Online casinos launched in Pennsylvania in July 2019. This made Pennsylvania just the third US state to offer state-regulated, legal online casinos.
As of January 2021 Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia are the only four states where online casinos are live. Michigan will launch online gambling soon.
All of Pennsylvania’s online casinos operate in partnership with the state’s land-based casinos. Of the state’s 12 retail casinos, more than half currently offer online casino platforms.
Best Pennsylvania Online Casinos
- DraftKings Casino
- FanDuel Casino
- Unibet Casino
- Caesars Online Casino
- Hollywood Casino
Legal Online Casinos In Pennsylvania
DraftKings Casino launched in Pennsylvania in May 2020. Much like FanDuel Casino, DraftKings Casino is a major player in the Pennsylvania online casino industry.
DraftKings Casino operates under the Hollywood Casino license. Players can find the casino through a link on the DraftKings Sportsbook platform.
Launched in January 2020, FanDuel Casino became an instant contender for the title of top-earning online casino in Pennsylvania. In its first full month of operation, FanDuel Casino eclipsed all other state-regulated mobile casinos in revenue.
Licensed under Valley Forge Casino Resort, FanDuel Casino operates as part of a hybrid online sportsbook and casino. FanDuel Casino emerged as a favorite for Pennsylvania players immediately upon launch. It looks poised to be a major part of the state’s online gambling market.
The US expansion of Unibet continued with the launch of Unibet Casino in Pennsylvania. The international gaming powerhouse went live in Pennsylvania with the hybrid online casino and sportsbook in November 2019.
Operating as a license partner of Mohegan Sun, Unibet Casino is the second mobile casino platform to debut in the US from the brand. The New Jersey version of Unibet Casino went live in June 2019.
Caesars Online Casino
The legendary Caesars brand went live with an online casino in Pennsylvania in April 2020. Licensed under Harrah’s Philadelphia, Caesars Online Casino is integrated with Caesars Sportsbook on mobile apps. On the desktop, the casino operates as a standalone site.
The Pennsylvania platform launched with a small selection of games, but with the Caesars name on the product and some time to mature in the market, that library has already expanded.
Hollywood Casino went live in Pennsylvania in July 2019. The launch made the platform the first state-regulated, legal online casino available to Pennsylvania players.
The Hollywood Casino online platform operates under the interactive gaming license of its parent company, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.
For its first foray into online casino gaming, Hollywood Casino partnered with International Gaming Technology (IGT), a well-known brand in gaming technology.
SugarHouse Online Casino
SugarHouse Online Casino debuted among the first wave of online casinos to launch in Pennsylvania. The platform went live in July 2019, two days after Hollywood and Parx launched their mobile casino sites.
One of two online casinos licensed under the Rivers Philadelphia interactive gaming license, the SugarHouse brand is the first to operate mobile casinos in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Rivers Philadelphia leads Pennsylvania in revenue by online casino operator.
BetRivers, like SugarHouse Online Casino, operates under the Rivers Philadelphia license. BetRivers debuted in the Pennsylvania market in January 2020.
In the first year of Pennsylvania’s legal online casino industry, Rivers Philadelphia emerged as the state leader in revenue by operator. The BetRivers platform offers a $250 deposit match bonus for new players.
Rivers Philadelphia is a top performer in the Pennsylvania market, showing excellent revenue throughout 2020 and leading the iGaming space in the state.
The launch of PokerStars Casino in Pennsylvania marked a significant moment in the history of online gambling in the US. The hybrid mobile casino and poker site is the first to offer online poker outside of Nevada, New Jersey, or Delaware.
PokerStars Casino debuted in November 2019, under the Mount Airy Casino Resort license. In addition to poker, the platform offers a full slate of casino games.
FOX Bet Casino
FOX Bet is a joint venture between FOX Sports and The Stars Group (operator of PokerStars). The FOX Bet online casino is available to Pennsylvania players thanks to a partnership with Mount Airy Casino.
By leveraging the reach of FOX Sports and the industry knowledge of The Stars Group, FOX Bet stands to be a strong competitor in Pennsylvania.
Owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated, the BetAmerica iGaming brand launched its Pennsylvania online casino in November 2019. The platform operates as a hybrid mobile casino and sportsbook site.
Presque Isle Downs is the interactive gaming license partner for BetAmerica’s Pennsylvania platform. A deposit match bonus for up to $500 awaits new players on BetAmerica.
Parx Online Casino
The land-based version of Parx Casino is the biggest-grossing retail casino in Pennsylvania. Parx Online Casino is licensed to its parent company.
Parx Online Casino launched in Pennsylvania just hours after Hollywood Casino in July 2019. The debut made Parx Online Casino the second legal mobile casino to go live in the state.
Much like its retail counterpart, Parx Online Casino offers one of the biggest selections of games among Pennsylvania’s online casino platforms.
Top 3 PA Online Casinos By Gross Revenue
|Top Performing Online Casino||Sept 2020 iGaming Revenue|
|Penn National (DraftKings Casino)||$10,192,042|
Coming Soon To Pennsylvania
888 Casino is expected to launch in Pennsylvania sometime in 2021. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved the Mount Airy Casino Resort to license 888 Casino.
The 888 brand is an international gaming giant and a big player in the US online gambling scene. 888 operates an online casino, poker, and sports betting hybrid platform in New Jersey. The brand also operates Delaware’s integrated online poker and casino network of sites.
