WSOP Edging Nearer Pennsylvania Online Poker Entry

By Ben Hamill - June 02 2020
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WSOP Edging Nearer Pennsylvania Online Poker Entry

The fight for the keys to the legalised online Poker kingdom in the US state of Pennsylvania is officially good and proper on. And as these things go, current one-man monopoly show PokerStars may soon have competition in the persona of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) now officially threatening the former’s autocratic rule.

Related: Online Poker Steps Into a New Era​

WSOP representatives a little over a week ago said that they are now awaiting regulatory approval from local authority the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and once had, will go live in the state. The World Series of Poker is currently live in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey – all thanks to its partnership with 888 Holdings. 

Final Checks In The Works

The relevant gaming control board has in the meantime said that the 888poker-licensed WSOP platform is in fact ready to go live, but that there remain a few kinks in need of ironing out before the final permission to launch will be granted by the board.

According to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Director of Communications Doug Harbach, that which remains to be done basically involves standard background work and checks so as to ensure compliance with Pennsylvania state laws and gambling regulations.

The WSOP’s plans for Pennsylvania are of course no state secret as these were already alluded to in April of this year by 888 CEO Itai Pazner at the time of an earnings call announcement made by 888 Holdings.

Only The Second In PA

If approved, the World Series of Poker will be only the second online operator to be licensed for the purpose of administrating online games in Pennsylvania. First up to have been licensed was obviously market-nemesis PokerStars, with the latter having launched its site in the Keystone State as recently as November last year.

PokerStars pulled off this particularly sweet feat after having entered into a partnership with Pennsylvania-based Mount Airy Casino Resort. Needless to say, in its capacity of sole licensed online operator in the state, PokerStars has been raking in the fruits of its labour.

Since the WSOP is a division of popular Las Vegas casino group colossus Caesars Entertainment Corp, the brand will go live with the Caesars-owned Harrah’s Philadelphia. Online Poker is as rule only permitted in the Keystone State when presented in partnership with a local and licensed land-based casino.

A total of 7 licenses have been made available to as many land-based casinos in the state, one of which is being eyed by GVC Holdings’ partypoker. The latter will in all likelihood upon approval launch its online room in partnership with the Valley Forge Casino Resort.  

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