Going for the Gold: First WSOP Online Bracelet Series in PA Coming in August

The brand-spanking-new World Series of Poker Pennsylvania online poker room had only just launched last week when the WSOP shared some big news. Like players on WSOP sites in other states, those in Pennsylvania will be able to play for WSOP gold bracelets as well…and very soon.

The first ever WSOP Online Bracelet series in PA will take place August 6-16 on WSOP PA during which eight WSOP gold bracelets will be awarded.

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WSOP PA bracelet series schedule

The series begins and ends with two multi-flight tournaments. The initial “kick-off” event has a $500 buy-in and three starting flights on Aug. 6-8, with the final day Aug. 9. The series concludes with the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Pennsylvania Championship for which there will be three starting flights Aug. 13-15 with the finale Aug. 16.

Each of the eight tournaments are no-limit hold’em, including two that will employ the progressive knockout bounty format. Buy-ins range from a couple of $400 tournaments up to a $3,200 high roller event.

PA WSOP Online Bracelet series schedule

No.DateTime (ET)EventBuy-in
1Aug. 6-9 (Th-Su)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em Keystone Kick Off$500
2Aug. 9 (M)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em PKO$500
3Aug. 10 (Tu)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em High Roller$3,200
4Aug. 11 (W)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max$400
5Aug. 12 (Th)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em Lucky 7's$777
6Aug. 13 (F)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em PKO$400
7Aug. 14 (Sa)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em Monster Stack$600
8Aug. 13-16 (Th-Su)5:30 p.m.No-Limit Hold'em PA Championship$1,000

WSOP PA already has the events listed in the client and open for registration. There are currently $10 satellites running for those first two $500 buy-in events. More satellites will likely appear for all of the other events once the series draws nearer.

The quick announcement of a bracelet series starting less than a month after WSOP PA’s launch might have surprised some. Many expect a WSOP Online Circuit series awarding WSOP Circuit rings to take place on the site thanks to earlier hints regarding from the WSOP. That may happen sooner than later, which if it follows other similar series, will be a 12- or 18-tournament series.

Pennsylvania bracelets help push overall WSOP total to record high

The bracelet series on WSOP PA arrives as sort of a supplement to the currently in-progress WSOP Online Bracelet series running on the WSOP Nevada and WSOP New Jersey sites. That series runs from July 1-August 1 and features 33 events.

Thanks to a multi-state agreement, WSOP NV and WSOP NJ share a player pool for their bracelet events. By contrast, the new WSOP PA site is a ring-fenced site. Only players physically located in the state of Pennsylvania can play real money games on the site. That will likely mean smaller tournament fields for the series on WSOP PA. However it could also increase players’ chances to win a WSOP bracelet.

A second half to the WSOP Online Bracelet series will run on the international GGPoker site from August 1-September 12 during which another 33 bracelets will be awarded. Although available in dozens of countries around the world, GGPoker is not open to US players.

Meanwhile, the traditional in-person WSOP series will happen at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas this fall. A total of 88 bracelet events will play out from September 30-November 22, including the $10,000 WSOP Main Event.

That adds up to 162 bracelets awarded by the WSOP in the US during 2021. Still more will be won at WSOP Europe at the King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic in November and December. As of now, that series schedule features 15 more bracelet events.

Bracelets carry prestige, fifty years of tradition

Barring any schedule changes, poker players will win more WSOP bracelets this year than in any of the previous years of the World Series of Poker.

The series first began in 1970 as a small, intimate gathering of gamblers who came together at Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas. In fact, tournaments weren’t even introduced until the second year, and bracelets only became the standard winner’s “trophy” a few years after that. In 1974, WSOP Main Event champion Brian “Sailor” Roberts was given a gold bracelet for his victory, and starting in 1975 bracelets were given to winners of all tournaments, including the preliminary events.

Even so, for many years the WSOP only featured a modest number of bracelet events. In 1977 the total reached double-digits for the first time with 13 bracelets awarded. It took until 1992 for the total to reach 20. In 2004, the first year events began to take place at the Rio, players won 33 bracelets.

The “poker boom” of the mid-2000s increased the WSOP’s profile significantly. More players took part, and thus the schedule continued expanding. The WSOP first added online bracelet events in 2015, helping the overall total grow even more. Players won more than 100 bracelets both in Las Vegas and at WSOP Europe in 2019, the first year the figure reached triple-digits.

Phil Hellmuth currently tops the all-time list with 15 bracelets, well ahead of nearest challengers Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey who each have 10.

Despite the explosion in the number of bracelets, they still carry a great deal of prestige among poker players. Winning one of the first at WSOP PA will no doubt provide some memorable early highlights for PA players.

