Regulators have authorized two more digital gaming licenses, including one which could bring another online poker option to Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) awarded licenses to Betfair and NSUS Group, the parent company of GGPoker, to operate in the Keystone State. Members of the board, who were meeting through a Zoom conference call, granted the licenses without any debate through a voice vote.
Betfair Interactive received the official nod for a sports betting and interactive gaming operator license, while Dublin-based NSUS Group obtained an interactive gaming manufacturer license. GGPoker partnered with the World Series of Poker to offer online WSOP international events since the NSUS’s subsidiary company was founded in 2014. However, GGPoker did not have any presence in the US, but this is now set to change.
London-based Betfair has been associated with Valley Forgo Casino to extend sports betting and iGaming. Before Wednesday, which granted it a permanent license, it was operating with a conditional license as FanDuel Sportsbook.
However, it is the approval of NSUS Group that is more prominent. NSUS Group’s GGPoker has been vying to enter the potent US market for some time, and the Pennsylvania license is an important step for the company. Initially, GGPoker had been restricted as an Asia-specific operator. However, it has expanded during the last few years, making a huge turn and acquiring a huge customer base in Europe. The year 2020 was particularly important, which saw GGPoker associating with the WSOP for the 2020 WSOP Super Circuit Online Series, and parts of the 2020 WSOP Online.
This new license will finally allow Americans to get to experience GGPoker and its poker rooms. Additionally, the license will allow for another poker site to enter the Keystone State, pending regulatory approval. Previously, PokerStars has been the only digital poker site available to Pennsylvanians since it partnered with the Mount Airy Casinos in November 2019, meaning this news is exciting for many residents of the Keystone State.
What Can We Expect from GGPoker?
There is no test launch scheduled for GGPoker. However, the company is renowned for innovative product ideas, signature software, and generous reward offerings. Probably, the new platform would import GGMasters, the site’s weekly Sunday major freezeout.
Yet, Pennsylvanian poker players need not hold their breath for GGPoker as the Interactive Gaming Manufacturer does not guarantee any revolutionary change. It essentially means that NSUS could provide its technology and software to another licensee. In other words, it could mean the Keystone State’s residents would not see the GGPoker-branded digital poker room. For that, it would require an Interactive Gaming Operator License, as Betfair obtained.
Pennsylvania, An Already Flourishing Gaming Market
There are currently 15 retail, 12 digital sportsbooks, and 12 iGaming sites in the state. However, as of now, PokerStars is the sole operator running online poker in Pennsylvania.
Since its launch in November 2019, the Isle of Man-based company enjoys an exclusive dominion in the state’s market. According to Poker Industry PRO, the monthly average revenue for PokerStars PA is nearly $2.9 million. The subsidiary of the Stars Group is ranked as the 18th biggest operator in the world by PokerScout. With the possibility of GGPoker launching in Pennsylvania, PokerStars could finally face some competition.
Other digital poker platforms hoping to have their virtual presence in Pennsylvania expect to launch late summer. Last September, the gambling board authorized an interactive gaming license for 888 Holdings, a Gibraltar-based company that is Caesar’s partner for online poker. BetMGM/PartyPoker is another operator approved for Pennsylvania license, but like 888Poker/WSOP, it has yet to launch in the state.
GAN Nevada, a sports betting manufacturer, was also approved on Wednesday for a license to operate within the Keystone State’s jurisdiction.