Many online poker players today do not remember a world in which partypoker dominated the internet poker industry (also a time when partypoker capitalized the first letter of its name). Believe it or not, though, partypoker was the 800-pound gorilla during the poker boom, before it left the U.S. market when the UIGEA passed in late 2006. And while partypoker is no slouch currently and has a presence in the States in the New Jersey market, it is certainly not the behemoth it used to be. The company, though, has plans to rise back to prominence in the United States.
According to Online Poker Report, Roar Digital will relaunch partypoker with the newest GVC software in New Jersey as the start of building it back into a national brand. After that, it is on to Pennsylvania, where PokerStars is currently the only online poker room.
Roar Digital CEO Adam Greenblatt told OPR that he believes Americans will still remember the good old days of partypoker in the United States.
“We’ve done some research and found there is some residual value in that brand to capitalize on. Our long-term plan is to be the poker market leader in the US,” he said.
Each state in which partypoker launches or already exists will stay ring fenced for a while out of Wire Act fears. Remember, in early 2019, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) reversed the 2011 opinion, saying that the Wire Act makes all interstate online gambling illegal, not just sports betting. Though the New Hampshire Lottery won a lawsuit against the DoJ, delaying enforcement, things are still up in the air.
Eventually, partypoker wants to unite its player pools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, just as 888/WSOP.com has done with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.
Speaking of Nevada, though rumors swirled a while back that partypoker was gearing up to expand into Nevada, Greenblatt said that the Silver State is “not a priority.” It makes sense. Though Nevada is the first name in gambling in the United States, it doesn’t have near the population of Pennsylvania or New Jersey. It is difficult to support much of an online poker industry there; currently, Nevada is home to just one online poker room, WSOP.com. There’s no reason to worry about Nevada until partypoker is in Pennsylvania.
As OPR put it, Roar Digital is focusing on the “lower-hanging fruit” of sports betting right now.
One would think that Michigan will be a priority for partypoker expansion, as well, but no poker rooms are likely to launch there until mid-to-late 2021 at the earliest, so that’s not really much of a consideration right now.