Is GGPoker Coming to Pennsylvania?

There is a development taking place in the state of Pennsylvania that has many in the poker community perking up their ears. Just this week, it was revealed that NSUS has received approval for an online gaming license in the state. While this in itself might not be big news, the brand the company operates changes all that. NSUS is the brand behind GGPoker, one of the most popular international providers of online poker in the world. So, is NSUS bringing GGPoker to the states?

More than PokerStars?

For quite some time now, players in the Keystone State have only had one option for iPoker gaming, PokerStars. While the brand is one of the best in the industry, players would like to experience more of a variety in online poker play. It was expected that after PokerStars launched services in November 2019, others would follow shortly. However, that was not the case.

It was expected that BetMGM, partypoker or the WSOP would launch next. Yet here we are over a year after poker began in the state and there is still just PokerStars. Can we expect GGPoker to jump ahead of all these established US brands and get started first?

GGPoker has hinted that it wants to offer services in the US eventually and last year the brand cut a deal with the WSOP. They offer online events for Circuit rings and bracelets, but these events were restricted to international players.

Licensing Needed

This year, it makes sense for GGPoker to expand into the United States. However, there is a snag. The license that NSUS was approved for will not allow a poker product to be launched via GGPoker. According to David Harbach, the Communications Director for the Gaming Control Board, the company holds an interactive gaming manufacturer license.

With this license, the company can provide technology for an online poker or casino product. If the company wants to offer a co-branded site, they will need an operator license.

To offer online gaming in the state, a land-based casino owner must have an Interactive Gaming Certificate. This allows the brick-and-mortar facility to offer online services. With this certificate, the operator can have up to three deals with separate brands.

A company with an Interactive Gaming Operator License must work with a Certificate holder to launch services. This operator is the one responsible for the operation f the site, dealing with player accounts, etc.

As if that wasn’t enough, the site needs to work with a software partner. This company needs an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer License or an Interactive Gaming Supplier License. The license that NSUS was given is a manufacturer one. The company has the right to supply games or a platform for an operator.

This means that GGPoker would not be allowed to launch a site under its brand at this time. NSUS would have to apply and be approved for an Operator License to offer services via GGPoker. It would also need to be partnered with a land-based casino.

So now only time will tell what NSUS will do with its latest license. Will the company see additional licensing to offer poker under the GGPoker brand?

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Conor Stack
Conor is one of our main writers on USGS focusing on a wide range of industry coverage across sports, casino and poker.