PokerStars made history as the first online poker provider in Pennsylvania (PA) when it launched operations in November 2019. It retained this monopoly of the PA online poker market until mid-2021, when BetMGM PA and Ceasars/888’s WSOP PA entered the space in the second and third quarters, respectively.
While expectations were high for the new operators to take away at least some of PokerStars market share, the numbers remain largely in favour of PokerStars PA both in terms of cash game traffic and revenue.
PokerStars Retains Lead by Large Margin
Despite the entry of new players, PokerStars PA stably maintained its dominant market share. Over the last three months, PokerStars averaged between 200 and 250 concurrent players on the daily, falling below the 200 mark for only one day. It peaked over or near 250 concurrently logged players thrice.
Meanwhile, new operators BetMGM PA and WSOP PA failed to make even a dent on PokerStars PA’s market control, with the latter leading in cash game traffic by almost 300%.
Numbers gathered by independent industry monitor GameIntel show that PokerStars PA has almost four times the traffic of its two competitors combined. On October 11, GameIntel’s monitoring yielded results showing 229 concurrently logged users for PokerStars PA, while only 19 and 40 (a total of only 59) were logged into WSOP PA and BetMGM PA, respectively.
Since the inception of its operations in April 2021, BetMGM PA has never hit 50 concurrent log users. Neither has WSOP PA in its more than three months of operations which started in July. Meanwhile, PokerStars PA maintained its logged users number at over 200, with the exception of only one day when it fell under its steady 200+ count.
PokerStars’ high user traffic placed it at the top for cash game online poker not only in PA but nationwide. Its only considerable competition at the nationwide spot is WSOP USA, the shared player pool run by WSOP.com in partnership with 888. (Note this is distinct from WSOP PA.)
If you wonder why we’re comparing the two networks when one serves only one state, it is worth mentioning that PA’s population totals a little less than 13 million, which is roughly the total number of people in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware combined, which comprises WSOP USA’s clientele. WSOP USA did manage to snag PokerStar’s top nationwide rank for a few weeks over the summer. PokerStars PA, however, quickly bounced back and maintained its consistent lead.
New Players Challenge PokerStars PA’s Lead
Both WSOP PA and BetMGM PA have made significant moves to expand their market share in the Keystone state. The majority of of these attempts comprise of hosting big tournament series, mostly unprecedented, in PA.
In August, WSOP PA made history when it hosted the first online bracelet series outside of Nevada and New Jersey. This was followed by the first online circuit event in PA in September. In October, WSOP PA will play host to its ambitious Fall Championships, which is currently weathering huge overlays on its promised prizes.
BetBGM, meanwhile has launched its own Online Series and has held several editions of the same since its launch date. The events includes dozens of tournaments and promised huge guaranteed prize pools.
Despite their efforts, low traffic and revenue numbers continue to beset both new operators while PokerStars PA has maintained its market control since its monopoly days. As it continues to outdo its challengers, it seems that PokerStars PA will maintain its control of the online poker market in the foreseeable future.