Caesars and PokerStars Eye Pennsylvania Launch
Pennsylvania became the third US state to launch regulated online casino gambling back in July. The highly anticipated launch proved to be somewhat disappointing as only three online casinos began operations.
According to reports, this could be changing in the near future. Caesars is presently looking into becoming the fourth online casino in the state. Also, it appears that PokerStars is close to launching online poker in Pennsylvania.
Is Caesars Next to Launch in Pennsylvania?
Scientific Games it Caesars’ software partner in Pennsylvania and reports claim that the company is eyeballing a September launch to online gambling in Pennsylvania. Parx Casino, SugarHouse Casino, and Hollywood Casino are all offering online casino games with both online casino table games and online slots offered.
Harrah’s Philadelphia will serve as the live casino partner for the online casino site. Note that Caesars operates in New Jersey under a partnership with 888 so expect the PA online casino to be a bit different than the NJ one.
What About Online Poker?
Caesars has not confirmed when online poker will be launching in Pennsylvania, which is similar to other properties in the state. Many have been disappointed that online poker has failed to launch thus far, but it is also not surprising.
Online poker is not nearly as popular or financially lucrative as online slots and table games. As such, it appears to have become a secondary priority for online casinos. That’s not to say that they won’t launch, but it will likely be later this year or early next year. There is one possible exception.
PokerStars Launch May Be Pending
Some of you may already know that The Stars Group has already launched sports betting in PA. FOX Bet began operations in the Keystone State earlier this month and it appears that online poker may be coming soon.
PokerFuse revealed last week that The Stars Group is close to launching PokerStars PA. During the PokerFuse Podcast, they revealed that they have been able to access some of the data for the site that’s currently in development.
Current reports have the site looking a lot like the standard PokerStars online poker room with a lot less branding from casino partner Mount Airy. There’s no official date on the launch for the company, but if the site is as far along as the podcast claims, we could see the site launch later this month or sometime in October.
What that would mean is that PokerStars would be the exclusive online poker provider in Pennsylvania. This was to be expected as other online casinos have been slow to launch online poker and PokerStars is looking to continue their expansion into the United States.
How Many Poker Site Will There Be in the End?
With the slow launch of online gambling in Pennsylvania, we see online poker being a somewhat limited market. We know that PokerStars is coming to the state, and it is likely that we will also see WSOP.com launch sometime later this year or in early 2020.
Beyond those sites, it is hard to gauge how many online poker sites are coming. If we were to guess based on the lack of urgency from the casinos, then we’d estimate only one or two additional online poker rooms are coming to the state.
The only other viable property we could see in the state will be partypoker. They are presently operating in New Jersey and it would make sense to open in PA for future considerations.
WSOP.com has the advantage of joining the interstate online poker network between NJ, DE, and NV. If partypoker and PokerStars launch, they could also form their own interstate networks with NJ. While neither site has announced plans to do so, it is an option that is likely in the long-term plans of both sites.