Lead photo John Locher/AP

High Hand Alert: Pennsylvania Poker Options Expanding Both Live and Online

Live and online poker options continue expanding for Pennsylvania players, along with some juicy welcome back promos at poker rooms around PA.

After a long year of live poker rooms being closed and online poker options limited, Pennsylvania poker players have a lot to be encouraged about heading into the summer months.

There are now multiple online poker rooms to try, and many of the state’s live rooms are welcoming players back as well.

Here’s a quick overview of what is currently happening poker-wise in the Keystone State. Let’s start with online poker, where options for Pennsylvania players have recently increased and might do so again sooner than later.

Online poker options in Pennsylvania

Right now there are three PA online poker sites:

  • PokerStars PA
  • BetMGM Poker PA
  • Borgata Poker PA

For nearly a year-and-a-half, PokerStars PA enjoyed a monopoly as the only legal, real money online poker site in the Keystone State. First launching in Nov. 2019, the site has built a sizable player pool as demonstrated by the large turnouts during recent tournament series.

In Feb.-March the Bounty Builder Series on PokerStars PA awarded over $2 million with more than 35,000 total entries. The Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker in April-May then topped those figures with more than $2.6 million won and over 47,000 total entries.

In late April, PokerStars PA finally faced a competitor — two of them, in fact. BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA both launched sites, albeit using the same software and sharing a player pool over the partypoker US network. Like PokerStars PA, the new sites are “ring-fenced” meaning only Pennsylvania players can play on them.

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The BetMGM and Borgata sites are off to slow starts in Pennsylvania, having only just begun attracting players.

In early May an initial 10-event PartyPoker Network Online Series was announced for later in the month featuring $320,000 in total guarantees. However the series was subsequently cancelled and will likely run at a later date, perhaps after the sites attract more sign-ups and the number of active players increases.

WSOP PA poised to make the PA online poker game four-handed

A fourth online room waiting in the wings is the long-promised World Series of Poker site, WSOP PA.

Back in Sept. 2020, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved an interactive gaming manufacturer license for WSOP-owner Caesars‘ online poker partner 888 Holdings, and it appeared WSOP PA may launch soon thereafter. But a month later a Caesars representative indicated no launch would happen until 2021 at the earliest. Despite various hints during the first part of the new year, nothing new developed.

In late April during an investors call, 888 Holdings CEO Itai Pazner stated the company planned to launch WSOP PA “in the first of half of this year, which basically means in the next couple of months.”

There have been other indications the company would like WSOP PA to be up and running well ahead of the in-person World Series of Poker in Las Vegas scheduled for Sept.-Nov. 2021. That said, if WSOP PA does launch before then, it is unclear whether WSOP online bracelet events will be hosted on the site.

In any case, like the other three PA online poker sites, WSOP PA will also be in-state only with no sharing of player pools at WSOP sites in other states, at least not at first. PA regulators will have to approve a multi-state agreement with other states first before such could occur.

Live poker options in Pennsylvania

Meanwhile, PA poker players currently have a number of live poker options at the state’s casinos. Following the closure of rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, many have now reopened for business.

Most rooms have begun removing plexi-glass dividers and eased other protocols while continuing to ensure player safety. As of the start of June, seven live poker rooms are open in PA. These include rooms at the following casinos:

  • Live! Casino Philadelphia
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
  • The Meadows

Three other poker rooms remain closed, the ones at Hollywood Casino, Presque Isle Downs, and Wind Creek Casino. Neither Hollywood Casino nor Presque Isle Downs have indicated if and when their rooms will reopen. Wind Creek Casino plans to reopen its room by this fall.

Additionally, the Harrah’s Philadelphia poker room permanently closed last November.

Promotions, tournaments scheduled to bring players back to poker rooms

All of the poker rooms are running promotions and other events designed to bring PA players back to live poker.

For example, the newest casino and poker room, Live! Casino Philadelphia, just saw a lucky group of players split a $600,000-plus Bad Beat Jackpot over Memorial Day weekend.

Live! Casino Philadelphia features a 29-table room with several promotions. There are $40/$80 HOE (Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Seven-card Stud 8 or Better) games on Thursdays and Sundays and a $5/$10 Omaha 8 Full Kill on Fridays. The room plans to begin hosting tournaments soon as well.

Looking at what other rooms are up to, the one at Rivers Casino Philadelphia is hosting a $240 buy-in Welcome Back Tournament with a $20,000 guarantee on June 27. They are also awarding $500 High Hand Jackpots every hour from noon to 10 p.m. throughout June, amounting to over $200,000 in awards.

