Partypoker is one of the leading providers of poker software in the US today. It is responsible for the partypoker US network—encompassing its own branded site, partypoker New Jersey, as well as supplying the platform for BetMGM’s poker rooms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan—as well as its sister site, Borgata, in PA and NJ.
Partypoker was acquired by Entain plc (formerly GVC Holdings) in 2016. A joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts International in 2018 created BetMGM and thereafter BetMGM has utilized partypoker’s software across its poker rooms.
The only US site to carry the partypoker branding is currently New Jersey. It has been around for a long time, having launched back in 2013. Since then, Entain has focused more on promoting its BetMGM and Borgata brands leaving NJ as the lone partypoker skin for eight years.
However, Entain may decide to bolster the brand in the future. The US marketplace is opening up rapidly, and the name partypoker carries reputation and trustworthiness that few can match.
The legal situation regarding online poker in the US is complex and fluid. But long-standing restrictions on interstate online poker look set to end soon. This would allow operators to pool their player bases across states—known in the industry as shared liquidity.
The brand name, partypoker US network, suggests a clear intent to employ shared liquidity as soon as it is made possible but technically, there is no real network at this present time. The BetMGM, Borgata, and partypoker skins all share players within a given jurisdiction but not between states.
However, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey are three of the biggest regulated markets and partypoker has operations in all of them. In addition to this Entain recently received a three-year extension to its license in Nevada, which could see them launch a poker room in the Silver State.
All this, plus BetMGM’s unique state-switching mobile app, means that the partypoker US network sites are in prime position to coordinate quickly as soon as shared liquidity becomes a reality.
Partypoker in the US
Partypoker is a stalwart brand worldwide and has weathered many ups and downs in its 20-year history. It has as much experience in the field of online poker as anyone. As you would expect, two decades of operation has resulted in software which is solid and reliable.
The overall look of partypoker is somewhat plain. The lobby is blocky and looks slightly old-fashioned when compared to other rooms that may have been updated more recently.
The tables themselves are neat and uncluttered, and there are plenty of options for customization—such as four-color decks, preferred seating, and bet-slider options, to name just a few.
This allows players to configure the tables exactly how they want them, and they can even have different themes for different types of games. Nevertheless, the overall design feels functional rather than spectacular.
The only partypoker site in the US has had a long history. It launched as far back as November 2013 and has been live ever since.
The site offers a fairly standard welcome bonus of a first deposit match up to a maximum of $600. This means that whatever amount you choose to load onto your account, partypoker will equal—effectively doubling your initial deposit.
- One of the first regulated sites in the USCatering to NJ poker players since 2013
- Solid first deposit bonus Get a 100% match up to $600 on your first deposit
- Part of partypoker US network Play with players from BetMGM Poker NJ and Borgata Poker NJ
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This bonus is released in 10% increments, as you meet certain wagering requirements. Every four points earned playing poker (or eight points in the casino) earns $1 towards your bonus. This money is withdrawable immediately.
Partypoker NJ offers a good variety of cash games and tournaments. The emphasis is obviously on NL Hold’em but there are other variants on offer. Fans of Omaha and 7 Card Stud find games running in both the standard form and Hi/lo as well.
There are a range of tournaments spread daily to suit all bankrolls and the site runs regular tournament series which attract larger fields and bigger guarantees.
Partypoker shares its player base in New Jersey with sister sites BetMGM NJ and Borgata NJ, which helps generate more traffic. The network currently enjoys second place in terms of market share in New Jersey, behind WSOP/888 but just ahead of PokerStars.
Other Sites on the Partypoker US Network
As stated, the US partypoker sites include BetMGM and Borgata. Both have poker skins in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, while BetMGM is also live in Michigan. The timeline for the respective launches was as follows:
The look and feel of the sites is largely the same throughout, and players can expect more or less the same functionality from each of the poker clients. The uniform nature across the board is another strong hint that partypoker sites in the US intend to offer a shared liquidity network to players as quickly as possible after legal hurdles have been removed.
Online Casinos and Sportsbooks Powered by partypoker USA
For players who enjoy casino games or sports betting, the partypoker network in the US provides various options across its sites. Its online casinos offer traditional table games such as roulette and blackjack, and a recent innovation has seen the introduction of live dealer tables, where players can interact with real-life croupiers.
Also on offer, are the incredibly popular video slot games, including progressive jackpot slots where the maximum payout increases over time until it is won.
The sportsbooks on the partypoker network offer wagering on all popular US sports such as the NBA, NFL, and NBA—but also more niche events, like Nascar, MMA, and even lacrosse.
