On October 30, 2017, Pennsylvania became the fourth US state to legalize online poker. They are the first state to do so since 2013 and many expect that this will spark further growth in the regulated marketplace over the next two to three years.
Many of you have questions about online poker PA and we are here to answer them. If this FAQ is helpful, we would appreciate deposits of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum or anything that will make us rich so we can move to PA, retire and play online poker.
When Can We Play Online Poker in Pennsylvania?
An exact date has yet to be set but most assume that it will be sometime in second half of 2018. The PA Gambling Control Board still has to open the licensing process to casinos and operators. This won’t take long because they want to make it rain with monster licensing fees. Afterwards, they must make formal approvals and casinos have to develop and test their software.
We predict a launch similar to that of New Jersey with Pennsylvania online poker going live sometime in the Fall of 2018. Yes, you will have to wait a little bit longer.
Does This Mean We Can Play at ROW Sites Like PokerStars, 888poker, and PartyPoker?
Unfortunately, no. Online poker will be legal and regulated within Pennsylvania’s borders. Online poker sites will be operating in partnership with one of the 12 live casinos in the state. Player pools will be other players within Pennsylvania – at least for now. Seriously, do you really want the ROW players to come and take the money from the fish instead of you?
Can Players from the Other States Play at Pennsylvania Online Poker Sites?
Players must be physically located in Pennsylvania in order to play at PA online poker sites. Sites will use geolocation technology to verify your physical location, effectively blocking players from other states.
Don’t get cute and try to use a VPN to access sites because they will be heavily monitored and you will be banned and lose your deposits if you try and do so. You may even risk heavy fines and jail time.
However, you do not have to be a resident of PA to play at the sites. If you’re just visiting the state or want to come to PA to play online poker, you will be able to do so. Just try not doing so in the winter unless you like the cold and snow. To think about it, maybe we won’t retire to PA to play poker. We will just visit and spend the winters in Las Vegas – and play on WSOP.com.
Will We Be Able to Play Anything Else Like Online Slots?
Yes, not only will you be able to play online poker in Pennsylvania, but also several other forms of online gambling. Online table games, slots, lottery tickets, and Daily Fantasy Sports are all eligible to be offered. Offerings will vary by casino and some sites may not offer some games. Sorry, no strip poker will be offered by PA online casinos.
Which Online Poker Sites Will Operate in Pennsylvania?
Right now, the only sites that will definitely operate in Pennsylvania are WSOP.com, PokerStars, and 888poker. They all already have established presciences in other states and should be among the first sites to open.
Depending on how many casinos offer online poker, we may see a site such as Pala Poker open. Another option would be for 888poker to offer services to multiple casinos in the state under their All-American Poker Network brand.
How Many Casinos Will Offer Online Poker?
At this point, there are only four casinos that we feel are locks to offer online poker. Below is a quick list of casinos along with the provider they are likely to partner with:
- Harrah’s Pennsylvania – WSOP.com Pennsylvania
- Mount Airy – 888poker Pennsylvania
- Valley Forge – PartyPoker
- Mohegan Sun – PokerStars Pennsylvania
What Does Sheldon Adelson Think About This Development?
We don’t really care what Sheldon Adelson thinks.
We will give you three guesses regarding his stance, and your first two are wrong.
Suffice it to say that Sands Bethlehem will not be participating in online gambling, that is until the casino is sold to another group that has better sense.
What Games Will Be Offered?
Chances are that casinos will stick with Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker games for the time being. We would love to see Chinese Poker or other sexy poker games, but we can’t have nice things in life.
Cash games and tournaments will be available. For the ADHD crowd, you will be able to SQUIRREL! Sorry about that, we meant you will likely find fast fold poker options like Zoom Poker.
Why Wouldn’t All Casinos Offer Online Poker?
Two factors may lead to some casinos choosing to abstain from offering online poker. The first is the astronomical licensing fee of $10 million. That’s 25 times higher than the $400,000 fee charged by New Jersey.
Next, the tax rate for PA online gambling is insane. At 54%, the tax rate will make online gambling, in general, less than appealing. Since online poker makes casinos significantly less money than other forms of gambling, it may not be worth the time and effort for some casinos to pursue.
What’s the Age Limit for Online Poker in PA?
You must be at least 21 to play online poker in PA. This is the same requirement as live casinos in the state. Sure, you can TRY and use a fake ID, but you will probably get caught, lose your money, maybe go to jail, and 2+2 Forums will make fun of you.
Will PA Partner with Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey for Online Poker?
Not initially, but it is very likely that they will do so at some point after launching intrastate online poker. We predict that there may be multiple interstate online poker networks in PA.
The first network is the established network. The present network combines player pools from Delaware Poker and WSOP NV. New Jersey will soon be joining this network and PA is expected to follow suit. We predict that the other network will a PokerStars network combining player pools between PokerStars NJ and PokerStars PA.
No timeframe has been established for any interstate compacts.
Can We Expect the Other States to Regulate Online Poker in the Near Future?
Now that PA online poker is officially legalized, we fully expect other states to revisit their own regulatory efforts in 2018. New York is likely to be one of the main candidates to consider iPoker regulation and some consider them the next state to do so.
Now that Delaware, New Jersey, and PA have regulated online poker, other states in or near the New England region are likely to examine iPoker legislation. States we should hear more from in 2018 include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and West Virginia.
Michigan and Illinois are two other states who made inroads towards iGaming regulation in 2017 and are expected to do so again in 2018.
California has been at the forefront of regulatory talks for years but took a step back in 2017. Now that legal online poker Pennsylvania is now a reality, expect the debate to reignite in California. Then expect both sides to butt heads for months and nothing to happen – like usual.