Experienced poker players know that sometimes you have to be very patient when waiting for the right cards to come. Online poker players in Pennsylvania are going to have be patient a little longer to see when the next online poker room launches.
Since November 2019, PokerStars PA has been the lone online poker option for players in the Keystone State. The site has enjoyed its monopoly thus far, but the race to see which online poker room will be its first challenger continues in earnest.
Who might join PokerStars PA next? A couple of candidates stand out from the pack at present, although both are going to have to wait a bit before launching.
partypoker and ROAR
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) had its most recent monthly meeting on Aug. 5. It was thought that meeting might produce news that partypoker had moved one step closer to launching an online poker room in PA.
But no such news came from the PGCB. That means another month (at least) before any new online poker sites come to PA.
GVC Holdings owns the partypoker platform. Along with MGM, GVC jointly owns ROAR Digital, operator of the partypoker NJ site.
During the July meeting of the PGCB, the board’s Chief Entertainment Counsel Cyrus Pitre had indicated ROAR might have its licensed approved in August.
But while Unibet and Evolution Gaming received permanent licenses at the meeting, ROAR — including partypoker — continues to wait.
WSOP and Harrah’s Philadelphia
With no live World Series of Poker this summer, the WSOP recently completed the first part of its WSOP Online bracelet series on WSOP.com.
Players from New Jersey and Nevada were able to compete for 31 bracelets and over $26 million prizes during July. But alas, Pennsylvanians had to wait on the virtual rail.
In late May, WSOP officials told USPoker they were working toward obtaining regulatory approval to launch in Pennsylvania, and Doug Harbach of the PGCB confirmed that Caesars’ online poker application was pending.
But there was no talk of WSOP.com PA or Harrah’s at the regulators’ August meeting.
Others potentially seeking seats at PA online poker table
Five other Pennsylvania casinos are licensed to operate online poker rooms in PA, pending regulators’ approval. They are:
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Parx Casino and Racing
- Rivers Casino Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse)
- Valley Forge Casino Resort
- Wind Creek Bethlehem (formerly Sands Casino Resort)
Pennsylvania online poker players will surely welcome any new options with open arms.
Brick-and-mortar poker rooms in PA closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus. Since then, the state’s 12 casinos have all reopened with limited capacity. However, their poker rooms have remained shuttered per safety guidelines of health officials and the PGCB.
PokerStars PA has been a popular option during the interim, including most recently during the just-completed Bounty Builder series in which players won nearly $2 million.
But a second online poker room — and perhaps a third and fourth — will bring needed variety and some healthy competition to the nascent PA online poker market.