Pennsylvania’s MSIGA Membership Could be the Game Changer for US Online Poker
- US online poker has failed to flourish due to lack of liquidity
- The addition of Pennsylvania to MSIGA will help the online poker market grow
- There is a possibility that Pennsylvania could join the compact by 2025
There’s still a long way to go before online poker becomes a full-blown industry in the United States, with online poker legally available in only a limited number of states.
Shared liquidity could help boost market growth, but there has been little progress in this aspect, as not all jurisdictions with regulated online poker in the US are part of the existing Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).
US Online Poker Still Struggling Due to Lack of Liquidity
Online poker is currently legal in eight US states, but only five of them have active markets. Of that number, only four are members of MSIGA, namely, New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Michigan. Pennsylvania has yet to join the interstate deal.
Major online poker sites like WSOP, PokerStars, 888 and BetMGM are actively operating in many of these states. They are allowed to merge their player pools, resulting in more game options, bigger prize pools, and enhanced experiences for players. The operators also definitely benefit from this arrangement with more customers playing at their respective platforms.
However, looking at the current status of online poker in the US, the industry won’t reach its full potential unless one big change happens – Pennsylvania finally joins the MSIGA.
Pennsylvania launched its regulated online poker market in November 2019. While the market enjoyed rapid growth during its first few years of operations, latest figures show online poker revenue in the state is on the decline. The lack of liquidity is partly to blame for this, and the Keystone State could shake things up if it becomes a member of MSIGA.
PA Joining MSIGA Will Boost US Online Poker
The benefits of Pennsylvania joining the compact will be wide-reaching.
The existing interstate networks – WSOP/888, PokerStars US – will expand to include Pennsylvanians, which means bigger player pools, bigger prizes, and increased competition. This in turn will result in more revenue for operators. On top of that, Pennsylvania and all other participating states will see an increase in tax revenues owing to the merged pools.
The industry as a whole will benefit from all of this, as more states will also consider joining the compact and more online poker sites will be eyeing to expand to the US.
The question now is whether Pennsylvania would take such a step as promptly as possible. Right now, there is no timeline as to when it would happen, with the current governor, Josh Shapiro, remaining mum on plans to join the compact.
However, there is reason to believe that Gov. Shapiro would support the move, given his strong knowledge about iGaming. It may not happen anytime soon, but the Keystone State could become MSIGA’s newest member by 2025.