The second and third real money online poker rooms in Pennsylvania are going live on Tuesday, April 27, according to a statement issued to pokerfuse from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA are scheduled for a two-day test launch starting at 9:00am local time. However, unlike when PokerStars PA launched in November 2019, the soft launch will not have limited hours of operation. Instead, the sites will be operational on a 24-hour basis once they go live.
During the soft launch period, testing will be performed to verify that all aspects of the sites are functioning properly including geolocation services, payment processing, and responsible gaming measures.
The latest BetMGM US site is launching under the license of its land-based partner Hollywood Casino Grantville, and Borgata Poker has partnered with Rivers Philadelphia. The online operations throughout the US for both BetMGM and Borgata are managed by a joint venture between MGM and Entain, parent company of partypoker, under the BetMGM brand (formally Roar Digital).
- 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
- 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
Partypoker US Network Comes to Pennsylvania
Upon launch, BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA will share the same player pool. According to Doug Harbach, Communications Director for the PGCB, “Players can enter via either provider and be combined into one when it comes to playing cash or tournament games.”
With the launch of the partypoker US Network, Pennsylvania becomes the third state to house an intra-state online poker network.
The partypoker US Network also has an intra-state online poker network in New Jersey, the only state with two intra-state online poker networks: partypoker US Network where partypoker NJ, BetMGM Poker NJ and Borgata Poker NJ share a player pool and the All American Poker Network which comprises WSOP.com and 888poker NJ.
In Delaware, three racinos (Delaware Park, Dover Downs and Harrington) share an intra-state online poker network with 888poker providing the software. The intra-state network in Delaware also shares player liquidity with the All American Poker Network in New Jersey and WSOP.com in Nevada, making up the nation’s only interstate online poker network.
2021: A Huge Year for US Online Poker
2021 is already the biggest year in history for legal regulated online poker in the US, and there is plenty more expected before the end of the year.
Good News for US Online Poker So Far in 2021
- A favorable ruling in the Wire Act case (January 20)
- The launch of PokerStars in Michigan (January 29)
- The launch of BetMGM Poker in Michigan (March 22)
- The launch BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker in Pennsylvania (confirmed April 27)
And there are still more events expected this year that will have a positive impact of US online poker.
Perhaps the biggest of them all will be a successful conclusion to the Wire Act case.
The favorable ruling handed down in January combined with the Biden administration taking charge of the US Department of Justice earlier this year was great news for poker as it signaled the end to biggest threat online poker has faced in the US since Black Friday.
Biden was Vice President when US Lotteries were given the green light by the US government to expand access to their games onto the internet, and he has publicly stated that he has no intention to burden the gaming industry with undo regulations.
But some states (like Pennsylvania and Michigan) are still waiting for a formal end to the case before they sanction interstate online player pools. That good news could come as soon as mid-June when the time allotted to appeal the most recent ruling in the Wire Act expires.
If the legal hurdles to interstate online poker networks are cleared, not only will we see more players flock to the tables because of the bigger tournament guarantees and the wider selection of games that comes with a bigger potential player pool, but we will likely also see the partypoker US network launch in Nevada (where it is already licensed) and the first online poker room launch in West Virginia.
With the population of both of those states being on the smaller side, online poker operators have been hesitant to expand there until they are able to connect their player pools from larger states.
When that happens (and perhaps even before then) we could also see the launch of WSOP PA. With one of the most-well known brands behind it (the World Series of Poker), the ability for PA poker players to compete for a coveted WSOP bracelet from the comfort of their own home, and the promise of the new Poker 8 platform from 888poker, WSOP PA is likely to be a big success.
And there is even an outside chance that lawmakers in other states that have yet to pass online poker legislation will see the gaudy revenue numbers being posted by their neighbors and begin a push for further expansion of online poker that will bleed over into 2022.
More Possible Good News for Online Poker in 2021
- The formal end to the Wire Act Case
- Shared liquidity launch in Pennsylvania and Michigan
- WSOP.com launch in Pennsylvania
- partypoker US Network launch in Nevada
- Online poker launch in West Virginia
- More states pass online poker legislation