The online gambling market in Pennsylvania is just days away from going live and after eight years, US players in Pennsylvania may finally be able to play…

The online gambling market in Pennsylvania is just days away from going live and after eight years, US players in Pennsylvania may finally be able to play online poker on PokerStars again.

A coordinated launch of the regulated online gambling market is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 15 with operators looking to offer their services on the first day of the testing period.

Online poker giant, PokerStars, is likely to launch its online poker room on July 15. The worldwide online poker leader will not want to miss the opportunity to enter the largest US state to have regulated online poker so far.

The Stars Group (TSG), parent company of PokerStars, has partnered with the land-based Mount Airy Casino to offer a full slate of online gaming products to players within the state. The pair announced their partnership in August 2018. TSG was the approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in late November 2018 and is well-positioned to be one of the first online poker rooms offered to players in Pennsylvania.

“We’re excited to take this next step as The Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States,” said Matt Primeaux, SVP Strategy & Operations, USA at The Stars Group said at the time the partnership was announced. “In partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort, we believe we’re well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Commonwealth by bringing our world leading offerings to Pennsylvania players.”

What to Expect on July 15?

The online poker market in Pennsylvania is set to begin with a soft launch that will act as a test period of “2 or 3 days,” according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). In neighboring New Jersey, the last state in the US to open an online gambling market for poker and casino games, the market opened with a similar coordinated soft launch period.

During the test period in New Jersey, online gambling was limited to specific hours for a number of days to test payment processing, geolocation services, and responsible gambling measures in an effort to ensure compliance with the law.

Online poker companies and the PGCB have been relatively quiet about which online poker rooms (if any) are ready to go live on the launch date. However, the regulator has confirmed that at least two land-based casinos will launch online games on Monday.

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PokerStars Could Become a Major Player in Pennsylvania

PokerStars, run by The Stars Group, is well-poised to become a major player in the Keystone state. It is the world leader in online poker, offering the largest tournaments and widest variety of cash games and tournaments. It currently leads the competition in almost all of the regulated markets around the world, and its expertise in offering online poker will definitely be a huge welcome to Pennsylvania players.

Its parent company owns a whole host of poker, casino and sports betting brands such as BetStars, PokerStars Casino, Sky Poker and Sky Bet.

PokerStars’ entry into Pennsylvania will be only the second US state after New Jersey where it will offer online poker. Furthermore, Pennsylvania is eventually expected to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), which currently includes New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Should it join the agreement, PokerStars will look to expand its US poker network.

Look for PokerStars to be bringing its online casino and poker offering to PA on July 15 and its sports betting brand Fox Bet later this year.

Pennsylvania Online Gambling Market Background

In October 2017, PA Governor Tom Wolf signed online gambling bill into law authorizing interactive gaming across multiple verticals—including online poker, online casino, sports betting and daily fantasy sports.

It became only the fourth state after Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey to legalize online poker in the country. Once the market goes live, Pennsylvania will likely become the largest online poker market in the country.

Pennsylvania boasts nearly 13 million residents and is the fifth-most populous state in the country. The state legalized land-based casinos in 2004 and permitted casinos to operate table games in July 2010. Its casino industry consists of 12 casinos in operation.

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), the body tasked with overseeing state’s casino industry, Pennsylvania generates approximately $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machine and table games play.