Is Pennsylvania About to Get More Online Poker Action?

Poker players in Pennsylvania have been having something of a tough time lately due to the rather limited options available to them. However, it is hoped that this particular situation is about to change, and will do so for the better.

At the moment of writing, there is only one option available when it comes to online play. That is apparently about to change with WSOP getting ready to make a somewhat delayed appearance into the online poker world for people in Pennsylvania.

This is all due to 888 Holdings, which runs the platform, being granted its legal right to operate in the state. This was confirmed at a meeting held by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Promotions Being Made Available

In light of these positive steps forward, WSOP has already launched an advertising page displaying special promotional bonuses for people in Pennsylvania. Basically, they know they will be opening up in the state and are already seeking to drum up as much support as possible. Add in that they have also been sending out email shots to people in Pennsylvania, then you see that they are serious about all of this.

But here’s one thing. It’s not going to happen before the festive period. In fact, WSOP themselves have stated that they pretty much have no comment to make on all of this aside from the fact that they are not going to be launching any poker based initiatives before we get into 2021. However, considering how close we are to the end of 2020, it’s perhaps no surprise that there will be no movement over the remaining month.

Operating with Caesars License

It also turns out that WSOP is more than likely going to operate online by using the same license as held by Caesars for their physical locations. This isn’t unusual as Caesars Entertainment is the parent company, so there’s no need to create additional licenses in this instance. Also, it does cut through some red tape for WSOP.

But why so long? For PokerStars, it has been over a year since they were able to start operating across Pennsylvania, and they have been able to do so without any kind of competition. While this is great for them, it’s hardly fun for people residing in Pennsylvania.

Unusually, the problem doesn’t lie with legislators. They have already done their job in opening up new opportunities for online poker across the state. Instead, it’s the operators that have been letting people down with their inability to press ahead and launch their own versions. However, it could be partly down to the likes of WSOP not wanting Pennsylvania to share liquidity with other states that have so far allowed people from various states to play on their networks. This primarily applies to New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, but WSOP has no interest in Pennsylvania following suit.

So, while things do appear to be hopeful for the future, we don’t know exactly when things will kick off with WSOP across Pennsylvania. By sending out promotions, it does make you feel that things are on the brink, but how long it will take to get things over the finishing line is still up for debate.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.