PokerStars is officially coming to Pennsylvania after a decision by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to approve parent company The Stars Group during a scheduled meeting on Wednesday. The decision was expected and represents one of the few major hurdles remaining for the launch online gambling for PokerStars in the state.
PokerStars offers online gambling through Mount Airy
Pennsylvania casinos and approved qualified gaming entities are the only casinos authorized to directly receive a license. Additional gambling companies that provide services such as software and platform providers are allowed to partner with licensed casinos.
Mount Airy’s online gambling license will enable the casino to offer online poker, online table games and slots at a price tag of $10 million.
The partnership between Mount Airy and The Stars Group means that Pennsylvania residents will likely see the PokerStars online poker room, PokerStars Casino as well as the BetStars sportsbook, sometime in early to mid-2019 .
Despite the fact that five casinos have applied and/or approved for sports betting in PA, Mount Airy has not yet submitted an application. Penn National’s Hollywood Casino was the first casino to go live with sports betting earlier this month. Rivers Casino, SugarHouse and Parx are all expected to introduce their sportsbooks by the end of the year. Online sportsbooks, which are authorized under law and through the sports betting license, will likely be coming later in 2019.
PokerStars already live in New Jersey
PokerStars’s entry into Pennsylvania wouldn’t be the first time the online gambling site will offer regulated real money games to US players. PokerStars launched in New Jersey in 2016 via a license from Resorts Casino, where they have gone head to head with WSOP.com as the largest online poker room in the state. They also offer PokerStars Casino to players.
The launch of online poker and casino was followed by the launch of BetStars in September. BetStars was one of the many sportsbooks to go live in the state after the US Supreme Court ruled on the effective legalization of sports betting — to states that choose to legalize — earlier in the year.
The proximity of PokerStars Pennsylvania and New Jersey should not be discounted, as cross-border cooperation will be aided. Notably, the Pennsylvania online poker market will see positively impacted. Earlier this year, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada authorized the merging of player pools. So far, only WSOP.com has been able to take advantage of the agreement as they are the only one with a presence in all three states. However, PokerStars will be a major benefactor of such an agreement once New Jersey and Pennsylvania are authorized for interstate liquidity.