The Mohegan Sun Pocono room has daily tournaments and $300 high hand jackpots every half-hour from 2 to 10 p.m. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh will award over $80,000 in high hand jackpots during June. And Parx Casino‘s Bad Beat Progressive Jackpot is just about to exceed $400,000.

All of which is to say, there is plenty of shuffling up and dealing happening around the state for players eager to get back to the tables.

Image via Dreamstime.

What Will US Online Poker Look Like When PA And MI Join Shared Player Pools

The future of PA online poker seems bright, but when will Pennsylvania get more operators and join the shared liquidity market?

Pennsylvania poker players continue to wait and watch for a second online poker site to launch. Since November 2019, PokerStars PA has been the lone online poker option in PA.

When will PokerStars’ Pennsylvania monopoly end? It’s a question PA poker players have been wondering about for some time.

Once other online poker sites finally emerge to compete with PokerStars in Pennsylvania, those same players will have other questions, too.

When will PA online poker players get to play against players in other US states with legal and regulated sites? And what will that new online poker landscape look like?

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BetMGM Poker, WSOP soon taking seats at PA online poker table

More than six months ago came whispers that one and perhaps two new online poker sites would soon launch in PA. Those whispers became slightly louder in the fall when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) began approving licenses that would pave the way for the new sites.

In late October, the PGCB approved BetMGM for licensure as iGaming operators. Entain, formerly GVC Holdings, owns the partypoker platform. Along with MGM, Entain jointly owns BetMGM (formerly ROAR Digital). BetMGM operates the partypoker US network that is presently up and running in New Jersey.

In December, BetMGM launched an online casino and an online sportsbook in Pennsylvania. Expectations are that a BetMGM Poker site could launch in Pennsylvania soon as well.

It was back in October the PGCB approved an interactive gaming manufacturer license for 888 Holdings, the online poker partner of Caesars who own the WSOP.

Soon after players in PA began receiving emails intimating WSOP.com PA was coming soon. However, a Caesars representative made clear that wouldn’t happen until 2021. A January announcement of the 2021 WSOP Online Circuit Series hinted that WSOP.com could be launching soon “in a newly regulated market,” with Pennsylvania seeming a likely candidate.

But still PA players wait.

What needs to happen for PA to join a multi-state agreement?

That WSOP Online Circuit Series takes advantage of WSOP’s ability to share player pools in multiple states. Players on both WSOP Nevada and WSOP New Jersey can play in WSOP-branded events, including online bracelet events.

In addition, the WSOP/888 network pools players from three states, NY, NJ, and Delaware. Currently no other U.S. online poker sites have been able to follow suit and join player pools.

PokerStars (for example), has sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and now Michigan (since late January). But in each case the sites are “ring-fenced” meaning players can only compete against others within the same state.

In order for Pennsylvania players to be able to play against those in other states, two things need to happen.

First, an online poker site must launch in PA that also operates a site in another state with which it could form a network. So far PokerStars is the only candidate with its NJ and MI sites.

Second, the PGCB will have to approve entering a multi-state internet gaming agreement with other states in order to permit sites in multiple states to combine player pools.

Favorable Wire Act ruling should lessen PA regulators’ concerns

Most observers believe Pennsylvania had been previously hesitant to pursue joining such an agreement thanks to a revised Department of Justice‘s Office of Legal Counsel opinion regarding the Wire Act.

In January 2019, the DOJ office issued an opinion dated a couple of months before stating that the Wire Act did not just apply to sports betting, but to all forms of gambling (including online) conducted across state lines. That position reversed an earlier DOJ opinion from 2011 that the Wire Act applied to sports betting only.

In response, the PGCB issued a letter to online gaming licensees in the state recommending strongly that they comply with the new opinion and be particularly diligent about disallowing any wagering to occur across state lines.

The PGCB’s stance didn’t necessarily preclude the possibility of joining a multi-state agreement for online poker. However, it was clear the new DOJ opinion had halted any momentum in that direction. The PGCB would not be pursuing the idea, at least not in the near term.

Meanwhile the New Hampshire Lottery filed a lawsuit against the DOJ objecting to the new opinion. In June 2020, NH received a favorable ruling, thereby vacating the new DOJ opinion. The DOJ appealed, and in January 2021 that appeal was denied by the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

The January ruling should be regarded as good news for Pennsylvania poker players. The PGCB has not indicated its plans going forward. However, the Wire Act and the DOJ should no longer present an obstacle should PA regulators choose to enter into a multi-state agreement.

Multiple sites…and multiple networks for PA?

Among the states with whom Pennsylvania could begin sharing player pools, New Jersey would be a likely first candidate. Michigan could come later, perhaps by the end of the year or early 2022.

