One of the country’s earliest adopters of digital betting, Pennsylvania online gambling offers a variety of options for players. The Keystone State is set to become one of the biggest markets for digital betting in the US. Currently, Pennsylvania drives the second-highest casino revenue in the US. following Nevada.
When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill allowing gambling to take place online, Pennsylvania players could start betting on sports, online casino games, and poker outside of typical land-based casinos. The law also opened up betting to airports and truck stops.
Operators started launching online betting sites in 2019. Multiple operators are now live in the state. Pennsylvania players have a variety of betting options available.
How Can I Play At Online Casinos In Pennsylvania?
You must be 21 years of age or older and within the state of Pennsylvania to gamble online in the state. Daily Fantasy Sports and Horse Racing is available to bettors 18 or older.
As you look for an online casino in Pennsylvania, keep an eye out for sign-up bonuses offered to new players. They can be a great benefit, sometimes matching your initial deposit.
Getting Started With Online Casinos
Desktop and mobile are the most common ways to get started with online casino games.
On the desktop, it’s as simple as visiting the website of the online casino where you’d like to play, signing up, and picking a game.
On mobile, players have two options: apps and mobile websites. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Apps take up space on your phone but can provide quick and easy access to your favorite online casino. Websites don’t take up any valuable storage space, but they use more data. An online casino on your phone or tablet’s browser will automatically adjust to your device’s screen size, so the choice is really yours.
However, some online casinos are not always available as app downloads. Apple requires online gambling apps to be native to their operating system. This limits some operators’ ability to offer their product on the app store.
Android users may have an easier time downloading apps to their phone. Users should do this directly from online casino operator websites. Google Play restricts regulated gambling apps from the Play Store.
PA Online Casino List for 2020
DraftKings is one of a few Pennsylvania online casinos to offer a native app for Apple users. It can be downloaded in the App store. Android users may download the app on DraftKings’ website. Of course, players can also use a mobile browser to sign into DraftKings and start playing. The desktop version is accessible by navigating to the DraftKings website.
FanDuel, partnered with Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Casino, has a native iOS app available for Apple users. Players can head to the FanDuel website to download the Android app or play via browser from any mobile or desktop device.
Unibet partners with Mohegan Sun Pocono. The online casino has an iOS app and an Android app available on its website. To play on a desktop, just visit Unibet’s website.
Sugarhouse Casino’s online option is accessible via mobile and desktop. The Android app is available on the SugarHouse website. Apple iOS users can play via a mobile browser. To place a bet, players must be within state lines and sign up to confirm they are over 21 years of age.
For desktop players, the website is the easiest way to start playing.
Hollywood Casino offers download links for Android on its website. To play on an Apple device or desktop, visit the casino’s website in a browser to begin betting.
Pennsylvania players can enjoy online casino content on an Apple device in their mobile browser. Players can download the Android app from the operator’s website or play in a mobile browser on an Android device. For desktop, simply visit the BetRivers website to play.
Android users can download Parx Casino’s app from the operator website or play on a mobile browser. Apple users can download the app directly from the iOS store.
To play on a desktop, bettors can visit the Parx website.
Mount Airy Casino partnered with The Stars Group to offer online casino games. FoxBet has download links for its Android and iOS apps.
Players can also bet via a browser on any device by visiting the casino’s website.
888, a Harrah’s Casino partner, offers a casino app on the App Store for iOS devices. Android players can download the app from 888’s website.
Desktop players can navigate to the 888 website to sign up and start playing.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling Overview
Pennsylvania permits online gaming in many forms beyond the online casino space.
Online Poker In Pennsylvania
Online poker is completely legal in Pennsylvania to those over 21 years old. However, players can only compete with others in the state. While online poker is legal for players in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada as well, PA players are limited to in-state poker games.
It’s possible that Pennsylvania players could eventually compete against poker enthusiasts in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. Those three markets allow inter-state online poker games as part of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. Should Pennsylvania join the agreement in the future, it could mean more incentive for other operators to offer online poker in the state.
PokerStars is the only online poker room currently operating in Pennsylvania. However, competitors are expected to enter the market with their own offerings as online gaming gains popularity in the state.
Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting
Sports betting is another massive branch of Pennsylvania’s online gambling portfolio.
Many operators are already live with online sports betting in Pennsylvania. Players can expect more to launch throughout 2020 as sports betting grows in popularity.
Sports betting is prohibited on high school sporting events, esports, and non-sporting events such as player drafts.
Many operators like to offer both sports betting and casino gaming to online players. This allows for a number of one-stop betting destinations. Players can place a bet on a sporting match and enjoy some slots or table games while they wait without ever leaving their app of choice. Further, many of the Pennsylvania operators offer sign-up bonuses to new players.
