Get your boots strapped in and giddy up!
After much anticipation, both DraftKings Sportsbook and PokerStars got the green light to launch in Pennsylvania on Monday, Nov. 4. Yesterday, PlayPennsylvania confirmed both impending launches. Until now, fans of PA online gambling have been champing at the bit for news of a launch.
Make way for the ‘king’
DraftKings gained conditional approval for a conditional sports wagering license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) during the Oct. 30 meeting. In August, DraftKings announced its intention to partner with Penn National Gaming. Notably, it counts as the Keystone State’s sixth online sportsbook.
DraftKings’ chief compliance officer Tim Dent shared with PlayPennsylvania the excitement surrounding the new license.
“DraftKings is excited to receive our sports wagering operator license, moving us one step closer to bringing our top-rated online and mobile sportsbook app to sports fans in Pennsylvania. Working in partnership with the outstanding team at Penn National Gaming, we expect the mandatory soft-play period to begin on Nov. 4 toward the goal of an official public launch a few days later.”
Penn National parts ways with William Hill
DraftKings will be The Meadow’s online sports wagering operator. The retail sportsbook is already open and accepting wagers.
With the new DraftKings’ partnership, Penn National parted ways with William Hill last week. As a result, the retail sportsbooks at Meadows and Hollywood Casino are now both powered by Kambi odds. In addition, Hollywood transferred back the shared services agreement to Penn Interactive as a more decisive and final disbandment with William Hill.
Online poker coming on Nov. 4
PA poker players can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The much-awaited promise of online poker is almost finally a reality. As expected, the first online poker room to launch on Monday is PokerStars.
Douglas Harbach, a PGCB spokesperson, substantiated the news to PlayPennsylvania at the Oct. 30 PGCB meeting.
“We have staff prepared to initiate and oversee a test launch this Monday of another online casino gaming site, this one licensed under Mount Airy Casino and their suite of casino-type games. At this juncture, it would include the testing of a poker game. The caveat is always that if issues come up, then the beginning of the testing could slide.”
While all of Pennsylvania is excited about the beginning of online poker, we should caution that this is the dawn of a new gaming industry for the state. Therefore, there may be potential issues.
The PGCB is notorious for its rigorous testing standards. A test launch does not equate to an official launch. On the other hand, the regulation and extreme measures ensure the safety and security of poker players.
Each online site’s testing has completed without problems. However, the PGCB warns that the Monday testing could be delayed if everything is not in place and ready to go.