WSOP USA is one of the biggest and best-known brands in the poker space, not just in the States, but on the global level. Owner of the iconic World Series of Poker, the company enjoys a great reputation with the players and their peers alike.
When it comes to the online presence of the WSOP in the US, the company currently operates three regulated sites, in Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The first two sites launched in 2013 while WSOP PA is the latest addition, having launched in July of 2021.
The first two states (NJ and NV) entered the first (and thus far, the only) interstate compact, together with Delaware, allowing them to share player pools across state lines. Thus, players on the two WSOP USA sites can play against each other. Pennsylvania is still ring-fenced, meaning players can only play against each other.
To extend its presence into the online environment, Caesars Interactive, the WSOP parent company, entered a strategic partnership with 888Holdings, which provides the interactive platform for WSOP.com in the United States.
WSOP US also shares liquidity with the 888 brand, which is active in all three states in the MultiState agreement. These five rooms make up a conglomerate that is often referred to as All-American Poker Network.
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WSOP USA represents a household name in the poker industry. The World Series of Poker has been in existence for well over five decades and it firmly retains its position as the biggest and most significant competition in the poker world.
Looking to expand its market foothold, WSOP extended into the regulated online poker market in the US as soon as the opportunity presented itself. Joining forces with 888 as its interactive partner, WSOP.com launched online poker sites in Nevada and New Jersey over the last few months of 2013.
Nevada and Delaware entered the MultiState Internet Gaming Agreement in 2015, allowing operators to share liquidity across state lines. In 2017, New Jersey joined the compact, allowing WSOP in the US to spread its wings through the interstate network made up of five poker sites (WSOP NJ and NV and 888 rooms in NJ, NV, and DE).
Over the next few years, WSOP USA continued doing on the online front what have it has been doing in live poker for decades. The operator affirmed its presence in the States, providing players with a completely safe platform powered by the reliable 888poker software.
The year 2020 was very important one for WSOP.com. With the coronavirus pandemic virtually stopping live poker worldwide, the World Series of Poker moved online. WSOP USA saw a significant surge in numbers, with players flocking to the platform to compete in various events and fight for coveted WSOP gold bracelets.
Although WSOP was one of the first operators to offer regulated online poker in the US, the company has not spread beyond the initial three states as of yet. However, WSOP USA currently has its eyes set on Pennsylvania, where the plan is to go live by the summer of 2021, as well as Michigan.
We are bringing you a quick overview of the WSOP USA presence for the existing and upcoming sites:
As mentioned, all the sites on the WSOP USA poker network are powered by 888poker software. The company has announced the rollout of the new Poker 8 platform, which should go live before the end of June of 2021. As things stand right now, it seems that the software will premier in the new WSOP US markets, namely PA and MI.
It is important to note that players on WSOP MI and WSOP PA will likely have to play in the ring-fenced market, at least initially. While the operator combines its NJ, NV, and DE player pools, this will probably not be an option for PA and MI.
Namely, these states are not currently a part of any multi-state agreements. Both have left room for this possibility in the future, but they are waiting for the final verdict on the Wire Act interpretation before they proceed with any plans that involve crossing state lines.
Data provided by GameIntel
WSOP NV was the first WSOP USA poker site to go live. It launched in September of 2013 and has been going strong ever since, becoming the leader in the state regulated market.
With a strong brand to back it up, WSOP Nevada had a very strong starting position to build upon. The addition of online bracelet events in 2015 definitely helped the operator to establish a firm foothold in the state.
In addition to the rich tournament schedule, WSOP NV offers a solid variety of cash game tables with stakes going up to $10/$20, so there is something for all players to enjoy.
When it comes to newcomers, the operator offers a nice welcome bonus consisting of $50 in free play after depositing $10 or more and a generous 100% match up to $1000.
WSOP launched in New Jersey in November of 2013, expanding the WSOP USA presence and adding more liquidity to the network that already included Nevada and Delaware (through 888). Alongside its partner site 888, WSOP NJ had to fight for the players with Borgata Poker NJ and PokerStars NJ, which joined the state market in 2016.
Although the competition was fierce, in 2020, WSOP NJ took the clear lead in the state, largely thanks to the allure of the first-ever online World Series of Poker. But, even without this, the operator attracts players with its solid offering of scheduled tournaments and a good amount of cash game action powered by the great traffic from all three states.
The operator also offers a decent welcome bonus for new players, which is probably slightly better than what other US regulated sites bring to the table:
The number of game variations is the only aspect in which WSOP New Jersey could do better, especially when compared to its main competitor, PokerStars. However, the site spreads Texas Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Stud, which is more than enough variety for most players.
Pennsylvania is in line to become the next WSOP US online poker site. The operator has its eyes set on the state and it has confirmed the launch is imminent. If everything goes to plan, WSOP PA will join other active sites (PokerStars PA, Borgata Poker PA, and BetMGM PA) before July of 2021.
