For greater than 14 months, PokerStars has been the only state-regulated on-line poker web site in Pennsylvania.
It’s not that PokerStars meant to carry a monopoly on the trade within the state. A number of Pennsylvania-based casinos bought on-line poker licenses and signed partnership offers with ipoker operators years in the past. And after PokerStars PA launched in November 2019 with companion Mount Ethereal On line casino, many anticipated a competitor to launch inside months. Who was going to let PokerStars nook the market?
Because it turned out, everybody else let PokerStars have it. The almost definitely websites to launch had been PartyPoker/BetMGM and WSOP/888, however after quite a few hints and bouts of hypothesis, PokerStars celebrated its one-year anniversary in Pennsylvania in November 2020. And the location crossed over into 2021, nonetheless the only web site within the regulated PA system.
For the primary time, nevertheless, the World Collection of Poker itself hinted at launching on-line poker in a brand new state this yr. Maybe the WSOP will present competitors for PA on-line poker gamers in any case.
Partnership in Place
The WSOP’s foray into the web poker market in Pennsylvania is a logical one, full with a paved pathway.
Caesars Leisure owns the World Collection of Poker and Harrah’s, the latter of which operates the aptly-named Harrah’s Philadelphia On line casino & Racetrack. The partnership between Harrah’s PA and the WSOP.com poker web site became formal as of August 2018. Harrah’s obtained one of many first three interactive gaming licenses and deliberate to supply on-line on line casino video games and poker by way of WSOP.com and CaesarsCasino.com.
On the time of the announcement, Caesars Interactive VP Melanie Gross famous that the corporate was “very bullish on the providing on-line gaming gives our friends.” They deliberate to “hit the bottom working in Pennsylvania.”
Almost two years later, not lengthy after the coronavirus pandemic shut down all land-based casinos throughout the US, Caesars did launch its online casino in Pennsylvania. Whereas that occurred practically one yr after a number of different casinos, it was progress. On-line poker isn’t far behind, proper?
In September of this yr, the Pennsylvania Gaming Management Board (PGCB) issued an internet gaming license to 888 Atlantic. That appeared prefer it was the lacking piece of the puzzle. Since 888 gives the WSOP.com platform, the WSOP poker web site might launch quickly.
PokerStars then celebrated its one-year anniversary. And 2020 ended with nonetheless just one poker web site in Pennsylvania’s regulated market.
🎉 Comfortable New 12 months from everybody at PokerStars. 🥂 pic.twitter.com/YmnxGJMrdf
— PokerStarsUSA (@PokerStarsUSA) January 1, 2021
New 12 months, New Hints
It’s a new yr. And the WSOP dropped a blatant trace about launching one other WSOP.com web site. In its announcement about a 2021 WSOP Circuit online series, the corporate introduced its month-to-month lineup for the yr for gamers in Nevada and New Jersey.
The press launch additionally acknowledged: “A further 13th on-line circuit occasion is earmarked pending launch of the WSOP.com service in a newly regulated market.”
This might consult with Michigan, which legalized on-line poker and different video games in December 2019 and simply approved interstate on-line poker final month. Nonetheless, it appears extra probably that the WSOP would launch its Pennsylvania web site first after which transfer on to Michigan.
After the pandemic did a lot harm to land-based playing, Caesars is likely to be prepared to determine a web-based presence in as many markets and verticals as doable presently. Whereas nobody expects one other pandemic-related lockdown, something can occur. And with the ability to attain prospects on-line and generate income by way of these platforms is extra vital than ever.