Pennsylvania Online Poker Launch Slated for July

April 19th, 2019 | by Kaycee James

Pennsylvania online poker players are set for a summer of bets and bluffs thanks to a recent announcement by the state’s Gaming Control Board.

Pennsylvania online poker PGCB

Pennsylvania online poker players will finally have a place to play thanks to the PGCB. (Image: PGCB)

Almost two years after its decision to regulate online gaming, the Keystone State will unlock the door on July 15.

The news was first confirmed by Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) executive director Kevin O’Toole on April 17.

Director Gives Green Light to Operators

Producing his report during a public meeting, O’Toole said the time was right for Pennsylvania online poker to become a reality.

“Staff has reviewed the estimated time that it would take for us and the industry to complete all necessary steps, and it is our view that 90 days would be adequate. Accordingly, I have advised the ten iGaming certificate holders and three iGaming operators that a coordinated go-live period for interactive gaming will commence on July 15, 2019,” O’Toole told attendees.

By confirming the intended launch date, O’Toole will bring an almost two-year wait to an end.

Having seen New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada regulate online poker, Pennsylvania emerged as surprise contender for fourth spot. California had been seen as the frontrunner, but Delaware power players pushed through a bill in 2017.

Clearing the Senate on October 25 and the House 24 hours later, H 271 was signed into law on October 30, 2017.

Even before the ink had dried on Governor Tom Wolf’s signature, operators were lining up. By March 2018, the licensing process was underway and, ahead of a July 2019 launch, ten operators have been approved.

Pennsylvania Online Poker Presents New Opportunities

Among the brands bidding for a slice of the pie are PokerStars and Partypoker.

In what’s become one of the more interesting stories of 2019, the two operators have gone one-for-one on innovations this year. Essentially looking to capture the casual market, the battle has seen stakes raised, buy-ins cut and promotions abound.

With the Pennsylvania online poker market presenting new opportunities, the operators will now have a new arena in which to fight for supremacy.

The first race, however, will be which poker site can launch first. Although PokerStars and Partypoker are the two biggest brands with a license, there are other contenders.

Harrah’s currently has two options with WSOP and 888poker, while Hollywood, Sands, SugarHouse and Parx casinos will all enter the mix.

Whichever brand gets to market first, the next few months are set to bring a wave of positive changes for Keystone players. What’s more, with a fourth state on the cusp of running online poker games, the recent news could become a catalyst for more regulation across the US.


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