BetMGM closer to PA start after legal hurdle overcome

BetMGM online casino and sportsbook has moved ever closer to a start date in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania following the settlement of a recent legal question with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Pennsylvania is another of states set for the rapid expansion of the BetMGM brand. It’s compelling to note that BetMGM has even beaten New Jersey biggest and most successful online operator, the Golden Nugget, into the PA market place.

Legal hurdle to BetMGM opening swept aside

The reason for MGM’s inclusion in the latest PGCB meeting was a relatively minor problem to overcome. However, it was one that the Keystone State’s gaming regulator had a legal obligation to debate and consider before being able to begin approval the BetMGM online gaming application.

The issue the PGCB needed to address related to an anonymous former PGCB licensing employee who was hired by MGM. Pennsylvanian law clearly states that no gaming company can legitimately apply for a license whilst having someone in their employ who was involved with licensing-related work at the PGCB in the two years previous. MGM claim to have accidentally hired that employee prior to the two-year period in question expiring.

The PGCB expedited swift resolution of the issue to get the BetMGM licensing back on course as quickly as possible. An $87 500 fine and a staff training course was seen to suffice, and the regulatory body began moving forward with issuing BetMGM its gaming license ASAP.

Curiously, no mention was made of the Golden Nugget’s license application in the PGCB meeting.

BetMGM beats Golden Nugget to the opening punch in PA

BetMGM and the Golden Nugget (both big operators in neighboring New Jersey) are two of the nation’s largest gaming operators, however, neither have any casinos in Pennsylvania.

Both BetMGM and the Golden Nugget had gone ahead to pay the $10 million fee to become one of two “qualified gaming entities” that can offer online wagering in Pennsylvania.

The Golden Nugget and BetMGM were the only two out-of-state operators to seek online wagering licenses that became available, as Pennsylvania casinos did not claim all the available licenses that were open to them under the 2017 gaming expansion legislation.

As part of the Pennsylvania online wagering regulations, the state’s online betting sites are all required by law to attached by partnership to one of the Keystone State’s bricks-and-mortar casinos, and that is exactly why the state regulators have said they are required process to review and approve applications from BetMGM and the Golden Nugget more thoroughly as they are theoretically ‘new to the state’.

A PGCB spokesman has gone on record as saying said that while BetMGM’s license may receive prompt consideration in August’s meeting, (enabling BetMGM to launch their operations quickly thereafter subject to a state-supervised test period), there is still little sign of the Golden Nugget’s application being approved by the PGCB anytime soon.

BetMGM’s rapid expansion across the U.S.

With the spread of legal online and land-based sportsbooks across the nation (and online casinos to a lesser extent), BetMGM currently operates in 7 U.S. States. With many more states about to launch legalized sportsbooks, or with legislation on the table for consideration, 4 more states are about to welcome BetMGM operation.

A further 8 states have BetMGM access agreements lined up once online gaming is approved in their respective jurisdictions. It all adds to an extension of the current number up to 19 states which in total comprise approximately half the U.S. population.

Watch this space for an expected BetMGM PA approval and launch date coming up in the next month or two.