Pennsylvania Folds Online Poker Launch

Recently Pennsylvania became the 3rd state to offer state-regulated online slots and casino games to residents and visitors over the age of 18. PA residents were ecstatic for the new casino games, but many bettors were left questioning: Where is the online poker?

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) communications director Doug Harbach told media sources that poker will be rolled out when the operators are prepared to do so. Pennsylvania poker operators are expected to begin sharing player pools with New Jersey once state-regulated poker sites go live.

The following casinos all have licenses to offer online poker sites in the state of Pennsylvania.

  • Parx
  • Hollywood Casino
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Wind Creek Casino
  • Sugar House Casino
  • Valley Forge Casino

Some of the reasons for the delayed launch could be New Jersey’s lackluster poker revenue or the Federal Wire Act.

The Federal Wire Act was re-interpreted in 2019 to include poker, sports betting, casinos, and other online gambling services. New Jersey quickly sued the DOJ for records related to the Wire Act and for a casino owners link to the DOJ reversal.

The 2019 DOJ formal opinion of the Federal Wire Act has stalled some states from launching online sportsbooks and casinos, but for the most part, 18+ states like Pennsylvania have ignored the opinion and went ahead with what they felt was best for the needs of their states.

On July 15th the Parx and Hollywood casino launched their online casino services in the state of Pennsylvania. Hollywood casino offers over 40 slots, video poker, and baccarat games online to registered account holders located within state lines. Parx offers a few more table games and roulette in addition to slots, video poker, blackjack, live dealer games, and baccarat.

When asked about online poker, PCGB communications director Doug Harbach said he couldn’t predict a timeline, but once the sites are ready to launch they will not have to wait for another operator.