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Pennsylvania is the most populous US state with legal, regulated online gambling in 2020.
The omnibus expansion package Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law in 2017 authorized interactive gaming across multiple verticals — including online lottery sales, casino, fantasy sports, sports betting, and poker.
The first PA online casinos launched in July 2019, and it didn’t take long for a variety of options to become available to gamblers in the Keystone State.
These 12 online casinos are licensed to operate legally in Pennsylvania:
Each PA online casino features a variety of slots, table games, and video poker — with many additionally including other novelty games among their many selections.
Operating through a partnership with Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, BetAmerica is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated — home of the Kentucky Derby.
BetAmerica has over 50 different types of slot games, including popular titles such as Blood Suckers, Fairy Tale Legends Hansel & Gretel, Jack Hammer, Lucky Angler, Spinata Grande, and Twin $pin. Available table games include blackjack and roulette.
One drawback, though: unlike other online casinos in Pennsylvania, BetAmerica has no mobile option and is only available via a web-browser.
Although affiliated with Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, the BetRivers online casino technically operates under Rivers Casino Philadelphia’s gaming license. The casino is essentially a skin of PlaySugarHouse, also operated by Rivers and similarly run on a platform provided by Rush Street Interactive.
BetRivers features games from several different studios, with more than 70 different kinds of slots from which to choose. Popular titles include Cats, Double Jackpot, Guns ‘N Roses, Jimi Hendrix, Jingle Spin, Tiger 7s, White Orchid, and Wild Life.
Table and card games include blackjack, baccarat, and multiple roulette games. There is also a variety of video poker games powered by Game King.
Harrah’s Philadelphia was among the last of Pennsylvania’s casinos to launch its online products. The sports half of Caesars Sportsbook & Casino launched in March 2020, with the online casino component following in April.
At launch, the casino had just 12 slots available and no other games. The launch titles were: 88 Fortunes, Bruce Lee, Mad Mad Monkey, Raging Rhino, Starmania, Zeus (and Zeus III), Celestial King, Kronos Unleashed, Spartacus: Gladiator of Rome, Monopoly: Mega Movers, and Montezuma.
The selection of games should expand soon. The app and website both follow closely the design of Caesars Casino New Jersey, which has over 300 games available. Pennsylvania players can probably expect to have a similar array of options in time.
If there was any doubt before, there is little question now that DraftKings is a full-scale gambling company. In addition to sports betting, the once-small DFS site has now pivoted all the way into online casino gambling as a newly public corporation.
DraftKings Casino made its debut in Pennsylvania in May 2020 on the back of the Meadows license, additionally relying on an alliance with Scientific Games for the platform and content.
Longtime online poker giant PokerStars partnered with Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mt. Pocono to launch the first online poker room in Pennsylvania in early November 2019, also launching its online casino at the same time. A great option for poker players who also like to play other casino games, everything — along with sports betting, too — is housed in one handy standalone client.
There are around 50 different choices of slots available, with Frog of Fortune, The Imperial Kitchen, Lion Storm, Turn Your Fortune, and the exclusive Stars Classic Slot among the most popular.
Unsurprisingly given the poker connection, there’s a wide range of table and card games in the Stars online casino. There’s blackjack, baccarat, and roulette, of course, but also many different “single hand” games like Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, Aces and Eights and more. There are multiplayer versions of these games, too, at a variety of stakes, as well as video poker.
After being the first to launch an online sportsbook in Pennsylvania, Hollywood Casino in Grantville was the technically the first to launch an online casino as well, beating Parx by a few hours.
Parent company Penn National Gaming partnered with multinational gambling company IGT to power the site which after a few small hiccups early on has become a go-to option for online casino game fans in the state.
There are more than 50 kinds of slots available, with Butterfly 2, Cash-o-Matic, Cleopatra, Da Vinci Diamonds, Double Stacks, Electric Tiger, Jumanji, and Wheel of Fortune among those featured.
Table and card games include blackjack, baccarat, and several different roulette games, plus video poker.
Daily fantasy sports giant FanDuel jumped into the retail and online sportsbook market in a big way starting in 2018 and now has branched out to other casino games as well, starting in Pennsylvania. With Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia as its land-based partner, FanDuel has joined forces with IGT for its platform and GAN for account management.
FanDuel Casino got off to a fast start after launching a little over a week before Super Bowl LIV, using a number of promotions to hit the ground running and quickly become a leading revenue gainer among all the online casinos in the state.