In all likelihood, WSOP PA will not be joining the WSOP USA network from the get-go. For this to happen, state legislators will need to sign off on Pennsylvania entering the MSIGA, which will only happen once the Wire Act situation becomes crystal clear.
Early in 2021, the First Circuit Court ruled against the 2018 DoJ interpretation of the Wire Act, which insisted its application extended to online poker. This pretty much settles the matter and opens doors for multi-state agreements.
However, states are playing it safe and biding their time, as they are waiting to see if the DoJ would appeal the decision. With the new administration in place in the White House, this seems highly unlikely, so there should be bright days ahead for the WSOP in the US and other poker operators in the States in general.
Unlike PA, there is no clear date on when WSOP MI could go live. The operator has shown a clear interest to launch in the state, but Pennsylvania seems to be their main focus. It is still likely that there will be a new US WSOP site before the end of 2021.
In terms of shared liquidity, the situation is identical to that in PA. Michigan has left the option on the table to enter agreements with other states once the legal climate changes. Since WSOP plans for MI are set for somewhat later, it is not impossible to have some sort of a MSIGA in place already by the time the operator goes live.
As mentioned earlier in this WSOP USA review, the operator will likely launch with the new Poker 8 software in both states. This is good news for the players as the new software represents a modern, mobile-focused solution that corresponds with currents trends and expectations.
The online branch of the WSOP US does not offer online casino or sports betting under the WSOP brand. However, Caesars does have presence in all aspects of the regulated online gambling market.
So, those looking to play casino games or place sports bets will not find these offers on the WSOP.com site, but they are offered by the Caesars brand.
In Nevada, there are still no online casinos, which seems somewhat strange, but it is also fairly understandable. The state relies heavily on its land-based gaming industry, and the matter of launching online casinos is a highly sensitive one.
Regulated poker in the United States officially started in 2013. It was after Black Friday (in April of 2011) that the issue of legislation started to pick up some speed as players in the States were left without any safe and reliable online options.
WSOP USA, as one of the biggest and strongest poker companies in the US, was the first in line to get in on the action. Unlike some other operators, most notably PokerStars, WSOP had no legal issues to overcome. The company had all their ducks in a row and was fully ready to take on the newly-forming regulated market in the States.
Online branch of the WSOP in the United States wasted no time to join the fray. In September of 2013, the operator went live in Nevada, one of the first two US states to pass laws regulating online poker.
WSOP had no problems receiving operating licenses and their partnership with 888Holdings gave them access to the top-quality software solution. Thus, the company was fully prepared to take on the new challenges.
Shortly after, in November of 2013, the room entered the newly-regulated New Jersey poker market via WSOP NJ, further expanding the online WSOP presence in the US.
In 2015, Nevada and Delaware signed the first interstate agreement, allowing operators from the two states to share liquidity across borders. This was the first such agreement in the US and it made it possible for the WSOP USA network to start shaping up thanks to their partnership with 888.
A few years down the line, the only remaining regulated state joined the multi-state agreement as New Jersey joined forces with Nevada and Delaware. With this agreement in place, all operators from all three states could freely combine player pools as they saw fit.
This was a huge step for the WSOP in the US. This development made it possible for the operator to combine players from five different sites: two WSOP online rooms and three poker sites powered by their interactive partner 888.
It positioned WSOP.com really well as WSOP/888 were (and still are) the only operators with the presence in all three states. Thus, their traffic surged, creating more opportunities for big tournaments and filling up cash game tables.
With such a strong start and given the fact the company had no legal issues to deal with, it seemed like the WSOP US online poker branch would take the newly regulated markets by storm. However, after the strong start, the company took a bit of a step back.
Pennsylvania passed the online poker bill in 2018 but the only operator that was quick to seize the opportunity was PokerStars, as the site launched in 2019. When the PGCB started awarding interactive licenses, it seemed like WSOP would be one of the first sites to go live in the state, and statements coming from Caesars backed up these assumptions.
But then things went quiet for a couple of years, and players were left in the dark as to if or when WSOP PA would launch. Finally, in September of 2020, 888 was awarded a gaming license by the PGCB, paving the way for launch.
In a recent interview for pokerfuse, WSOP confirmed their plans to go live in Keystone State before June of 2021, so it seems that the launch of another WSOP USA site is imminent.
