Online casino games and sportbetting have been live in Pennsylvania for a few months, but there is still no sign of online poker. Players across the state are beginning to get impatient, wondering when they’ll be able to take part in cash games and tournaments online.
There is still no definitive answer, sadly. Douglas Harbach, PGCB spokesperson, has given a very vague answer about when online poker can be expected to go live in Pennsylvania:
“We believe that one of the operators should be in the position in the very near future to begin offering poker but we still do not have a definitive timeline at this point.”
Even though the framework for online poker hasn’t been set up yet, operators seem to be ready and waiting. Over the summer, the state’s online gaming licensees teamed up with some of the biggest online poker brands in the market.
PokerStars joined forces with Mount Airy Casino, while partypoker got involved with Valley Forge Casino Resort. 888 and WSOP entered into a partnership with Caesars. So, they are all ready to go -but it seems as though they are waiting for the green light.
Will Online Poker Succeed in Pennsylvania?
While there are droves of PA poker players eagerly awaiting the launch of online poker games, the market may not actually fare well. Recent statistics have shown that the New Jersey online poker market isn’t exactly booming, as its operators generated just $1.7 million in revenue – less than 3% of the $60 million earned by the state’s gambling market.
The land-based poker world in Pennsylvania isn’t a great indication, either. In September of this year, live poker revenue dropped by 3.4%. There are 10 brick-and-mortar poker rooms across the state, and they took in just under $4.1 million last month – down from $4.7 million in August.
This is a far cry away from where Pennsylvania poker rooms were at the beginning of 2018. In March 2018, the land-based poker market brought in $5.4 million in revenue, which shows a significant drop in earnings over the course of the past 18 months. However, just because players aren’t showing up to play in person doesn’t mean that they won’t play online. The launch of online poker in Pennsylvania could even cause a resurgence in the land-based market. We won’t know until it happens, though – and, it still seems like it quite a long way away.