Delaware, a much smaller state, would be less of a priority. Meanwhile West Virginia has also legalized online poker, although has yet to launch any sites.

Such combined player pools will obviously be a game-changer for US online poker generally and Pennsylvania poker in particular.

If and when PA does join a multi-state agreement, Pennsylvania may well have both BetMGM and WSOP.com sites up and running.

In other words, the near future could well see multiple online poker sites become available for PA players. Then a little farther down the road, PA players might even have multiple multi-state networks from which to choose as well.

Lead image via Dreamstime.com

PA Online Casinos Lead Gaming Recovery with Record $80 Million January

Online slots, table games and poker in PA crossed $80 million in revenue in January 2021, helping PA gaming post a 2.7% YoY revenue increase.

Despite ongoing disruptions from virus-restricted business conditions, overall gaming revenue in Pennsylvania is up 2.7% over last year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Revenue during January from all forms of gaming, along with fantasy contests, was more than $311 million. Revenue regulated by the PGCB includes slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests, and VGTs.

Total tax revenue generated collectively through all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was more than $127 million during the month.

Restrictions from virus boosted online gaming

And as a likely by-product of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, January was a record month for PA online casino games. The PGCB reported total iGaming revenue of more than $80.4 million.

That’s the highest amount ever, beating the previous high of $71.6 million set in December 2020 by an impressive 11%.

Online slots revenue was just above $51 million, a huge jump from a year ago when it was $7.2 million. The year-over-year percentage increase comes out to a staggering 609%.

Online table games revenue was nearly $26.7 million, up from just over $4.6 million a year ago. The percentage increase YoY was almost 479%.

Tax revenue generated from internet gaming play during January was more than $32.2 million.

Online poker generated more than $2.7 million with just one operator, a 26.4% boost from a year ago. That was on par with December numbers.

Virus disrupts gaming revenue nationwide in 2020

The virus clearly wreaked havoc on the land-based gaming across the country, according to figures this week from the American Gaming Association.

Commercial gaming revenue totaled $30.0 billion in 2020, down more than 31% YoY, according to the AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker.

The year marked the first market contraction for the gaming industry since 2014 and the lowest gaming revenue total since 2003.

Retail casino numbers hammered

In PA, January’s gross revenue from casino-based slot machines was $140.7 million, a 26.1% decrease compared to the $190.3 million generated in January 2020.

Tellingly, the number of slot machines in operation this past January was just 18,703 compared to 24,126 a year back.

Table games revenue in casinos was likewise off for January with just more than $50.8 million, a decrease of 29.9% from the previous January, when revenue was $72.5 million.

Sports handle up, revenue down slightly

January’s sports betting handle was nearly $615.3 million or 12.2% above December’s record total of $548.6 million. But the taxable revenue for January declined slightly from $34 million to just above $33.9 million.

In January, PA crossed the $100 million mark in lifetime sports betting tax revenue.

VGT and daily fantasy back on track

Video Gaming Terminals, or VGTs,  produced gross revenue of more than $2.2 million and daily fantasy sports (DFS) kicked in revenue of more than $2.9 million. The two segments seem to have recovered from pandemic headwinds.

Online poker was up slightly at $2.7 million compared to $2.4 million in November. There is still just one operator, PokerStars PA, via Mount Airy Resort.

January PA online casino breakdown by operator

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

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Penn National (DraftKings, Hollywood, BetMGM)$27.6 million$16.2 million$11.4 million
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$21.0 million$16.5 million$4.5 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$14.7 million$6.8 million$8.0 million
Parx Casino$5.3 million$4.8 million$509,000
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)$3.6 million$2.2 million$1.4 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.8 million$2.2 million$534,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$1.4 million$1.2 million$244,000
Wind Creek Casino$552,000$380,000$173,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia (PlayLive!)$487,000$451,000$37,000
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$182,000$282,000-$100,000
Totals:$77.7 million$51.0 million$26.7 million

Casino operators by the numbers

The clear front-runners in PA’s online casino race remain Penn National (which includes DraftKings, Hollywood, and BetMGM), Rivers Philadelphia (which includes SugarHouse and BetRivers), and Valley Forge, with FanDuel.

A look at top PA online casino operators in January:

  • Penn: Total revenue $27.6 million (slots: $16.2 million; table games: $11.4 million).
  • Rivers Philly: Total revenue $21.0 million (slots: $16.5 million; tables: $4.5 million).
  • Valley Forge: Total revenue $14.7 million (slots: $6.8 million; tables: $8.0 million).

Image via Dreamstime/Anke Van Wyk.

