The Pennsylvania state legislature is debating the issue of online poker regulation in the state and is making tremendous progress. Many believe that PA will become the next state to legalize online poker. If this happens, this may open the door for PokerStars to operate in the state.
PokerStars was forced to leave the United States in 2011 over indictments related to Black Friday. They settled those charges a year later and are working diligently to reenter the U.S. market.
Current version of iPoker legislation are devoid a bad actor clause, meaning that PokerStars will be permitted to apply for a license. Should they succeed, they will quickly become the top online poker site in the state.
Below we give you a general overview of what to expect from the PokerStars Pennsylvania client and a general timeline of when you can expect them to launch.
PokerStars Pennsylvania Software
Often imitated but never dominated is the best way to explain the PokerStars client. When PokerStars Pennsylvania is launch, expect a client almost identical to that offered to the ROW and with the same features.
The client is legendary for its design. Many of the innovations for online poker client software came because of PokerStars. When launched, you will see why. The layout is like a cockpit of a fighter jet with all the options you need to make a decision on where to play.
Client graphics are superior to every other client in the industry and nearly every feature of the client is customizable. Starting with your avatar and moving through the client themes, you will see that PokerStars offers more options than any other client does.
You’ve probably heard horror stories of client glitches in other states but you can rest assured you won’t have that with PokerStars PA. Their staff of expert programmers have created a client that rarely has unplanned downtime.
Finally, PokerStars set the standard for email customer support with a four-hour turnaround. In PA you can expect them to offer telephone and live-chat support as well.
PokerStars is the #1 online poker site in the world and their client is a large part of that reason. You can expect much of the same in PA. To download the client, head to the PokerStars PA website once launched and select download.
PokerStars Games and Promotions
PokerStars will be the #1 place to play poker in Pennsylvania due to their awesome spread of games. They will have all the popular forms of poker available and many that you forgot existed. Here is a sampling of what you will find on PokerStars Pennsylvania:
- Texas Hold’em (All formats)
- Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo (including NL)
- Seven Card Stud and Stud Hi-Lo
- Lowball Poker (2-7 and A-5)
- Five-Card Draw
- Mixed Poker Games (H.O.R.S.E., 8-Game, 10-Game, HO, etc)
PokerStars PA will offer the highest limits in the state starting at micro stakes and going up through $50-$100. Expect most of the action to taper off at $25-$50. For those that love fast-fold action, PokerStars offers Zoom Poker and should be the only site in PA to do so consistently.
You will also experience the best in online poker tournaments on PokerStars Pennsylvania. Expect the site to offer between $50,000 and $100,000 in daily guarantees with Sundays offering as much as $250,000.
PokerStars PA will also offer some of the best promotions in the state. When you signup for an account, PokerStars will credit you with $20 free to try out their client. Those wanting to deposit will enjoy a 100% deposit bonus up to $400.
PokerStars runs generous promotions throughout the year and you can see what is available by checking out the Promotions tab on their website once launched.
Deposits and Withdrawals from PokerStars Pennsylvania
PokerStars PA should offer a variety of deposit and withdrawal options and by the time they launch, they should even offer PayPal. Below are the options likely to be available for deposits:
- ACH e-check
- Bill Pay (Bank transfer)
- Credit and Debit Cards (MasterCard/Visa)
- Live Deposit at Harrah’s Pennsylvania (Photo ID and account info required)
- ACH Bank Draft (Direct Deposit)
- NETELLER (User must have made deposit with NETELLER)
- Check via Mail (May take up to 7 days to receive)
- Live Withdrawal at Harrah’s Pennsylvania (Photo ID and account info required)
PokerStars Pennsylvania Timeline
Like in other states considering regulation, PokerStars will receive their share of debate due to their prior status as an operator during the UIGEA. However, the matter has yet to receive serious discussion. Therefore, the company has had a limited footprint thus far in regulatory debates.
Below is a brief timeline of PokerStars in PA:
- September 11, 2011 – PokerStars begins operations and accepting U.S. customers, including those from the United States.
- April 15, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Justice indicts PokerStars and others on violations of U.S. law and the UIGEA.
- July 31, 2012- PokerStars reaches settlement with DOJ regarding Black Friday involvement and purchases Full Tilt Poker.
- August 1, 2014 – Rational Group (PokerStars parent company) sells to Amaya Gaming Group for $4.9 billion.
Is There a Launch Date for PokerStars Pennsylvania?
The issue of online poker regulation is still being debated by PA state lawmakers, making the speculation of when any sites will go online impossible. Furthermore, it is unclear presently whether PokerStars will be permitted to operate in PA.
While there was no mention of a bad actor clause in recent legislation, state regulators could still find the company unsuitable for a variety of reasons. In addition, PokerStars has yet to announce their intentions to enter the PA market. Typically, when they intend to enter a state they enter into an agreement with a casino entity. This has yet to happen in PA.
We believe that PokerStars is taking a “wait and see” approach with Pennsylvania and once it becomes likely that they will regulate the game, PokerStars will make their move. If PokerStars passes regulatory checks, expect the site to go online within six months of the game being regulated. Should PA go the route of NJ and launch all sites at the same time, PokerStars will likely meet that deadline.
PokerStars Pennsylvania Lowdown
It is now in the hands of state lawmakers to regulate online poker. Once they move forward with regulation, PokerStars will be able to apply for a license and operate in the state.
PokerStars is an excellent fit for Pennsylvania and will help to grow the new regulated market. It has superior client software and enough variety in action to attract online poker players. Their spread of tournaments will keep players coming back and will force other sites to raise the quality of their offerings.
We urge Pennsylvania citizens to contact their state legislators and ask them to support online poker regulation and to allow PokerStars to operate in the state. PokerStars is +EV for regulated poker, which is +EV for Pennsylvania.