Pennsylvania online poker to launch July 15

Pennsylvania Casino Revenues Down 1% to $3.2BN in Fiscal 2016/17

For online poker players in the state of Pennsylvania their long wait will finally soon be over.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole announced earlier this week that online gambling, and with it online poker, will finally launch in Pennsylvania on July 15.

Online gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania by the stroke of a pen from Governor Tom Wolf back in October, 2017. It has taken a while for the industry to get ready to go live in the state, a process that was only made longer after the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) change of opinion on the Wire Act earlier this year.

That change of opinion, which made transmitting betting and wagers across state lines for all forms of gambling illegal, forced the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to ensure that all online gambling operators had all facets of online gambling located within state borders.

Pennsylvania has handed out 10 iGaming certificates to brick and mortar casinos in the state, and authorized three iGaming operators who will partner with the casinos to develop and run the online sites.

All gross gaming revenue in Pennsylvania will be taxed at 16 per cent. That doesn’t include online slots at online casinos, which has been singled out and will be taxed at 54 per cent.

Pennsylvania will join Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware as the fourth state in the country to offer online poker. West Virginia also legalized online poker earlier this year, but is not expected to launch any sites until sometime in 2020.

Pennsylvania may be joining the three other states in the the online poker industry. But online poker players in Pennsylvania shouldn’t expect to see players from New Jersey and Delaware at the virtual tables any time soon.

Pennsylvania has not entered into any poker compacts to share player liquidity with other states. Thanks to the DOJ’s new Wire Act opinion Pennsylvania has avoided entering any deals or running their industry in anyway that might violate the new rules.

We’ll see if that changes in the future if the current lawsuits looking to overturn the new Wire Act opinion are successful.