As with online poker, the US casino and sports betting markets are opening up and not many states are likely to turn down the chance to generate extra taxes. So, expect more partypoker sites in the US. The states most likely to regulate online gaming in the near future are:
Availability of online casinos and sportsbook differs between skins and jurisdictions of partypoker’s US network, so here we provide an at-a-glance guide to exactly what each site offers.
Online Poker Regulation in the US
On April 15, 2011, in what has become known in the poker world as Black Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) shut down online poker sites throughout the US.
The process to legalize the game has been slow. It took a couple of years for the first few states to regulate online poker, followed by a long pause before any new states would pass their online poker bills.
Since then however, the situation has begun to change more quickly. There are currently seven states that have legalized online poker, and several others are in the pipeline. A January 2021 ruling on the Wire Act looks set to pave the way for multi-state shared liquidity within the next year.
The potential for new tax revenue is likely to result in many other states regulating internet gaming, which would leave online poker in the healthiest place it has been for a long, long time.
Partypoker Before Black Friday
Back in 2006, partypoker was the biggest online poker operator on the planet. Liquidity was pooled throughout most of the world, and it would often have as many as 80,000 players logged in at any one time.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) effectively changed that situation quite significantly in October 2006, but partypoker immediately withdrew its operations in the US.
However, many operators continued to provide services in the US, and online poker remained popular, though unregulated, until the events of Black Friday.
The Beginnings of Regulation
It has been a long battle to regulate US online poker since. There was a two year wait for the first legal site to come online—which ended with the launch of Ultimate Poker, in Nevada, in April 2013.
Online poker in Delaware and New Jersey followed soon after. Partypoker NJ launched on November 26, 2013—its first live poker room in the US for over seven years.
But anyone who assumed that regulatory floodgates would open, was to be sorely disappointed. It would be another seven years before Pennsylvania became the fourth state to offer regulated poker in November 2019.
Online poker in the US has seen something of a mini boom in the last two years. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic saw a huge influx of new players, who flocked to the internet as live venues closed.
In addition to this, the legal position became more favorable—most notably in January 2021, when a first circuit ruling stated that online poker was not prohibited by the Wire Act.
Where We Are Now
There are now seven states that have legalized online poker. The four largest markets by far are PA, MI, NJ and NV.
Whilst New Jersey remains the only state to have a partypoker site, the operator has a presence throughout the regulated markets via the partypoker US network.
BetMGM and Borgata use partypoker’s software across all of their US poker rooms. For the time being at least, Entain has decided to promote these two brands more widely than partypoker.
Understandably, it has concentrated its efforts in the states with the largest population, and therefore the highest potential liquidity—namely, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Borgata’s first poker room went live in New Jersey, at the same time as partypoker NJ, and the launch of BetMGM NJ in 2017 made it three partypoker skins in Garden State.
After that, Entain remained largely dormant in the US, until a flurry of activity this year (2021). In January, it launched BetMGM in Michigan at the earliest opportunity and followed up in April with Borgata and BetMGM going live in Pennsylvania.
In four short months, it had spawned as many new poker rooms as in the previous seven years. Here was a clear signal that the partypoker US sites intended to become a fully-fledged inter-state network.
Partypoker in the USA Highlights
The last few years have been increasingly busy for the partypoker US network, as markets have started to open up, Entain has expanded its operations, and competition has become more intense across all the states that have regulated online gambling. Here we detail some of the more significant moments in partypoker’s recent history.
- November 2013: The first partypoker site in the US goes live in New Jersey, setting up the foundations of the partypoker US Network. Shortly after, Borgata Poker NJ was launched as well.
- February 2016: GVC acquires bwin.party Digital Entertainment (parent company of partypoker)—describing the poker division as being in “terminal decline.” However, within a year GVC reports that partypoker’s net revenue has increased by 10%.
- August 2017: The partypoker US Network launches its third site in New Jersey with BetMGM Poker.
- July 2018: GVC and MGM Resorts announce a 50/50 joint venture, that will eventually become known as BetMGM. Its aim is to target the burgeoning regulated markets in the US, offering poker, sports betting, and online casino games.
- September 2018: Borgata NJ’s Garden State Super Series (GSSS) sees $450,000 in prize money, with a $100,000 guaranteed Main Event. It is the biggest GSSS of the four editions since the series was stripped back in 2017.
- May 2019: GVC Holdings receives a conditional license from the Nevada Gaming Commission, opening the possibility for the partypoker brand to go live in the state.
- October 2019: BetMGM signs deal with Yahoo to become its exclusive sports betting partner.
