- US Online Poker
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Partypoker was among the world’s first online poker rooms, making its debut way back in 2001.
It was also the largest site in the early boom years until it ceased US operations following passage of the Unauthorized Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006. The partypoker brand is therefore perhaps less familiar to some US players than its competitors, like PokerStars, which elected to continue serving the US until Black Friday in 2011.
Because of that decision, however, partypoker was able to make its legal return to the US market before most. When legal online gambling came to New Jersey in November 2013, partypoker NJ was one of the first operators to go live.
For now the Garden State remains the only one in the US in which partypoker operates. However partypoker has received approvals from regulators in Pennsylvania, and a possible launch in Michigan may come as well.
The sports betting giant GVC Holdings acquired partypoker in 2015, which in 2020 rebranded as Entain. Entain aims to become a major force in the legal US sports betting space through its partnership with MGM Resorts, a joint venture originally called Roar Digital and now known as BetMGM.
|Online Poker Site||Partypoker|
|Partypoker Bonus Code||PLAYNJCASH|
|Welcome Bonus||$25 FREE|
|Deposit Match||100% up to $1,000|
|State(s) available||New Jersey|
|Last verified||September 2021|
At the moment, for new players partypoker offers both a no-deposit bonus and a first-deposit bonus. These are not mutually exclusive and neither requires a code.
The no-deposit bonus comes simply for signing up to the site. Following identity verification, every new account receives free play worth a total of . The bonus breaks down as follows:
Meanwhile the first-deposit bonus is credited automatically. It requires a minimum deposit of $10 and the bonus is a full 100% match up to $1,000. The bonus money is released in ten equal parts with a 2x play-through rate — that is, the site will release $1 for every $2 in rake or tournament fees.
Players can also clear the bonus through Party Casino at a higher 4x rate.
Under Roar Digital, partypoker has access to any US online gambling market in which MGM or Boyd Gaming owns property. So far partypoker only operates in New Jersey, but launch in Pennsylvania appears imminent and could come later in Michigan as well.
Partypoker’s owner company GVC (now Entain) also received a license to operate its games in Nevada in 2019. That includes a license for poker, so it seems possible partypoker will launch a site there, too. The company has, however, said that westward expansion is “not a priority,” so the wait may be long.
For now, partypoker’s US traffic is low and its variety of games limited.
For cash games, stakes start at $0.02/$0.04. The options are no-limit or fixed-limit hold’em, or pot-limit Omaha. Partypoker’s fast-fold product called fastforward is available for $0.05/$0.10 and $0.25/$0.50 NLHE, but rarely has any traffic.
Sit-and-go and scheduled tournaments are also available on the partypoker US client, although heads-up sit-and-gos are the only ones that typically fill. The site’s lottery sit-and-go product — SPINS — is not currently available in the US.
Partypoker has operated continuously in New Jersey since the state’s synchronized online gambling launch in November 2013. In addition to poker, partypoker NJ also offers in-client casino products. There is no party-branded sportsbook at the moment, but the parent company does offer sports betting in the US under the BetMGM brand.
In New Jersey, MGM’s online gambling products operate under the land-based casino license of Borgata.
Partypoker New Jersey was competitive in its early years with WSOP/888, the only other active site at the time. However, its traffic and market share have since suffered primarily due to two factors: the launch of PokerStars NJ in 2016, and 888 integrating its NJ platform into its multi-state poker network with Nevada and Delaware in 2018.
Meanwhile in New Jersey partypoker established a network of its own called the partypoker US network. Currently three NJ sites form the network, sharing player pools among them in order to increase liquidity:
The partypoker US network collectively tends to attract enough players to compete with the standalone PokerStars NJ site. However both lag well behind the WSOP/888 site when it comes to player traffic.
In the past, partypoker NJ hosted a twice-annual series called the Garden State Super Series (GSSS), although the series was quietly discontinued in 2019 following a run of low turnouts and missed guarantees.
On the bright side, starting in June 2020 sites on the partypoker US network began hosting World Poker Tour Online tournament series every few months, and these series have proven very popular. In late Dec. 2020, a $3,500 buy-in WPT Online Poker Open event on the network built a prize pool of over $1.2 million.
As noted, partypoker has gotten the green light from regulators in Pennsylvania to move forward, and a site should appear in PA soon to challenge PokerStars PA’s current monopoly in the state.
In Oct. 2020, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved BetMGM’s application for an iGaming operator license in PA. Entain (formerly GVC) owns the partypoker platform, and along with MGM jointly owns BetMGM (formerly Roar Digital).
Earlier in 2020, Roar Digital CEO Adam Greenblatt indicated to OPR that the group intended use the partypoker brand in PA. That may still happen, although a new PA online poker room could also use the BetMGM brand. BetMGM launched both an online casino and online sportsbook in PA in Dec. 2020.
There is no indication as yet whether players on a partypoker Pennsylvania site may in the future be able to play against those on the partypoker US network in NJ. For that to happen, Pennsylvania regulators will first need to allow sites to enter a multi-state internet gaming agreement.
Michigan could be next on the list of American prospects for partypoker. There, too, the affiliation with MGM provides the most obvious point of entry.
BetMGM was part of the initial wave of online casinos and online sportsbooks launching in Michigan in late Jan. 2021. The MGM Grand Detroit is the land-based partner for those sites, and would be as well for online poker site.
When partypoker and/or BetMGM launches an online poker room in Michigan, PokerStars will again be a primary competitor as PokerStars MI launched first in the state at the end of Jan. 2021.
As will be the case initially in Pennsylvania, when such a site launches it will initially be “ring-fenced” meaning only players in Michigan will be able to play. That said, speculation will immediately begin in Michigan as well regarding the possibility of a multi-state agreement and sharing player pools with sites in other states.
