Online Gambling in Pennsylvania
After much anticipation, online gambling in PA is finally live! The Keystone State did not hold out on legalization across all online platforms, including online casinos, sportsbooks, and even online poker.
Gambling in PA is a top-notch experience, from beginning to end. Let’s see what Pennsylvania has to offer.
Best LEGAL PA Gambling Sites
|BetRivers Sportsbook||SugarHouse Casino|
|BetMGM Sports||Borgata Casino|
|Unibet Sportsbook||Unibet Casino|
|BetAmerica Sportsbook||BetMGM Casino|
We only recommend all of the best legal PA gambling sites, which go through a strict and transparent ranking system. Although this list does not include all of the available gambling sites, they are some of our favorites. To be exact, these are the criteria we use to make our final decisions:
- Game or Odds variety
- Bonus offer
- Customer support
- Payment methods
Is Online Gambling Legal in PA?
Yes, online gambling is legal in Pennsylvania. Everything that is found online is also legal in brick and mortar establishments across Pennsylvania. Truthfully, the main perks of online casino brands in PA is the great game variety and ease of access.
Types of Gambling in Pennsylvania
Undoubtedly, Pennsylvania has allowed the majority of gambling to be legal across all avenues. The tax revenues are too good to miss out on, especially with the ability to reach even more players across the state.
Casinos in PA
Thanks to the state legislature, Pennsylvania casinos became legal in 2004 per Act 71. This act paved the way for legalizing standalone casinos, horse track racing casinos (racinos), and resort casinos.
Impressively enough, there are currently 13 legal and regulated casinos located across PA. The majority of casinos in Pennsylvania have an online extension, making it even easier for players within the state to take advantage of the great player offers.
Above all, the Keystone State is well known for its great variety of sports teams. With that being said, sports and sports betting are a key and integral part of everyday life for PA residents.
As a result, sports betting was put on the quick path of legalization and was officially legalized in 2017. Online and in person sportsbooks in PA are only allowed to occur in addition to a casino license; no stand-alone sportsbooks are permitted anywhere in the state.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
Genuinely based on skill and immense player knowledge, fantasy sports are widely recognized in the US. Typically played for fun in workplaces, the legalization of fantasy sports has given participants a legalized arena to test their skills.
Fantasy sports were part of the Act 42 package, legalized in 2017. This act permitted a wide range of gambling products in Pennsylvania, not just fantasy sports. For participants who wish to wager on fantasy sports, FanDuel or DraftKings are the way to go. Anyhow, if you’re going straight to the source, players must be 18 and older, but if you wish to play at a licensed casino, you must be at least 21 years old.
Finding bingo halls in PA is quite easy, unfortunately playing bingo online is not as attainable. Known as the PA Bingo Law of 1981, nonprofits were finally given the opportunity to raise funds by means of bingo. With that being said, the 1981 law underwent amendments in 2017 by allowing license applicants to double the monetary value of prizes.
At this moment, bingo in Pennsylvania is regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Any business or charitable organization wanting to offer bingo legally must apply for a license prior to the event. However, there are strict rules surrounding bingo, and therefore it is not available online.
Horse Racing in PA
Outstandingly, horse racing was the first legalized form of gambling in PA. The Pennsylvania legislature passed the original act in 1959 and later amended portions of it to further regulate licensing, handling of funds, and allocation of racing days. Much has changed since the beginning of horse racing, but at this time, there are six racetracks in all of Pennsylvania; only three of them are thoroughbred.
Likewise, although patrons must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing, this does not apply when betting through an online sportsbook. To place wagers online, players must be 21 or older to play.
As a side note, revelations of the 2021 budget proposal by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf unveiled fund allocations that could ultimately destroy PA racetracks. Shockingly, if this budget proposal passes, $199 million will be diverted from the horse racing fund to educational assistance.
Perhaps one of the most widely recognized and accepted forms of gambling, the PA lottery has had a long and generous history. The PA lottery came to fruition in 1971 through Act 91.
Initially, the lottery was created to provide property tax relief for PA seniors. Even though seniors are still the focus, the PA Lottery tax relief goes towards these programs:
- Local Services, Senior Centers and Meals
- Low- Cost Prescription Assistance
- Free and Reduced-Fare Transportation
- Care Services
- Property Tax and Rent Rebates
Since the lottery started, players have contributed well over $31 Billion to programs benefiting older Pennsylvanians.
