Groundhog Day comes early for online poker players in fourth U.S. state to welcome them back.
With three states currently offering online poker legally in the U.S.- New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware – Pennsylvania has been announced as the fourth, who will launch on Bonfire night and hope for the only fireworks to be the ones launched by event winners as players flock back to sites such as Mount Airy, a casino partner of PokerStars that offers poker-based games as well as casino-style entertainment.
While Black Friday happened swiftly, with online poker disappearing in America in a ‘power cut’ to the poker industry that has, at the very least, prevented any further poker booms since Moneymaker won the World Series, and at worst derailed the industry for decades, the return of online poker has been a long and arduous process.
With regulatory issues holding up every active state’s return to being able to offer online real-money poker, the process has been an awful one for poker players to endure, with many professionals devastated by Black Friday and living in a permanent state of limbo ever since in their bid to return to the online felt.
Recently, even Joey Ingram tackled the issue, with the startling possibility Presidential candidate hopeful Andrew Yang agreeing to go on Ingram’s popular podcast with a view to discussing how the laborious wait for online poker could be expedited.
With PokerStars Pennsylvania hoping to ‘soft-launch’ online poker to the masses on Bonfire Night on Mount Airy Casino, the hope is that Pennsylvania will join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association, something that would bolster hopes of a nationwide return to virtual felt action.
With cash games available at first in NLHE and PLO variants, there’s the likelihood that the appetite of Pennsylvanian players will be reflected and reacted to by the game providers. Sale meet demand.
Three key casino partnerships will influence the growth of poker in the state, with PokerStars and Mount Airy Casino, partypoker and Valley Forge Casino Resort and 888 and WSOP.com & Caesars all hoping to attract their on loyal fan base all over again.
While games like Zoom won’t be on the table, there will still be a number of tournament formats available to players that weren’t played eight years ago when the lights went out like they are today, such as progressive knockouts or hyper-turbos. Sunday Majors might come back, but the Keystone State will start by drip-feeding inter-state games, so games between Pennsylvanians. While that shouldn’t discourage player, the growth of states like New Jersey, which still only brings in around $1.7 million from online poker compared to every $20 million it makes from sports betting and $40 million it rakes in from casino games is an indication of just how far back up the mountain U.S. online poker has to climb.
Whether this will see an influx of weathermen moving to the famous Groundhog Day state in order to set up home with loved ones ahead of the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil on February 2nd is impossible to say for sure. But if they do, at least they’ll be able to fire up some online tables to keep them warm through that permanent winter snow of the season.