Pala Online Casino
Online Poker Review
Pala Poker opened in July 2017 as an extension of the Pala Casino & Spa in California. Pala Casino & Spa formed a partnership with the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City to open their online gambling site in New Jersey. Pala Poker is available to all PC and Mac users on their desktop web browser version, and it is available to all iOS and Android users via their mobile app.
- Beautiful platform design and layout
- Wide variety of tournaments offered daily
- Good promo code and rewards system
- Limited traffic due to a small network base
- Only two types of poker games offered
- Limited hours; opens at 5pm on weekdays
The first thing that everybody who uses Pala Poker notices is its beautiful layout and design. Unlike some of the other online gambling sites in New Jersey, Pala Poker strayed away from the cookie cutter design and created a unique user experience. Not only does it look great, but it performs great as well. Pala Poker has a wide variety of tournaments available on the site. One of its most popular options is its multi-table tournaments which have 5+ scheduled for every day of the week with guaranteed prize pools between $50 and $250 and buy-ins from $0 to $20. The site also offers daily sit & go tournaments with buy-ins at $5, $10, and $20 and a weekly $250 tournament on Fridays called the GTD Turbo. Along with its rewards system (explained below), Pala Poker offers free tournament dollars on every deposit over $25. All users need to do is enter the promo code PokerDollars25 to be credited with $5 of tournament entry credits with every deposit over $25.
The biggest thing affecting Pala Poker right now is its lack of traffic on the site. There are typically between 20 and 40 players in cash games on Pala Poker at a given time which is much lower than most other New Jersey sites. Adding to this frustration is the fact that Pala Poker does not open its site until 5pm on weekdays. This is very annoying for customers that would like to play during the daytime hours. Currently, Pala Poker only offers cash games and tournaments in no-limit Texas Holdem and pot-limit Omaha. The site has promised 7 Card Stud “coming soon” since its inception in 2017, but as of this writing, the two games listed previously are still the only options on the site.
Pala Poker runs on a dual rewards system that resets every month. The first part of the rewards system is status points. The site gives 50 status points for every $1 spent in tournament or rake fees. There are four levels of status points with pearl at 1,500 points, gold at 7,500 points, platinum at 50,000 points, and elite at 250,000 points. These status points are then turned into rewards points at a base ratio of 4 rewards points to 1 status point. As a player moves up the ranks, they will earn more rewards points per status points with a 10 to 1 ratio at the elite level. These rewards points will turn into cash back perks that can be used for tournament fees or the rake in cash games.
How To Deposit
The first step for new users will be to sign up for an account. The signup process includes entering basic information, a username and password, and a Social Security Number. The Social Security Number requirement prevents non-American players from signing up for an account. At signup, and before the first deposit is made, a $15 bonus will be credited to the account. This bonus is split between $5 in cash for rakes and $10 in tournament entry credits.
The next step for new users will be to deposit money into their account. Pala Poker offers nine different ways to deposit, but some methods are preferred over others. Players have the option of depositing through PayNearMe at a 7-Eleven store, Visa/MasterCard, eCheck, PayPal, Neteller, online banking, Pala+ Prepaid Card, Borgata cashier, or a check by mail. It is not recommended to use a Visa or MasterCard as many people have complained of their transactions being declined or taking over two weeks to be accepted. The preferred method of deposit is PayPal or Neteller. There is a $10 minimum on all deposits with varying maximums. All first time deposits have a 100% deposit bonus up to $500. This bonus is released in $5 increments based on status and rewards points earned. Depositing in person at the Borgata Casino has no maximum. To withdraw money from an account, players can choose PayPal, Neteller, Pala+ Prepaid Card, Borgata cashier, or a check in the mail. All of these offer instant withdrawals except for the check in the mail which has taken some users up to two months to receive.
Overall, Pala Poker is not one of the best online poker options in New Jersey. It struggles from a small user base, a limited number of games, and a limited number of open hours. The site is one of the best looking sites on the market and does offer a large number of tournaments to enter, but it is held back too much by its issues.
- Reputation and Licensing: 4.5/5
- Game Variety: 3/5
- Game Quality: 4.5/5
- Bonuses and Promotions: 4/5
- Deposits and Withdrawals: 4.5/5
- User Experience: 3.5/5