Partypoker’s online poker room is connected to the partypoker online casino, allowing players the convenience of switching back and forth between the two while using the same account.
The partypoker casino includes a wide variety of slots games, including many with progressive jackpots. Top providers power the games, including IGT, NetEnt, Win Studios, Konami, and others. The online casino features several exclusive slots titles available as well.
The partypoker casino also offers a variety of table games including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and numerous video poker games.
Through a partnership with Evolution Gaming, partypoker also offers many live dealer games in its online casino, including several different blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker games.
Yes, but only in New Jersey. However, partypoker stands poised to expand to Pennsylvania and Michigan soon.
It is not legal for international or offshore sites — including partypoker’s main dot-com network — to serve players in the US.
Almost anyone can sign up for an account at partypoker NJ, as long as they are at least 21 years of age and not otherwise excluded from gambling. However, a player must be in the state to play at the tables. Residency and citizenship don’t matter, only their physical location at the time of play.
Other reasons a player may be ineligible include voluntary self-exclusion, being employed by partypoker, or having had one’s account closed under suspicion of cheating.
Partypoker is expected to launch in Pennsylvania shortly, and then in Michigan after that. It also has a license to operate in Nevada, but has indicated that launching a site there isn’t a priority.
West Virginia has also legalized online poker and other forms of gambling, and partypoker’s parent company recently launched a sportsbook there in partnership with The Greenbrier. That could mean a partypoker WV site comes eventually, but the state’s small population could make it an unappealing market unless it’s possible to share liquidity with other states.
In New Jersey, partypoker NJ is part of a group of NJ online poker sites called the partypoker US network. These sites share players among them, but all of the sites are located in New Jersey.
When partypoker sites launch in other sites, eventually those sites could join a network with partypoker NJ. However that would require regulators in those new states first to approve a multi-state internet gaming agreement.
At present WSOP/888 already shares liquidity between Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. It is possible partypoker sites in different states could create something similar, pending regulators’ approval.
Could partypoker players in the US play against players on the global partypoker-dot-com site? Not very likely. The legal hurdles that would need to be cleared in order for that to happen would be prodigious, and not a legitimate consideration at present.
Compared to other poker operators, partypoker is in good legal standing thanks to its decision to depart the US market immediately after the UIGEA came into effect in 2006.
Its parent company has many subsidiaries, however, and some of these have occasionally had compliance issues. In particular, its license application in Nevada came into jeopardy due to GVC (now Entain) having acquired a company that was, at the time, doing business illegally in Turkey.
Though it did ultimately receive its license, the vote by the Nevada Gaming Control Board was split 2-1 and the license came with conditions — such as GVC being required to pay $100,000 to cover additional investigations into its operations.
Still, if GVC could get past the notoriously strict Nevada regulators, it will likely have no trouble in other states. Certainly, anywhere willing to overlook the past indiscretions of PokerStars should be favorably inclined towards partypoker.
Partypoker was originally created in 2001 by PartyGaming, itself founded a few years earlier in 1997 by American entrepreneur Ruth Parasol. It wasn’t the very first online poker site, but it was among the earliest to go live. Within a few years it was also the biggest, thanks in large part to aggressive television advertising as the poker boom was taking off.
PartyGaming went public with an IPO on the London Stock Exchange in June 2005, with a valuation of almost $8.5 billion. Its share price surged over 40% in the first month of trading. But disaster struck the following year when George W. Bush signed the UIGEA into law.
While competitors like PokerStars, Full Tilt, and UltimateBet elected to continue serving US customers, PartyGaming chose to comply with the law and pull out. Its stock immediately plunged by 60%.
In 2011, PartyGaming merged with Austrian online gambling company bwin Interactive Entertainment to form a new company, Bwin.Party. Bwin had operated a poker room on the Ongame network and migrated its players to partypoker’s network after the merger.
Online gaming giant GVC Holdings then struck a deal to acquire Bwin.Party in 2015, and the transaction closed in February 2016. Now known as Entain, the company’s worldwide annual revenues exceed $3 billion, of which partypoker accounts for only a tiny part.
Partypoker’s current operations span three individual traffic pools:
2001 – Partypoker first opens and accepts US customers, as was the norm at the time.
2006 – With the passage of the UIGEA, partypoker discontinues US operations and loses its status as the world’s largest online poker room.
November 2013 – Online gambling goes live in New Jersey. Partypoker is one of the first two poker rooms to launch.
September 2014 – Partypoker NJ runs its first Garden State Super Series (GSSS), with $1 million in total guarantees.
March 2017 – Partypoker NJ makes huge cuts to GSSS for its sixth installment. Events reduced from 75 to 11, total guarantees from $1.17M to $270,000.
October 2018 – GSSS runs for the last time. Partypoker forced to pay out big overlays, including for the Main Event and High Roller. Series does not return in 2019.
May 2019 – GVC receives license for Nevada operations, including poker.
October 2020 – Regulators approve BetMGM’s application to become a qualified gaming entity in Pennsylvania. The approval covers slots, table games, and online poker. Entain (formerly GVC) partners with MGM in a joint venture called BetMGM (formerly Roar Digital), the same group that operates partypoker NJ. The approval of BetMGM’s PA application paves the way for partypoker PA and/or BetMGM Poker PA.
December 2020 – BetMGM receives similar approval from regulators in Michigan for online casino, online sportsbook, and online poker.
December 2020 – BetMGM launches an online casino and online sportsbook in PA.
January 2021 – BetMGM launches an online casino and online sportsbook in MI.