- PokerStars’ reportedly launching poker on November 4
- Mount Airy Casino will be the first to launch, analysts suggest
- WSOP, 888, Partypoker and Parx are all looking forward to releasing their products in Pennsylvania
Reports have suggested that PokerStars will be rolling out its card room in conjunction with their Pennsylvania partner, Mount Airy Casino, on Monday, November 4.
PokerStars Expected to Launch in PA on Nov 4
The Stars Group flagship online poker platform, PokerStars, will reportedly launch in Pennsylvania on November 4. The roll out of legal poker has been long coming – and even longer anticipated – by anxious players eager to cash out from offshore sites and put their money closer to home.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) held a meeting on Wednesday, October 30, and took a question from PlayPennsylvania.com about the status of online poker in PA. Responding, PGCB spokesperson Douglas Harbach said the following:
“We have staff prepared to initiate and oversee a test launch this Monday of another online casino gaming site, this one licensed under Mount Airy Casino and their suite of casino-type games. At this juncture, it would include the testing of a poker game.”
PokerStars is hopefully preparing to go live with Mount Airy Casino, the in-state land-based casino partner for the card room. The actual realization of online poker in Pennsylvania will be huge. Online gambling has been around since October 2017, but casinos and sports betting have been the first to benefit.
Poker hasn’t excited sufficient interest, mostly because of fears that there wouldn’t be enough players and the somewhat smaller revenue that the segment can generate.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Are They the Same Poker Markets?
Concerns about the sustainability of online poker abound. While thousands gather every year to join the World Series of Poker in Nevada, the network of legal poker websites in the U.S. remains fairly unexciting and offshore cardrooms such as Americas Cardroom (ACR) and Ignition continue to offer better prize pools and a far bigger field of competitors.
Many have expressed hope that once Pennsylvania goes live, they would be able to finally withdraw their deposits from these websites and focus on playing on licensed poker sites instead. Yet, the situation in New Jersey has been lukewarm, where players have complained that the PokerStars network is close to zero in terms of available players.
Similarly, people have called for merging the pools of players so that a nation-wide network can finally compete with the more populous offshore options.
What Games Will PA PokerStars Offer?
PokerStars seems to be committed to Pennsylvania. However, the client the team will be releasing will be more focused and it won’t come with the full functionality of the dot-com domain available worldwide.
Players will have access to a package that is similar to what’s on offer in New Jersey, with the offer focusing on Texas Hold’em and Omaha games, and specifically:
- Cash table games $0.01/$0.02 – $100/$200
- 6-max format for NLHE cash games
- Possible Run It Once format
Similarly, Pokerfuse reported that they expect a number of Sit & Go’s to be heavily featured on the platform, as they offer a quick play-through and an easy way to access viable winnings. According to the report published by the poker industry website at the beginning of October, both Hold’em and Omaha will be available as Sit & Go’s.
Conversely, Spin & Go’s will probably not be featured immediately, but PA players will most likely enjoy bigger tournaments than New Jersey. Other than PokerStars, Harrah’s will work with WSOP and 888 and Partypoker will most likely team up with WSOP and 888.
Parx’s will go it alone, bringing a brand-new platform to the fore, which will most likely arrive after all others have been rolled out.