Casinos in Pennsylvania have waited for a long time to get the online casino games up and running. Things are looking up as the Keystone State is expected to have its commercial iGaming industry up and running by mid-July.
A number of casinos in Pennsylvania have joined forces and asked the Commonwealth Court to put an end to iLottery games in the state.
They have asked for an injunction that would force the Pennsylvania Lottery to significantly limit or stop offering iLottery games in the state as these casino operators believe that they are very similar to casino games such as slots, poker and classic table games.
The 2017 Gambling Expansion law in Pennsylvania permitted licensed online casinos to offer these games on an exclusive basis. A number of online casinos are expected to launch before the end of July and they fear that they will have extra competition from these iLottery games.
While the gambling expansion bill gave licensed online gambling operators exclusive rights to offer online casino games, it also gave the Pennsylvania Lottery permission to offer their own online games in an effort to stay competitive with iGaming operators. The state lottery funds a number of programs in the state including the senior citizen benefits program.
The State Lottery decided to launch a number of online games but problems surfaced after iGaming operators discovered that many of these games were very similar to their casino games. They filed a lawsuit in 2018 and this injunction is another attempt to speed up the case and get to a decision.
iLottery Games Will Eat into Online Gaming
These iLottery games went live in May 2018 and have received a good response so far. iGaming operators are troubled by these games as their research has shown that these iLottery games are very similar to casino games due to the following reasons.
As many as 22 of these iLottery games have met the compliance standard for casino games in multiple jurisdictions; the minimum payout for classic lottery games is 40 percent but these iLottery games have a 85 percent payout percentage which is similar to a slot machine payout standard and 9 iLottery games have similar themes or names as slot machine games offered in Pennsylvania.
The casino operators have reiterated that they are only against simulated casino games and are not opposed to classic iLottery games