New Governor Josh Shapiro is about to decide if Pennsylvania is joining the shared online poker liquidity in the US.
Josh Shapiro defeated Republican Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial election. He will succeed Governor Tom Wolf on January 17th 2023, which means it is up to him to decide if Pennsylvania is finally legalising online poker.
For months, officials within the Wolf administration have said the current governor has considered having the state sign the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). But with less than 60 days until Shapiro takes over, it seems unlikely that Wolf will make such a move in the closing weeks of his second and final term.
Online poker unfortunately wasn’t an issues on the election campaign trail though.
Both campaigns repeatedly declined to return messages seeking comment on multi-jurisdictional poker and MSIGA in particular.
The reason for this could be that online poker in Pennsylvania isn’t a big moneymaker for the state yet.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), online poker operators made $35.2 million during the fiscal year (FY) 2021-2022. Tax revenue from the vertical was only $4.7 million.
“The whole initiative is largely benefitting one specific brand of poker”
“The whole initiative is largely benefitting one specific brand of poker [WSOP] over others. It’s not a huge market, and it’s not a huge tax revenue generator for the state to begin with.”
If Pennsylvania were to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming. Agreement (MSIGA), BetMGM and PokerStars would be able to share liquidity and connect to player pools in Michigan and New Jersey.
WSOP.com could do the same and would even have more online poker sites in Delaware and Nevada to add.
Shapiro was among the people to sign a letter to US AG Merrick Garland urging him to clarify the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) position on the Wire Act.
The agency applauded the effort by Shapiro and the other AGs to clarify the matter.
We hope Josh Shapiro goes one step further, when he becomes Governor in January, and finally paves the way for shared online poker liquidity in Pennsylvania.
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