Pennsylvania Online Poker Options Triple With BetMGM Poker And Borgata PA Launches

Both BetMGM and Borgata online poker sites are now live for testing in Pennsylvania, set to go fully operational April 29.

The wait is over, Pennsylvania poker players! Borgata Poker and BetMGM Poker PA sites are now live for testing as of April 27.

The PGCB confirmed to PlayPennsylvania that both sites will undergo a two-day testing period starting Tuesday. Assuming all goes as planned, BetMGM and Borgata poker will be fully operational in PA beginning April 29.

After nearly 1.5 years with a single online poker operator, there are now three.

BetMGM and Borgata poker apps operate on the same platform in the partypoker US network. They also share player pools but operate under different iGaming licenses in PA, meaning players can take advantage of sign-up bonuses on both sites when they’re fully live.

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BetMGM Poker and Borgata PA give players more options

BetMGM poker launched under the Hollywood Casino Grantville iGaming license, just as BetMGM online casino did in PA. Borgata online casino and poker room are partnered with Rivers Casino Philadelphia. But that isn’t stopping the sites from sharing players.

As PGCB spokesperson Doug Harbach told PlayPennsylvania:

“Players can enter via either provider and be combined into one when it comes to playing cash or tournament games.”

The combined pools should help the newest poker operators compete with PokerStars PA, which got a sizable head start in the market. BetMGM is also live in New Jersey and Michigan, while the Borgata skin is also live in NJ.

In Michigan’s nascent online poker market, PokerStars also got about a two-month head start over BetMGM. PokerStars’ opening series in MI performed much better than BetMGM’s, but that was largely thanks to a disparity in scheduling.

PokerStars set out with an ambitious MI Championship of Online Poker series with 60 tournaments and $1 million guaranteed. BetMGM’s first Michigan series promised $300,000 over 10 events. Ultimately, both bested their guarantees. The recent BetMGM Online Series paid out over $360,000 while PokerStars MICOOP topped $2.2 million in prize pools.

Tournaments and games on offer at BetMGM and Borgata Poker PA

The new PA poker rooms stick to the familiar top three popular games, for now:

  • No-limit Texas hold’em
  • Fixed limit hold’em
  • Pot Limit Omaha (Hi and Hi-Lo)

Using the tabs atop the app, players can choose from cash games, sit & go tournaments, multi-table tournaments (“Tourneys”), Fast Forward (fast fold cash games), and Spin & Go (short-handed jackpot style SNGs). NLH and PLO cash games run from stakes of $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50, while the fixed-limit hold’em games go from $0.02/$0.04 to $30/$60.

PA players can expect similar tournament series as those BetMGM and Borgata run in other states, but guarantees may be a bit bigger. To start, it looks as though PA players will get:

  • Daily $10Ks, $109 buy-in
  • Mega Tuesday $535 buy-in $12K GTD
  • Thursday $320 buy-in PKO Bounty (progressive knockout), $10K GTD
  • Sunday $40K, $215 buy-in
  • Dozens of other daily tournaments
  • Keystone Grind promo: Earn up to $6,500 in a month via poker credits (iRPs) earned for real-money cash games and tournaments

These partypoker US network sites will also likely host an opening series soon for PA players.

BetMGM poker, casino, and sportsbook are all integrated on one app. If a Borgata Sportsbook launches in PA, it would also integrate with Borgata poker and casino online.

How to download Borgata and BetMGM Poker apps in PA

Looking for Borgata Poker in PA? It is in the app store. Put Borgata poker in search bar. Although it says “play from anywhere in NJ,” it is for PA users. You can login with Borgata online casino credentials or create a new user ID.

Getting started on BetMGM and Borgata poker PA:

  • Download and install each app or client
  • Create an account and pick a username
  • Deposit funds easily with a range of options
  • Try out play money games to get comfortable before playing for real money if you want

Why the lag?

Poker players in PA rejoiced when PokerStars launched Nov. 4, 2019 and understandably, they expected more sites to follow soon after. But a cocktail of factors caused delays and made the PA poker market less appealing.

