WSOP.com to Expand into Pennsylvania and Michigan
According to recent reports, WSOP.com is planning to expand into both Pennsylvania and Michigan at some point during the first half of 2021. Once this happens, that will make WSOP live in four regulated US states.
The big question now is how long either state will stay intrastate only and when they will join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).
WSOP.com Will Expand Into Pennsylvania and Michigan in 2021
Some major news broke on Friday surrounding the expansion of WSOP.com. During a Q1 2021 investor’s call, 888 Holdings revealed that plans are in place to launch WSOP.com in both Pennsylvania and Michigan during the first half of 2021.
Itai Pazner, CEO of 888 Holdings, was quoted during the call as saying, “Regarding market launches, we’re planning to launch in the first half of this year—which basically means in the next couple of months … two additional poker states with our partnership with Caesars and WSOP.”
So what exactly does that mean? That means by the Summer, we will see WSOP.com offering online poker cash games and online poker tournaments in the Wolverine and Keystone states. Both states presently offer online poker and real money online casinos. In Michigan, only PokerStars operates. Pennsylvania has both PokerStars and the recently launched Partypoker US network.
WSOP.com presently operates in Nevada and New Jersey. Nevada was the first state to offer legal online poker, followed by New Jersey and Delaware. The big question now is whether PA and MI will join the interstate network.
When Will PA and MI Join the Interstate Network
The big question regarding the launch of WSOP.com in both MI and PA is how quickly both sites will join the interstate network. For this to happen, both states will have to join the MSIGA. Generally, online poker sites in regulated states will start as intrastate and then later consider a move to interstate poker.
One driving factor for both states will be the upcoming WSOP Online that kicks off in July. If both states could join the MSIGA by then, online poker players could compete for WSOP bracelets with players in New Jersey and Nevada. While Delaware is part of the interstate poker network, they are not on WSOP.com and not eligible to play for bracelets.
The WSOP Online at WSOP.com in the United States will offer 33 bracelet events. Should both PA and MI join the MSIGA, this would result in a large expansion in the number of potential players for those bracelet events.
What We Predict Will Happen
Since 888 is already talking about an imminent launch for WSOP.com, we can assume it will happen. However, odds are that we will see both sites start as intrastate in the early weeks of launch. Unless the sites launch in the early part of June, there likely will not be enough time to get everything ready for the international network.
Furthermore, we predict that Michigan has the only legitimate shot of joining MSIGA before then. Interstate online poker is coming to PA, but it appears to be doing so slowly. What we expect to see is that they will join MSIGA sometime around August.
While many are focusing on the WSOP Online in July, some are overlooking the live 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The Vegas WSOP typically has online bracelet events as well. If that happens this year, then players in other legal states can compete for those bracelets. As such, Michigan and Pennsylvania players may get a chance to play for WSOP bracelets after all.
Regardless of what happens, we can fully expect both states to be fully operational and interstate by 2022.