Bill Introduced For Pennsylvania To Join Multi-State Online Poker Compact

Written By Corey Sharp on March 6, 2024 - Last Updated on March 14, 2024
Image showing someone playing poker with cards and chips along with a device showing the PA state outline with the word

Pennsylvania is one of the most robust and rich gambling states in the US. However, it’s been missing a crucial aspect in one vertical. Pennsylvania poker players are one step closer to joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) as Representative George Dunbar sponsored House Bill 2078 earlier this week.

It’s been a long wait for Pennsylvania online poker players, who’ve been champing at the bit to compete against those from other states.

Pennsylvania poker finally puts MSIGA on the radar

The Keystone State is one of the healthiest gambling states. It offers PA online casinos, online sports betting, Video Game Terminals (VGTs) and online poker.

The MSIGA is the only part of the online poker vertical that’s missing in Pennsylvania. However, with HB 2078, a spot in the MSIGA appears to be coming sooner rather than later. The bill reads:

“Within 30 days of the effective date of this subparagraph, request membership in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association with New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada and any other states that join or have joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association. The board shall enter into the interactive agreement on behalf of the Commonwealth.”

Under no surprise, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) would regulate the state’s involvement with the MSIGA.

Should the bill pass, Pennsylvania would join the following states already in the MSIGA:

  • Nevada
  • Delaware
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • West Virginia

A potential six-state MSIGA opens the door for a shared liquidity arrangement that allows for merged player pools. Joining the MSIGA should help Pennsylvania get back to the top of the poker market, as it lost ground late in 2023.

Impact MSIGA would have on Pennsylvania gambling market

Pennsylvania has four poker operators within the state, which are:

Together, those operators generated $30.6 million in revenue last year, which is more than New Jersey’s $29 million (Michigan does not separate poker revenue from table games).

With Pennsylvania not yet part of MSIGA, it still finished ahead of one of the states in the compact. That bodes well for everyone involved.

Pennsylvania is the top iGaming market in the country, producing $2.1 billion in revenue last year. There’s no doubt that the Keystone State would lead the poker industry once again with multi-state play.

Dan Schill, a poker player in Michigan, is ecstatic that the Great Lakes State entered the MSIGA. In the first several weeks since Michigan joined, Schill finished in second place in a shared $200 two-day Sunday Special, winning $23,700. He told PlayPennsylvania last year:

“There are typically not many tournaments that are offered where you’re going to have the ability to cash for that much. The fact that we’ve already had multiple tournaments in the first several weeks of the merger where people are taking home more than $20,000 is a pretty awesome opportunity.”

It’s clear that player pools, prizes and revenue are bigger within the MSIGA. Everyone is going to benefit from Pennsylvania joining, which is hopefully soon.

Photo by PlayPennsylvania
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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