Michigan was the last state to regulate online poker, legalizing it in 2019. The first poker rooms launched in early 2021. WSOP does have plans to launch there as well, but these seem to be further down the line as the operator still does not have the required license in the state.
|Year||Legal Developments||Significance for WSOP USA|
|2013||Nevada and Delaware pass iGaming bills||WSOP.com launches as one of the first online poker operators|
|2013||New Jersey regulates online poker||WSOP NJ goes live as one of two poker sites at the time|
|2014||NV and DE pen the first multi-state agreement||The operator is allowed to combine player pools from two sites|
|2017||New Jersey joins the MSIGA||The WSOP USA network is born, combining player pools from three regulated states|
|2018||Pennsylvania passes iGaming bill||888, WSOP USA interactive partner, acquires PA iGaming license in 2020|
|2019||Michigan regulates online poker||WSOP announces plans to launch in the state|
Being one of the first online poker sites to go live, WSOP USA has played a significant role in the overall development of the regulated poker market in the States.
Soon after launching in Nevada in 2013, WSOP.com helped the state reach the new high in terms of player traffic. At the time, the only other site operating in NV was Ultimate Poker, but that operator withdrew from the market in 2014.
Initially, WSOP experienced some difficulties with geolocation services and player verification systems. While inconvenient, these problems were quite expected in the new environment and would be ironed out later down the line.
In November of 2013, WSOP.com went live in New Jersey. Shortly after, the operator announced the New Jersey Online Championships Tournament Series featuring a guaranteed prize pool of $1,000,000. For the early days of online poker in the States, this move by WSOP USA was rather impressive.
In the next year, WSOP NJ would assert its leading position in the New Jersey market, topping cash game traffic charts.
In 2015, WSOP USA has ticked off another important milestone, setting up the first-ever bracelet awarding event to take place online. While today this does not seem like such a big deal, the $1000 online tournament offering an actual WSOP bracelet was a huge development.
In the end, the first-ever WSOP US online event attracted 905 players and was won by Anthony Spinella, who took home just shy of $198,000 alongside his very first WSOP bracelet.
In the following years, WSOP continued to add more online events. In 2017, the amount of money awarded in online bracelet tournaments exceeded $3,000,000.
Of course, the year 2020 was, beyond doubt, the biggest one for the USA WSOP online branch. Having moved the entire World Series of Poker online, the operator saw a huge surge in traffic over the summer.
A grand total of 31 events took place on WSOP/888 with a total prize pool in excess of $26.8 million. The biggest prize pool was generated in the $1000 NLH Championship event: $2,019,700, while six tournaments had prize pool in excess of $1,000,000.
WSOP USA certainly has a bright future ahead. With its position pretty much set in New Jersey and Nevada, the operator will look to expand to other regulated markets.
Pennsylvania seems to be the top priority for the WSOP US. The plan is to launch the online poker site before the end of the summer of 2021, and so far, the site is on track to achieve this. With the interactive gaming license in place and the new software all but set, the only thing left to do is to set the time for the test period before WSOP PA goes fully live.
In Michigan, the other regulated state where WSOP does not have a presence as of yet, the situation is not as clear. It is safe to say that WSOP MI will become a reality in the future. It is even possible that new WSOP USA sites in PA and MI will launch concurrently.
Being the largest online poker network in the States, WSOP in the US is particularly interested in what happens with the Wire Act. Should PA and MI enter a multi-state agreement with NJ and NV, this would create massive opportunities for WSOP/888. With the infrastructure already in place and the experience behind them, these two operators could create a very strong online poker network.
As for other states currently awaiting regulation, it is too early to say. Once legal obstacles for interstate compacts are removed, WSOP USA will probably seek to enter as many markets as possible. This might even include West Virginia, the only state that has regulated online poker but no poker operators to speak of due to the limited market size.
Yes, you can play online poker in the United States via WSOP.com. The operator offers an online poker platform powered by their interactive partner 888.
All currently active US WSOP poker sites share liquidity with each other and with 888 sites. When WSOP goes live in PA and/or MI, the operator may not be able to do the same to start with and players might have to play in ring-fenced market, at least for a little while.
Yes, WSOP in the US offers plenty of opportunity to play for WSOP bracelets online. In fact, in 2020, the entire series was moved to the online environment due to unforeseen circumstances. However, even in a normal situation, there are several bracelet-awarding events on WSOP.com sites every year.
Yes, you need to have a physical address in the US and a SSN to be able to register with WSOP.com and play for real money.
The only way to play on regulated WSOP US sites is if you are a resident of the United States. If you travel to the States as a tourist, you will not be able to register and play for real money, even if you are in one of the states where WSOP USA poker sites are available.
The wait is almost over as WSOP.com is eyeing July 12 to become the third online poker network after PokerStars and BetMGM/Borgata to open its doors to Pennsylvania players.
Michigan online poker players can now win an unofficial $10,000 “Las Vegas” package—which fits the dates of the WSOP Main Event.
The 2021 WSOP Online and Live Bracelet Event satellites are underway on the WSOP.com platform in Nevada and New Jersey
PokerStars’ Michigan and Pennsylvania poker sites remain the clear leaders in the US online poker market, perfectly positioned for shared liquidity.