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Pa. casinos to soon offer online gambling including slot, table games, and peer-to-peer poker

HARRISBURG, Pa. --  Slots, table games, and poker will soon be available from the comfort of your home in Pennsylvania.

It's not a question of if but when online casino-style gambling will become available for people living in the Commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board received 9 petitions from casino license holders looking to cash in with interactive game play or iGaming.

It will cost each casino license holder $10 million to have all three types of game play, slot machines, table games, and peer-to-peer poker, but only if they are approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Pennsylvania legalized online gambling late last year, the fourth state in the country to do so, behind Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada.

Before people in the Commonwealth can place their bets from a mobile device, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board wants to make sure it's safe to play.

"We want to make sure before these games are launched, that we have properly vetted everything, everyone that's involved with this," explained Doug Harbach, director of communications for the Pa. Gaming Control Board.

Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County is looking to cash in on the new law.

"This will give us an opportunity to have an extension of the Hollywood brand, and it will be a force for us to, perhaps, generate more revenues in addition to the brick and mortar operation we have here in Grantville," said Fred Lipkin, director of marketing for Hollywood Casino.

A certificate will cost license holders $10 million and include 3 styles of online game play: slot machines, table games, and peer-to-peer poker.

"You will be playing live with other players in a poker game," explained Harbach.

People will still have to be 21 or older to gamble and can only play within state lines. Users can also set limits, like controlling how much money is spent and blocking game play.

It will be taxed, and part of that revenue will go into a property tax reduction fund, once the program is mature, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

It's a busy time for the board with Pennsylvania recently legalizing sports betting and mini-casinos too.

"I don't know of any other state that has had to undertake this many expansions in gambling at one time so it's a daunting task, but what I can tell you is that we're up for the job, and we're moving the ball forward, down the field, as quickly as we can so we can make sure this is up safely but so we can start bringing in some revenue," stated Harbach.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said it will take a few months before the online game play becomes available.