Although still in its infancy in comparison to neighboring New Jersey, PA online poker is on its way to becoming a competitive force in online gaming.
In Pennsylvania, casinos that hold an?online gambling license may offer online sports betting, online casino games, and online poker rooms. Although the state issued seven online gaming licenses, only one online poker room is live as of now – PokerStars Mount Airy Casino. ?
Although other poker sites are pending, the delay may be because?Pennsylvania poker sites are ring-fenced. This means the pool of players does not include the other three states with legal online poker (Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware). That means everyone you play on a PA online poker site?is also located in Pennsylvania.
However, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will likely open the door for interstate player pools in the near future. This means more brands will launch in the state. For example, Party Poker and 888/WSOP already partnered with brick-and-mortar casinos to launch online poker.
Once interstate player pools become a reality in PA, it?s also reasonable to assume that poker players in NJ, NV, and DE will be happy to see the number of possible opponents double. This increases overall win potential considerably.
List Of Online Poker Sites In Pennsylvania
The one online poker site currently available to anyone 21 and over located in the state of Pennsylvania is PokerStars Mount Airy Casino.
PokerStars Mount Airy Casino
Although PokerStars is a well-known online poker site, it operates in a unique way in Pennsylvania. This particular PA online poker site operates in?partnership with Mount Airy Casino. For bettors knowledgable with PokerStars, though, it’s important to note that players in Pennsylvania can’t access this site through pokerstars.bet. That site is limited to players located in Nevada, New Jersey, or Delaware. Instead, players in Pennsylvania need to?visit pokerstarsmtaircasino.com rather than pokerstars.bet.?
The good news is that the combined population of those three states is about 12.9 million compared to 12.8 million who live in Pennsylvania alone. That?s basically the same size potential player pool.
New Jersey and Nevada are gambling hotspots that launched legal online poker in 2013, so they’ve had a head start. ?March 2020 saw approximately $3.6 million in revenue for all of the online poker sites combined in these three states. In contrast,?PokerStars Mount Airy saw $2.5 million in revenue in its first month?in November 2019. Despite its late start, PA online poker is poised to take off.?
Online Poker Partnerships In Pennsylvania
|Poker Site||Land-Based Casino Partner||Launch Date|
|Poker Stars||Mount Airy Casino Resort||November 2019|
|Party Poker||Valley Forge Casino Resort||Pending|
|888/WSOP||Harrah's Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack||Pending|
|TBD||Rivers Casino Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse)||TBD|
|TBD||Parx Casino and Racing||TBD|
|TBD||Wind Creek Bethlehem||TBD|
|TBD||Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course||TBD|
Your Five Minute Guide To Legal Pennsylvania Online Poker Sites
Bonuses At PA Online Poker Sites
Much like with online sportsbooks, the promotions and bonuses at online poker sites are dependent on the season. If it?s the Super Bowl or World Cup, the sportsbook will focus on that. If it?s the World Series Of Poker (WSOP), that?s what the online pokers sites will focus on.
It is possible to?qualify for the WSOP by playing online poker. Needless to say, one of the biggest enticements for an online poker site is offering the chance to play against world-famous players in Las Vegas. You can enter the satellite qualifiers multiple times. And you can enter some qualifying tournaments for as little as $10.
Even when WSOP is months away, the qualifying tournaments abound. People are training to compete all year. To get in on that action is an exciting prospect that?s far and wide the most common and, intuitively speaking, the most effective bonus offer for joining an online poker site.
Right now, for Pennsylvania players, there is only one option: PokerStars. Thankfully, they offer a pretty generous welcome bonus for new players. If you deposit $20, they?ll match it with $30, giving you $50 in your account to get introduced to the platform.
Once you become a member at an online poker site in Pennsylvania, you?ll likely receive promotional offers wherein you can enter large prize pool tournaments for a low buy-in. You may also receive a reload bonus that, like the welcome bonus, gives you free money for making a deposit.
Online Poker Cash Games In PA
A cash game is the most straightforward form of online poker. The chips represent precise amounts of money. You can top up to as high as the table maximum whenever you feel like it.
Players can access cash games at PokerStars in Pennsylvania 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To play with a variety of other players, though,?the best time to play cash games is at night when the majority of players are home from work or done working for the day.?