Concerns over a 2018 DOJ Wire Act Opinion led PA regulators to raise requirements for operators. That included requiring separate PA servers for each site, even ones already live in New Jersey. Additionally, shared liquidity or the sharing of player pools across states, seemed unlikely in the near term.

However, a court decision in January 2021 overturned the Opinion which claimed the Wire Act applied not just to sports betting across state lines but all forms of interstate online gambling. The latest decision clears the way for PA and other states like Michigan to join interstate compacts like the one that already exists between NJ, Nevada, and Delaware. The addition of MI and PA to these existing joint player pools will drive up tournament guarantees, poker action, and of course, operator revenue.

PokerStars has done well in PA, but its revenue pales in comparison to what PA online casinos are bringing in. In March, PokerStars poker site accounted for $2.4 million in revenue, while PokerStars/Fox Bet online casino made $4.8 million. PA online casinos combined brought in a record $95.3 million in March.

Relatively low revenue combined with a relatively high tax rate (16%) for online poker is thus another likely reason operators weren’t clamoring to launch poker sites in Pennsylvania. However, the tides seem to be turning much more favorable for poker’s growth in Pennsylvania and in the US more generally.

PA iGaming Sites Soar Toward Record $100 Million Revenue In March

A huge spike in slots and table games, led by Penn National and Rivers iGaming brands, spurred a new record for PA online casinos in March.

PA iGaming reached new record highs in March 2021, flirting with $100 million in monthly revenue for the first time ever, according to numbers released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Thursday.

Altogether, PA online casinos (online slots and table games) and online poker brought in $97.7 million, besting last month’s revenue of $77.8 million by a whopping 25.6%.

Last month, newly-launched Michigan got the nod for second in online casino revenue, behind New Jersey, but MI and PA were neck and neck.

While it’s not likely that Pennsylvania will surpass NJ in online casino revenue just yet, these numbers may help the Keystone State regain its second-place spot...at least for this month.

Breaking down PA online casino revenue in March 2021

After a strong and steady Dec.-Feb., the only months with revenue above $70 million, March brought all-time highs for slots and table games at Pennsylvania’s now 13 online casinos.

Online slots in March:

  • Total wagers: $1.8 billion
  • Revenue: $66.4 million
  • State tax: $22.6 million
  • County/local tax: $13.3 million

Online table games in March:

  • Total wagers: $1.5 billion
  • Revenue: $28.9 million
  • State tax: $4.0 million
  • County/local tax: $577K

Slot revenue saw a massive 31.3% revenue jump over the previous month, while online tables had a healthy 16.9% increase.

PokerStars PA, still the only online poker operator in the state, took a slight dip from February’s $2.5 million to $2.4 million in March revenue.

PA online casino leaders in March 2021

With relatively recent additions of BetMGM Casino and Borgata Online Casino, the PA iGaming market is zooming toward maturity. In PA, each land-based iGaming license holder can partner with up to three “skins” or online casino brands. As a result, it’s no surprise that Penn National remains a leader in online casino revenue. Penn now has Hollywood Casino, DraftKings Casino, and BetMGM Casino contributing to its online revenue. Those three sites combined for $33.6 million in revenue in March, a 20% increase over Feb.

Rivers Philadelphia is not far behind with its sister brands, BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse. Those two sites brought in $27.1 million in March revenue, representing a huge 50% increase over the previous month. Most of that growth came from slots, which brought in $22.6 million ($15.1 million in February).

The third place operator is Valley Forge Casino. With just one online gaming brand, FanDuel, VF took in $16.4 million in revenue. There is a large drop-off between FanDuel and the next highest revenue earner, Parx.

PA iGaming operator revenue in March 2021

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Penn National (DraftKings, Hollywood, BetMGM)$33.6 million$22.2 million$11.4 million
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$27.1 million$22.6 million$4.4 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$16.4 million$7.1 million$9.3 million
Parx Casino$6.1 million$5.3 million$801,000
Mount Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)$4.8 million$2.9 million$1.9 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$3.4 million$2.9 million$489,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$1.6 million$1.3 million$298,000
Wind Creek Casino$1.4 million$1.4 million-$2,000
Presque Isle Downs (TwinSpires)$499,000$168,000$330,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia (PlayLive!)$426,000$396,000$30,000
Totals:$95.3 million$66.4 million$28.9 million

Lead image via Dreamstime.

