It follows a two-day soft-launch period of real-money testing, which completed successfully today.
The pair combine to share a single player pool, and compete alongside PokerStars PA, which has enjoyed a de facto monopoly for almost 18 months.
The sites are now fully functional and open to the public, with a big spread of welcome bonuses on offer to new players—including $25 free play for simply registering, then a bonus matching 100% of a first deposit up to $600.
The operator has put on a full spread of game offerings: with a wide range of buy-ins at real money cash games, fast-fold tables, sit and gos and, for the first time in PA: Spins lottery sit and gos.
The operator has also scheduled some ambitious guaranteed tournaments for the first weekend—first-time players will enjoy a lot of value, and likely quite a few overlays, as the sites come online.
- Generous welcome bonusesFree $25 with no deposit & 100% match up to $600 on first deposit
- Good tournament schedule Daily and weekly events with big guarantees
- Unique loylaty scheme Become a part of the M life Rewards program
The sites fall under the banner of the partypoker US Network, signaling that the software platform is the same used by these brands in New Jersey (where it operates three poker rooms) and Michigan, where it recently introduced BetMGM Poker Michigan.
However, it is important to note that the three networks are currently separate—players on the new BetMGM Poker PA share tables and tournaments with players on Borgata Poker PA, but they are not connected with the networks in New Jersey or Michigan.
Partypoker US Network: Six Brands, Three Player Pools
- New Jersey Network
- Michigan Network
- Pennsylvania Network
Big Welcome Bonuses and Launch Promotions
The two sites are offering their standard offer in the US markets, which is generous compared to the competition: $25 freeplay bonus upon registering, and a first deposit bonus up to $600.
What is good is that players can do both, and no bonus code is needed. The $25 is added to the account upon successful registration, no deposit needed. It comes split with $15 in tournaments tickets and $10 for cash.
When you are ready to make your first deposit, the operator will match up 100% up to $600. This comes with more stipulations—see below for details—but in summary, it is released in 10 equal chunks, you have 30 days to clear as much as possible, and it is earned at a rate of 37% rakeback equivalent.
- Fresh to the PA market, Borgata offers a nice alternative in addition to PokerStars and BetMGM Poker
- Generous risk-free offer: Get $25 in freeplay upon registering with Borgata Poker
- Boost your bankroll: solid match bonus of 100% up to $600 on your very first deposit
- Good schedule of daily and weekly tournaments alongside special tournament series
Signup Bonus at BetMGM and Borgata PA: Key Facts
$25 bonus just for registering:
- No deposit needed
- Money should be automatically credited to your account
- $15 to use for tournaments—either MTTs or SNGs
- $10 for cash games.
- Offered to try out the site, with no big strings attached: Just play a single raked hand in cash games, and spend the $15 on tournaments, and any winnings can be withdrawn.
Deposit match of 100% up to $600
- When you are ready to make your first deposit, it will be matched with a bonus of an equal amount.
- This is released in 10% increments as you play. For a $600 bonus, that means it comes in chunks of $60.
- You must generate 15 times each bonus dollar in iRPs (the site’s rewards points). So, for a $60 chunk it will be released after you generated 900 iRPs by playing cash games or tournament.
- iRPs are earned at the rate of 5.56 points per dollar paid in rake. This means that to release $1 of bonus you need to pay just under $2.70 in rake—equivalent rakeback of 37%.
- You have 30 days to complete the bonus.
On top of that, all players that join will be able to participate in an Opening Week Freeroll event. The celebratory freeroll will give out $40,000 in tournament dollars as prizes to the top 800 players.
Many of the top finishers will also receive $215 entry to Main Event of the partypoker US Network Online series, the network’s first tournament series, currently earmarked for May 23 to May 30. The Main Event will guarantee $100,000.
More Cash Bonuses Already On the Horizon
If that were not enough, both sites have details of two new bonuses lined up. There is a $50 deposit bonus from April 27th on a deposit up to 100%. This releases in 20% increments at a rate of 12 iRPs per dollar.
Then there will be a Fast Cash Bonus. From May 16, players can get a $50 bonus with no deposit required. This will release in 10% increments at the same 15 iRPs-to-bonus-dollar rate as the welcome bonus.
All combined, even the heaviest grinder should keep themselves in lucrative bonuses for the next month.
BetMGM and Borgata PA: Launch Bonuses
|$25||As soon as you sign up||-||$10 cash, $15 tournament tickets|
|$600 deposit bonus||On first deposit||30 days||10% chunks, 15 iRPs per $1|
|$50 Reload bonus code
||April 27||May 8||20% chunks, 12 iRPs per $1|
|$50 Fast cash, on deposit required||May 16||May 22||10% chunks, 15 iRPs per $1|
Wide Spread of Games for Pennsylvania’s New Online Poker Rooms
The twin sites have launched with their full spread of online poker games.