Which Pennsylvania Live Poker Rooms Are Currently Open? (Updated Nov. 19)

Just as five poker rooms in Pennsylvania have gotten back to dealing cards, spikes in coronavirus cases are beginning to force some to close once again.

It was just over a month ago that the first Pennsylvania poker rooms began to reopen after all of them were forced to close in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alas, a renewed surge in cases has made it necessary for PA poker rooms to deal with the situation once again. In some cases, rooms have opted not to deal at all — not to deal hands, that is.

When Pennsylvania’s casinos began reopening over the summer, the poker rooms were all forced to remain shut per COVID-19 Casino Reopening Protocols issued by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

In early October, the PGCB began accepting reopening plans from some of the rooms. A couple of weeks later, the first few poker rooms began reopening. But with coronavirus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise, those plans are being revisited and revised once more.

Here is a quick rundown of the current status of all 10 of the state’s poker rooms — or perhaps we should say all nine rooms, as one of them appears to have closed for good.

Reopened and still operating – Meadows, Mohegan Sun, Mt. Airy, Rivers Pittsburgh

Four of the five poker rooms that reopened continue to welcome players, at least for now.

The rooms at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino both reopened on Oct. 16. A week later, on Oct. 23, the poker room at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino reopened. Then a week ago, on Nov. 11, the room at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh reopened as well.

All four currently remain open and are operating as follows:

  • Mohegan Sun Pocono (eight tables) – open daily, 12 p.m. to 3 a.m.
  • Mount Airy (12 tables) – open 24 hours
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh (30 tables) – open Mon.-Thurs., 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.; Sun., 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • The Meadows (14 tables) – open daily, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Mt. Airy is the land-based partner of the only online poker site in the state, PokerStars PA, which will continue dealing virtual hands through pandemic closures.

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Reopened, but now temporarily closed – Rivers Philadelphia

Rivers Casino Philadelphia reopened its 28-table poker room on Oct. 23. In fact, just a few days ago, some lucky players enjoyed a windfall when the Bad Beat Jackpot hit.

However, on Monday, the city of Philadelphia issued new restrictions that will force the casino to close on Friday, Nov. 20. The earliest the casino will be able to reopen will be Jan. 1, 2021.

The new guidelines cover a host of different businesses, including restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers, and theaters. All Philadelphia high schools and colleges must move to online-only instruction for the rest of the year as well.

Still temporarily closed – Hollywood, Parx, Presque Isle Downs, Wind Creek

The following poker rooms have been shuttered since mid-March and remain closed at present:

  • Hollywood Casino Penn National (17 tables) – closed
  • Parx Casino (80 tables) – closed
  • Presque Isle Downs (seven tables) – closed
  • Wind Creek Casino (26 tables) – closed

It is unknown if or when Hollywood or Presque Isle plans to reopen. Wind Creek appears to be in no rush either, given that slot machines presently occupy the floor of its poker room.

By contrast, Parx does appear to be considering reopening its poker room, the largest in the state. Parx recently sent out an announcement of plans to reopen the room “before the end of December.” But COVID-19 numbers could deter those plans.

Permanently closed – Harrah’s Philadelphia poker room

Meanwhile, in late August, Harrah’s Philadelphia indicated it had closed its large 27-table World Series of Poker-branded poker room, with no plans to reopen.

While there was no formal announcement, employees of the poker room shared information about the closure on social media and elsewhere.

Pennsylvania’s two other casinos, Lady Luck Nemacolin and Valley Forge, are both currently open, though neither has poker rooms.

You can follow our live updates page at PlayPennsylvania for the latest on PA casino (and poker room) closures and reopening plans as they are made available.

April Promos Bring Big Bonuses To PA Online Casino Players

Check out the latest PA online casino promotions and sign-up bonuses for April, plus current games and progressive jackpot payouts.

April showers bring May flowers. April also brings some spring specials for new and existing players at PA  online casinos.

Pennsylvania’s 12 land-based casinos have been closed since March 17 due to a nationwide effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). However, residents of the Keystone State can still play.

PA is one of four states with legalized and regulated online casinos. In addition, playing online provides a way to play all the casino favorites, like slots, poker, baccarat, blackjack and roulette, while staying safe at home.

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FanDuel casino

Are you a new player? Then check out FanDuel’s risk-free new player sign-up bonus: 100% back on losses (up to $200) during your first 24 hours.

