Pennsylvanians have welcomed two more online poker operators into the Keystone State. BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA went live on April 27, effectively ending PokerStars PA’s online poker monopoly.
BetMGM was licensed through its land-based partner Hollywood Casino Grantville, while Borgata entered PA via its partnership with Rivers Philadelphia. Both brands initially launched their online casino services in the state months ago, and have now added online poker to their offerings.
PA Becomes 3rd State to House Intra-State Online Poker Network
Both BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker are part of the partypoker US Network which is currently running under a joint venture between MGM and Entain, partypoker’s parent company. The partypoker US Network also operates in New Jersey via partypoker NJ, BetMGM Poker NJ, and Borgata Poker NJ.
Doug Harbach, Director of Communications with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) said BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker will share the same player pool. Players can enter via either operator and compete against each other. This will work in a similar manner to the existing intra-state online poker networks in New Jersey and Delaware.
New Jersey is home to two intra-state online poker networks: the partypoker US Network, and the All American Poker Network comprising and 888poker NJ. Three racinos in Delaware, the Delaware Park, Harrington, and Dover Downs, also run under the same online poker network powered by 888poker.
This means Pennsylvania has officially become just the third state to allow the running of an intra-state online poker network.
Overview of BetMGM and Borgata Poker’s Offerings
With both sites running under the partypoker US Network, players can expect the same software experience and game offerings, though they may differ in terms of bonuses and promotions.
BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA share the same appearance and functionalities. Both sport a clean, streamlined design without excessive graphics. The game tabs are located along the top of the main lobby where players can select their preferred game, from Cash Games, Sit & Go and jackpot-style Spins, to multi-table tournaments and Fast Forward games.
Additionally, there’s a “My Tournaments” tab showing all the tournaments that the players are presently registered.
Players looking for a wide range of game types won’t be very excited though, as both sites only currently offer three variants – No-Limit Hold’em, Fixed-Limit Hold’em, and Pot-Limit Omaha, meaning PokerStars PA has the edge when it comes to game variety as it offers many other variants, including stud games.
Both BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA will be running a wide range of daily and weekly tournaments which have guaranteed prize pools. Their most popular tournaments so far in their NJ counterparts are the Daily $10K, Sunday $40K, Mega $535 Tuesday, and $10K GTD PKO Bounty Thursday. They are also expected to include their Keystone Grind promo open to both cash games and tournament players.
Those will be their initial offerings, but as both sites sort out their schedules, PA players can expect more – from exclusive tourneys to lots of tournament series, as is currently the case for the rest of their US online poker operations. This opens up possibilities for both sites to host the popular Online Series, as well as some World Poker Tour-branded tournaments.
Competition Will Benefit PA Market
Since November 2019, PokerStars has been the only online poker site operating in Pennsylvania, the fifth most populous state in the US. PokerStars PA has enjoyed massive success, especially during the online poker peak in 2020.
The presence of PokerStars in Pennsylvania has brought in huge benefits to the state, however as competition among operators kicks in, PA’s online poker market is poised to reach even greater heights.
More importantly, multiple online poker sites launching in regulated markets is a positive development for the US online poker industry in general. At the moment, there are five states offering regulated online poker namely, New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and more recently, Michigan.