The lowest stakes cash game is $0.01 for the small blind, $0.02 for the big. The maximum small/big is $25/$50. There?s a ton of middle ground. In fact, the largest pool of players is found at the $1/$2 tables.
The most popular cash game is No-Limit Texas Hold?Em. It?s extremely rare that you can?t find a $1/$2 No-Limit Hold?Em game any time of the day or night at PokerStars Mount Airy. However, that?s not the only option.
The cash games at PokerStars PA extend to Limit Hold?Em and Omaha. You can also play Razz and Seven-Card Stud, as well as multi-game H.O.R.S.E. and 2-7 (Deuce to Seven) Triple Draw Lowball.
Pennsylvania Poker Tournaments
The PA online poker tournaments available at PokerStars Mount Airy Casino are categorized by Daily Tournaments, Sunday Majors, and PokerStars Live.
The daily tournaments at PokerStars PA begin at 10 AM EST and run until midnight. All of these tournaments have players start with 10,000 chips.
- Daily Bigs: Freezeout tournaments. Buy-ins range from $5 to $10. Blind levels are eight to ten minutes long.
- Hot Turbos: $5-$50 buy-ins. 5-minute blind levels. Tables of six to nine players.
- Bounty Builders: Get rewarded the cash bounty of a player when you eliminate them. Every time you do, your cash bounty grows.?
- Nightly Stars: $100 buy-in that starts at 7 PM EST. Nine-player tables. 12-minute blind levels.
- Moonlight Express: ?Hyper-Turbo? structure, wherein blind levels are only three minutes. $20 buy-ins.
Sunday Majors offer some of the satellite qualifiers used for entry into?professional-level tournaments.?
While all Sunday Majors at PokerStars PA have enormous payout potential, the ?Sunday Storm? is the highest guaranteed prize pool, whereas the ?Sunday Storm? has the lowest buy-in. The prize pools, while they vary, are always impressive (to most players).?
Is PokerStars Live Available In PA?
Unfortunately, PokerStars Live in-person satellite tournaments are not yet available to players in Pennsylvania.
What Online Poker Sites Are Coming Soon In Pennsylvania?
The only two online poker sites that are on the horizon in PA are Party Poker and 888 (in partnership with WSOP).
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is yet to greenlight these two products although the licenses, partnerships, and platforms are ready to launch. The hold up seems to relate to the interstate player pools. Once PA online poker players can legally play against players in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, it should be smooth sailing.?
Pennsylvania Online Player Pooling
The population of all three states outside of Pennsylvania where online poker is legal is 12.9 million. The total PA population is 12.8 million. While that doesn?t necessarily mean that the player pool would double if interstate online poker were legalized in Pennsylvania, it would significantly increase.?
At the very least, existing players at PokerStars PA would be thrown into the mix, which is a good thing. The more players at a poker site, the higher the guarantees, the more poker variations are available, and the better the promotions.
Also, with a greater variety of players comes more challenging gameplay. This practice helps players take steps towards the World Series.
Legal PA Online Poker Sites Versus Illegal Online Poker Sites
Despite being ring-fenced and only having one option, the Pennsylvania online poker market has more than enough action for the vast majority of players. Plenty of high-rollers are in there playing for big money. Further, you can find a whole host of $0.01/$0.02 buy-in cash games. There is sufficient variety that there is no reason to risk playing on illegal online poker sites.?
First, with almost a population of almost 13 million people, there is potential for a large poker player pool in Pennsylvania.?
Second, despite the relatively long history of online poker in the US, there are inherent risks. From the early-1990s, when people could safely make transactions online, they began gambling over the internet. While that extended to offshore online sportsbooks and casinos, it was online poker that was the most popular form of online betting in the US. People have been doing it for years even if it was illegal to do so.?
Despite this history, illegal online poker sites carry inherent risks. They can subject players to criminal penalties. Offshore sites also do not have the same regulations in place to protect players or systems in place to identify and ban cheaters.
With that being said, PokerStars Mount Airy PA is on-par with a lot of the popular illegal websites when it comes to the variety of games offered and the available player pool. This makes it a better, and more safe, option.?Plus, you?re not going to qualify for the WSOP by playing through an illegal poker site.
