence across all online gaming verticals, including sports betting. Golden Nugget was then approved for one of the certificates and dutifully paid the $8 million fee; however, it has not received a certificate to date. 

It is not yet known how much interest there will be in the QGE certificates this time around; however, in its most recent annual report, the regulator provided a hint that it intends to authorize up to ten additional online casinos within the following twelve months.

PGCB had gone into Licensure Processing 

In September, the board announced that six online operators had begun the licensure process with the PGCB. These operators were Bally Bet, Fanatics, Fubo, PlayStar, and Golden Nugget. The board also hinted that other operators such as MaximBet and Betfred had an interest in obtaining a license.

At that time, each of the six applications was connected to a land-based casino. However, now that there are new QGE certificates available, some of the applicants may decide to change their strategy for obtaining authorization. However, it is unclear how long it would take the PGCB to finish the background investigation before issuing a QGE certificate.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.