Additionally, Pennsylvania launched the iLottery in 2018, making it the seventh state in the US to offer such a product. The iLottery allows players 18 and older to play interactive games online and even win prizes of up to $250,000. To successfully play on the PA lottery website, you must agree and download geolocation software and go through an age verification process.
Poker in PA was officially legalized in 2017, and the first online poker site was launched a bit later, in 2019. Despite the advancements in online gambling, there has been a slow decline in revenue and popularity for online poker in the US.
Hopefully, the future will bring a larger number of online poker operators in PA. By then, the anticipation is that the Commonwealth of PA will settle on an interstate deal. Equally important, seven Pennsylvania casinos offer live poker rooms currently.
PA Gambling Law
Pennsylvania has had a long back and forth history concerning the approval of gambling. Nevertheless, gambling has proven to be a great source of continuous revenue for the state.
While there have been amendments, these are the milestone moments in PA gambling history:
|1959||Horse Racing legalized (Act 728)|
|1971||PA lottery established (Act 91)|
|2004||Casinos legalized (Act 71)|
|2017||Internet gaming, fantasy sports,
sports betting, and
online casinos legalized (Act 42)
Local License Holders
Obtaining a gambling license in PA is quite lengthy, a bit costly, but the high barriers of entry are worth it. Depending on the type of operator, the amounts listed below are required when applying.
- $4 Million- One individual certificate
- $10 Million- iGaming license bundle
- $10 Million- Sport wagering certificate
- Must have iGaming certificate before application
One thing to note is that there are still many changes that will be occurring to this list of license holders. For example, PA players can expect to see seven new authorized online poker operators added to this lineup. In addition to that change, BetAmerica is slowly rebranding to TwinSpires for all products by the end of 2021.
Notably, Lady Luck Casino does not have any current online products; this could change if they petition an application for a license.
|License Holder||Online Partners||Location|
|Harrah’s Chester Casino and Racetrack||Caesars Casino||777 Harrah’s Blvd. Chester, PA 19020|
|Live! Casino & Hotel||PlayLive! Online Casino||5260 Route 30 Greensburg, PA 15601|
|The Meadows Racetrack and Casino||DraftKings Sportsbook||210 Racetrack Road
Washington, PA 15301
|Rivers Casino- Philadelphia||SugarHouse Casino||1001 N. Delaware Ave.,
Philadelphia, PA 19125
|Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs||Unibet Casino||1280 Highway 315
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
|Mount Airy||FOX Bet Sportsbook||312 Woodland Road
Mount Pocono, PA 18344
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National||BetMGM Sports||777 Hollywood Blvd.
Grantville, PA 17028
|Parx Casino||Parx Online Casino||2999 Street Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
|Presque Isle Downs, Inc.||TwinSpires Casino||8199 Perry Highway
Erie, PA 16509
|BetAmerica Horse Racing|
|Rivers Casino- Pittsburgh||BetRivers Sportsbook||777 Casino Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
|Wind Creek- Bethlehem||Wind Creek Sportsbook||77 Sands Blvd.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
|Wind Creek Casino|
|Lady Luck Casino- Nemacolin||N/A||4067 National Pike, Route 40
Farmington, PA 15437
Minimum Legal Gambling Age in Pennsylvania
The minimum gambling age in PA varies on the form of gambling, but the large majority is at least 21 years or older.
|Casino Games||21 Years Old|
|Sports Betting||21 Years Old|
|Poker||21 Years Old|
|Fantasy Sports||18 Years Old|
|Horse Racing||18 Years Old|
|Lottery||18 Years Old|
|Bingo||18 Years Old|
Specifically, the minimum age for in person horse racing and sports betting is technically 18, but that varies for online betting. If you plan on betting at a physical casino, the minimum age changes from 18 to 21.
Auditors and Regulators
After the passing of the milestone 2017 bill, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) became the lead regulatory body in PA.
|Casino Games||Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)|
|Sports Betting||Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)|
|Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)||Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)|
|Bingo||PA Department of Revenue|
|Lottery||PA Department of Revenue|
|Horse Racing||PA Horse Racing Commission|
|Poker||Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)|
While there have been moments when the auditors and regulators were more industry-specific, the PGCB has helped establish a framework for the future of PA gambling.
