- Online poker in Pennsylvania turned one year with the PGCB publishing detailed results of revenue and interest
- The Keystone State’s only online poker room, PokerStars, posted $35 million in revenue, of which $5.6 million went to the state
- PokerStars PA ran tournament series worth $8 million in its first year of operations on the market
Online poker in Pennsylvania is now one year old, and this is good news. While many have hoped for a better first year, poker did not quite pick up too much, with PokerStars establishing a bit of a benevolent monopoly over the market under its namesake PokerStars PA trade name.
All things considered, it wasn’t PokerStars’s fault as WSOP, 888 and partypoker were all late to the party, fearing low interest as well as a dubious status over the Wire Act which would have made sharing liquidity with other states impossible.
Now, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has released the numbers summing up a year in online poker for the Keystone State, posting some $35 million in revenue during the first year. Overall, $4.9 million was paid in state tax, an estimated 14% of the total tax.
Some 2% of the revenue or $700,000 went to a Local Share Assessment, bringing the total number of contributions to the state to $5.6 million.
Liquidity Sharing Still Remains a Challenge
The United States is a market brimming with potential. If you are not sure how much poker is worth, just consider a recent report by Bloomberg that Winning Poker Network, the company behind AmericasCardRoom, is paying well over $170 million in player winnings every month.
More impressive, an estimated 90-95% of that amount, or $160 million, is currently paid out in Bitcoin. Yet, liquidity remains a problem as only a few state currently share their player and prize pools, to name Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. Michigan is another state a lot of hopes are riding on, with the state now officially approving online poker but taking its time before launch.
Pennsylvania, which was supposed to enter the shared liquidity scheme, has been reluctant to do so. Yet, there are no reasons for concern. The PGCB said that while the results were not eye-popping, they were smooth and there have been no issues with the platform.
PokerStars benefited from the pandemic, though, posting a significant increase in March, April and June in terms of cash games traffic, but the numbers soon started to decline as the United States and the Keystone State relaxed some of the restrictions.
PokerStars’ Tournament Series Worthy of the Name
Overall, it has been a good year for Keystone State residents looking to compete a little. PokerStars held eight independent tournament series, including two Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) series.
A total of $8 million was generated in tournament prizes, which is, by all means, a respectable amount within a year of operations. To commemorate its success during the first year of operation, PokerStars PA recently announced and just concluded the 1st Anniversary Series, paying out over $1 million in cash prizes across 35 events.