It’s been almost a year, and PokerStars is still the only operator in Pennsylvania’s online poker market. While it seemed like the brand’s monopoly would come to an end before 2021, it looks like it will be extended into the new year as 888 and WSOP.com won’t be launching their PA online poker rooms anytime soon.
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A False Start for 888 and Caesars
Earlier this week, 888 Holdings was approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to become an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer. This would allow the brand to power Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s Pennsylvania-based online poker rooms, which will include 888 PA and WSOP PA – which had many players hopeful that more poker rooms would be launching soon.
Unfortunately, a representative from Caesars stated that the brand’s online poker rooms will not be going live until 2021. They did not provide a specifc launch date.
It seemed like WSOP.com was all ready to go with its launch in the PA online poker market. In fact, the operator even has a landing page set up for Pennsylvania players. It is currently empty but a snapshot from the Wayback Machine shows that it was once populated with welcome offers.
What’s the Hold Up?
One of the main issues for the delay in launching 888-powered sites in Pennsylvania could be due to technical issues. The PGCB requires the WSOP to have a separate server for its local operations in the state – which requires lots of time and money to establish.
A new online poker room may be just the thing to boost Pennsylvania’s online poker revenue, which has been on the decline since May 2020. While there was a slight uptick during PokerStars PACOOP event, numbers dropped right back down again shortly after.
Once WSOP.com goes live in Pennsylvania, it’s likely that we’ll see at least a slight increase in the state’s online poker revenue. A new operator in town offers a different selection of promotions, tournaments and games – which is sure to entice players from across the state.
Where Can PA Residents Play Online Poker Now?
At the moment, there is only one online poker room that has been licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, as PokerStars PA currently has a monopoly on the state’s online poker market. Other options include America’s Cardoom, as well as Global Poker which uses a unique sweepstakes format.
Several land-based poker rooms have also re-opened their doors, which is another option. Here is a list of locations where you can play poker in Pennsylvania in person:
- Mount Airy
- Mohegan Sun
- The Meadows
Parx is rumoured to have plans to reopen by mid-November, but this still remains to be seen. Still, there are plenty of options available for players across the state who want to get back to the felt.