MGM Resorts International weren’t just going to let the PA Online Gambling gold mine pass them by, and now they’re finally ready to strike. Online Poker Report shared rumors that the company is about to apply for an online gambling license in front of the PGCB.
The board then confirmed that MGM Resorts applied for all three categories of the license, the documents for which are filled out under Borgata Casino’s credentials. The casino already owns a license in New Jersey, alongside a fully operational online casino and poker app, playMGM. MGM have fully established themselves in New Jersey, including as a sports betting operator.
Now seems to be the perfect time for them to open up shop online in Pennsylvania, where interactive gaming and sports betting is soon to begin. Should the PGCB grant them the requested licenses, the initial cost would be a $4 million investment, just for straightening out the paperwork.
PA Online Gambling Licenses Available After Rivers Casino PA Pulls Out
This probably won’t be the last online gambling application we will hear of in Pennsylvania. Despite 13 casinos already securing their licenses, there are plenty more left up for grabs. After Rivers Casino rescinded its application, the number of available licenses grew from seven to 10. That’s three for online slots, three for online table games and four for online poker (these are the three categories PA online gambling licenses are split into).
Since it has been 120 days since the application process began, PA regulators have opened the gates to outside qualified gaming entities, who have been invited to apply for licenses before the end of October. This, however, applies only to QGEs and PA online gambling licenses, not sports betting.
The PGCB will announce the “winners” after a random draw, which will determine who will get the remaining licenses. The licenses come at $4 million a piece and the approved companies have only two months to make their applications official.
There’s no official date for the draw, but it will likely be scheduled for the PGCB meeting this November 28. The reason behind the delay is that license applications must be vetted beforehand, which is a long process for the board.
Until now, no QCEs on the list have been called out by name. MGM’s determination to gain access to the PA online gambling market is hardly a surprise for anyone. Their online casino and poker platform, playMGM, has shown itself to be a success in New Jersey. This falls in line with the company’s other recent business venture, buying out its longtime partner Borgata Casino and taking over their NJ property.
MGM, however, don’t yet have any physical representation in Pennsylvania. This didn’t turn out to be much of a problem for their PA ventures regulation-wise, but will most likely be next on the company’s agenda.
MGM Obtains Access Into PA Gambling
MGM nearly bought Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem back in 2017, which would have gotten it its long-coveted PA retail location for the price of $1.3 billion. Now, the legalization of PA online gambling is a perfect opportunity for MGM to try and enter the PA market once more.
However, Wind Creek Hospitality did manage to close the deal on the Sands Casino property after it slipped through MGM’s fingers. The affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians not only got the deal at the same price of $1.3 billion but also got Sands’ gambling license attached to the property.
But MGM’s aspirations for a major role on the PA online gambling market didn’t end there, as it struck a partnership deal with Boyd Gaming, and soon after the gambling operator bought Valley Forge Casino Resort in the state.
Now, rumor has it MGM set its eyes on Stadium Casino, a Philadelphia property ready for construction, with a PA online gambling license application already in the mail. Should MGM win the license draw after Thanksgiving and finalize a deal with Stadium Casino owners, its fortune would have turned overnight. The two ingredients needed to launch online gambling in Pennsylvania would be in place, a license from the PGCB and a physical location in the state.