Bonuses and Promotions
Prior to signing up for any accounts or even making any bets, get in the habit of checking to see if there are any promotions or active bonuses. Pennsylvania is well known for their professional and college sports teams. Philly and Pgh sports fans; be on the lookout for betting bonuses surrounding major sporting events. Some of those games include the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles, just to name a few.
Here is a list of betting bonuses and promotions in Pennsylvania:
- Risk-free bet
- Free spins
- No-deposit bonus
- Deposit match bonus
- Leaderboard promotions
Out of the listed promotion types, the best one to take advantage of is a no-deposit bonus. These types of bonuses are typically geared towards new players and are simply a great way to try a new online casino or sportsbook in PA. With the large number of gambling operators coming to PA, players will significantly benefit from the competitive market. Typically, more competition will mean better bonuses, promotions, and even a better game library.
In addition to having great regulatory bodies, Pennsylvania takes responsible gambling very seriously. All players are encouraged to take steps towards safe gambling, and therefore there are a number of tools at your disposal. Some of the key tools available at PA online casinos are:
- Self Exclusion program
- Self imposed limits
- Cool off periods
The self exclusion program is available on every platform and is a statewide program. Likewise, there are some other responsible gambling programs in PA that are worth mentioning:
PA Gambling Tax Rate
Perhaps one of most apparent setbacks in the PA gambling industry is the high tax rates for operators. Although not the highest in the US, Pennsylvania has varying tax rates depending on the vertical. Thankfully, Pennsylvania makes up for it, with an overall population size of 12 million residents.
- Sports Betting 36%
- Fantasy Sports 15%
- Online Poker 16%
- Online Table Games 16%
- Online Slots 54%
Above all, the slot tax rate is the same for online and brick and mortar casinos. In particular, 12% of the total slot tax rate goes to the PA Race Horse Development Fund. Part of the reason why the online slot tax rate is so high is the allocation of funds.
Last but not least, Pennsylvania has a flat income tax rate of 3.07% regardless of the level of income. For any tax related questions, please consult a licensed tax accountant.
Lastly, playing at a legal and licensed casino or sportsbook in PA certainly has its perks! Your funds' overall safety and security is priority number one, but the ease of depositing and withdrawing is definitely at the top of that list. Needless to say, not every payment method listed below is available at all legal PA online gambling sites.
Despite the payment method variety, PayPal continues to be our favorite. With the high acceptance rate, impeccable customer support, and added player theft protection, PayPal blows the rest out of the water.
In an effort to offer better player protection, all operators run identity checks and even enforce restrictions on withdrawals and deposits. Don’t be alarmed if you are asked to send in a utility bill, a photocopy of your ID, and the last four numbers of your social.
The Future of PA Online Gambling
Without a doubt, PA online gambling has brought a great stream of revenue for operators and residents. Despite the high market entrance fees and tax rates, large operators can make some great money in the Keystone State.
Unlike their next-door neighbor New Jersey, Pennsylvania has much harsher restrictions on betting licenses, making the competition much milder in comparison.
All in all, be on the lookout for some great new online poker to add some much-needed competition to online gambling in PA.
PA Online Gambling FAQs
How can I play the PA lottery online?
The PA lottery is available in many retail locations, but most importantly, it's available on a mobile app and web browser. Playing online is easy; just go to the PA lottery website and follow the steps to confirm your location using a geolocation plugin.
Is FanDuel legal in PA?
Yes, FanDuel is legal in PA. Even though fantasy sports were part of the online betting package that was approved in 2017, FanDuel did not get final approval until early 2020.
When did PokerStars launch in PA?
PokerStars PA officially launched in 2020, becoming the only online poker option at this time. In addition to their poker option, PokerStars also has a casino available at Mount Airy.
Is DraftKings available in Pennsylvania?
Yes, DraftKings Sportsbook is available in Pennsylvania. Since it is a sportsbook, players must be 21 or older in order to place any wagers online or at one of the retail locations.
Is online poker legal in PA?
Absolutely! Online poker is legal and regulated in PA as of 2017. The first online poker site was launched in 2019, and there are seven more that have been authorized, and will be launched in no time.
How many legal online casinos are in PA?
Currently there are 13 licensed brick and mortar casinos in PA. Out of those, 12 casinos are available online at this time. The only casino that does not have an online extension is Lady Luck Casino in Nemacolin.