2020 WSOP Plans Do Not Include Pennsylvania Online Poker … Yet

Posted on December 11, 2019

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a summer affair. However, the holiday season is when poker players around the globe get excited about the world’s biggest tournament series.

December is when the WSOP releases key dates for the summer series, and 2019 was no exception. The WSOP’s parent company, Caesars, announced key dates on Wednesday.

The series will get underway on May 26, then run through July 15. The marquee tournament, the $10,000 buy-in Main Event, will run from July 1-14.

“We can’t wait to open our doors for the 2020 World Series of Poker,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “Summer can’t come fast enough, and we look forward to welcoming poker players from all over the globe back to the Rio in Las Vegas to award gold bracelets and hundreds of millions of dollars.”

WSOP.com will play a big role once again

The early WSOP included references to the WSOP.com online poker sites in both Nevada and New Jersey. What did not get mentioned was whether or not Pennsylvania’s version of WSOP.com would be part of the festivities.

Per a WSOP spokesperson, the company has a policy of not commenting on a market until it is licensed and operating within that market. Caesars and Harrah’s Philadelphia have their licensing in order, but there is still no projected launch date for WSOP.com PA.

That means the omission of Pennsylvania from today’s release is far from any indication that PA is not part of the online plans. As more details about the schedule roll out early in 2020, there is plenty of time and room to involve a new WSOP.com site in the event. The online bracelet schedule came out in late February last year. There were a total of nine online bracelet events with buy-ins ranging from $400 to $3,200.

Last year was also the first year that there were combined player pools between Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware on WSOP.com. The interstate compacting was in jeopardy early in 2019 because of the new Wire Act interpretation from the Department of Justice. Nonetheless, WSOP was confident enough in the legal standing of the online poker compact to proceed with all events running in all three states as planned.

WSOP.com PA likely still on an island come 2020 series

There is a reason to be optimistic Pennsylvania’s version of WSOP.com to be up and running in time for the summer. However, there is less optimism that the site will be able to join the interstate compact by that time. This is not the fault of Caesars. Rather, it is likely that the PA Gaming Control Board (PGCB) will continue its tendency to be gun-shy about potentially running afoul of the revised Wire Act opinion.

Other states, like New Jersey, are taking the new opinion with a grain of salt, particularly after the first court ruling sided with the old opinion. PGCB is arguably the most conservative regulatory body in the country when it comes to addressing possible Wire Act changes.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman is a contributor to PlayPennsylvania and managing editor of PlayIndiana and PlayTenn. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com.

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