PA Online Casinos Continue Record Highs With Nearly $60 Million Revenue in November

Online casinos in PA repeated the previous month’s amazing feat, bringing in nearly $60 million in total revenue in November 2020.

In Pennsylvania, online casinos continued their bull run through November, with total revenue of $59.8 million matching their record October, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) figures.

Revenue from online slots dipped ever so slightly, but table games made up the difference. Online poker was flat month-over-month at $2.4 million. And it was just the second month that slots and tables wager totals were both over $1 billion.

Tax revenue from iGaming totaled more than $24.5 million for the month, including $16.2 million for the state.

Online gambling offsets overall gaming revenue declines

With limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions still plaguing casinos, November continued the trend of year-over-year declines in land-based slots and table games revenue.

But considering slot revenue was down 31.6% and table games down 30.0% YoY on average, the overall YoY drop of 2.7% for PA gaming revenue is not all that grim.

Offsetting land-based YoY declines once again are online slots (up 673.4%), online table games (up 595.2%), online poker (up 22.6%), online sports betting (up 153.7%) and VGTs (up 242.7%).

Online poker steady, VGT revenue up

With just one operator, PokerStars PA via Mount Airy Resortonline poker continues to hold steady in PA. In November, poker generated just over $2.4 million.

Truck stop video gaming terminals generated nearly $2.3 million in revenue in November, down from $2.4 million in the previous month. That meant an additional $949,000 for the state and $226,000 to local entities.

A year ago, in November 2019, VGTs brought in just $659,000 in revenue.

Sports wagering handle continues record highs

PA sportsbooks had their best month ever in October, bringing in $525.8 million in handle and gross revenue of $36.8 million. In November, sports betting had its second-highest handle ($491.9 million) and new record handle ($37.4 million).

The state earned $12.7 million in sports betting taxes, while $747,000 went to local coffers in November.

Nov. 17 marked two years since the very first legal sportsbook opened in Pennsylvania. The industry is now in full swing as the clear No. 3 for sports handle behind Nevada and New Jersey.

Daily fantasy contests brought in just over $3 million for DFS operators, yielding state taxes of $452,000 for November. DFS revenue was $3.2 million in the previous two months.

October PA online casino breakdown by operator

A complete breakdown of October revenue, including slots and table games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$16.6 million$13.8 million$2.8 million
Penn National (DraftKings & Hollywood Casino)$15.7 million$9.0 million$6.6 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$10.4 million$4.7 million$5.7 million
Parx Casino$5.9 million$5.2 million$729,000
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)$3.9 million$2.4 million$1.6 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.4 million$2.2 million$214,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$1.5 million$1.2 million$335,000
Wind Creek Casino$358,000$335,000$23,000
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$242,000$232,000$11,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia $294,000$273,000$21,000
Totals:$57.4 million$39.4 million$18.0 million

Casino operators by the numbers

The clear front-runners in the online casino race in PA include operators Rivers Philadelphia ($16.6 million), Penn National ($15.7 million) and Valley Forge ($10.4 million).

The comparison isn’t completely fair, however, seeing as Rivers’ numbers include both SugarHouse and BetRivers, and Penn has DraftKings Casino and Hollywood. Still, these five online casinos accounted for more than two-thirds of the monthly revenue.

Other notable revenue breakdowns for November:

  • Parx had $5.2 million in iGaming revenue ($5.2 million from slots; $729,000 from tables).
  • Mount Airy, which includes PokerStars Casino and Fox Bet, brought in more than $3.9 million ($2.4 million from slots; $1.6 million from tables).
  • According to the PGCB breakdown, DraftKings Casino was responsible for $11.6 million of Penn’s iGaming revenue ($5.1 million from slots and $6.5 million from tables).
  • Penn’s Hollywood Casino had $4.1 million revenue ($3.9 million from slots; $126,000 from tables).

