Caesars, 888 Push Back Online Poker Launch in Pennsylvania


For a brief moment, it seemed that WSOP.comโ€™s launch in Pennsylvania was imminent. However, news emerged late last week that fans of the online poker brand in the Keystone State will have to wait until at least next year.

A representative for WSOP confirmed that the launch has been pushed back. There is no specific roll-out date and one is likely to be announced early in 2021.

WSOP.com is the one poker brand of casino giant Caesars Entertainment Inc. After submitting its license application with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board several months ago, the regulator granted late last month an interactive gaming manufacturer license to Caesarsโ€™ online poker partner 888 Holdings.

The license authorizes 888 to power Caesarsโ€™ WSOP online poker room in the Keystone State. WSOP is also currently available in Nevada and New Jersey.

It should be noted that last week many Pennsylvania residents holding accounts with Caesars were sent promotional messages about the upcoming launch of the companyโ€™s online poker room. There were also promotions on the WSOP.com site and these have been removed since then.

It seems that Caesars and its partner 888 need to clear certain hurdles before being able to go live with the WSOP brand in Pennsylvania.

New Server and Player Liquidity Could Be Delaying Launch

The WSOP will need to establish a separate server for its Pennsylvania website under the stateโ€™s online gambling regulations. The other issue that may be delaying the launch of the brand in the Keystone State is whether the operator would be able to share player liquidity with its poker rooms in Nevada and New Jersey.

The WSOP already has in place a compact that allows its Nevada and New Jersey players to play against each other.

However, it is unclear whether the online poker brand has a compact that covers its Pennsylvania operations. Having one would mean that its players from the Keystone State would be able to compete in larger and more diverse player pools, but it is to be seen how things will unfold.

The WSOP pushing back its Pennsylvania debut means that PokerStars is set to remain the sole online poker operator in the state for at least a few more months. The poker operator entered the Keystone State in the first week of November 2019 and is soon set to celebrate its one-year anniversary there.

The Pennsylvania online poker space is likely to welcome one more popular brand at some point in future. ROAR Digital, an online gambling joint venture between GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts International, is awaiting regulatory approval from the state Gaming Control Board to launch GVCโ€™s partypoker brand in Pennsylvania.

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