The PGCB does not have any testing scheduled for this week. Mount Airy and PokerStars are working toward launching sports wagers and online products (slots, tables, poker). However, at this point, I do not know if they will be testing all of their different products at the same time or at different times.
Online poker isn’t a priority
PA poker players are excited for the launch of poker, and getting antsy. But operators’ enthusiasm is a bit more tempered, which might be slowing down the start.
Poker isn’t a priority, and here are some reasons why:
Online poker profits pale in comparison to sports betting. In July, NJ online sports betting revenue was $13.9 million, and online poker revenue was $1.9 million. To emphasize, NJ online poker revenue since launch only makes up about 1/10th of total online gambling revenue.
Peer-to-peer games are more difficult to test than online casino and sports betting apps.
Perhaps PokerStars PA is still testing its software to ensure a seamless launch.
Online poker in Pennsylvania
Seven-land based casinos in PA that are authorized to offer online poker in the state:
In terms of partnerships, this is what we know so far.
Mount Airy Casino and PokerStars: Expected to be first the first online poker room in PA. PokerStars is known for its excellent software platform.
Valley Forge Casino and GVC / partypoker: One of the oldest poker brands, partypoker (owned by GVC Holdings) already has established partnerships in New Jersey.
Harrah’s Casino and 888 / WSOP.com: 888 has worked with Caesars Entertainment properties in other states and are expected to run under the Harrah’s Philadelphia license in Pennsylvania. By combining the WSOP.com and 888 player pools, this site currently has the most significant active player pool of the state-regulated sites.
Initially, PA poker games will be ring-fenced, which means that tables will not be shared with poker players from other regulated states like New Jersey and Nevada.
Poker is coming to PA
Yes, online poker in Pennsylvania is going to happen. It’s just a matter of when. We’ll spare you the “soon” time frame and just keep updating as news becomes available.
Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.