8 August, 2019 16 September, 2019

CURRENT STATUS OF ONLINE CASINO GAMBLING IN PENNSYLVANIA

Online casino gaming is now a reality in Pennsylvania. This comes after bill H 271 was signed into law in 2017, paving way for leading establishments to invade the gambling market in the Keystone state. This means you PA residents no longer have to search for offshore sites to enjoy their favorite online games. If you’re 21+ years old, you can enjoy table games, video poker, and slots straight from your mobile device or desktop.

The Legal Status on Pennsylvania’s Online Gambling Laws

Online casino gambling became legal in PA after legislators passed the H 271 bill in October 2017. Governor Tom Wolf signed it into law and operations began. This made Pennsylvania the 4th state to allow online gambling.

These laws not only regulate online casino gambling but also daily fantasy sports. Also, they authorize and regulate the sale of PA online lottery tickets. Sports betting regulation also fall under these new laws.

With this legalization, persons under the age of 21 are prohibited from online casino gambling while those under 18 cannot engage in lottery games.

How to Find a Good Casino Site in PA

With so many online casinos floating around on the internet, it’s easy to fall prey to predators waiting to scam you of your hard-earned money. This calls for more vigilance when searching for an online casino, but how do you look for to distinguish between a scam and a legitimate site?

Security is paramount when gambling online

– This is because you’ll need to make financial transactions and without proper security, it’s easy for a hacker to obtain your credentials. Make sure you look for the “https” indication when accessing the site.

The second item on your checklist should be licensing and registration

– In this case, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is the main body tasked with regulating all gambling activities in the state. Look out for their seal of approval or better yet visit their website for a full list of accredited websites.

Payment methods are also critical

– You want to register with an online casino that offers a wide range of payment methods just so you can have options in case one disappoints.

Bonuses and promotions are the lifelines of any online casino

– Look for a casino that offers a wide range of bonus offers and promotions such as VIP bonuses, free bets, loyalty programs, and sign-up bonuses.

PA Casino bonuses

After the legalization of online casino gambling, leading establishments flocked the Pennsylvania market. All competing to attract as many players as possible.

With this in mind, this would be the best time to drain their marketing budgets. These online casinos have numerous running bonuses and promotions. Take a look at what you can expect:

  • One-off promotions: Here, you can expect welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, free chips, double points deals, and new game promos. However, this will vary from one casino depending on how active they are.
  • Comp/loyalty points: These are reserved for the loyal gamblers and will vary. Some casinos pair their live casino with online comp point schemes. Others will separate them and unlock them as you reach new levels.

Sign Up with a PA Online Casino and Get a Casino Bonus

Signing up with an online casino in Pennsylvania will reward you with several bonuses. These online casinos love new players and for that reason, here’s what you’ll get after creating an account:

  • Matched deposit bonus: You’ll find this in almost all online casinos in Pennsylvania. The casino will match your first deposit 100% capped at about $300, although this will vary among various casinos. Afterward, you’ll have up to 60 days to meet the wagering requirements.
  • No-deposit welcome bonus: This is the most common way of attracting new players. Offering free play is bound to attract new players although the bonus amount is small, often up t $25. Also, you’ll need to meet the wagering requirements before you can withdraw the funds.

Keep in mind, you can register with several online casinos in PA for a chance to get as many bonuses as possible.

Play on PA Online casino from Your Mobile

Before the legalization of online casino gambling in PA, Apple adjusted its rules on gambling apps. Previously, all casino apps in the Apple app store were coded in HTML5 and other programming languages.

However, Apple now requires that all apps be in Apple’s programming language. As a result, this caused massive delays for iOS users.

On the other hand, Android users are free to download any casino app they prefer. However, they can only do so from the casino’s websites and not from Google Play. For iOS users, there’s a new solution that allows them to access PA gambling sites.

The GeoGuard app from GeoComply allows players to access browser versions of integrated casinos and sportsbooks. While these casino apps offer quick access to games because they all graphics are stored on the phone, there are cons as well.

Apps come with limited game titles, not forgetting cashier and account functionalities. Compared to what you can get on your browser, this is a major drawback.

How to Know if a Site is Legal in PA

With Pennsylvania being one of the few states that legalized online casino gambling, you’d be correct for thinking about how scam websites look at this a fertile ground for their illegal activities. In fact, it’s only logical to worry about the legality of some of these platforms.

However, the fastest and easiest way of knowing whether a site is legal in PA or not is by looking for its licensing number. This number is issued by the main regulatory body which is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The board will inspect the entire website and associated apps to make sure it complies with all the set regulations. One of the primary concerns among patrons is the fairness of the deals and spins in the websites.

As part of its job, the PGCB will audit the games offered on each platform to ensure they meet the RTPs published. This ensures every player gets a fair chance at winning. There are other renown licensing bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission that does more or less the same job. Look out for their seals of approval.

It’s also important to note that all the casinos mentioned in this page are legal in Pennsylvania, so there’s no need to worry.

Popular Pennsylvania Casino Games

With the legalization of online casino gambling in PA, you have a wide variety of casino games to choose from. You can even choose to play the games in demo mode just to get a feel of how the game is before staking real money.

Soon after legalization, the games were limited but after a while, as the PA Gaming Control Board was reviewing each game for compliance, the market was flooded with an ocean of games.

Here is evidence of just how diverse the PA online gambling scene is:

Slot machines

This is the most popular category in all online casinos and you can expect to come across over 200 titles. Also, these casinos make it easy for you to search for slot games based on progressive jackpots, number of reels and paylines, and game developer such as NetEnt, etc.

Some of the titles you can expect to find include Cleopatra, Wolf Run, and Wheel of Fortune. The progressive jackpots here can go up to $1 million and above.

