An interesting development has emerged involving one of the the world’s top online poker operators, partypoker, indicating that the site is on the verge of launching a “US Network” in the country.
On Sunday, players at BetMGM and Borgata Poker in New Jersey received an email about a promotion offering them a chance to win an entry into a PartyPoker US Network $250K Freeroll scheduled to take place January 26. The freeroll awards a $320 online tournament ticket into the PartyPoker US Network $250K tournament to the top 100 finishers which will take place at the end of March.
The same was shared by poker information guru, Kevin Mathers on Twitter.
Partypoker Heading Towards a Nevada Launch?
The use of the term “US Network” appears to be new branding for partypoker, and while a partypoker US Network could mean a lot of different things, our best guess is that partypoker could soon be planning to go live in Nevada and subsequently merge its player pool there with New Jersey where it already operates.
Last year, GVC, the parent company of partypoker, was given green light to offer online poker in Nevada, but the company held back its launch in the state.
The operator has also applied for an online gambling license in Pennsylvania (the fourth US state to offer legal online poker), but its status, as per a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board missive dated January 6, 2020, is still pending.
Even if partypoker had already gone live in Pennsylvania, it would not have been able to join its player pool with New Jersey, as Pennsylvania has yet to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) that allows the sharing of liquidity for online poker operators that hold licenses in those states.
So, Nevada is the only state that makes sense for a partypoker US Network.
A Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) meeting scheduled to take place on January 8 adds further credibility to the idea that partypoker NV could be coming soon. As per the agenda of the meeting, Roar Digital (a Joint Venture between GVC and MGM for sports betting and online gambling in the US), has a pending application for licensure as an information service, a manufacturer and a distributor.
Meanwhile, GVC Holdings and MGM Sports & Interactive Gaming have applied for licensure as a member of Roar Digital.
There has been no official word from partypoker about a US network launch, but based on the dates of the partypoker US network freeroll promoted on BetMGM and BorgataPoker.com, partypoker could go live in Nevada and merge with New Jersey by the end of March.
Should it go live in Nevada, it would be the end of the effective monopoly held by WSOP.com in the state. WSOP.com shares its Nevada player pool with the All American Poker Network (AAPN) players in Delaware and New Jersey.
PokerStars is unlikely to operate in Nevada anytime soon due to bad actor provision in the Nevada gambling law, restricting the use of “covered assets” including trademarks, customer databases and—most importantly—software that was used to offer wagers in the US after December 31, 2006, and before licenses were issued.