Will Pennsylvania Join the Interstate Poker Mix?


PennsylvaniaThe WSOP announced this week that they will be merging poker players in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware on May 1st, which has many wondering if Pennsylvania will eventually be in the mix.

By next month, online poker gaming will change in the United States. New Jersey has decided to get in on the shared poker liquidity and will be joining forces with Nevada and Delaware to see players from each state compete together. The change will hopefully help each state see an increase in poker performance as the online gaming sector has failed to gain any ground. Since launching in 2013, online poker in each state has produced far less than anticipated and decreases in revenues have been present. With shared player liquidity, each state hopes to see an increase in participation.

Pennsylvania in the Mix?

It’s too early to determine if Pennsylvania will become involved in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association as the three other states that offer online gaming are apart of, but it’s fun to speculate. It would make sense for the state to become involved as it would provide a larger selection of players from the very beginning. Pennsylvania has yet to begin offering online gaming with the licensing process just beginning a few days ago.

The law involving online gaming in Pennsylvania includes provisions that allow for liquidity sharing to take place. The concept is defined in the law and mentioned in a few sections. The state’s Gaming Control Board would be able to decide if they wish to enter in any interactive gaming agreements that would work similarly to what Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware will be doing.

It seems almost a given that Pennsylvania will be taking part in shared player liquidity. The laws are set up accordingly and the state is already patterning their industry in the likeness of New Jersey so why not become involved in this realm as well?

Online Gaming in PA

Currently, there are 13 online poker gaming licenses up for grabs in the state. Each operating casino and one to be constructed casino have the ability to obtain licensing. It is believed that the majority will focus on online casinos but there should be some who venture into the online poker world. Some partnerships are already in place which point in the direction of online poker gaming. Mount Airy and Harrah’s have partnered with 888/WSOP and other operators seem to be contemplating partnerships as well that could lead to online poker gaming.

A lot is riding on the online poker as well as online casino industry of Pennsylvania. The state passed their online gaming legislation in late 2017 and will be the first state in the US to launch casino and/or poker gaming since 2013. If the state is successful in their launch it could essentially inspire other states to come on board and move legislation along to being offering online gaming as well.

Since Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware passed online gaming legislation in 2013, it started a wait and see period. States would look at legislation, but nothing would pass into law. With Pennsylvania finally taking the steps to pass legislation, it seems to be somewhat of a tipping point.

Personally, I think that once the online poker/casino gaming begins in the state and the revenues start rolling in, other states will jump on board as well. Hopefully, a domino effect will occur and we will see several states passing legislation and even more begin to offer online gaming legally in the United States.