Also, FanDuel added 10 new slots games, expanding to 22 titles. The new ones are:

  • Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin
  • Wheel of Fortune Hawaiian Getaway
  • Red Hot Tamales
  • Triple Red Hot 7s
  • Treasures of Troy
  • Jumanji
  • Butterfly Staxx 2
  • Mercy of the Gods
  • Bloodsuckers 2
  • Guns N Roses

Progressive slots:

  • Divine Fortune’s Mega Jackpot was up to $120,274 on April 8.
  • Mercy of the Gods’ Jackpot was at $17,821 on April 8.

Table and card games:

For the closest thing to a brick-and-mortar casino, try the live casino games, including blackjack, baccarat and roulette. There are two types of blackjack (minimum $0.10 bet) and three types of roulette (minimum $0.10 bet). Plus, FanDuel offers Game King Video Poker.

BetRivers PA online casino

At present, BetRivers offers new players a first deposit matched bonus of 100% up to $250.

Additionally, the current promotion for all players  includes:

  • Race to Rivers Casino Pittsburgh: Get wheel spins that are based on earned loyalty points every day. Wheel spins translate to mile amounts or bonus money. If you earn a total of 2,193 miles (Rivers Pittsburgh to Las Vegas), you win the grand prize.

Check out BetRivers’ extensive library of 87 slot titles.

Progressive slot: Mercy of the Gods’ Jackpot is $120,020 as of April 10.

Table and card games: 

Play two types of blackjack (min $0.10), baccarat (min $1) and four types of roulette (min $0.10), along with Game King Video Poker (min $0.10).

PlaySugarHouse casino

PlaySugarHouse offers a first deposit match bonus up to 100% of $250. Also, new players get a chance to spin and win up to $250 for same-day play.

Here is the current promotion:

  • Race to Rivers Casino Philadelphia: Get wheel spins based on earned loyalty points every day. Wheel spins translate to mile amounts or bonus money. If you earn a total of 2,475 miles (Rivers Philadelphia to Las Vegas), you win the grand prize.

Currently, the slot library holds 87 titles.

Progressive slot: The Divine Fortune Mega Jackpot is currently over $45,000.

Table and card games: 

There are two types of blackjack (min. $0.10), baccarat ($1 min), four different types of roulette (min $0.10) and Game King Video Poker (min $0.10).

Unibet PA online casino

Presently, new players get $10 risk-free and a  100% matched deposit bonus up to $500.

Also, the current promotions for all players include:

  • 21k Blackjack Tournament: Try to top the leaderboard with Unibet’s 21k Blackjack Tournament. It runs daily from Monday 12:00 a.m. – Sunday 11:59 p.m. until May 3.
  • Weekly deposit reload bonus: 25% bonus (up to $50) on the first deposit on Thursdays.

Check out the extensive 76 slot titles.

Progressive slots:

  • Divine Fortune’s Mega Jackpot is currently over $65,386.
  • Jackpot Shores’ jackpot is up to $81,134 as of April 10.

Table and card games: 

Also, there are four types of video poker, two different blackjack games (min $0.50), six games of roulette (min $0.10) and baccarat (min $0.20).

Hollywood Online Casino

To begin with, new players get $25 risk-free with no deposit. Additionally, the 100% first deposit matched bonus is up to $500.

There are 89 slot titles and popular progressive slots like Divine Fortune and Mercy of the Gods.

Table and card games: 

Check out the two types of blackjack, baccarat and three different games of roulette along with Game King Video Poker.

Other PA online casinos and poker

More PA online casinos include:

For poker lovers, PokerStars PA holds the title of PA’s only online poker operator for now. And it is currently holding its largest US-based poker festival to date.

The inaugural Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker runs through April 20. With 100 tournaments and $2 million in prizes guaranteed, plenty of players flocked to participate to capture a portion of the prize pools in the first week of the series.

There is still plenty of poker action to get in on. Plus, there is currently a 100% matched deposit bonus up to $600, along with $30 in free play for new players.

Following Strong Weekend Launch, PokerStars PACOOP Ups Guarantees Twice In Three Days

The opening weekend of the PokerStars PACOOP tournament series was so popular, the online poker site has upped the guarantees twice this week.

Talk about pent up demand. PokerStars PA has upped their guaranteed prize pools for the PA Championship of Online Poker series twice since the tournament series started on Nov. 30.

The upwards resets came after a successful weekend round of tournaments which launched the tournament series.

Sweet smell of success for PACOOP

For instance, the opening $100 No-Limit Hold’em event had a guarantee of $20,000.  The turnout more than doubled that number though,  with a prize pool of more than $50,000. The third event, with a $15,000 guarantee, finished with a nearly $35,000 prize pool.

The most significant event of the opening weekend, a $200 buy-in Sunday Special, had a $50,000 guarantee, but the final prize pool was $63,426. The top player took home nearly $12,000.

