Caesars Prepares for Pennsylvania Online Poker Launch

Caesars Prepares for Pennsylvania Online Poker Launch

It was only days ago that Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack became one of the first three Pennsylvania establishments to receive approval for the new online gaming market in the state. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) had been reviewing the nine applications received from its state’s casinos, and it approved Harrah’s along with Parx Casino and Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Harrah’s is a part of the Caesars brand of casinos, which naturally and contractually meant that it would partner with Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) and the World Series of Poker (WSOP) for online poker and casino games in Pennsylvania. And with a press release days later, those gaming relationships were confirmed.

Bullish on Pennsylvania

The press release was issued just days after the PGCB announced the first three licensees for the new interactive gaming market. The issuance for Harrah’s (and the others) was technically comprised of three licenses: Non-peer-to-peer interactive games which simulate slot machines (slots), non-peer-to-peer interactive games which simulate table games (blackjack, roulette, etc.), and peer-to-peer interactive games which simulate poker (online poker). The company paid $10 million for the package instead of the standard price of $4 million each.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment noted that it will use its experience with offering online gaming in Nevada and New Jersey to ensure a “smooth and successful launch” of the games in Pennsylvania under the CaesarsCasino.com and WSOP.com brands.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Senior VP and GM Chris Albrecht noted that it will be a “great opportunity to bring new customers into our Total Rewards network and for all customers to play with us both online and at the property.”

And CIE VP of Online Casino Melanie Gross added, “We’re very bullish on the offering online gaming provides our guests and are excited for the opportunity Pennsylvania presents. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience from out six years in the online gaming space in the US and believe we’ll be able to hit the ground running in Pennsylvania when online gaming commences in the state.”

What Games Players Can Expect

The WSOP online poker website will offer real-money games for desktop and mobile devices as follows:

–Cash games from $0.01/$0.02 stakes

–Multi-table tournaments from $1.10 buy-ins

–Sit & Go tournaments

–Satellite tournaments

–Freeroll tournaments

–Full-ring and short-handed games of Limit Hold’em and No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo, and Seven Card Stud

As for the casino games to be available from Caesars Casino online, these will be similar to those in other states as well:

–Video slot machines

–Video poker

–Blackjack

–American and European roulette

–Baccarat

All players on the sites will be able to participate in the Total Rewards club, which offers free membership and rewards for play online and in Caesars’ land-based casinos.

Since 888poker works closely via online poker partnerships in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, it is likely that 888poker will be a part of the mix in Pennsylvania as well. The WSOP-888poker relationship has allowed the combined sites to be the only entity currently participating in the tri-state poker liquidity network, which connects online poker players in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. While Pennsylvania is not likely to address that liquidity market until 2019 at the earliest, WSOP-888poker is poised to be the only offering in all four states.

Competition

At this early stage of the Pennsylvania online poker game, only three casinos have licenses to offer the games in the new market, though others will likely be approved in September and October.

Of Parx and Mount Airy, the latter is the only one to have secured an online poker partnership, which is with PokerStars via The Stars Group. This gives WSOP and PokerStars the distinct advantage of being the most prominent and prepared to launch online poker when the PGCB gives its authorization.

 

About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including PokerStars.com and has been followed the US market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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