- September 2020: The WPT Borgata Online Series in New Jersey generates $917,300 in total. The $1060 Main Event has a prize pool of $432,700, the largest in partypoker US network’s history.
- October 2020: figures for September show that partypoker US network sites generated $781,912 in New Jersey, overtaking PokerStars NJ for the first time.
- December 2020: the partypoker network in NJ hosts the Players’ Choice Series, allowing players to vote on the game type, table size, and buy-in for all eight events.
- December 2020: the World Poker Tour Online Poker Open Main Event in New Jersey smashes its $1,000,000 guarantee. The event generates a prize pool of $1,264,000—easily surpassing the partypoker’s record set in September—and providing $239,820 for the winner.
- April 2021: BetMGM runs the first series for the partypoker US network in Michigan, with a $300,000 total prize pool. It overcomes a slow start and eventually exceeds that figure, generating $360,302.
- April 2021: The partypoker US Network joins the newly-regulated iGaming market in Pennsylvania with its BetMGM USA and Borgata Poker USA brands.
- June 2021: the inaugural partypoker US network Online Series in Pennsylvania is announced. The series has $270,000 in guaranteed prize money.
The Future of Partypoker in the USA
It remains to be seen whether the partypoker brand expands into other states, though as the network carries that name it seems likely that another partypoker site will be launched somewhere.
Having three distinct skins allows partypoker USA to experiment with formats and promotions, offering players variety throughout the network whilst maintaining its player pool across the brands.
Entain has recently been granted a three-year license in Nevada, so it would seem likely that the network will extend into the state in the near future.
Nevada already enjoys shared liquidity with New Jersey which would allow US partypoker sites to pool players immediately between those two jurisdictions, regardless of any other legal developments, so perhaps partypoker will see its second US site in the Silver State.
However, BetMGM and Borgata are huge names in the US gaming industry, carrying a weight that the partypoker might not, having excluded itself from the country between 2006 and 2013. So, it would be understandable if the partypoker US network continued to promote those brands instead.
With time running out for the DOJ to appeal January’s ruling, the legal implications of the Wire Act should be pinned down once and for all in the coming weeks. It looks increasingly likely that the long hoped-for ability to offer multi-state poker is about to become a reality.
The scaffolding is firmly in place now for the partypoker US network to offer shared liquidity as soon as that becomes a possibility. With poker rooms in all the major regulated states, the operator is in as good a position as any to adapt to a new legal framework.
Speed is of the essence here. The first sites to offer shared liquidity will appeal hugely to US players. The vastly increased player pools will mean more games, more formats, bigger fields, and more prize money. If the partypoker US network can offer this before its rivals, it would put them at a huge advantage.
As online poker opens up, the next states to see the presence of partypoker could be Connecticut and Illinois. CT passed legislation to regulate online poker at the end of May, and Illinois currently has bills going through the courts. Should they pass, the Land of Lincoln will become an attractive prospect for the partypoker US network, due to its population of nearly 13 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
What states does partypoker US operate in?
Partypoker New Jersey is currently the only site to carry the partypoker brand name in the US. However, the partypoker US network encompasses the BetMGM and Borgata brands as well, with those two operators using partypoker’s software for their sites.
BetMGM and Borgata have online poker rooms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, while the former is also live in Michigan.
Is partypoker legal in the United States?
Yes, partypoker re-entered the US market in 2013 having met all the requirements of post-Black Friday legislation. It is fully licensed in all the states where it has a presence—namely Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey—and its parent company Entain has just been granted a three-year license in Nevada.
What are legal requirements to play real money poker on partypoker USA poker sites?
To be eligible to play real-money poker online, players must be US residents, at least 21 years old, and physically located within the state where the site is based.
Does partypoker US share liquidity across state lines?
At the present time, legislation prevents partypoker from offering inter-state poker, but the legal situation is likely to change in the coming months. When that happens, the partypoker US network will likely provide shared liquidity as soon as it can.
What is the partypoker US network?
The partypoker US network refers to all the sites that use partypoker’s software: BetMGM, Borgata, and partypoker itself.
At the moment it is not a genuine network in the sense of an inter-state, connected player pool—but the name partypoker US network is being used more and more frequently as the operator prepares for the introduction of shared liquidity.
Can players from Europe play on partypoker US sites?
No. Players must be US residents and physically located in the state where the operator is licensed. European players cannot play on US sites, and neither can US players if they are out of the country.
Can I play on partypoker USA if I am visiting the States but live elsewhere?
Unfortunately not. Players are required to provide a US Social Security Number when registering with a site, so visitors will be unable to play on US sites while in the country.
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