Pennsylvania’s bold licensing fees for sports gambling operators are proving to be anything but a deterrent. The state already has eight entities operating in the space, which could soon become a little more populated. Two more casinos are looking to get in on the action and have submitted the requisite applications with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
According to an announcement by the PGCB, Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino Resort have both filed to receive sports gambling licenses. It was inevitable that, if one applied, the other would also, as the venues are only 40 miles apart. If only one of the casinos had launched a sportsbook, it would have definitely leeched gambling customers from the other.
Mohegan Sun is owned by the Mohegan native Indian tribe out of Connecticut. The tribe secured a sports gambling partnership last week with Kambi Group, a gambling solutions provider out of Malta. Kambi is expected to power the sportsbook at the Mohegan Sun facility in Connecticut as soon as sports wagers are allowed in the state.
However, Kambi won’t be involved in the Pennsylvania operations. For that, the tribe has turned to the Kindred Group, an online gambling operator, like Kambi, also out of Malta. If the PGCB approves the sports gambling license application for Mohegan, Kindred will provide in-person and online wagers for the venue.
Mount Airy is tied up with 888 Holdings, the online gambling operator. That partnership dates back several years, but since sports gambling in Pennsylvania wasn’t allowed until last year, the entities only conducted promotional activity. Mount Air is also partnered with The Stars Group (TSG), parent company of PokerStars, which could see TSG offer an online sportsbook and other gaming products in the state.
There is no word on when the license applications will be reviewed by the PGCB or when the companies could offer sports gambling if their applications are approved. Although Pennsylvania got off to a slow start because of the $10-million fee and high taxes, there is no shortage of interest. After Hollywood Casino received the first license, there has been a steady stream of applications, and the most recent was from Presque Isle Downs & Casino. That venue saw its application approved this past February, but a launch date for sports wagers has not been given.