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PokerStars Pennsylvania Celebrates Anniversary with Tournament Series

It has been one whole year since PokerStars made its debut in the Keystone State. Since its launch, the online poker platform has recorded very strong numbers in terms of revenue as well as the number of visitors. More and more players have been welcomed to the platform and with the pandemic, there was a significant surge in traffic which further cemented PokerStars’ position as the go-to online poker destination for poker lovers in the Keystone State. This can also partly be attributed to its monopoly in that particular marker – this is, however, set to come to an end very soon as other online poker operators are already making plans to join the state’s gaming market.

Meanwhile, PokerStars is marking its 1st anniversary in the state by offering its customers the chance to participate in a fun and exciting tournament series that will be running all through November. Referred to as the Pennsylvania 1st Anniversary Series, the event series will run from November 8 to November 15. During this period, poker players will be able to play across 35 events for a chance of winning a portion of the $1 million guaranteed prize.

The Highlights

The schedule for the tournament is pretty packed to make sure everyone gets a chance to participate. The main highlight will, however, be the $100-entry Main Event which boasts of a guaranteed prize pool of a whopping $200,000.

In addition to that, there are lots of other exciting events that players can participate in. The operator has made it easy for the customers to grab over $10,000 in tickets to the events. These can be grabbed in seven freerolls and players can qualify for those for as little as $1.

Some of the other notable events on the massive schedule include the $100 Sunday Special that will go down on November 8. This has a guaranteed prize of $100,000. There is also the ‘Mini’ Main Event that will go down on November 15 and carries a guaranteed prize pool of $25,000. Moreover, there is the amazing $50 phased tournaments that will be running throughout the duration of the tournament series and has a guaranteed prize of $50,000.

Competition on The Way

As mentioned earlier, PokerStars has had a monopoly in the Keystone State’s online poker market ever since it was launched. This is about to come to an end as other poker operators that have been eyeing the state are inching closer to launching their poker offerings. However, if the high traffic that PokerStars boasts of is anything to go by, the operator does not have much to worry about.

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PokerStars Goes Live in Pennsylvania

Online poker has been one of the most anticipated pieces of the Keystone State’s expanded gambling plans. After months of waiting and several setbacks, the online poker industry is finally set to kick off with the launch of PokerStars’ online poker room. The poker operator which is best known as one of the world’s leading online poker operators will be starting off its Pennsylvanian operations with the launch of a toned-down version of its poker site. This is because the launch which is scheduled for November 4 will be a soft-launch and will, therefore, involve a few tests that will be overseen by the PGCB.

Licensed Under Mount Airy

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has already stated that its staff members are ready to oversee the test launch of an online gaming site. While the boar’s spokesperson did not reveal any specific details about the yet-to-be-launched online gambling operation, he did mention that the operation is licensed under Mount Airy Casino.

If you have been keeping an eye on the Keystone State gambling expansion, then you already know that Mount Airy is the official land-based casino partner of PokerStars.

Public Tests

The state’s gambling laws require all regulated operations to undergo a public test period before the official launch. During the test period, the regulator will be tasked with determining whether PokerStars is a good fit for the market and if it is it will be given the green light for a full launch. Some of the aspects that will be evaluated include the geolocation tools that are used by the operator as well as the fairness fo the games offered.

This test phase will last for two to three days after which the regulator will deliver a verdict regarding whether the operator can launch full operations or not. There is quite a bit of optimism that PokerStars will pass the tests. After all, it already has experience in the business and therefore it will certainly utilize this in the state. If all goes well, by next week Pennsylvanian poker enthusiasts will have full access to a robust and fully-featured online poker offering.

Is Mobile Gaming on the Way?

Unfortunately, there is no information suggesting that PokerStars is even thinking of a mobile poker app for the Pennsylvanian market. While the online poker site is definitely going to be responsive enough to work across a wide range of devices, mobile gaming has been gaining a lot of popularity in the state. More and more people are switching to available gambling apps and hopefully, there will be a mobile poker option. While there is no mention of the app and considering PokerStars’ history of starting things off with online gambling, it should not be long before something comes up. Keep your fingers crossed.

First Three Online Poker Licenses Handed Out in PA

It was only in July that Pennsylvania casinos were required to submit their online gambling applications, and progress is quickly being made. The first three online casino licenses have been handed out, with Parx, Mount Airy and Harrah’s being the first three venues to be given the go-ahead to launch online gaming services.

PA Poker Partners

Parx Casino is home to the biggest and most profitable poker room in Pennsylvania. So, when it comes to offering online poker services, it is likely going to be the first one to see significant success. The players that already visit Parx Casino to play poker in person will likely sign up to its online poker site.

The company that Parx will be partnering with is GAN, a UK-based gaming operator that runs a number of sites in Europe. The two companies will be working together to build an online gaming platform that will engage Pennsylvanian players. The only drawback seems to be that GAN has focused more on betting and casino games rather than poker so, from a software perspective, the other casino licensees in PA may have an advantage.

One such company is Mount Airy, who has partnered with PokerStars. Together, they will launch PokerStars PA – which will be a tough brand to compete with. PokerStars is one of the most recognised online poker brands in the world so, even though Parx is a more popular land-based venue, its online brand may struggle to captivate local players.

Finally, there’s Harrah’s, which is associated with Caesars Entertainment. As such, the company’s online poker site is most likely to operate on World Series of Poker software. Like PokerStars, this is a widely recognized brand name, so there is going to be some steep competition among Harrah’s and Mount Airy. So, Parx will have to work hard to capture a significant portion of Pennsylvania’s online poker market.

Still a Long Way to Go

While three online casino licenses have been granted, there are still six more applications in need of processing. On top of all this, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will also have to vet the online gaming partners of the local casinos. So, while things are moving along quickly, it is still going to take a few months before Pennsylvania players will have the chance to play poker and other casino games online.

Once everything is all ready to go, Pennsylvania will benefit hugely from the introduction of online gambling. Licensees are required to pay $10 million for their licensing see, and they will be tax 16% on all table games and poker activities. A 54% tax will apply for slots and a 36% tax will apply for sports betting. Daily fantasy sports will be permitted, as well, with a tax of 15%.