Also of note, while most operators earn significantly more revenue from online slots than tables, the trend is reversed for FanDuel and DraftKings Casino. At FanDuel, slots brought in $5.7 million, compared to $4.7 million for slots.

Beginning next month, there will be another online casino on the revenue report. BetMGM Casino made its PA debut in early December, launching under Penn National’s Hollywood Casino license.

Lead image via Dreamstime.

PACOOP 2020 Boosts Guarantees to $1.5 Million for PokerStars PA Players

The 2020 edition of the PACOOP (Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker) at PokerStars PA offers 50 events totaling $1.5 million in guarantees.

PokerStars PA continues to offer Pennsylvania online poker players a healthy supply of cash games and tournaments as the only operator in the state to date. Many will recall the first big series the site ran, back in November-December last year, shortly after debuting in PA.

The Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker — PACOOP — was a success then and should be even more so this time around. PokerStars upped the guaranteed in that one to $1.25 million, and then surpassed it. The upcoming PACOOP, running Sept. 19-Oct. 5, guarantees $1.5 million in prize pools.

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PACOOP Main Event on Sunday, Oct. 4

PACOOP kicks off Saturday, Sept. 19, with two warm-up events: a $100 buy-in $50K GTD at 6 p.m. and a $50 buy-in $30K GTD 8-max at 8 p.m.

One of the final and most anticipated events is the $300 buy-in PACOOP Main Event, which guarantees a prize pool of at least $200,000. The tournament begins Sunday, Oct. 4, and will wrap up on Monday, Oct. 5.

The winner of the first PACOOP Main Event, “Gyea08,” collected $31,335.64 for outlasting a field of 640. The event attracted 420 players and 220 re-entries to create a prize pool of north of $179K.

PACOOP 2020 schedule highlights

While most of the events are no-limit hold’em, PokerStars does offer some non-hold’em varieties for those who like to dabble. Players will find events including PLO 6-max (Sunday, Sept. 20), pot limit 5-card draw (Thursday, Sept. 24), 8-Game (Friday, Sept. 25) and Stud Hi/Lo (Wed., Sept. 30).

Other highlights on the 2020 PACOOP schedule include:

