- WSOP may finally be arriving in Pennsylvania, but will that change the current balance of powers
- PokerStars PA remains the dominant card room in the Keystone State for months now
- Borgata/BetMGM’s entry was modest, and revenue continues to remain low as the network targets new players
The Keystone State may have a third poker operator after all, with WSOP possibly looking to set its mark in Pennsylvania.
Joining Pennsylvania and Boosting Player Options
Pennsylvania has long had one particular problem – its poker scene has been rather limited to a few options. It’s not that PokerStars PA has done a bad job – not by a long shot. Yet, for a state where stakeholders paid $10 million to obtain all three licenses, to with iGaming, poker, and sports betting, there has been surprisingly little movement on the poker vertical.
This may be changing, though, as Harrah’s Philadelphia is reportedly planning to kick off the WSOP poker platform, according to information obtained by PennBets, one of the leading websites on all things gambling in the Keystone State.
An entry by WSOP, though, has long been in the making, and a public hearing on Wednesday held by the Pennsylvania Control Gaming Board (PGCB) may suggest that it’s finally coming to the United States. The state currently hosts PokerStars PA and BetMGM, and Borgata, which share one and the same platform.
A third option may incentivize the market further and create a stronger marketing front, potentially leading to fresh acquisitions and growing the player base. Once WSOP makes it in, though, it will open the sluicegates to what poker players have long-anticipated and hoped for – shared liquidity.
With the Department of Justice Wire Act Opinion of 2020 finally put to rest, online poker sites can finally start sharing liquidity across state borders. Better yet, WSOP is already up and running in Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada, adding a fourth state to what is a substantial chunk of players.
Can Anyone Upend PokerStars PA’s Hegemony?
The arrival of BetMGM/Borgata didn’t quite tilt the scales in an expected manner. After a full month of operation in May, PokerStars PA reported $2.26 million in revenue, with the company’s rival network posting a modest $346,019.
The numbers definitely look modest, but there is a good reason behind that. BetMGM cannot expect to pry away poker players from PokerStars simply because people want to play at card rooms that have enough players to compete against.
Therefore, BetMGM is focusing on attracting new crowds and cultivating a loyal player base. BetMGM has done it before in sports betting. The company joined the market “late,” but it has been one of the top three contenders in each state it has launched in.
In an interview back in 2020, the former Entain CEO, Shay Segev, whose company helped establish BetMGM, said that BetMGM would easily be one of the top three sports betting companies in the US within a few years.
So, where does this leave WSOP? WSOP is a well-established platform, and it opens up the sluicegates to the World Series of Poker Main Event, which is arguably the most important competitive poker pow-wow in the world.
As such, WSOP will probably join Keystone State’s maturing poker market in a stronger position than BetMGM. However, it’s safe to say that Pennsylvanians are still learning about online poker, and more people are signing up, even at a somewhat slow pace.