In terms of cash games, the site is spreading NL Hold’em, PLO and Fixed Limit Hold’em from 1c/2c all the way up to $25/$50.
FastForward, the network’s “fast fold” product (on PokerStars PA, this is called Zoom) is also offered, currently with just two player pools: 5c/10c and 25c/50c on NL Hold’em only; presumably, this will expand to higher stakes if these pools prove popular.
In tournaments, the operator is spreading the usual fare of single-table tournaments (SNGs) with buy-ins of $1 all the way up to $500, in 6-max and heads up.
The site also has its somewhat controversial “flip” tournaments—which are entirely luck-based games where players are forced all-in every hand. These are currently spread in heads up and 6-max at $1, $2, and $5.
BetMGM and Borgata PA: Games at Launch
|Cash games||NL, PLO, FL||1c/2c to $25/$50|
|FastForward||NL||5c/10c and 25c/50c|
|SNGs||NL 6-max and Heads up||$1 to $500|
|Flip SNGs||NL 6-max and heads up||$1, $2, $5|
|Spins||NL||10c, 25c, $1, $5, $10, $20, $55|
First Lottery SNGs in Pennsylvania
Perhaps most notable is that the site is spreading Spins, the very first time the format has been offered to online poker players in Pennsylvania, and the first time any partypoker US Network site has offered them.
Also known as Lottery Sit and Gos (LSNGS) and Jackpot SNGs, and known as Spin and Go on PokerStars, these games are the ultra-popular three-handed tournaments where the prize is randomized, meaning you can win prizes of thousands—even tens of thousands—of dollars for a low buy-in.
At the time of writing, BetMGM and Borgata Poker PA are offering seven buy-in levels of Spins, from 10 cents up to $55—a massive spread of games for a new site launch.
They even have “Spins Ultra” live at the $5 buy-in—an even faster version of the game. That makes for eight separate Spins pools on a Day 1 launch.
Like MTTs, Spins give players the chance to win a huge prize for a small relative buy-in. But like sit and gos, they only take a few minutes of commitment. For that reason, they have proven remarkably successful, and are perfect for casual, mobile play.
Indeed, since their introduction a few years ago, they have proven exceptionally popular, and have since rolled out across the globe, with practically all online poker operators offering the games where they can.
However, their rollout in the regulated United States markets has been much slower. Whether due to concerns over liquidity, or because of regulations, PokerStars has not offered Spin and Gos in Pennsylvania, though it has done in Michigan and New Jersey.
It in fact it is the first time any partypoker/BetMGM site has launched Spins: It opted not to spread them in either Michigan or New Jersey.
PA Online Poker: A Long Path to a Competitive Market
The launch is almost two years in the making. Back in mid-2019, when Pennsylvania online gambling first opened, it was hoped that multiple online poker rooms would launch imminently.
Candidates to debut included PokerStars, 888, WSOP and brands on partypoker US. Even sites like Hollywood Casino talked about dipping into online poker.
Questions over the Wire Act delayed progress, and the reality set in that online poker rooms would have to launch segregated from New Jersey
Launches were delayed and operators cooled on the idea. As online casinos launched, poker stayed on the sidelines. 888 said in September of that year that it had no firm timeline.
Finally, in November 2019, PokerStars launched in Pennsylvania to much fanfare. It immediately shot to the top of the online poker market in the United States, spreading the most cash games and the largest tournament series, like its flagship PASCOOP and PACOOP.
BetMGM vs PokerStars
Meanwhile, Michigan was also progressing towards its own online poker laws and once again it was PokerStars that got in there first, launching PokerStars Michigan in early 2021. While it briefly enjoyed another de facto monopoly, this was quickly broken, with BetMGM Poker Michigan launching a competing offer just two months later.
It is the same company once again that is the first to dare to go head-to-head with the online poker giant in Pennsylvania. It will be fascinating to see how its operation fares against the behemoth. While the odds are very much stacked in PokerStars’ favor—it has a world-leading online poker platform and one of the most recognizable online poker brands in the United States—BetMGM has managed to pull ahead of the Goliath in New Jersey in terms of revenue.
So, there is everything to play for. What we are certain of: Players will be the real winners. Competition means better tournaments, bigger promotions, more marketing and more outreach. Expect huge offers, massive guaranteed tournaments—and probably some decent overlays—across the sites as they vie for your playing time.