iGaming operators are worried over the lotteries ability to offer online games which strangely look similar to casino-style game offers.
A PA state court was asked by a group of local casinos to order an injunction of the state’s internet lottery sales from the online gambling industry. Commercial iGaming is pending its launch on July 15th, 2019. The casinos have asked that the limits would stop the state’s iLottery games which closely mimic poker, slots, and other casino games.
In 2017, a law permitted the state’s lottery to sell tickets online. The law was passed to allow the state’s lottery to remain competitive with incoming gambling options like wagering, online gambling, and new casinos. However, casinos are arguing that they have the exclusive right to offer casino-style games and that PA iLottery games must not mimic these types of games.
The PA casinos have cited that the state’s lottery has at least nine iLottery games with the same titles and themes as slots offered on PA casino floors or online casinos in other states. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is responsible for overseeing the state’s lottery and were caught requiring game suppliers not to sell PA casinos the same casino games as made available through the iLottery. This admits that the games offered by PA’s iLottery would have been available and otherwise sold to local casinos.
The casinos filed paperwork for the injunction to continue their eight-month-long lawsuit. A spokesman for the casinos in the suit, David La Torre says, “Pennsylvania casinos are not opposed to iLottery — only simulated, casino-style games. In fact, casinos are supportive of the lottery’s mission and provide space for lottery ticket vending machines on their casino floors. Some have become the best-selling outlets of lottery tickets in Pennsylvania.” The request for an injunction on the iLottery’s online casino-style games comes six weeks before the launch of iGaming in the state.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue expects the state’s online lottery system to generate about $30 million in the current fiscal year. How this case will play out is yet unknown. The results will depend on whether the courts grant the injunction or not.
PA players interested in online gambling can do so through licensed offshore online casinos in the meantime, these online casinos accept players 18+.