Here is a look at the remaining events on the schedule and what guarantees have been bumped up from the original number:

EventDateTournamentNew GuaranteeNewer Guarantee
17Dec. 5$200 NL Hold'em [Thursday Thrill SE]$30,000$40,000
18Dec. 5$50+R NL Hold'em$15,000$20,000
19Dec. 5$100 NL Hold'em [BigStack Turbo]$15,000
20Dec. 6$300 Eight-Game [6-Max]$15,000
21Dec. 6$150 NL Hold'em [Turbo, 6-Max]$15,000
22Dec. 7$100 NL Hold'em [Deepstack, 8-Max]$20,000$30,000
23Dec. 7$150 NL Hold'em [Saturday Speedway SE]$15,000
24Dec. 8$100 NL Hold'em [Marathon]$25,000$30,000
25Dec. 8$100 PL Omaha [8-Max]$10,000$12,000
26Dec. 8$150 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Big Antes]$25,000$30,000
27Dec. 8$300 NL Hold'em [Sunday Special SE]$60,000
28Dec. 8$200 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO]$35,000
29Dec. 8$100 NL Hold'em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo]$12,000
30Dec. 9$300 NL Hold'em [4-Max]$30,000
31Dec. 9$500 PL Omaha [High-Roller, 6-max]$20,000$25,000
32Dec. 10$200 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE]$50,000
33Dec. 10$100 No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max]$8,000$10,000
34Dec. 11$30+R NL Holdem [6-Max]$10,000$15,000
35Dec. 11$200 NL Hold'em$20,000$25,000
36Dec. 11$100 Stud Hi/Lo$8,000$10,000
37Dec. 12$250 NL Hold'em [Thursday Thrill SE]$30,000$35,000
38Dec. 12$150 NL Hold'em [Turbo]$20,000
39Dec. 13$200 FL Holdem [6-Max]$10,000$12,000
40Dec. 13$200 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo]$10,000$15,000
41Dec. 14$300 NL Hold'em [6-Max]$30,000
42Dec. 14$75 NL Hold'em [Zoom]$15,000
43Dec. 15$100 NL Hold'em [Big Antes]$15,000$20,000
44Dec. 15$300 NL Holdem [Main Event, 2-Day Event]$125,000
45Dec. 15$50 NL Hold'em [Main Event Structure]$25,000$35,000
46Dec. 15$100 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO]$20,000
47Dec. 15$100 PL Omaha [6-Max]$10,000$12,000
48Dec. 15$75 NL Hold'em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo]$10,000$12,000
49Dec. 16$150 NL Hold'em [Nightly Stars SE - PACOOP Wrap-Up]$25,000
50Dec. 16$100 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo, 6-Max]$10,000$15,000

The COOP is part of the PokerStars brand

While this is the first COOP in PA, the COOP format is a signature brand for PokerStars in many jurisdictions. it is the first tournament series for the PA online poker site, which launched in PA just last month.

The recently launched poker site initially promised $1 million in guarantees across the 50 PACOOP events.

However, that changed Monday. PokerStars added $125,000 in guarantees. The Main Event, originally featured a $100,000 guarantee. Stars decided to bump that number up to $125,000.

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Guarantees now stand at $1.225 million

Then on Wednesday, PokerStars went all in, jacking up the guarantees again. The site added an additional $100,000 in guarantees, bringing the total to $1,225,000.

The second round of added money boosted the prize pool of the majority of the remaining events, though the Dec. 15 Main Event prize pool still stands at $125,000.

Final PACOOP day is Dec. 16

The PACOOP action started last weekend and continues through Monday, Dec. 16.

There are at least two tournaments to choose from daily and as many as six on one day. Buy-ins range from $50 to $500.

Heavy player traffic on PokerStars PA makes the added guarantees a less risky prospect for the site. Only one event required the company to make up the difference to hit a guarantee, and that fell short by only $200.

PokerStars Brings $1 Million Championship of Online Poker To PA

The PokerStars PA Championship of Online Poker will guarantee more than $1 million in prizes to Pennsylvania poker players.

Online poker in Pennsylvania is on a roll.

PokerStars and PokerStars Casino launched on the FOX Bet app in Pennsylvania earlier this month, making the world’s largest online poker site the first poker operator to go live in PA.

Now they have announced a championship with a $1 million guarantee beginning this month.

Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker – PACOOP

Known as the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) series, the 50-event series from PokerStars PA runs Nov. 30 to Dec. 16.

PACOOP will include a variety of tournaments with buy-ins from $30 to $750.

Satellite games start at just $1.

The $300 buy-in Main Event closes out the championship on Dec. 15 with a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool.

