It’s official. PokerStars has been granted permission to operate in Pennsylvania once the nation’s poker sites go live, probably in 2019.
A date hasn’t yet been set for an internet gambling launch in the Keystone State. Last year, lawmakers finally passed legislation to legalize internet casinos after coming close the past couple of years.
However, Pennsylvania residents are still waiting to play. Many anticipated a summer or fall launch, but the licensing process has taken longer than anticipated.
PokerStars in Pennsylvania
Currently, New Jersey is the only state PokerStars works in. However, the world’s biggest and most popular internet poker site might soon have a larger presence in the US.
And that’s good news for the online poker industry in America. But some lawmakers in certain states have fought to keep the poker website out. That includes California, a state that will not likely pass internet gambling laws in the near future. Some politicians in the Golden State oppose approving a license for any poker website that operated in the US before Black Friday, which would remove PokerStars.
Pennsylvania lawmakers took a different stance. On Wednesday, the Keystone State approved a license for the internet poker giant. The Stars Group, together with Mohegan Sun Pocono, were granted permission to launch gambling websites. No launch date was set but many speculate early to mid 2019.
The new PA law requires that only land-based are eligible for iGaming licenses. But that will not stop PokerStars because the poker website is partnering with Mount Airy Casino, which is located in Mt. Pocono.
The Stars Group also recently announced a partnership deal with Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts, which could bring the poker website to more states in the future.
When PokerStars entered the struggling New Jersey online poker market in 2016, many expected it would lead to a revival. Some even felt the other poker sites in the state would require a hit given the new competition.
But that hasn’t been the case on each front. Not only is PokerStars failing to dominate the New Jersey market, the world’s biggest poker site hasn’t done much, if anything, to assist the nation increase internet poker revenue.
So, it’s hard to predict the impact PokerStars will have on Pennsylvania’s poker industry. In May, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada agreed to someexpecting to spike revenue for each state. Thus far, revenues have remained stagnant.
PokerStars has not yet been approved for a license in Nevada, which is nearing five years of supplying legal online poker in a state previously dominated by their own unregulated rival.
Online poker is a difficult industry to predict.