Here’s a list of online sportsbooks currently live in Pennsylvania:
- FOX Bet
Others like William Hill and Hollywood Casino are in the process of developing their online sportsbooks for launch.
Horse Race Betting In Pennsylvania
Betting on horse races online is legal in the state of Pennsylvania for players 18 and above.
Horse race betting takes place on separate sites for Pennsylvania players. You won’t find horse races on sports betting apps or websites
TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires are the main options available for placing online horse racing bets in Pennsylvania. The sites serve multiple states, which allows players to bet on races across the US.
Pennsylvania’s Online Lottery
Pennsylvania’s lottery launched in 1972. In 2011, the US. Justice Department determined that the Wire Act, which previously prohibited the online sale of lottery products, only applied to sports betting. This cleared the way for states to make their own decisions on whether to allow the sale of online lottery products.
The gambling-expansion bill passed in October 2017 paved the way for online casinos and sports betting in Pennsylvania. It also opened up the opportunity for online lottery in the state. The PA iLottery launched in June of 2018. It is the only regulated provider of online lottery games in the state.
The PA iLottery offers draw games, instant tickets, and much more. Players can purchase games using ACH, Debit/Credit, Paypal, Play+, and PayNearMe.
FanDuel, DraftKings, and similar daily fantasy sports websites and apps are available to most of the US. Currently, 21 states have legislation in place that makes DFS explicitly legal. Pennsylvania is included, allowing players to participate in DFS.
Players over the age of 18 can play daily fantasy sports in Pennsylvania. Licensed operators with a DFS presence in the state are:
- Boom Fantasy
- Fantasy Football Players Championship
- Sports Hub
- Scout Fantasy Sports
- Yahoo Fantasy
Though Pennsylvania is ahead of the curve in terms of legal online gambling, players may still encounter sweepstakes casinos as an alternate gaming option.
Most US. players will have some form of access to sweepstakes casino and poker rooms. Typically, they’re marketed as an option outside of real money online casinos. Chumba Casino and Luckyland Casino are two of the largest sweepstakes casino companies.
Sweepstakes casinos allow players to purchase in-game currency, usually branded as “coins.” In-game currency costs real money to buy, but is only used to play a game for fun–it has no monetary value. However, when a player purchases coins, they can also receive “Sweepstakes” currency, sometimes called “Sweeps Coins” or “Sweeps Cash.” These can be redeemed for real money.
Chumba Casino and its competitors operate as legal sweepstakes, which offer a number of casino-style games to players.
Sweepstakes casino players also have the option of redeeming mail-in offers for free Sweeps Coins. This allows companies like Chumba Casino to operate in states that have strict gaming laws.
Because they often use legal loopholes to operate, sweepstakes casinos should be used by Pennsylvania players with caution.
Sweepstakes Poker Sites
VGW Malta Limited, the parent company of Chumba Casino, also owns Global Poker. It’s the largest sweepstakes poker site, and it operates in the same way as a sweepstakes casino.
Players purchase in-game currency for real money, and that purchase comes with a small amount of Sweeps Coins. Just like in Chumba Casino, those Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for real money.
Global Poker awards Sweeps Coins to players as a free gift alongside the purchase of in-game currency. Players also have the mail-in option to receive some free Sweeps Coins.
As with casinos using the sweepstakes model, poker sites follow the same rules and use the same loopholes. Despite Pennsylvania’s relatively open stance on gaming, these sites should be used with caution.
How Can I Bet Using My Phone In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania players have a few options for placing bets online outside of a desktop. Mobile and tablet options are available on most operator sites.
Google and Apple have certain policies in place that gaming operators need to work around.
Options For Android Users
The Google Play store does not allow regulated gambling applications. You may see apps from Pennsylvania casinos available in the marketplace, but these are free-to-play apps that allow players to enjoy casino games for purchased in-game currency. The apps do not allow you to win real money.
Other Google Play store apps like FanDuel and DraftKings are the respective companies’ daily fantasy sports options, which are legal in the state as well.
Android users must instead choose to download sportsbook or casino apps directly from casino sites. Follow the instructions on your chosen casino’s webpage using your device, then click the prompts to allow the app to install. If you’d rather avoid a download completely, you can play from your phone’s web browser. The experience will be very similar to the app, but it will use less of your storage space.
Options For Apple Users
Apple users have a few different hurdles to overcome. Apple allows regulated gaming apps on the app store, but only if they’re developed using Apple’s programming language.
