The legal online poker market in Pennsylvania is one of the largest in the United States. And that’s despite the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board blocking PA online poker operators from accepting players from out of state.
The states of Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey allow player pools, also referred to as liquidity-sharing. That means players in all three states can play online poker against each other. Pennsylvania is currently not among them.
However, the state of PA has as many residents as NV, DE, and NJ combined. So the ring-fenced local market still has a comparable number of potential players. Even with these restrictions, the PA online poker industry is promising and will offer a lot for players in the state.
PA Online Poker Sites 2020
|PA Poker App||Free-Play Bonus||Deposit Bonus|
|PokerStars||Deposit $20, get $30 in Free-Play||100% up to $600|
PokerStars (in partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort of the Poconos) is the only legally licensed, live online poker site in PA.
PokerStars PA is a download-only online poker room available on Apple and Windows computers as well as Android and iOS devices.
This brand launched in November 2019. It remains the only option for online poker players in the state for the better part of 2020 and beyond.
What Other Legal Online Poker Sites Are Coming To Pennsylvania?
The only two online poker platforms that will go live in Pennsylvania are WSOP in partnership with 888 and Partypoker, which is currently live in New Jersey. While there is no definitive timeline on when these will go live, we’ve listed our best guess on launch below.
|Online Poker Platform||Launch Estimation||Land-Based Partner|
|WSOP PA in partnership with 888||Late 2020||Harrah’s Philadelphia|
|PartyPoker PA||Mid 2021||Valley Forge Casino|
Even people who have never played poker know about the WSOP, or the World Series of Poker. WSOP.com is currently live in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. They also have a partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Further, the 888 platform, which will launch WSOP PA, is ready for launch. All they’re waiting on is approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
PartyPoker’s parent company, GVC Holdings, signed a 50/50 joint venture with MGM to release a wide range of gambling products. A PartyPoker PA release in partnership with Valley Forge Casino Resort is one of them.
While the timeline on their release is even more uncertain than WSOP, it’s a near-certainty that PartyPoker PA will be released sometime before the end of 2021.
What Online Poker Bonuses Are Available In Pennsylvania?
The PokerStars PA online casino is the only legal online poker site currently live in Pennsylvania. And despite the lack of competition, PokerStars PA, in partnership with Mt Airy Casino, offers some enticing bonuses.
The deposit-match bonus will get you the most free money in the long-term.
At PokerStars Pennsylvania, you can claim a 100% deposit bonus up to $600. You have three deposits over 60 days to take advantage of the full amount.
The free money is credited in increments $10, or 140 redemption points. Every $1 you pay in either tournament fees or rake (AKA the platform’s commission fees) earns 5 redemption points.
PokerStars PA limits new players to either the Deposit-Match Bonus or the Free Play Bonus. You cannot take advantage of both.
Free Play Bonus
Rather than wait for your rewards, you can receive $30 upfront with a first deposit of at least $20.
Within 36 hours of your deposit, you’ll receive $10 in free money. Within seven days, you’ll receive another $10. And the rest of the money is credited through tournament tickets (three $1, one $2, and one $5 buy-ins).
This deposit also counts toward the Depositor Freeroll tournament, which takes place on the last Sunday of each month.
Freeroll tournaments allow players to compete for real-money prizes without buying a ticket.
On the last Sunday of every month, PokerStars PA will host a variety of freeroll tournaments for members.
They will likely offer more once other online poker sites launch in PA. More competition always means more promotions, including freeroll tourneys.
The Stars Rewards points don’t just unlock the deposit-match bonus. All players earn them as they play for real money. You can cash in earned points for rewards chests that unlock personalized prizes, such as bonus cash or prize entries.
Does Pennsylvania Share Online Poker Player Pools With Any Other States?
No. And the lack of shared-liquidity is the biggest downside to the Pennsylvania online poker market.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) requires localized servers for igaming operators in the state. That is specifically to prevent any chance of interstate online gambling of any kind. But that also means the online poker market will, for the foreseeable future, be much slower to grow than PA sports betting and online casino sites.
As mentioned above, the state of Pennsylvania has as many residents than Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada combined, which do share a player pool. However, that also means PA joining the other three states would double both markets. The more players, the larger the tournaments and variety of challengers. Learn more about NJ online poker and how player pools work.
This also may affect the ability of Pennsylvania players to qualify for the World Series of Poker online. Of course, the brick-and-mortar casinos will offer satellite tournaments. And if WSOP PA launches as soon as expected, you’ll be able to qualify through that site.
Both players and online poker operators are wholly at the mercy of the PGCB. So, until new develops arise, only time will tell.
Do Pennsylvania’s Online Poker Sites Offer Mobile Apps?
Yes. The only way to play on the PokerStars PA platform is by downloading it. That applies to the desktop version as well as mobile. That means everything expressed in this overview of PA online poker applies to mobile apps.
To find the PokerStars PA app for Android, you need to visit pokerstarsmtairycasino.com/mobile and download it directly. You cannot find it in the Google Play Store, which blocks gambling apps.
You can find the iOS PokerStars PA app the same way. Or you can search for it directly in the Apple App Store, which does not block gambling apps.
If you do search for it in the App Store, be sure you’re downloading the PA version. In the icon, it will have the word “Pennsylvania” beneath the red spade logo. Look for the exact name: “PokerStars Poker Real Money PA.”
The size of the PokerStars mobile app is 105.7 MB. At the time of writing this review, the average rating in the App Store was 4.6 stars out of over 7,200 ratings. If this were a sportsbook or casino app, it’d be one of the top-rated options in the state.
The PokerStars PA app is optimized for phones, tablets, and desktop screens.
There is no notable difference between the PokerStars PA desktop app and its mobile app. Likely, this will come down to the performance of the device. The only difference is the screen size.
Pennsylvania Online Poker FAQ
You need to be 21 or older to enter a land-based casino or sportsbook in PA. The same is true for the legal online casino, sportsbook, and poker rooms. You also need to be physically located in the state. You do not need to be a legal PA resident.
No. DraftKings does not currently offer online poker in Pennsylvania. And it probably never will. However, DraftKings PA has one of the highest-quality sportsbooks and online casinos in the state. On the online casino site, you can play both digital and live dealer casino poker. They also have a nice selection of video poker games.
Yes. PokerStars Mount Airy Casino is the only legal and live online poker site in Pennsylvania.
PokerStars PA is download-only, meaning you can’t play poker in PA through a web browser. However, it is available on both desktop and mobile devices.
New members can take advantage of lucrative welcome offers. Established members can cash in rewards points for bonus cash.
Your PokerStars PA account will also give you access to the PokerStars Casino as well as the FOX Bet sportsbook.
All legal online poker sites in Pennsylvania will have easy and common payment methods for deposits. These include:
- E-wallets like Skrill and PayPal.
- Credit and debit cards like Visa and MasterCard.
- Pay-in-Person Locations like PayNearMe and Vanilla Direct.
- Direct bank transfer
- Instant eChecks
These are the same deposit methods as PokerStars PA companion products: the PokerStars Casino and the FOX Bet sportsbook. As such, you can use your deposited funds at PokerStars for casino games and sports betting too.
While all withdrawal methods are available for deposit, not all deposit methods are available for withdrawal. These are the cashout options currently available at PokerStars PA:
- Skrill (e-wallet)
- PayPal (e-wallet)
- Instant eChecks
Those withdrawal options also apply to the PokerStars Casino and FOX Bet sportsbook. You can not currently withdraw in cash at the Mount Airy Casino cage. However, that may change.