How Do I Know That Legal Online Poker Sites In Pennsylvania Are Fair?
Frustrated players become ex-players, and ex-players mean lost revenue. And there?s no better way to frustrate players than to have a select few users always win.?
For years, Pennsylvania online poker players were forced to play at unlicensed websites. And for a long time, even to this day at some sites, coming across someone who?s rigged the system in some way or another just came with the territory.
But as of November 2019 and the launch of PokerStars, those days are over. This is because the state of Pennsylvania does a good job of regulating all legal online poker sites in the state.?
Who Regulates Legal Online Poker Sites In Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates all in-state poker sites. This is is probably part of the holdup in regards to interstate player pools. As one of the strictest licensing and oversight bodies in the world of online gambling, the PGCB is not going to give their okay to any new internet betting development without a thorough review.?
But more importantly, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board protects the players located in the state. If players face issues with online poker sites in the state, the players can report to the PGCB and request investigation. Moreover, they ensure that money deposited is protected and always accessible for withdrawal.?
Further, the PGCB ensures that the proper amount of tax is collected and allocated from the online gambling operators to the state of Pennsylvania. The state ensures regular auditing and takes claims of fraud?extremely seriously.
Why Should I Trust Legal PA Online Poker Rooms Sites?
PA online poker sites are safe and trustworthy. It is in the poker sites’ best interest to keep players happy so that they return and continue to play. In contrast, allowing players who cheat is not only a violation of Pennsylvania state law but it creates a poor environment for players who are by the book. It makes sense that PokerStars PA employs incredibly high levels of anti-cheating measures.
PokerStars Integrity Team tracks for bots, player-to-player communications, and other cheating measures through powerful computers and complex algorithms that comb-over billions of hands. The system flags anomalies and anything suspicious and the site investigates these issues. If the site determines someone is cheating, they ban the cheaters, confiscate their money,?and refund losses to any of the cheater?s victims.?
You can also report any suspicious activities directly to the PokerStars PA team. In fact, while 95% of cheats are caught through the efforts of the Integrity Team, 5% are player-reported.
How Do I Get Paid If I Win?
When you have money in your account that you want to cash out, simply head to the cashier and select one of the withdrawal options. At PokerStars Mount Airy, cashout methods include Skrill and PayPal, two ewallet companies, and Instant eChecks, which is a kind of direct deposit.?
Pennsylvania Legal Online Poker Rooms: Common Questions
What Kinds Of Online Poker Site Games Are Legal In Pennsylvania?
All online poker games are legal in Pennsylvania. These include:
- No Limit Hold?Em
- Limit Hold?Em
- Seven-Card Stud
- 2-7 (Deuce to Seven) Triple Draw Lowball.
Because Pennsylvania also offers online casinos, you can also play a wide range of casino poker games. This includes digital casino hold?em as well as the Live Casino version.
How Old Do I Have To Be To Play At Pennsylvania?s Legal Gambling Sites?
21. The legal age to gamble in Pennsylvania is 21 and up. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board requires operators to verify player ages and monitor for any underage online betting. The 21 and up rule applies to online poker, casino games, and sports betting. It also applies to brick-and-mortar casinos, card rooms, and sportsbooks.
Does Pennsylvania Share Online Poker Player Pools With Any Other States?
No. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has not allowed cross-state online poker playing. This is despite the fact that New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada all offer player pools with each other.
The good news is that there have been talks of Pennsylvania being open to interstate online poker. Only time will tell.
What Is The Tax Rate For Online Poker Sites In Pennsylvania?
16%. The tax rate for online poker sites is significantly less than any tax imposed on online betting operators. Table game taxes sit at 34%, slots at 54%, and sportsbooks at 36%. Compared to 16%, and we?re starting to really wonder why other operators aren?t flocking to open up a platform of their own.?
Who Can Get A License To Run A Legal Internet Poker Site In Pennsylvania?
Just like all other forms of online betting in Pennsylvania, the state limits online poker licenses only to?existing brick-and-mortar casinos. Of the 13 currently in the state, seven have online betting operator licenses. Of those seven, the PGCB only approved PokerStars to date. We expect?Party Poker and 888/WSOP to launch soon in PA.