The FanDuel online casino includes only a modest offering of slots, with favorites Cleopatra, Da Vinci Diamonds, Dead or Alive, Divine Fortune and others among the choices. Table games include the usual blackjack and roulette varieties.
Parx Casino in Bensalem was one of the very first in the state to launch an online casino, partnering with industry vet GAN to provide a robust selection of casino games on its online platform from the get-go.
Like other online casinos in the state Parx offers slots, table games, and video poker, and intends to introduce live-dealer games as well. The slots selection is particularly large with around a 100 different choices, including all the Vegas classics like Atomic Meltdown, Cleopatra, Crown Egypt, DaVinci Diamonds, Pixies of the Forest, Tiger 7’s, Triple Diamond, Wheel of Fortune, Wolf Run and many more.
There are more table games at Parx than elsewhere, too, including blackjack, baccarat, several different roulette games and Jacks-or-better, as well as video poker.
PlayLive! was the first online casino in the state to launch without an active land-based casino partner at the time. Although its owner, Cordish Companies, is an in-state licensee, its two properties in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were still under construction when it launched its online product.
It launched with a fairly robust selection of games for a first-time operator, including a standard set of table games and video poker titles, plus nearly 100 slots. Its platform is provided by GAN.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia’s online casino is similar in all respects to the skin at BetRivers described above, with both run on a platforms provided by Rush Street Interactive.
Here players will find the same variety of options from several different game studios, with Dead or Alive, Divine Fortune, Double Ruby, Sparkling Roses, and Triple X Threat among the most popular slot selections. Table games (blackjack, baccarat, and roulette) and video poker are also favorites here.
European gaming giant Unibet partnered with Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre to bring online casino games to Pennsylvania. The platform is the result of a collaboration between Unibet parent company Kindred and Scientific Games.
More than 70 different slots games are on offer, including all the favorites and popular ones like Cleopatra, Dead or Alive, Divine Fortune, Gonzo’s Quest and Siberian Storm. Among the table games there is blackjack (including an exclusive “micro stakes” version), baccarat, and a half-dozen routlette variants.
There is a jackpot game as well plus several video poker options, among them exclusive varieties of Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better.
Wind Creek launched Pennsylvania’s 11th online casino early in the state’s second year of iGaming. It took a little bit longer to get off the ground than others as a newcomer to the state, having only just acquired its land-based property in June last year. The casino’s former owner was Las Vegas Sands Corporation, controlled by Sheldon Adelson, a noted opponent of online gambling. Sands sold the property to Wind Creek Hospitality, a tribal operator based in Alabama, who had no such qualms about launching an online product.
Wind Creek’s technology partner for the online casino is California-based Pala Interactive. The casino launched with 77 slots titles, 7 table games and 2 video poker titles. Wind Creek holds a poker license and Pala has a poker platform, but it remains to be seen whether they attempt to launch an online poker product.
While all Pennsylvania online casinos are available via web-based browsers on your laptop or desktop, nearly all are also accessible on mobile devices as an online casino app.
These Android and iOS (Apple) apps are free to download and in many respects feature the same functionality as the web-based versions of the online casino. They do, however, sometimes feature fewer games to choose from than their web-based counterparts.
Android users previously could not download apps from the Google Play Store since it did not allow gambling apps. That policy changed on Mar. 1, 2021 but it is taking some time for all apps to get approved on the Play Store. Any app not available on Google Play at the moment can be found on the operator’s website instead.
Meanwhile iOS users face a different obstacle since Apple instituted a policy requiring gambling apps to be built on the native iOS (and not coded in HTML5). That forced new online casinos to build their own iOS apps.
As a result, some Pennsylvania online casinos offer iOS apps, some offer Android apps, some have both and one has neither. In some cases, such as BetRivers and FanDuel Casino, you access the online casino via the online sportsbook app.
Consult with your favorite site to see what options are currently available.
Like online casinos elsewhere, those in PA offer a wide variety of slots, table games, and video poker. Many also have plans to include “live-dealer” table games in which an actual dealer in a studio conducts the games.
If you like slots in retail casinos, you’ll discover slots in online casinos to be very similar.
They comprise by far the majority of games in PA online casinos and include many of the same favorites found in the brick-and-mortar realm. Even the games themselves are often identical, including classics like Cleopatra, Wheel of Fortune, and Wolf Run.