You may hear the word “native” in relation to Apple’s gambling app policy. These mean the same thing–the tech company requires any regulated gambling application to be developed natively using Apple’s coding language. This can be a costly and time-consuming project for operators, so not every Pennsylvania operator will have an iOS app.
If you’re using an Apple device, first check the app store to see if your preferred betting site has an app. If they don’t offer one, you can access the site on your iPhone or iPad browser.
When you sign on for the first time, you’ll have to follow a few prompts to confirm your location. After you complete this process once, you’ll be able to sign in from the browser at any point. To keep your favorite site accessible, you can bookmark the link or add it to your homepage.
Why Should I Trust Regulated Betting Sites?
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which is a government agency, regulates all Pennsylvania operators authorized to offer online gambling. The organization’s webpage offers a number of resources to keep you up to speed with the latest Pennsylvania gaming laws.
Compared to offshore or grey market betting sites, regulated online gambling platforms provide a much more user-friendly experience. Moreover, your information and money are safer with a regulated and licensed site than it is with an offshore betting provider.
Key Differences Between Regulated And Offshore Betting Sites
Offshore betting sites are only beholden to the laws of the country in which they operate. Typically, this means very flexible gambling laws that can allow those operators to take advantage of players. In Pennsylvania, gaming is regulated by a government agency, and any operator in violation of the state’s detailed legislation can have their license revoked. This ensures a safe and protected betting environment for players.
Offshore sites prioritize earning money over providing great user experience. You’ll often see only one or two payment options on an offshore site. These usually include wire transfer or online banking. Regulated sites have the ability to offer a number of payment methods, including debit/credit, PayPal, and many others.
Your information security and your standing as a customer are important to licensed operators. They’ll offer multi-factor authentication to keep your account secure. Customer service agents are always available to support you with most operators.
A regulated betting site stands to gain from providing good customer experience and treating you as a valued part of their operations. One the other hand, offshore betting sites can use legal loopholes and processes to exploit you and your information and are thus incredibly risky to use.
Regulated Betting Sites Are Better For Players
Finally, competition between licensed online gaming sites benefits you directly. As these sites compete for your attention, they’ll offer lucrative sign-up bonuses and regular deals to players.
The ongoing drive to build an audience and engage players means operators will try to beat one another with a bigger, better offer or promotion. Playing with them allows you to leverage this and find the best deal available.
Plus, online sites are run in partnership with land-based properties. You can occasionally get special perks or coupons for the next time you visit a brick-and-mortar casino by playing with an online partner site.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling FAQ
What’s the age requirement to gamble in Pennsylvania?
18+ or 21+. This depends on the type of gambling in which you’re participating.
Anyone 18 years of age or older can bet on horse races in Pennsylvania or play Daily Fantasy Sports such as competitions provided by DraftKings and FanDuel.
All other forms of gambling in the Commonwealth require you to be 21 years or older. This includes sports betting and online casino gaming.
How do online casinos verify a player’s identity?
Social security number and location.
Any new player must register with a valid Social Security Number. This is used to confirm player identity and age. Players can’t place a bet until they’ve registered with an SSN to prove their identity and age.
It’s illegal to use Pennsylvania’s online gambling sites outside of state lines, so geolocation is one step in confirming a player is allowed to play.
What sort of deposit and withdrawal options do Pennsylvania’s online casinos have?
There are plenty of deposit and withdrawal options.
The most common methods for depositing money to an online casino are credit/debit card, ACH/bank transfer, PayPal, PayNearMe, and Play+ cards.
Withdrawal options typically include PayPal, paper check by mail, ACH transfer, and prepaid card.
Do Pennsylvania’s gambling sites keep my information safe?
Yes. Online gambling sites in Pennsylvania use high-level encryption to protect your information. The tools employed by the operators are often the same as those used by major banks or retailers to protect your information.
You can also choose to use two-factor authentication for added security on your accounts.
Who operates Pennsylvania’s online gaming sites?
Land-based casinos and race tracks. The properties sometimes use their own technology resources to launch an online casino. In many cases, casinos will find a partner familiar with the online space and operate the site as a joint venture, sharing revenue. For example, in Pennsylvania, FanDuel is partnered with Valley Forge Casino.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is considering allowing certain New Jersey operators to launch online casinos in Pennsylvania.
What kinds of bonuses are available?
There are a number of sign-up bonuses available to new players interested in Pennsylvania online gambling.
Initial deposit matches are fairly common. The casino will match your first deposit up to a certain dollar amount, which gives you some extra money to spend. Usually, the threshold is between $200 and $500, but it varies.
Some casinos offer a sign-up bonus in smaller amounts that don’t require a deposit. These range between $10 and $35 free, but can vary based on the operator.