Blackjack

This table game is easy to play. All you have to do is form a hand that’s as close as 21 as possible if you fancy a chance of beating the dealer. However, you have to keep in mind that there are several variations of the game. Each comes with its own rules and they include side bets and multi-hand games. Some of the variants include Spanish 21, Free Bet Blackjack, and Blackjack Switch.

Roulette ​

This game is all about betting on numbers. If the ball falls on the number you placed your bet on, you win. It’s that easy. These numbers go all the way to 36 including the single and double zeros (0 an 00). The two main variants of roulette are the American and Europen Roulette. The latter contains a single zero while the former has the double zeros.

Also, note that each player will unique chips differentiated with color. This will allow for easy distinguishing during gameplay.

Live casino

Live dealer table games are a major attraction for many gamblers. In fact, in states such as Nevada, they are the main attraction. The difference here is that you’ll stake online but all the action will be live from the studios, in this case, in PA.

Some of the games you can find include roulette, Casino Hold ’em, Baccarat, three-card poker, and blackjack. The live casino also allows players to chat with other players and the dealers during gameplay. It’s this social integration that appeals more to players.

Payment Methods to Deposit to PA Online Casinos

Payment methods are crucial for any gambler. This is how you fund your online casino account and also withdraw your winnings. PA online casinos offer numerous banking methods including:

Credit Card

MasterCard and Visa are the most common brands used at PA online casinos. Using your credit or debit card is similar to how you’d use them to make online purchases. All you need is your card number, the expiry date, the CVS number, and the amount you wish to deposit. Afterward, the transaction is instant.

Online Bank Transfers

Electronic checks are the most common form of online bank transfers. The process is simple and fast. However, you may have to wait a while because these sites use third-party verification services, but soon after, you should have the funds ready.

Cash Payment at Gambling Sites

Cash deposits are possible in two ways. The first way is by going to a casino cage close to you. Provide your account information and deposit your chosen amount. The second way is by using a 7-11 store. Here, you need to present a printed barcode from your site’s cashier.

Electronic Wallets

They include PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller. These are secure online sites that act as an intermediary between the gambling site and your bank account.

4 Great Online Casinos

Mohegan Sun

This was the first establishment to offer slot games in Pennsylvania although it also offers other online casino games. The online casino is known for its partnership with industry leader NYX to make sure all its players have the best possible gaming and gambling experience.

The online casino is a branch of the land-based Mohegan Sun Pocono whose history goes back to 2005. In 2004, legislators approved horse racing entities to acquire category 1 licenses and this led to the purchase of the Pocono Downs racetrack.

From then on, the casino has grown from strength to strength. 2006 saw the casino become the first to offer slot games in the Keystone state. Today, the establishment offers over 2,300 slot games, entertainment, 90 table games, and shopping options.

PlaySugarHouse

This is one of the many online casinos with the license to operate in Pennsylvania. One of the attractive features is the integration with sportsbook. As soon as you visit this online casino, you get the feeling of smooth gameplay from their massive collection of games.

New players will also be up for a treat because PlaySugarHouse offers a first deposit bonus to new players including a deposit match bonus capped at $250. That’s not all because all players will have access to their mobile apps for easy gaming.

If you’re looking to have a good time playing your favorite online casino games in PA, PlaySugarHouse is the place to be.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

Harrah’s Philadelphia makes the list of 9 casinos that have operational approval from the PGCB. This means they can offer online casino games in PA including slots and table games. A property of the Ceasars Entertainment, this online casino has other properties that give it an edge in the market.

One of the partnerships is with 888 operating in New Jersey, which operates an online sportsbook in the state. This makes Harrah’s Philadelphia a frontrunner for PA’s sports betting after it applied for a sports betting license in 2018.

The other significant partnership is with technology guru, Scientific Games. This means the online casino in PA will ride on this platform.

MGM

MGM has been in the gaming scene for a while now. Their partnership with Golden Nugget presented the perfect opportunity to offer online casino games in PA. Also. MGM launched its online platform known as playMGM.com that offers online casino games including video poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps.

The online casino boasts of games from several leading software providers but its partnership with GVC means all games will ride on this platform. While MGM has a strong brand presence in Las Vegas, other competitors such as SugarHouse threaten their future success.

Nevertheless, their partnerships with other leading brands in the industry promise a bright future for both them and the PA gamblers.

FAQ

Yes, they do. Almost all online casinos in PA have loyalty programs although their operation will differ.

You must be 21 years old or older to play online casino games in PA. however, 18+ is the legal age to participate in lottery games.

Yes. Initially, 54% was the tax rate imposed on slot games. However, after the H 271 was amended, this is what the tax rates look like:

  • Online table games and poker – 14% + 2% local share = 16%
  • Online slots – 52% + 2% local share = 54%
  • Sports betting – 34% + 2% local share = 36%

Daily fantasy sports – 15%

If you encounter any problem while enjoying your favorite online casino game on your preferred PA site, you can reach the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Commission (PGCB). This is the main body authorized to.

Yes, NetEnt is one of the many leading game developers and you can find a ton of titles in various online casinos from this developer and many others including IGT.

Online sports betting is legal in Pennsylvania. Therefore, you can bet on any type of sports online on any of the online casinos mentioned in this page.

The Final Verdict

Pennsylvania’s casino industry is still in its infancy. 2004 was when casinos became legal but through the decades, the industry has shown immense growth. In fact, in terms of revenue, it’s only second to Nevada.

With the entrance of online casino gambling in the state, the future looks promising as the market responds to this new form of entertainment. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few years. In the meantime, enjoy your favorite online casino games.

  • Online casino & sports betting is legal
  • Sports betting is legal
  • Considering legalizing online gambling