A Year For The Record Books: PA Online Casinos End 2021 on $127 Million High Note in December

Pennsylvania online casinos set yet a new record in December 2021, closing a record year for sportsbooks, PA casinos and gaming tax revenue.

PA casinos had a record 2021, which was welcome news for an industry that got rocked by virus shutdowns the previous year. The records set in 2021 were also great for the Commonwealth in terms of much-needed revenue to keep important state programs in business.

Overall PA gaming revenue came in once again over $400 million at $406.3 million, a 141% increase over December 2020. That resulted in $165.0 million in tax dollars for the state and local entities, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Thursday.

PA gaming records set in 2021:

  • $4.73 billion in gaming revenue (compared to $2.65 billion in 2020)
  • $1.93 billion in tax revenue (compared to $1.10 billion in 2020)

PA online casinos smash revenue records in 2021

December’s $127.6 million iGaming revenue (including slots, table games and online poker) eclipsed their previous record of $117 million set in October. It also brought the yearly total gross gaming revenue for online casinos to nearly $1.3 billion. That was up 91% from $680.2 million in 2020.

Pennsylvania’s now mature iGaming market with 17 online casinos and four online poker skins was the second to reach $1 billion in revenue in a year (just after New Jersey). It is also now the second-largest US market for iGaming behind the Garden State.

The record year for PA online casinos brings the lifetime total just over $2 billion in GGR. (The first online casinos began to launch in July 2019). iGaming verticals brought in a whopping $466.4 million in taxes for PA during 2021.

For a full breakdown of December revenue, view our monthly PlayPennsylvania press release.

December 2021 PA casino revenue figures

How did the 17 online casino brands stack up in December 2021?

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games RevenuePoker Revenue
Hollywood Penn NationalHollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM | Barstool$50,867,842$36,191,401$14,387,588$288,853
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata$34,402,010$30,287,361$4,025,104$89,545
Valley ForgeFanDuel | Stardust$19,041,300$10,567,527$8,473,773$0
Mount AiryPokerStars$7,560,932$3,997,957$1,519,261$2,043,714
Harrah's PhiladelphiaCaesars$3,586,220$2,748,852$197,535$639,833
Live PhiladelphiaPlayLive | Betway$2,407,123$2,124,160$282,963$0
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet$2,251,054$1,957,590$293,464$0
Wind CreekWind Creek$1,797,190$1,725,683$71,507$0
Presque IsleTwinSpires$1,165,673$920,071$245,602$0

Once again, Penn National was on top with its four popular brands, making up 40% of market share. Rivers Philadelphia was second again with 27% across three brands.

Two takeaways and one prediction from December 2021 PA casino revenue

1) Online casinos are standing the test of time and are a vital stream for PA taxes.

Not only are they clearly here to stay (and only helping land-based casino brands), but online casinos are also proving a vital source of income for the state. Many jurisdictions that rely on gambling as a major source of state income tax were hit hard by virus closings and restrictions but PA was able to withstand the storm with the help of income generated by online casinos.

With land-based casinos now mostly operating at normal capacity* iGaming continues to provide significant tax dollars for the state. One reason for that stems from the high tax rates PA imposes on gaming revenue.

*When we say mostly at normal capacity, there is a caveat. There are still virus concerns holding people back from in-person gambling. Additionally, beginning Jan. 3 the city of Philadelphia mandated proof of vaccine for entry into establishments where food and beverages are consumed, which includes Live! Casino and Rivers Philadelphia.

That said, the PA gaming market is still expanding both online and live. In 2021, three new casinos opened their doors: Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and two Penn National mini-casinos – Hollywood York and Hollywood Morgantown.

2) High tax rates in PA are working out well for the state.

With an industry-leading tax rate of 54% for online slots and 16% for online table games and poker, it’s no wonder that online gambling is paying off big for Pennsylvania. PA’s sports betting tax rate of 36% also seemed high, though it pales in comparison to New York’s 51%. But let’s put this into a historical context.

There was an initial concern amid the 2017 PA gambling expansion that the proposed tax rates on new verticals were prohibitive and maybe the market wouldn’t be worth entering for many companies. That hypothesis did not bear fruit. Despite a slow start in mid-2019, gambling brands saw and seized the opportunity in PA. There are now 17 online casinos, four online poker brands and 13 online sports betting apps available to Pennsylvania players. And they’re all forking over a big chunk of revenues to the state. PA sportsbooks contributed $122.5 million in taxes in 2021, more than any other state.

Let’s also not forget the up-front licensing fees that PA casinos coughed up to be able to offer online gaming. Each land-based casino wanting to offer online slots and table games had to pony up $8 million ($4 million per vertical). Those who also opted for the opportunity to offer online poker got a discount on all three for $10 million. The license to offer retail and online sports betting was also $10 million. It all adds up to a healthy haul for the Commonwealth.

Prediction: Big winners in online casinos and sports betting will continue to dominate.

While basically all of the online gambling apps in PA are solid in terms of the number of games and offerings, popularity varies widely. The top brands, including those that have spent the most on marketing and promos, are the clear winners in the PA gaming space.

Market share for 2021:

  • Penn National (Hollywood, DraftKings, BetMGM, Barstool): 36.2%
  • Rivers Philadelphia (BetRivers, SugarHouse, Borgata): 27.4%
  • Valley Forge (FanDuel, Stardust): 15.6%
  • Mount Airy (PokerStars): 7.6%

The top three licensees (making up 9 of 17 online skins) account for nearly 75% of PA iGaming market share, leaving the remaining seven license holders to fight for a share of 25%.

