Sunday, 4 November 2018

Golden Nugget Applies for Pennsylvania Online Gambling Licence

New Jersey casino operator Golden Nugget has made its first move to enter the Pennsylvania online gambling scene.

The company submitted its application as a qualified gaming entity (QGE) to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) shortly before the deadline on Wednesday. This makes Golden Nugget the second New Jersey casino looking to expand into the neighbouring state after MGM Resorts, owners of the Borgata.

Pennsylvania offers three types of online gaming licences, namely slot machines, table games and poker. Unlike MGM, which applied for all three, Golden Nugget’s application only covers slots and table games licences. Each licence costs USD£4 million.

The Pennsylvania Online Gaming Market

Pennsylvania offers a total of 39 online gambling licences, of which 11 are still available. The PGCB is likely to approve Golden Nugget and MGM’s applications, meaning the two New Jersey gaming giants will take up five of the remaining licences.

It also means six licences will remain unclaimed, including four online poker licences, one for slots and one for table games.

It is no surprise that online poker licences are the least popular. Online poker has been struggling of late in New Jersey, with average monthly revenue of no more than USD$2 million.

About Golden Nugget

Thanks to a robust gaming platform from NYX and a vast selection of games from established providers, Golden Nugget has been a leading online casino operator in the Garden State. In September this year, Golden Nugget represented USD$9.3 million of the USD$24.1 million of New Jersey’s online gaming revenue. That was more than one-third of the overall market share.

Pennsylvania-based casino site SugarHouse also operates under Golden Nugget’s New Jersey licence, so is Betfair Online Casino.

Now that the PGCB is no longer accepting applications from QGEs, the next step is for the regulator to vet the applications from Golden Nugget and MGM. The two operators will await approval from the PGCB, which will make a decision by 28th November.