Pennsylvania has always been one step ahead of others, even when gambling is in question. The first type of gambling that was legalized in 1959 was horse racing. Then came the state lottery in 1972, bingo in 1988, and casino in 2004 right after the creation of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Today, gambling is seen as a way of boosting the economy, improving the state’s financial deficit, and providing more people with job opportunities. Pennsylvania is one of the first states to legalize almost every form of gambling — the only gambling activities that are still illegal in the Keystone State are betting on greyhound races and live dealer casino games.
Read our review to learn about the current legal situation regarding online casinos in Pennsylvania.
Gambling has been present in the Keystone State for quite some time. Pennsylvania’s residents have been able to partake in all sorts of gambling activities for more than a decade, and now, they have the opportunity to enjoy the offering of various online gambling platforms.
On October 26, 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed the H 271 — a bill that made online gambling legal in the state of Pennsylvania. Here is what the bill introduced:
Additionally, this bill provided regulation for sports betting, both retail and online, in case it became legal at the federal level. Once the H 271 bill was approved by the Senate and introduced into the law, the state of Pennsylvania was given permission to legalize and regulate the above-mentioned activities.
The law states that real-money casino platforms can operate only in cooperation with existing land-based casinos. All the legal online casino sites are approved, vetted, and overseen by the PGCB (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board).
In 2018, after the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) had been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Pennsylvania legalized sports betting.
Currently, there are three types of online gambling licenses the state of Pennsylvania issues:
At the moment of writing this article, there are ten online casinos that offer various gambling activities to PA players:
Each of these platforms holds a license to operate and has partnered up with a local brick-and-mortar casino. Every casino has a wide range of online slots and table and card games. Additionally, they offer enticing welcome offers to all new players who’d like to join.
Currently, the only form of casino games that isn’t available to PA players is the live dealer casino. However, with the state adapting its laws and regulations regularly, this type of gambling might soon be legalized.
Pennsylvania was the fourth state, and the largest one, to legalize online gambling. Online casinos were the first ones to have a crack at the gambling licenses. Afterward, the Keystone State introduced online sports betting into the law. Soon after, online poker became a legal gambling activity as well.
Currently, PA players have the opportunity to enjoy a vast selection of sports betting opportunities on top-notch online sportsbooks — FanDuel, DraftKings Sportsbook, BetRivers, FoxBet. Bettors can place bets on sports and sporting events such as the NLF, NBA, MLB, hockey, horse racing, golf, tennis, etc.
The last one to join the party was online poker. For now, the only licensed poker platform that operates in the state of Pennsylvania is PokerStars. However, another two poker websites are set to launch soon in PA — Party Poker and WSOP.com/888.
Before online casinos, there were land-based casinos — 12 of them, to be precise. They have all been active for quite some time and they offer traditional casino games but are always looking to improve their selection.
Below, we have mentioned some of the brick-and-mortar casino options you can opt for whenever you’re in the Keystone State:
Most of these land-based casinos already have their online counterparts, and more might come in the future.
Yes, in 2017, the state of Pennsylvania introduced the legislation that made online gambling (online casinos and online poker) legal. In July 2019, the first online casino platforms went live.
Online poker was legalized along with online casinos in 2017. Currently, there are seven casinos that have poker licenses. Poker players have the opportunity to play different versions of online poker, claim bonuses, and participate in numerous online tournaments.
In order to participate in any form of gambling, you need to be older than 21 in the state of Pennsylvania.
At the moment, there is no law that prohibits offshore casinos from accepting players from Pennsylvania. However, you might encounter some difficulties if you want to play in an offshore casino. For example, American banks are legally obliged to block all payments players try to make in offshore casinos.
Pennsylvania is home to 12 land-based casinos that offer casino games, poker, horse racing, and sports betting. Additionally, players located in Pennsylvania can participate in the state lottery and bingo.