With such a head start over brands with much smaller market share, it doesn’t appear that the ones at the bottom will be able to make up the ground.

What will this mean for these markets – and the brands at the bottom – long term?

We’ve already seen quite a number of mergers and acquisitions across the sports betting (and to a lesser extent, the online casino) space. With the market still expanding, more of these deals are inevitable. It stands to reason that many of the iGaming and online sports betting brands we see today, including some with a presence in PA, will merge with or sell to bigger brands.

But as long as there is no monopoly, the competition should continue to prove favorable for Pennsylvania bettors. And it’s clear that the online casino market in PA isn’t done growing quite yet.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

PA Gaming Revenue Eclipses $4 Billion For 2021: Four Facts And One Opinion On Record-Breaking November Numbers

Pennsylvania online casinos posted another over $110 million revenue month in November as overall gaming and sports betting set new records.

Pennsylvania gaming revenue hit yet another all-time high before the close of 2021. Overall taxable gaming revenue in November totaled $432.5 million, a whopping 52% increase over November 2020, according to revenue figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Tuesday.

The new record just beat out the previous high set in October 2021 of $425.9 million. It also brought PA gaming revenue over $4 billion for the year. Pennsylvania had already eclipsed its record annual gaming revenue in October.

PA online casino revenue in November came in just shy of the high. But it was a record-shattering month for PA sports betting with revenue $84.9 million nearly doubling the previous high of $48.1 million from September.

Read on for some key numbers plus four facts and one opinion about PA casino revenue in November 2021.

Key numbers from November 2021 PA gaming revenue

  • Pennsylvania overall gaming revenue (taxable): $432.5 million ($425.9 million in Oct.)
  • Online casino revenue (GGR): $114.5 million ($117 million in Oct.)
  • Online casino tax revenue: $39.1 million ($43.3 million in Oct.)
  • Sports betting handle: $761.6 million ($776. 3 million in Oct.)
  • Sports betting revenue: $84.9 million ($42.3 million in Oct.)
  • Sports betting tax revenue: $22.9 million ($8.5 million in Oct.)

Four facts about PA casino revenue in November 2021

1) PA casino revenue is consistently over $100 million per month.

Pennsylvania iGaming sites have posted over $100 million in GGR every month since March 2021. And December should continue the trend.

That puts PA among the leaders in online casino revenue, as only New Jersey and Michigan can say the same.

2) Online casino revenue rises in tandem with retail casino revenue (and sports betting revenue).

Overall taxable gaming revenue hit an all-time high in November. It was also up 33% year-over-year compared to November 2020. Before the launch of legal online gambling, many feared it would cut into retail revenue. Those fears are all but distant memories now as gaming companies continue to leverage their online and retail products for overall brand and growth.

Here’s a look at year-over-year increases in taxable revenue among the biggest revenue-generators for November:

  • Retail slots: 43.2%
  • Retail table games: 58.4%
  • Sports betting: 70.5%
  • Online slots: 61.2%
  • Online table games: 53.9%

3) Online casinos continue to prove a significant portion of both gaming revenue and taxes for PA.

PA online casinos are an important source of gaming revenue every month. With 17 legal online casinos now operational in Pennsylvania (and four online poker brands), it’s one of the most mature markets in the US.

In November, taxable revenue from online casino sites made up 21.7% of overall PA gaming revenue. iGaming also brought in 22.8% of the total $171.9 million in tax revenue for the state in November.

PA has some of the highest internet gaming tax rates around: 54% for online slots, 16% for table games and poker.

4) Online casino operators in PA are a major case of the haves and have-nots.

A whopping 82.3% of online casino gaming market share (in November) belongs to three of the state’s ten license holders. Collectively, those states operate nine of the total 17 online betting apps.

PA-based Penn National continues to dominate market share (40.4%) with its four heavy-hitting brands Hollywood, DraftKings, BetMGM and Barstool. Rivers Philadelphia, with its more local brands (BetRivers, SugarHouse and Borgata) remains firmly in second (26.7% market share).

Meanwhile, Valley Forge with FanDuel and Stardust casino sites continues to hold onto the No. 3 spot with 15.2% market share.

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games RevenuePoker Revenue
Hollywood Penn NationalHollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM$46,246,312$31,840,603$14,172,945$232,763
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata$30,613,778$27,731,791$2,796,872$85,114
Valley ForgeFanDuel | Stardust$17,444,360$9,684,546$7,759,814$0
Mount AiryPokerStars$6,259,718$3,580,456$891,082$1,788,180
Harrah's PhiladelphiaCaesars$2,736,676$1,893,174$194,879$648,623
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet$2,355,675$1,856,076$499,598$0
Live PhiladelphiaPlayLive | Betway$1,928,354$1,643,207$285,147$0
Presque IsleTwinSpires$1,599,995$1,075,737$524,258$0
Wind CreekWind Creek$1,426,335$1,334,674$91,661$0

One opinion: The days of less than $100 million revenue months for PA online casinos are over.

It was clear in the spring of 2020 that the coronavirus accelerated online gaming revenue. Over a year later, online gambling remains a popular complement to retail gaming in Pennsylvania. Even as retail gaming options continue expanding with the opening of two mini-casinos so far and a third (Hollywood Morgantown, pictured above) set to open Dec. 22.

The online gambling trend is here to stay, and is not hurting land-based casino revenue which is also up significantly year-over-year.

Further, as unknowns still abound with new virus strains and Philadelphia-mandated vaccination requirements in public places including casinos, PA online casinos will remain a steady option for a home-based alternative.

Lead image of Hollywood Morgantown taken by Katie Kohler.

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