Online poker is over a year old in Pennsylvania now, with the only game in town being the PokerStars brand. For quite a long time, the brand had zero competition due to the fact that no other operators were in the mix. All that is about to change as BetMGM Poker and Borgata Poker will begin testing this morning.
Doug Harbach has confirmed the testing phase to PlayPennsylvania, with the services starting at 9 am on April 27. BetMGM will offer services via Hollywood Casino Grantville while Borgata will offer poker under its Borgata casino application. The casino operates on the online gaming license of Rivers Philadelphia.
More Poker Gaming Options
With the launch, online poker players in Pennsylvania will have even more to access. Of course, both brands have to pass the testing phase, but it is expected that they will with flying colors. Both sites operate on the same platform so they will have a similar look and feel. They will also share player pools so players on Borgata will mix with BetMGM as they play cash games and tournaments.
It is expected that both sites will look similar to their counterparts in New Jersey. Cash games and tournament options will be plentiful. Players can expect sit & gos, and multi-table tournaments including special options like Spins and Fast Forward.
As far as game types are concerned, both should offer No-Limit Hold’em, Fixed-Limit Hold’em, and Pot-Limit Omaha. In the last format, both high and high/low should be offered.
Will Players Switch to the New Brands or Stay with PokerStars?
With two new brands in the mix, will PokerStars stay the top dog in Pennsylvania’s online poker market? Players will most likely open an account at both BetMGM and Borgata as they offer new players welcome bonuses. This is a good way to try out the site and earn bonus cash. However, players will only keep playing games at the sites, if they find them more appealing than PokerStars.
Because there will now be competition, it is expected that more promotions will be on the table, plus you have reward programs to consider. Players want access to such incentives, so this will be a key factor in determining who captures the majority of the market.
The testing phase should be concluded by May, so hopefully, the entire month can be used as a comparison to see which poker room is preferred. However, it will take a little bit for the new to wear off and for us to truly see which is the preferred option in the state.