Big news for poker players in Pennsylvania. On July 12th, WSOP.com will launch in the state for real money play, becoming the third online poker room to go live in the state.
Unfortunately for players hoping to win a WSOP bracelet, they will not be able to participate in the ongoing WSOP Online, which is awarding 30 gold bracelet events this month. Play is currently limited to players located in or visiting Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
WSOP.com will go to the state through a licensing partnership with Caesars Entertainment, which partners with software provider 888poker and will utilize the Poker 8 software. Typically before launching, online poker rooms undergo two or three days of testing, which could have players
It’s unclear what welcome bonus will be available to players but in a tweet on Monday, the brand said that players can “expect the best sign up offer, the largest guarantees, and a new and improved WSOP.com poker client.”
In other states, players are treated to $50 in free play and a 100$ up to $1,000 bonus on a first deposit.
Why can’t players play the WSOP online from PA?
Although players are no doubt thrilled with another online poker option, some are understandably disappointed that they won’t be able to play WSOP bracelet events yet.
The reasons for this come down to decisions made by the state of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has not yet joined a multi-state poker agreement that would allow players to play against each other across state lines. This means that Michigan and Pennsylvania — the two most recent states to launch online poker — have currently limited online poker to within their state’s borders for now.
There is good news on the horizon, however. The expectation is that both states will join the so-called Multi-State Internatnet Gaming Agreement sometime in the near future, especially since efforts to challenge interstate poker has now officially failed.
So when could shared liquidity happen and by proxy, WSOP bracelet events? The WSOP Online goes through the end of July, before giving away to online bracelet events on GG Poker, an international online poker room that does not accept U.S. players. Due to the current schedule, it seems unlikely that Pennsylvanians could play in bracelet events already scheduled for this month on WSOP.com.
However, one could speculate that additional WSOP Online bracelet events could be added during the Las Vegas portion of the 2021 WSOP, which gets underway at the end of September. It’s not also beyond the realm of possibility that PA and/or Michigan could get their own bracelet events sometime over the next few months given the population of the two states, which easily exceed that of Nevada and New Jersey.
Three options now for PA online poker players
When WSOP.com goes live with online poker in PA a week from now, players will have the choice of three different online poker rooms.
PokerStars was the first to go live in the state when they launched in in November 2019. This was followed by the partypoker US Network, home to Borgata and BetMGM skins, which opened up for business in the state in April 2021.
PokerStars PA has used its first-to-market status to its advantage by dominating traffic in the state, according to PokerScout. The online poker room currently enjoys player counts that are over six times that of number two BetMGM.
The launch of WSOP.com in PA will undoubtedly shake up the online poker market in the state, especially if WSOP.com can leverage its iconic World Series of Poker brand and coveted gold bracelets.