Breaking Down PokerStars’ Arrival In PA

PokerStars PA launch in 2018 or 2019

Excellent news for PA poker players, as well as casino players and sports bettors. PokerStars will be coming to the state sometime in 2019. The poker room has already inked a deal with Mount Airy and will likely be going live with games sometime in 2019.

PokerStars PA is coming soon

Mount Airy was one of the first PA casinos to be approved to offer online poker, online table games and online slots when they were approved in August 2018, which coincided with the announcement of their partnership with PokerStars.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is still approving operators of the emerging Pennsylvania online gambling market, but best estimates have games launching in early 2019.

PokerStars will also be going live with sports betting in PA through their partnership with Mount Airy under the BetStars brand. Brick and mortar sports sportsbooks are set to launch in late 2018, while online sports betting also looks set for early 2019.

When games do ultimately launch, expect PokerStars and associated brands to be one of players top choices in Pennsylvania.

PokerStars PA Snapshot
Pennsylvania Partner Mount AiryApproved August 2018
PokerStars PA Promo CodeComing Soon
PokerStars PA PokerApproved - Estimated launch early 2019Poker Bonus (Likely): 100% up to $600
PokerStars PA CasinoApproved - Estimated launch early 2019PokerStars Casino Bonus (Likely): 200% up to $400
PokerStars Online SportsbettingEstimated Launch: Sometime in 2019BetStars Bonus: $500 New Player Bonus

StarsGroup quickly diversifying

PokerStars is owned by The Stars Group, which was formerly Amaya Gaming and the Rational Group. Although PokerStars is their most well-known brand, the company also operates Full Tilt Poker — which are putting less focus on in recent years — and more recently, Sky Betting and Gaming.

The company has grown from an independent room serving global players on the .com domain to being licensed in 17 regulated jurisdictions. PokerStars still operates the largest online poker room in the world but also has poker rooms in regulated markets in Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Porgutal). More recently, PokerStars made their first official first move into the United States when they launched in New Jersey.

In addition to online poker, the company has broadened their offerings to include an online casino and sportsbook. The casino is simply known as the PokerStars Casino while players can place bets under the BetStars sportsbook.

PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker room

PokerStars PA poker room

Although other products are receiving more attention from Stars Group in recent years, poker is still the company’s bread and butter. PokerStars.com — the global-facing online poker room — has been the biggest online poker room in the world over the last decade by far, offering players the large selection of cash games and the largest tournament prize pools.

In addition to serving thousands upon thousands of players, PokerStars backs up their position in the online poker world by acting as a leader and innovator in the online poker world.

In the area of cash games, the poker room offers a huge selection of Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Draw and Mixed games with new innovative games introduced all the time. Recent examples of experimental games include Split Hold’em, Power Up and Fusion. Most of the new games don’t stick, but you can’t blame PokerStars for looking for that next big thing.

For tournaments and sit and gos, PokerStars consistently offers the biggest and best tournaments players will find anywhere. The Sunday Million $1 million guaranteed tournament gets a lot of the attention, but there are thousands of smaller tournament also available for a variety of different types of players. The frequent online series events are also a huge draw with events such as the SCOOP and WCOOP drawing thousands and attracting tens of millions of dollars in prize pools.

PokerStars Pennsylvania players won’t be joining the PokerStars.com player pool any time soon, but one thing players can be virtually sure of is that PokerStars PA will probably be offering the biggest and best games when they go live.

PokerStars Casino offers huge selection of slots

PokerStars Casino PA

The PokerStars poker room is seamlessly integrated into the PokerStars suite of products.

There used to be a time when the PokerStars casino was essentially an afterthought. Not anymore. The PokerStars Casino has gradually earned the respect of casino players and now boasts a huge selection of titles. They offer some proprietary games but most of their games come from some of the biggest software companies in the world including NetEnt, NYX Gaming, Playtech, Leander and Microgaming.

They now offer a ridiculous number of games, frankly almost too many with over 400 slot titles alone. Table game offering is more reasonable with over 40 games and includes a mix of blackjack, roulette and poker, to name a few. Players can also join on a large selection of live dealer and jackpot games, some which include multi-player options. Video poker options include over a dozen games including Jacks or Better and Joker Poker.

BetStars is innovating the sports betting experience

One of the newest products at PokerStars is BetStars.

With PokerStars recent acquisition of Sky Bet, PokerStars is proving that they are serious about sports betting. With a focus on mobile, the BetStars sportsbook is highlighted by early cashouts, in-game betting, odds boosts as well as the “Spin and Bet,” where bettors can multiply winnings up to 10x.

The BetStars sportsbook offers players a large selection of sports and betting lines. Combine the large selection with a well-designed sportsbook that is both fun as well as easy to use and you can see why PokerStars is excited about their sports betting product.

BetStars NJ has a limited number of sports and betting lines available — compared to their international counterparts — but we could expect this to gradually improve as time goes on.

PokerStars NJ provides a guide to PokerStars PA

New Jersey online poker market opened up in 2013 but it wasn’t until May 2016 that PokerStars went live in the state. Now that they are live in the biggest legal online gambling market in the United States, PokerStars has positioned themselves to go live elsewhere including Pennsylvania.

PokerStars New Jersey is the second largest online poker room in New Jersey with a few hundred players during peak times, but PokerStars has a distinct disadvantage in the state — they are only live in New Jersey while rivals WSOP.com are available in three states (Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey).

The launch of PokerStars PA will mean that PokerStars will ultimately be able to merge the New Jersey and Pennsylvania player pools. The poker room will undoubtedly serve as a foundation for additional states once they regulate. Yes, it could be a few years but your state will likely eventually have PokerStars yet again.

What will PokerStars in PA be like?

PokerStars will be able to launch in Pennsylvania via way of Mount Airy (poker rooms and online casino companies must partner with brick and mortar casinos to offer games in the market). While some Pennsylvanians casino will surely launch branded online casinos, it’s pretty safe to say that the PokerStars-Mount Airy collaboration will focus primarily on the PokerStars brand name. PokerStars is one the most recognizable poker sites in the world. In New Jersey, the poker room partnered with Resorts and launched as PokerStars New Jersey.

When PokerStars launches in Pennsylvania, they will likely initially go live with poker and casino. Online sports betting has been legalized but it will likely not be offered online until well into 2019.

PokerStars poker players will likely get to enjoy a decent amount of available games with real money players likely into the low to mid-hundreds during peak times, enough to keep a good amount of No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha games going at a variety of stakes. Tournaments will also be plentiful with guarantees reaching into the six figures, most likely. Perhaps most exciting for tournament players will be the extension of the COOP series, which already runs on PokerStars.com and PokerStars New Jersey.

PokerStars PA could truly take off when the poker site is allowed to combine player pools of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This will not happen right away but with a bit of luck could happen sometime in 2019. The merging of players pools will likely effectively increase PokerStars traffic in PA by 50% or so, which will increase the numbers of games as well as tournament prize pools.

PokerStars PA Bonus

Both PokerStars.com and NJ offer players a 100% up to $600 bonus on a new deposit. Expect a similar bonus along with some special offers upon launch. PokerStars, like any other poker room going live in PA, is going to want to attract players right away. You’ll likely find some of the best deals available during this time period.

Curious about the VIP program? The PokerStars PA rewards program will implment the StarsRewards, a randomized chest-based program that allows players to open up chests to receive real money prizes. It’s not as attractive as it was back in the day to grinders but will appeal more to recreational players.