PA Online Casino and Gambling
Pennsylvania may be relatively new in the U.S gambling world, but it's giving New Jersey a run for its money. We've looked into the specifics, made the lists, checked the legislation, and done all the legwork for you. Looking for more info on gambling online in Pennsylvania? We've probably covered it below.
Is Online gambling legal in PA?
PA online gambling became fully legal and permitted as of the 30th of October 2017 making Pennsylvania one of the four states to legalise online gambling activities. The other states that allow its residents to gamble at an online casino are Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, with Pennsylvania being the latest addition to the list. With the bill being passed, access to online slots, online poker, table games, daily fantasy sports and much more has become increasingly more user-friendly. Online Casinos began appearing in 2018 when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board started accepting online gaming licenses for casinos in PA.
Players who visit or play at licensed casinos will not be persecuted and will not face any legal action as long as they are of the legal gambling age, are players who reside within Pennsylvania, and are free to sign up at any of the state-owned casinos or other foreign-owned online casinos that accepts players from Pennsylvania. To play in a casino in Pennsylvania, online or otherwise, a player must be 21 years old. To take part in the state lottery or horse races they need only be 18.
Like many other states, owning and operating an online gambling operation comes with tight restrictions and rules in order to prevent malicious practices and untrustworthy casinos. Pennsylvania-based casinos are allowed to operate online gambling services from their premises, provided they have been granted a licence by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. After the Pennsylvania gambling expansion, PA saw an amount of gambling taxes go into the coffers, freeing up millions in spending money for services within the state.
Online Poker in Pennsylvania
With the legalising of online gambling through the H 271 bill, online poker rooms and other skill-based games have seen a surge in popularity. However, the player pool is quite narrow with Pennsylvania not having entered the interstate player pool agreement. Nonetheless, with the gambling bill passed allowing online poker to take place, we are expected to see some large state-wide poker tournaments with massive prize pools in the future.
Players can play Poker in Pennsylvania, but they must be within state lines and over the age of 21 to do so. They do not need to be a permanent resident.
Is Sportsbook legal in Pennsylvania?
Sportsbook was legalised in the state of Pennsylvania as of November 15, 2018. The development has been part of the expansion of the gambling industry, allowing for online gambling, truck stop gambling, final fantasy, and airport casinos be legalised. This not only opened up thousands of new jobs within the industry, but also allowed the state to counteract illegal gambling practices and to regulate existing casinos,.
On May 2018, the Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 to be unconstitutional, and thus sports betting has been made legal within the state of Pennsylvania, provided 34% tax is paid on all profit made from PA sports betting.
A gambling site can accept bets on sports, including horse racing, just the same as a land-based casino.
Lotteries In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania allows residents to buy lottery tickets from a licensed vendor. Lottery solutions have been available since 1972, bringing in a gross annual revenue of $3.065 billion. The state-draws available include Pick 2, Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Treasure Hunt, Cash 5, and Match 6, as well as the multi-state games Cash4Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball.
Pennsylvania is the only US state to offer both lottery ticket and online lottery tickets. Some of their online lotto offerings have come under fire for being casino-like in nature, although they continue to operate without any issues.
iLotteries are part of the gaming expansion since June 2018 and offer various unique games that are only available online, differing from the standard lottery draw.
Minimum Legal Age To Gamble In Pennsylvania
Players who wish to enter an online casino or a land-based casino need to be at a minimum of 21 years of age if they wish to participate in gambling activities. The same rule goes for online poker rooms, where the player needs to be at least 21 years old.
People who wish to buy lottery tickets or bet on sportsbook need to be at least 18 years old.
Best Online Casinos in Pennsylvania
There are a few online casinos in Pennsylvania, and more PA casinos will be turning up in time - due to the recent licensing there are not yet many to choose from. However, the ones that are available are solid, established offerings that give players that fantastic casino experience for every player.
PA iLottery Casino
This was the original site that allowed players to gamble online in Pennsylvania. Related to the Pennsylvania state lottery, this online casino gives players the option to play plenty of casino games as well as participate in the state lottery at the same time. The PA lottery fund helps members of Pennsylvania's elderly community with their property taxes, so you can rest assured that no matter how much you play and win, ultimately the casino is helping out others in the state.
Is there an app? Yes;
Is there a sign-up bonus? Yes;
Is there a sportsbook? No;
Land-based partner: PA Lottery.
Full PA iLottery casino review.
BetRivers might be a familiar name to PA-based players, as its the online arm of the Pennsylvania-based BetRivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Players can choose to visit the casino to get the in-person experience, or stay comfortable at home and play their awesome selection of slots and sportsbook offerings from your own computer! As a trusted operator, BetRivers is also available in New Jersey if you choose to visit their casino there!
Is there an app? Yes;
Is there sign-up bonus? Yes;
Is there a sportsbook? Yes;
Land-based partner: BetRivers Pittsburgh.
Full Full BetRivers casino review.
