PA Online Poker In Jeopardy of Slipping in Popularity and Money

Casino News
PA Online Poker In Jeopardy of Slipping in Popularity and Money


  • The new Multi-State Internet Gaming Act threatens Pennsylvania Poker’s dominance
  • Michigan actually took over the number one poker spot last fall
  • Pennsylvania legislature is trying to sign PA poker to the MSIG pact

With PA online gambling nearing the $1 billion mar by the end of May, PA online poker, next to PA online slots, remains one of the biggest contributors to the prize pool next to PA sports betting. But, online poker in the Keystone State might lose prominence in the overall American online gambling race. Recently, rival states, New Jersey and Michigan, have entered a joint state venture, specifically for poker play in tandem with the World Series of Poker and Nevada. With the rise of this new multi-state poker conglomerate, PA online poker might go from number one to number three if you use it to measure online poker metrics.

Poker has been legal in the Keystone State since former Governor Ed Rendell signed an amendment to the 2004 Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act in 2010. Online poker has been available at Pennsylvania online casinos since 2019, when the first casino, PokerStars, went live. Currently, seven states offer legal online casinos, including poker.

The move is highly interesting for Nevada because online casinos still aren’t technically legal, even though gambling has been legal in The Silver State since the early 1930s. While most of the top social casinos are available in Nevada, some aren’t, so this new interstate poker venture could be the icebreaker for legal online casinos in Nevada.

Michigan has much to gain from Multi-State Internet Gaming because it has fewer online casino operators than Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Michigan Gaming Control Board, which oversees all gambling activity in the State, is counting on the more prominent poker presence to increase revenue in The Great Lakes State. Michigan first joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming pact in 2022, two years after legalizing online casinos. Poker has caught on so much in Michigan that it actually supplanted Pennsylvania for the number-one spot in the fall of 2023.

Every year, the World Series of Poker hosts multi-million dollar jackpots. However, with the combined might of the three states, the attention and the pools will be that much more extensive, which in turn will draw new players to compete. Not to be outdone and responding to the new online poker pact, Pennsylvania Congressman Dunbar put forth a bill to get Pennsylvania to formally join the Multi-State Internet Gaming pact. Pennsylvania’s Gaming Oversight Commission is slated to look at the bill and decide to further it for an official vote.

Assuming the legislation passes the bill, current Governor Shapiro would have to ultimately vote on the measure to have the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board manage the poker activity in the pact on the Pennsylvania side. So far, in 2024, Pennsylvania maintains a slight majority in poker revenue of $10 million compared to New Jersey’s $9+ million. With online casinos slated to come online in New Jersey, those totals are sure to change. However, Pennsylvania recently launched Fanatics Casino, and the rumor mill has it that new operators like bet365 and Hard Rock Online Casino might launch in the Keystone State this year.

Dane is a 2003 graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting. During his college days, Dane interned for KRON 4 News, a major television station in the San Francisco Bay Area where he wrote sports copy for now-retired, and legendary sports broadcaster Gary Radnich. Post graduation, Dane kept writing and starting writing copy for the emerging iGaming industry. Dane also loves to write screenplays and loves to develop websites, with Laravel and React. And every know an then, Dane loves a peaceful train