The World Series of Poker or WSOP.com is close to all systems go for the Pennsylvanian market. One of the largest and most significant poker networks in the United States is on the cusp of launching in the regulated online poker market in the Keystone State with WSOP PA.
With Pennsylvania players able to participate in regulated online poker games since 2019, and specifically November when PokerStars set up shop, WSOP PA is now looking to join the market, as demand for online poker surges.
While there is no official date when this is exactly to happen, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has said that it’s currently going through the motions to allow WSOP.com to roll out its product. WSOP PA is based on 888’s proprietor software, which is currently under review by the Board’s investigative unit.
888 and WSOP.com’s Keystone Bid in the Final Stages
Obtaining a clearance from the Board is a prerequisite for launching in the state. With WSOP.com branching out and adding GGPoker as a partner two weeks ago, the company is still determined to collaborate with 888poker in key markets, and Pennsylvania is one such market.
As confirmation of the pending launch of WSOP PA, industry news and analyses website Pokerfuse spoke to PGCB Communications Director Doug Harbach who confirmed the rumors that no timetable had been established but WSOP is on track to be launched on Caesars’ site.
Basically, Harbach suspects that it would take WSOP PA as long to launch in Pennsylvania as long as it takes 888poker to add the final tweaks to its platform. His recent statement happens to coincide with 888 Holdings CEO Itai Pazner’s plans who, in a recent conference call, confirmed that the company remained determined to expand into Pennsylvania, doubly reassured by the rising interest in poker and “more people returning to poker.”
For a long while now, 888 has seen poker as one of the company’s key verticals, even though the market, at least in the U.S. legal landscape, hasn’t been posting the most reassuring results. With sports on a hiatus now, however, there have been some positive signs and a surge in demand for online poker.
Presently, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware all offer online poker on the 888 network, and Pennsylvania will be joining them to give an additional boost to the shared liquidity which determines the size of the bets.
Final Touches Before the Launch
Naturally, WSOP had to comply with the regulatory framework which asks of any online operator to tie-up a partnership with a land-based property, and preferably a casino. Since WSOP.com’s parent company, Caesars Interactive Entertainment owns Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia, the choice of partner was an easy one to make for the company.
Pennsylvania will be an important addition with the All American Poker Network (AAPN) boosted by both 888 and WSOP.com. It’s already doing quite well, pulling ahead of its main rival PokerStars New Jersey for the better part of the past two years.
However, PokerStars has made a comeback, edging out WSOP/888’s duo, which is once again set to return. Yet, it might take a while to see Pennsylvania joining the other operations outside Pennsylvania, as WSOP PA has not applied for the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) which would allow it to do just that.