Mobile Gaming in Pennsylvania
You can play your favourite casino games and make bets on your favourite sports in Pennsylvania by one of two methods on your phone or tablet. You can either access the website of the casino, where they will have their game offering available to your on your mobile device's browser, or you can download the app from their site for an even more optimised way of playing.
Some of the sites have apps for you to play on the go, but it's possible that you might run into some technical difficulties on occasion. If so, check these:
Make sure that you have the most up-to-date version of the app installed on your phone.
Make sure that you are playing within Pennsylvania itself. You will only be able to place bets and play while you are within state lines.
If you are within PA and have the most up-to-date app but still have issues, contact the customer support of the casino in question.
Land-based casinos in PA
There are more land-based casinos in Pennsylvania than there are PA online casinos. However, there aren't as many as you might think, due to the relatively recent gambling legislation compared to other states, and it's limited to certain areas. A main casino can have "satellite" casinos, which are within 25 miles of the main casino. There are also limited amounts of gambling allowed at truck stops and airports, although to date no airports have implemented a casino on the premises. Truck stops can operate up to five slot machines, but counties can still make a final decision on if these are allowed.
The rules for the lottery and for horse racing bets are a little different. Horse track race casinos have been able to operate for significantly longer than other casinos, although they are still very strictly controlled with legislation. Before 2006, they were not even allowed to operate slot machines - but horse race betting has been legal in Pennsylvania since 1959. You can bet on horses on-track and also in off-track (secondary) locations.
The truck stops that currently offer video games, such as slots, are currently:
Bald Eagle Truck Stop
Emlenton Truck Plaza
Keystone Truck Stop
Pit Stop Travel Plaza
Who Regulates Casinos in Pennsylvania
All state-wide casino operations, whether that be lotteries, sportsbooks, online casino or land-based casino are regulated and audited by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. This governmental agency was founded in 2004 and tasked to oversee all state licensing and regulations of slot machines and casino gambling taking place within the borders of the state.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board hands out licences according to four different categories:
- Category 1: Horse race track casinos (racinos), these are race tracks where players can bet on races as well as play slot machines.
- Category 2: Stand-alone casinos. There are privately-owned land-based casinos that need a licence in order to operate. All casinos can have a maximum amount of 5000 slot machines.
- Category 3: Resort casinos. Casino halls you will find at a resort within Pennsylvania. It needs to be noted that the maximum amount of table games a resort casino can have is 50 and the maximum amount of slots is 600 slot cabinets.
- Category 4: Satellite casinos. Small-scale gambling operations which are part of the mother company or casino.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is also devoted to assisting and guiding players who suffer from pathological or problem gambling. They make sure that all employees hired at an online casino have been trained to understand the effects of gambling and making sure casinos adhere to self-exclusion requests, as part of their responsible gambling strategy.
The PGCB also maintains a PA casino banned list, known as the Involuntary Exclusion List, where players who have broken rules or laws when in casinos have been banned permanently from any casinos in the state. More than half the people on the list have been placed there for theft or cheating. It's very clear that the PGCB takes safety and security and following the law very seriously.
How can I know which PA casinos are legal?
We will only recommend casinos which are legal in Pennsylvania. All PA online licensed casinos will state that they are "Licensed by PGCB", which is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. If you find a new PA casino which we haven't recommended, always be sure to check for this accreditation before you register and play, as you should only play with very reputable casinos for your safety, and the safety or your money. As there are not many online gambling Pennsylvania casinos currently licensed, you should always verify before playing.
Are there limits on depositing and withdrawing in Pennsylvania?
There are no regulatory requirements for deposits and withdrawals in Pennsylvania, but there might be requirements in the PA casino's terms and conditions. You should always read the terms and conditions of a PA online casino before you register and before you play. Many casinos will have a minimum deposit, for example, or perhaps even have a rollover requirement for any winnings. This means that you have to play those winnings again before you can withdraw them. These are things you would want to be aware of before you play, to avoid any unwanted surprises.
How does the Casino know I'm in Pennsylvania?
Your location can be verified by the casino by checking the IP address of the device you are accessing it from. Whenever you connect to the internet, all of the information has to be direction to you specifically, and this is done by using your IP address. Your IP address will depend on your location and device. If you try and access a Pennsylvania casino from outside the state, you will not be able to place bets. The same remains true for any NJ online casino, too - your geolocation will determine whether you can play or not.
You are welcome to register with most PA casinos even if you are not based in Pennsylvania, but only players from within the state are allowed to gamble online at these casinos. This is due to licensing requirements, and they would be breaking the law if they accepted players from outside their licensed jurisdiction. This is the same for any gambling site in the U.S.
Final Thoughts on Online Gambling in Pennsylvania
With Pennsylvania being the second largest state in terms of both revenue and gambling solutions, the future is looking bright for gamblers who live here. Not only has Pennsylvania been a trailblazer in making online gambling and sportsbook more accessible and safe for players, we have seen many other states follow in its footsteps ever since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has been lifted, with West Virginia, Mississippi, New Mexico and Rhode Island looking to open up the market as well.