PartyPoker Testing Online Poker Site in Pennsylvania

PartyPoker Testing Online Poker Site in Pennsylvania

As online poker players in Pennsylvania already know, PokerStars is the only site available in the new regulated market there. This has been the case since PokerStars PA launched in November 2019.

The site has been doing well, and PokerStars in Pennsylvania has offered numerous tournament series and specials for its customers. Online poker revenue numbers were even greater than anticipated in the past few months because of the lack of live poker due to Covid-19.

Most players agree, though, that competition in the online poker market is good. It forces everyone to step up their games.

Many industry experts have focused their energy on the site, the entry of Caesars and its WSOP online poker site on the 888poker platform to the Pennsylvania market. Speculation increased in the past several months that the site could be ready to launch anytime now. It seemed like the most likely operator to enter the state.

Surprise! It is actually PartyPoker that seems like it is on track to be the first competitor for PokerStars.

PartyPoker Pennsylvania in Preparation

According to Pokerfuse, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is already performing tests on the PartyPoker platform and its associated BetMGM online slot and table games platform.

In fact, PGCB Communications Director Doug Harbach confirmed it to Pokerfuse. “PGCB staff have been working closely with Roar to launch the PartyPoker and BetMGM apps, which will include interactive slots, table games, and poker. This includes the testing of ROAR’s interactive gaming platform and games,” he said.

PartyPoker’s parent company, GVC, launched a brand called Roar Digital, one specifically designated for the United States gaming market. Roar Digital is the license holder for the PartyPoker site running in New Jersey with the Borgata. In fact, Roar appears to be preparing to launch an online poker site in Nevada, as the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved GVC’s license application during the first week of January 2020.

With that said, Roar operates as BetMGM in New Jersey and will move into Pennsylvania soon as well.

The July Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting last week hinted at the ROAR licensing process in that state moving forward soon. This could signal the final licensing approval at the next board meeting, which is set for the first week of August.

Harbach told Pokerfuse that he expects PartyPoker’s soft launch to be set for “sometime this summer or early fall.”

Caesars Still Pending

When we last checked in with the site that Caesars will launch in Pennsylvania, everything seemed to be moving in the right direction. Everyone from GVC to the PGCB hinted at an upcoming launch, with Harbach indicating that background work needed to be completed.

It is unclear what background work remained or what could be problematic with a Caesars application. It already uses the 888platform to run online poker in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware – the only site in all three states, incidentally.

The PGCB mentioned nothing about approvals at its publicly-streamed meetings in June or July.

It seems as if both the WSOP and PartyPoker sites would be vying for the chance to be the first PokerStars competitor in Pennsylvania. And it seems as if both would want to launch as soon as possible, especially while many live poker rooms remain closed (or unappealing) during this time of the coronavirus pandemic.

Without answers, we wait.


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 and has followed the US poker and gaming 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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