One of the most recognizable brands in the poker industry has staked its claim in the soon-to-be renewed Pennsylvania online gaming market. PokerStars is expected to provide the state with one of its first legal online poker rooms in nearly a decade on Monday.
PokerStars’ parent company, The Stars Group, established a partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort last August, and thus is set to run its online poker platform through that location.
The deal, coupled with a license from the PGCB (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board), will allow The Stars Group to “provide customers in Pennsylvania an all-inclusive, engaging experience by offering its popular poker, casino (including slots and tables) and sports wagering products,” according to a href=" https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-stars-group-and-mount-airy-casino-resort-partner-to-launch-online-sports-wagering-and-gaming-in-pennsylvania-892161421.html " target="_blank">company news release.
Matt Primeaux, Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategy & Operations, said in the release that The Stars Group was “excited to take this next step as The Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States. In partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort, we believe we’re well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Commonwealth by bringing our world leading offerings to Pennsylvania players.”
Shortly after the agreement was reached, the PGCB approved The Stars Group’s online gambling license on Nov. 18.
Back in April, Kevin O'Toole, executive director of the PGCB, announced July 15 as the official date all newly licensed operators would be allowed to launch online gaming services.
“Staff has reviewed the estimated time that it would take for us and the industry to complete all necessary steps, and it is our view that 90 days would be adequate,” O’Toole said at that April 18 PGCB meeting. “Accordingly, I have advised the 10 iGaming certificate holders and three iGaming operators that a coordinated go-live period for interactive gaming will commence on July 15, 2019.”
It will be an exciting day for both Pennsylvania and the internet gambling industry as the state is most populated one to bring back regulated online poker.
On April 15, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice “seized the domain names of some of the most popular online gambling platforms and froze the accounts of American players.”
On a day that was dubbed “Black Friday” by those in the industry, online poker and other forms of internet gambling were made illegal at the federal level. And it has been a long road back.
But that journey ends in triumph for Pennsylvania gambling proponents on Monday, eight years and three months removed from that fateful day.
The impending launch of Pennsylvania operations will only add to what has been a tremendous year for The Stars Group already.
The Group’s Quarter 1 report released on May 15 showed tremendous growth in both total revenue and gross profit.
From Jan. 1 to March 31, The Stars Group brought in $580,384 in revenue, representing a 47.7% increase from 2018’s first quarter. The company generated $417,748 in gross profit during that period, representing an increase of 33.6%.
The Stars Group also recently signed a deal with the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort in New York to provide online gaming to that state once legislative hurdles are overcome.