PokerStars Already Looking Ahead to PA iGaming Market

by Jim Hall

PokerstarsPokerStars already discussing entering the online gaming market of Pennsylvania.

It’s only been a few days since online gambling was legalized in the state of Pennsylvania, along with many other expansions within the gambling industry. Even though the idea is relatively new for the state, operators are already looking at how they can become involved, including top online poker and casino operator PokerStars. The brand is already operating in New Jersey and would do well in the online gaming market of Pennsylvania, once available. The recent interest by PokerStars was made known during an earnings call with the Stars Group, the parent company of the brand.

Stars Group and Pennsylvania

As soon as online gambling legislation came to pass in Pennsylvania, the Stars Group commented. They were one of the first to weigh in on their feelings behind the decision. Eric Hollreiser if the VP of Corporate Communications for the Stars Group who stated on Twitter that the company applauded the legislature of the state in ‘taking decisive action to legalize online gaming’.

According to Online Poker Report, the Stars Group recently addressed their interest in the new market during a Q3 earnings call. CEO of the Stars Group, Rafi Ashkenazi, commented in the call that the company is poised to take advantage of the positive momentum in the growth of iGaming on a global scale and they have a goal to be one of first to launch in Pennsylvania.

Looking Ahead to Other States

PokerStars doesn’t only seem to have their eye on Pennsylvania but also other states in the US. With Pennsylvania, many proponents of online gaming feel that since legislation was passed, other states might feel more comfortable passing legislation as well. This year, several states have shown interest, yet Pennsylvania was the only one to move forward. It could be that by next year, more states will move forward at a more rapid pace and be able to join the now four states that have legalized online gaming in the US, including New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.

PokerStars is optimistic that now with the legalization of online gaming in Pennsylvania, it will serve as a catalyst for other states to continue with their momentum with regulation of online gaming. Brian Kyle, the CFO of Stars Group, stated this in the call and also touched on how New Jersey could share online poker liquidity with Pennsylvania, since the state has recently agreed to share player liquidity with Delaware and Nevada.

When looking at online gaming in Pennsylvania, it is interesting to see what will happen in regards to who PokerStars would partner with. With online gaming, land-based venues partner with online operators in order to get started with iGaming. With the recent legislation in Pennsylvania regarding iGaming, land-based operators will have first choice in obtaining licensing for slots, table games and poker.

Venues have yet to state whether or not they will be vying for licensing, but with poker having a smaller tax rate than slots, at 16% to 54%, it would not be surprising to see online poker come to fruition before slot gaming. So now, we wait and see what PokerStars will do. According to a report at OnlinePokerReport.com, the Stars Group has stated they are currently evaluating their options as to who they could partner with and the overall landscape in general for the state.

It would not be surprising to see PokerStars become the first to offer online poker in Pennsylvania once the licensing process begins.