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Pennsylvania Still Waiting for Online Poker

July 5, 2019

Pennsylvania has taken one of the most progressive approaches to legalized online gambling in the United States. Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have approved online casino games, sports betting, and poker. Casino gambling and sports betting are live, but online poker for real money has yet to make its debut in Pennsylvania.

The delays in getting online poker websites up and running have disappointed some players. Many of them have been waiting since the US government seized poker websites several years ago. It appeared that Pennsylvania was going to become one of the first states to bring poker back to the masses, but the effort remains in a holding pattern.

The Long Journey of Online Poker in Pennsylvania

In 2017 there were measures introduced by Pennsylvania legislators that would approve online poker and casino games for state residents that are over the age of 21. The original goal was to have wagering available in the state by 2018, but only casino gaming and sports betting moved forward.

The issue with online poker seems to be difficulty with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and its ability to approve licensees. Many had hoped that the PGCB would draw upon the examples set by other states such as New Jersey. Instead, the process became bogged down.

However, there may still be hope that Pennsylvania residents will be able to play online poker by July 15, 2019. The gaming commission issued a statement in April 2019 that the state hoped to have the first online poker sites up and running by the middle of July in an effort to launch during the World Series of Poker.

The WSOP is an annual event held in Las Vegas that consists of poker tournaments. The main event of the series is a multi-million dollar affair which has been broadcast by ESPN and other major networks. It seems that the PGCB wanted to capitalize on the publicity generated by the WSOP to boost the launch of online poker in Pennsylvania.

There has been no word from the gaming board since the April statement, leaving players to wonder if the July 15 deadline will be met. It is only certain at this point that online poker will soon be a reality for Pennsylvania.


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