BetMGM and Borgata Enter Online Poker Market in Pennsylvania
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After more than a year of being the lone online poker operator in Pennsylvania, PokerStars PA finally has some competition.
Two days after a soft launch that served as the final testing ground for the clients, BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker have gone live in Pennsylvania.
Both operators are sharing the same player pool under different skins as part of the partypoker US Network, so the situation is now pretty much identical to that in Michigan, with PokerStars going head-to-head with one competing room.
“Pennsylvanians can now experience our superior poker offering through both BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt in a press release. “We’re eager to expand our platform to a larger online audience, and give players in the Keystone State safe, accessible and entertaining poker options.”
What's Available on Pennsylvania's partypoker US Network Offerings?
The launch of the partypoker US Network in Pennsylvania means a brand-new type of game available to players there: lottery sit-n-gos. The popular, fast-paced offering that changed the landscape of the dot-com online markets gives players the chance to win many times their buy-ins via three-handed turbo events, if they get lucky hit a high prize pool multiplier. Under BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker the product is called Spin the Wheel.
Cash games will be spread in no-limit hold'em, limit hold'em, pot-limit Omaha and pot-limit Omaha hi-lo, according to Play Pennsylvania. Limits range from microstakes for pennies to $25/$50 in big bet and $30/$60 in limit.
As for tournaments, Play Pennsylvania reported a daily $109 $10K guaranteed, a weekly Sunday major $215 $40K guaranteed and a weekly $535 $12K guaranteed will all be on tap. The latter will be one of the higher weekly buy-ins available anywhere in the country online.
Tournament series will undoubtedly be a key part of the strategy, as the network has been active with sizable offerings both in New Jersey and Michigan despite having recently launched. In fact the dates for the first one have already been announced: May 23-30 for the partypoker US Network Online Series.
As for the software, neighboring New Jersey players used to playing on the partypoker US Network skins will find a familiar home when and if they head to Pennsylvania to fire.
And Borgata Poker and BetMGM Poker are welcoming players with a slew of bonuses and promotions. There are Opening Week Freerolls running May 9-16 and a $40K freeroll for existing online casino players who sign up for poker. Additionally, a $25 bonus with 100% match is available for depositors up to $600.
How Will the Market Shake Out in PA?
According to Poker Industry PRO, the Pennsylvania online poker market has been hovering around 350 concurrent cash game players as of late ($), though it peaked at nearly 1,000 during the height of COVID lockdowns last year.
So, there's certainly a solid market available, but the question now will be how these two heavyweights will split it up. For clues, it's possible to look to other battleground markets in Michigan and New Jersey. That provides mixed clues, though, as while PokerStars maintains a solid lead in the former, partypoker US Network has inched ahead in New Jersey in terms of revenue, according to PRO.
Throwing a wrench into all of that would be a potential entrance of the WSOP/888 network, which would have the largest player pool to pull from as they're currently the only ones taking advantage of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. That could change in the near future, though, as Michigan and Pennsylvania could be poised to allow player pooling.
No matter what happens, the entrance of more operators is good news for players as competition should breed better products and more offers.