When playing slots online you can either search games by title or filter them in various ways, including by the studios that create the games such as IGT, NetEnt, Everi, and Konami. You can also often search by the number of reels, progressive jackpots, and in other ways that can’t so easily be done when playing live slots.
The most frequently found table games in PA online casinos are blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. Larger casinos feature multiple variants of each as well as different stakes.
Blackjack games often feature fun side bets, multi-hand games, and offer variants such as Blackjack Switch, Free Bet Blackjack, and Spanish 21.
Roulette almost always features either American or European roulette among other options.
Video poker also greatly resembles what you find in a live casino, with the familiar Game King suite of games a popular option. There you’ll find all the favorite variants like Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, and Double Bonus.
Live-dealer table games help make online casinos seem even more like the “real” thing. These involve playing games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, three-card poker, casino hold’em, and other table and card games with a live dealer or croupier managing the action from a studio.
While you play you can chat via text with the dealers and other players, making the social component of the games even more comparable to what you’ll find in a retail casino.
No live-dealer games are available in Pennsylvania quite yet. State law requires that the studio be located within the state, and there is no such studio yet. However, Evolution Gaming has said it expects its new studio to open before the end of 2020. Live-dealer games should roll out quickly once that happens, as Evolution already has deals in place with some operators in the state.
Most online casinos in Pennsylvania provide a wide variety of depositing methods, typically including some or all of the following:
When it comes to withdrawals, there are typically fewer options available. These tend to include:
Be sure to check with each online casinos to see which banking options are available. Also check with the sites to determine how long the different transactions take. Most are very fast (or even instantaneous), but some do take longer than others.
As found in online sportsbooks across the country, Pennsylvania’s online casinos all offer bonuses of various types to encourage players to sign up and continue playing. These vary depending on the online casino, though in most cases you will find the following:
In most cases, the welcome bonus comes in the form of no-risk bets that allow first-time users a way to try out the games without having to worry about losing money.
In some cases these welcome bonuses are no deposit bonuses, meaning you are simply given a small amount of money (usually from $10 to $25) with which you can play any of the available games. These bonuses cannot be withdrawn — you must wager the entire bonus — but you can keep the winnings you earn.
Other welcome bonuses are tied to making a first deposit. These matching bonuses usually match a first deposit 100% up to a certain maximum amount. Again, the bonus money cannot be withdrawn before it is wagered, and there is usually a time limit during which the bonus money must be used (e.g., 30 or 60 days).
Some online casinos offer ongoing loyalty programs that reward players with cash or “comps” according to how much they play, much like is found in brick-and-mortar casinos. Loyalty programs are more commonly found with online casinos than with online sportsbooks, and often will be linked to the retail casinos’ programs.
Most PA online casinos often offer ways to earn bonuses via promotions such as reload bonuses, double-points deals, referral bonuses, and more. Keep an eye out for these as they come along.
Below are some common questions and answers related to PA online casinos.
Interactive gaming permits are limited based on the number of casino licenses issued by the state. As things currently stand, that means there are 13 interactive permits available in each of these categories:
That makes room for as many as 39 brands, but the number of licenses doesn’t necessarily equate to the number of sites. Each property can partner with multiple brands under its land-based license.
Pennsylvania operators need to be partnered with a PA casino licensee and display their brand prominently.
Broadly speaking, individuals located in the state who are 21 and over can participate. You do not have to be a resident of Pennsylvania to play.
Employees of land-based licensees and key employees of platform providers are excluded, as are individuals who are barred from land-based casinos and individuals who have elected to self-exclude.
In simple terms, online casino games and online poker games are all available. But the bill gives regulators reasonable latitude to approve a wide array of games.
Due to the unique taxation structure that penalizes slot play and favors table games and poker, some new game variants may be developed for the PA market that attempt to appeal to slot players while remaining within the definition of a table game or a poker game.
There are three distinct tax rates for online games:
Tax is based on gross gaming revenue, defined as “the total of all cash or cash equivalent wagers […] minus the total of cash or cash equivalents paid out to to registered players as winnings.”
Visit this PA gambling expansion revenue page for a full breakdown from PlayPennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) oversees all aspects of the PA interactive gaming industry.
PO Box 69060
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060
Phone: (717) 346-8300
Email: [email protected]