ON A ROLL: Partypoker Pennsylvania Launch Expected in August; WSOP.com May Follow

Sean Chaffin July 15, 2020
Partypoker may be launching in Pennsylvania in August.

Online poker players in Pennsylvania may receive some welcome news soon. It looks like partypoker may launch in the state as early as August.

Additionally, WSOP.com may launch in the state shortly afterward as well. The news comes from PlayPennsylvania.com. The site reports that Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board chief enforcement counsel Cyrus Pitre spoke on the subject at the group’s July 8 meeting.

Pitre expects partypoker to be approved at the group’s Aug. 5 meeting. The site could then go live in the Keystone State afterward.

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Adding a second state to the partypoker fold

Another gaming option would be a welcome addition for many in the state. PokerStars, the top operator in the world, has been going it alone since launching in November 2019. Stars has experienced a surge in players since the Coronavirus pandemic. An additional operator offers a chance to grow the market even more.

Partypoker already operates a “fenced-in” online poker platform in New Jersey. However, company owner GVC Holdings has been bullish on expansion.

Whether the two sites will share liquidity remains an open question until jurisprudence surrounding the Wire Act is resolved. The issue remains tied up in federal appeals court as the Department of Justice argues it applies to other forms of iGaming and not just sports betting.

What to expect from partypoker PA

Partypoker PA will also operate in a ringed-in environment. In New Jersey, the platform also includes the BorgataPoker.com and BetMGM skins.

The platform regularly places third behind WSOP.com and PokerStars. However, party has also benefited from the pandemic lockdown.

In recent months, the site has offered several series with a wide range of buy-ins. The site’s Phased Tournaments have also proven popular. These are larger buy-in events with multiple starting flights throughout the week and culminating with Day 2 on the weekend.

The company also regularly partners with the World Poker Tour internationally.

In June that included the first-ever partnership in NJ for the WPT Online Poker Open. The $400 championship event features a guarantee of $300,000. That total was topped with $317,540 paid out.

The WPT heavily promotes its partypoker events. The NJ event also awarded a tour trophy and an $11,000 package to play in the Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic

NJ poker pro David Coleman took the title for $56,586 after topping a field of 868 entries.

BorgataPoker.com ambassador Katie Stone expects many similar promotions in PA. That also may include partypoker LIVE events eventually.

“I think the residents of Pennsylvania are in for a treat,” Stone says. “Lots of new tournaments will be available that Pennsylvania players will enjoy. And once live poker gets back to normal, it’s also a great opportunity for PA players to be able to satellite their way into bigger live buy-in events.”

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WSOP.com may be on the way too

With the partypoker launch, the state will host versions of the top two operators in the world. The current top operator in the US, WSOP.com, could also be on the way in the Keystone State.

WSOP.com operates the country’s only shared liquidity compact between NJ and PA. Delaware is also part of that compact through 888poker, its software partner which also offers poker in NJ.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which owns WSOP.com, has had approval from the PGCB since February 2020, but its online software provider, 888, has yet to get approved in PA,” PlayPennsylvania reports. “But 888 is already approved by gaming regulators in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.”

A Caesars casino launch of WSOP.com would also mean a PA ringed-in market until the Wire Act issue is resolved. However, the addition of WSOP.com would all be welcome news to PA players.

20 years of changes at the World Series of Poker.

WSOP.com is currently running the WSOP Online in NJ and Nevada, allowing US players to win a bracelet online. Turnout and prize pools have been nice so far.

The platform also regularly hosts online WSOP Circuit events with a chance to win championship rings. It’s not difficult to imagine something similar coming to PA.

A quick look at the PA market

The PA market as a whole has benefited from the pandemic lockdown. Despite having only one operator, the state has had three straight huge months.

That includes topping New Jersey revenue totals in April. With 12.8 million people, about 4 million more than NJ, Pennsylvania offers a promising market.

After setting revenue records in March and April, that dipped a bit in May. These totals still remain strong however.

  • March – $3.1 million
  • April – $5.2 million
  • May – $4.5 million

PokerStars is currently running its Bounty Builder Series in PA and NJ. Pennsylvanians may soon have some new options for tournaments and cash games.

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