Pennsylvania Online Poker Launches July 15, 2019

multiple playing cards during a poker game

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced on Wednesday that July 15 as the first day of online poker. PCCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole said the infrastructure would be installed by July 15, so iPoker goes live on that date.

O’Toole said in a press conference, “Staff reviewed the estimated time that it would take for us and the industry to complete all necessary steps, and it is our view that 90 days would be adequate.”

“Accordingly, I advised the 10 iGaming certificate holders and three iGaming operators that a coordinated go-live period for interactive gaming will commence on July 15, 2019.”

Several Pennsylvania online poker sites include two or more license holders, which is why their frameworks take more time. For instance, Harrah’s Philadelphia plans to launch two sites: 888poker and WSOP.com site.

PokerStars and Mount Airy plan a joint website, while partypoker and Valley Forge Casino partnered on their own card room.

Pennsylvania the Largest Online Casino State

8 online card sites plan to launch in Pennsylvania in all. If all eight operators follow through, Pennsylvania will become the largest online poker state in the country. Though New Jersey’s online gambling niche generated $298 million last year, Pennsylvania’s populated is 50% larger than New Jersey’s.

Those extra people should give Pennsylvania an advantage over New Jersey. That logic especially follows because the Multi-State Internet Gambling Association cannot operate in the current environment. Beginning on June 14, New Jersey won’t be able to share poker player pools with Nevada and Delaware.

Interstate Online Poker

The state passed online gambling in October 2017, but the rollout took much longer than expected. One key reason for the delay is the US Department of Justice’s new opinion on gambling. The 2019 DOJ opinion makes interstate online poker illegal under the 1961 Wire Act.

That decision caused the latest in a series of delays. Poker sites must make certain their bets do not cross state boundaries. Servers exist in many states or even countries, and if even one Pennsylvania betting transactions bounces off a servor outside the USA, it is illegal.

Therefore, every operator must make certain to comply with the full tenets of the law. Two months ago, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro wrote a letter to the DOJ telling his disagreement with their actions.

Online Sports Betting Launch Date

A spokesman for the PGCB said the rollout date for Pennsylvania online sports betting likely would happen earlier. PGCB spokesman Doug Harbach said betting sites could start taking bets by late spring. In fact, the launch of online sports betting could happen in the next 3 weeks.

The Gaming Control Board limits online sportsbooks to one single license, which is why it’s quicker to launch such sites. The framework for online poker and online casinos is more complicated, due to the multiple sub-license holders involved in the rollout process.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for more than a decade. He worked for Small World Marketing for years, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. He's covered US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com since 2014.

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