  • Sundays, Sept. 20 and 27: $100 buy-in Sunday Special $100K GTD
  • Wed., Sept. 23: $500 6-max High Roller $50K GTD
  • Thurs., Oct. 1: $250 Thursday Thrill Progressive KO $40K GTD
  • Sunday, Oct. 4: $50 Mini Main Event $40K GTD
Event #DateTime (EST)Event (Gtd.)Buy-In
1Sept. 19 (Sa)6:00 p.m.NLHE (Nightly Stars - PACOOP Warm-Up), $50K Gtd$100
2Sept. 19 (Sa)8:00 p.m.NLHE (8-Max, PACOOP - Warm-Up), $30K Gtd$50
3Sept. 20 (Su)1:00 p.m.NLHE (8-Max, Turbo, Deepstack), $35K Gtd$100
4Sept. 20 (Su)2:00 p.m.NLHE (6-Max), $20K Gtd$50
5Sept. 20 (Su)3:30 p.m.NLHE (8-Max, Progressive KO), $30K Gtd$150
6Sept. 20 (Su)5:00 p.m.NLHE (Sunday Special SE), $100K Gtd$100
7Sept. 20 (Su)7:00 p.m.PLO (6-Max), $15K Gtd$100
8Sept. 20 (Su)10:00 p.m.NLHE (8-Max, Sunday SuperSonic SE), $10K Gtd$50
9Sept. 21 (M)7:00 p.m.NLHE (6-Max, Hyper-Turbo, Progressive KO, Battle Royale SE Progressive KO), $30K Gtd$50
10Sept. 21 (M)8:00 p.m.PLO8 (8-Max), $12K Gtd$75
11Sept. 22 (Tu)7:00 p.m.NLHE (Super Tuesday SE), $40K Gtd$200
12Sept. 22 (Tu)8:00 p.m.NLHE (Mini Super Tuesday SE), $15K Gtd$20
13Sept. 22 (Tu)8:00 p.m.NLHE (8-Max), $15K Gtd$150
14Sept. 23 (W)8:00 p.m.NLHE (6-Max, High Roller), $50K Gtd$500
15Sept. 23 (W)9:00 p.m.NLHE, $15K Gtd$150
16Sept. 24 (Th)7:00 p.m.NLHE (Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill SE), $40K Gtd$200
17Sept. 24 (Th)7:30 p.m.NLHE (Progressive KO, Mini Thrill), $20K Gtd$20
18Sept. 24 (Th)8:00 p.m.PL 5-Card Draw (8-Max, Turbo), $10K Gtd$100
19Sept. 25 (F)7:30 p.m.8-Game, $15K Gtd$200
20Sept. 25 (F)9:30 p.m.NLHE (6-Max, Turbo), $20K Gtd$150
21Sept. 26 (Sa)5:00 p.m.NLHE (8-Max, Deepstack), $35K Gtd$100
22Sept. 26 (Sa)8:00 p.m.NLHE (Saturday Speedway SE), $15K Gtd$50
23Sept. 27 (Su)1:00 p.m.NLHE (8-Max, Turbo, Marathon), $35K Gtd$100
24Sept. 27 (Su)2:00 p.m.PLO (8-Max, Turbo), $10K Gtd$100
25Sept. 27 (Su)3:30 p.m.NLHE (6-Max), $25K Gtd$150
26Sept. 27 (Su)5:00 p.m.NLHE (Sunday Special SE), $100K Gtd$100
27Sept. 27 (Su)7:00 p.m.NLHE (Progressive KO), $35K Gtd$200
28Sept. 27 (Su)9:00 p.m.NLHE (Sunday SuperSonic SE), $12K Gtd$75
29Sept. 28 (M)7:00 p.m.NLHE (4-Max), $25K Gtd$200
30Sept. 28 (M)8:00 p.m.PLO (6-Max, High-Roller), $25K Gtd$500
31Sept. 29 (Tu)7:00 p.m.NLHE (Hyper-Turbo, Super Tuesday), $40K Gtd$250
32Sept. 29 (Tu)8:00 p.m.NLO8 (8-Max), $10K Gtd$100
33Sept. 30 (W)7:00 p.m.NLHE (6-Max, Turbo), $20K Gtd$30
34Sept. 30 (W)8:00 p.m.NLHE, $30K Gtd$200
35Sept. 30 (W)9:00 p.m.Stud Hi/Lo, $10K Gtd$100
36Oct. 1 (Th)7:00 p.m.NLHE (Progressive KO, Thursday Thrill), $40K Gtd$250
37Oct. 1 (Th)9:00 p.m.NLHE, $20K Gtd$150
38Oct. 2 (F)7:00 p.m.FLHE (6-Max, Turbo), $10K Gtd$200
39Oct. 2 (F)9:00 p.m.NLHE (Hyper-Turbo), $15K Gtd$200
40Oct. 3 (Sa)6:00 p.m.NLHE (6-Max), $40K Gtd$300
41Oct. 3 (Sa)9:00 p.m.NLHE (6-Max), $20K Gtd$75
42Oct. 4 (Su)2:00 p.m.NLHE (Turbo, Progressive KO, Deepstack), $25K Gtd$100
43Oct. 4 (Su)5:00 p.m.NLHE (Main Event), $200K Gtd$300
44Oct. 4 (Su)6:00 p.m.NLHE (Mini Main Event), $40K Gtd$50
45Oct. 4 (Su)8:00 p.m.NLHE (Progressive KO), $30K Gtd$100
46Oct. 4 (Su)9:00 p.m.PLO (6-Max, Hyper-Turbo), $10K Gtd$100
47Oct. 4 (Su)10:00 p.m.NLHE (Sunday SuperSonic SE), $10K Gtd$75
48Oct. 5 (M)7:00 p.m.NLHE (Nightly Stars SE - PACOOP Wrap-Up), $35K Gtd$100
49Oct. 5 (M)8:00 p.m.NLHE (8-Max, Phase 2), $50K Gtd$50
50Oct. 5 (M)9:00 p.m.NLHE (6-Max, Hyper-Turbo, Deep Hyper Turbo), $15K Gtd$100