COOP events are a PokerStar signature

PokerStars markets the COOP series wherever they are in a market, including in nearby New Jersey.

Matt Primeaux, president of FOX Bet, explained:

The Championship of Online Poker, or COOP, is one of our most prestigious events and we’re proud to give Pennsylvania its own. Players in PA have already shown their excitement for PokerStars so we took things to the next level with a $1 million series guarantee and plenty of ways to get in on the action.

There are a variety of ways to get in on the action and find a set at the table beside the satellites.

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COOP  add-ons

  • Main Event Depositor Freeroll: This will award 25 Main Event tickets, worth a total of $7,500. That takes place on December 15 at 2 p.m. ET. See the PokerStars site for details.
  • Second Chance Freeroll: PACOOP players who get knocked out without making money still have a shot. Each freeroll will award $1,250 in satellite tickets and entries to PACOOP events, totaling $20,000. Freerolls run daily beginning at 6 p.m. ET from December 1 to 16, except on Sundays when they begin at 3 p.m. ET.

Strong opening for PokerStars

At several points during launch week, more players were online in PA than on the company’s established site in NJ.

PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shahade, who lives in PA, said:

I’m thrilled to see PokerStars’ COOP coming to Pennsylvania this December, giving PA players the chance to play in a world-renowned poker series and vie for titles. Having online poker in Pennsylvania has been amazing so far.

PokerStars Casino And Poker Now Available In Pennsylvania

The testing period is underway and PokerStars Pennsylvania is just two days away from fully launching into a 24/7 online casino site.

Online poker finally arrived in Pennsylvania with testing and a soft-launch of PokerStars and PokerStars Casino scheduled to launch at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4.

Play should last until 10 p.m., then resume on Tuesday at 2 p.m.and run until midnight again. If everything shakes out, full play should begin on Nov. 6.

FOX Bet President Matt Primeaux said:

We’re excited to launch PokerStars as the first and currently the only online poker option available to players in Pennsylvania. Including today’s launch of our highly rated casino product, which is now available in the FOX Bet and PokerStars apps, we’re proud to say we’re currently the only online provider offering all three forms of regulated gaming in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Today is a big day in PA. The online casino for PokerKings also launched and  DraftKings Sportbook is also launching.

Word came of poker’s advent last Wednesday during a meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Spokesman Doug Harbach outlined the details:

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.

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Resembles PokerStars’s NJ site, but goodies and branding

There’s a resemblance to the established PokerStars site in New Jersey, but with branding for the new site’s brick-and-mortar partner, Mount Airy Casino Resort, Pocono, as Pennsylvania gaming guidelines require.

For now, it is a stripped-down version of what’s available in New Jersey. Around 200 to 300 people were playing during the after. Most were playing no-limit hold’em cash games.

The site promises online poker cash games, tournaments and larger Sunday tournaments with sizeable prizes and guarantees.

Opening goodies included:

  • Daily $1,000 welcome freerolls from Nov. 7 to 16
  • $20,000 welcome freeroll on Nov. 17
  • First deposit bonus offer of $30 free play 
  • 100% deposit bonus up to $600

More poker sites could be in the wings

PCBG Executive Director Kevin O’Toole has also said last week he expects additional online sites to roll out in the coming weeks. Some should provide poker as well as casino and sportsbook offerings.

The others in line to eventually offer poker next are:

PA online sites went live without poker

For anxious would-be PA poker players, its been a long wait.

Parx and Hollywood debuted online casino games July 15, but with very limited titles and no poker.  SugarHouse jumped in three days later, but again with no poker.

Rumors spoke to a September starting date for poker. However, nothing happened until PokerStars went through the vetting process with the PGCB.

PokerStars is the biggest online operator in the world. The company has a solid reputation. PokerStars also arguably has the most advanced poker software in the industry.

Details to sign-up and play

For now, all players must be located in PA, which is determined by geolocation.

While there is room under the 2017 gaming expansion law for a compact agreement that could eventually allow pooled games with players in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware wagering against PA players, regulators are holding off.

That’s likely because of the adverse Wire Act opinion issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this year. Even with no enforcement yet, until there is a clarifying legal opinion, compacting is on hold.

An appeal of the underlying case involving the New Hampshire Lottery is not expected until well into 2020.

Like other forms of wagering in PA besides the Lottery, players must be at least 21-years-old.

Required information

In order to sign up for an account, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security Number

Nov. 4 A Big Day For PA With Launch Of DraftKings And PokerStars

It will be an incredibly busy Monday in Pennsylvania with the launch of PokerStars PA, Mount Airy Online Casino, and DraftKings set for Nov. 4.

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.

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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.