Pennsylvania’s 13th retail casino plans to open its doors sometime in 2021, with an online platform expected sometime after that.
The land-based Stadium Casino, formerly known as Live! Hotel and Casino, expects to begin welcoming guests to its Philadelphia property by 2021.
The state-approved Stadium Casino for an internet gaming license, with the launch of its iGaming platform pending.
Golden Nugget is a huge online casino competition in New Jersey. The operator is gearing up for a launch in Pennsylvania, which could happen within a few months or a bit later into 2021.
Golden Nugget has a strong industry reputation, and its online casino boasts an impressive game library. Once it launches in Pennsylvania, Golden Nugget will certainly be a competitor to keep an eye on.
Bonuses Available At Pennsylvania Online Casinos
|PA Casino App||Free Money Offer||Deposit Offer|
|FanDuel Casino PA||$200 Risk-Free for 24 hours||None|
|DraftKings Casino PA||$10 Site Credit||100% Deposit Bonus up to $1,500|
|Unibet PA||$10 Free on Sign-up||100% up to $500 on Deposit|
|PokerStars Casino PA||None||$1,500 Bonus over 3 deposits at 100% match.|
|BetRivers PA||None||100% up to $250 on deposit|
|Hollywood Casino||$10 Free on Sign-up||$502 Deposit Bonus (100% match on first two deposits of up to $251 each)|
|SugarHouse PA||None||100% up to $250 on deposit|
|FOX Bet Casino||None||100% deposit match up to $500|
Free Sign-Up Bonus
Several of Pennsylvania’s online casinos offer a small bonus just for signing up, with no deposit required. Players just have to register an account, with proof of identity and age, and the casino puts money on the player’s balance.
These no-deposit bonuses usually range anywhere from $10-$35. Platforms like DraftKings, Unibet Casino, and FOX Bet Casino offer a free sign-up bonus, among others.
New players can take advantage of risk-free day bonuses at some Pennsylvania online casinos. This kind of bonus offers a rebate on losses, up to a certain amount, in the first 24 hours after deposit.
FanDuel Casino gives new players a $200 risk-free day bonus upon initial deposit. On deposit amounts up to $200, these casinos will refund losses incurred within a 24-hour period after the deposit.
If that same player deposits $200 and ends the initial 24-hour period with $125, the casino will refund $75. If a player records a net win at the end of the 24-hour period, no refund is awarded.
Deposit Match Bonuses
Many of the US-facing legal online casinos offer deposit match bonuses for new players. Upon first deposit, the casino awards an amount of bonus money that matches some or all of the deposit.
For example, Unibet Casino offers a 100% match bonus on deposits up to $500. With that offer, players can earn up to $500 in bonus money if they initially deposit $500.
Deposit match bonuses generally require players to wager a certain amount to unlock the bonus.
Pennsylvania’s Biggest Online Casinos By Earnings
Rivers Philadelphia emerged as Pennsylvania’s top revenue-earning operator in the early months of the industry’s launch. With a pair of popular platforms under its license, that position comes as no surprise.
SugarHouse Online Casino and BetRivers both operate under the Rivers Philadelphia license. Pennsylvania’s online casino industry went live in July 2019. In January 2020, Rivers Philadelphia became the first state operator to add a second platform with the introduction of the BetRivers skin.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reports online casino revenue by operator, making it impossible to know how each of the Rivers Philadelphia skins perform individually. The combined revenue of SugarHouse Online Casino and BetRivers, however, puts Rivers Philadelphia in the lead in terms of revenue by operator.
The latest reports show that rivers Casino has held onto its leading position. In September 2020, the operator brought in more than $16 million in online casino revenue. It leads the market by nearly $6 million.
DraftKings’ entry to the market through a new competitor into the mix. Penn National saw more than $10 million in online casino revenue via its DraftKings partnership, catapulting the operator to second-highest revenue for September 2020.
As a license partner of Valley Forge Casino Resort, FanDuel Casino continues to make an impact. September saw the platform bring in just over $9 million, making it the third-highest online casino revenue earner for the period.
Best Game Selection At Pennsylvania’s Online Casinos
Pennsylvania’s online casino industry debuted in July 2019. The first year of the new industry saw no less than 10 different mobile casinos launch in the state.
With the industry still in its infancy, Pennsylvania’s online casinos don’t yet offer the same number of games as some of the online casinos operating in New Jersey. Many of New Jersey’s mobile casinos offer several hundred different games, as legal online casino gaming launched in 2013 in the state.
Most of Pennsylvania’s online casinos offer around 100 games each, with game libraries expanding every month. Like other retail and online casinos, slots dominate the catalogs of each Pennsylvania mobile casino.
Number Of Casino Games Offered
Parx Casino leads the pack in terms of the overall number of games. Powered by a catalog of more than 100 slot variants, Parx Online Casino is living up to the reputation of its parent company. Parx Casino is the biggest and highest-earning retail casino in Pennsylvania.
The other mobile casino platforms available to Pennsylvania players aren’t far behind with their game selections.
Hollywood Casino, Unibet Casino, and SugarHouse Online Casino all have a similar number of games available. Unibet Casino has the biggest video poker selection, while PokerStars Casino tops the field in the number of table games offered.
Are Live Dealer Games Available At Pennsylvania’s Online Casinos?
Live dealer games are a popular option in the well-established online casino markets of New Jersey and Delaware. Combining the best of both live and online gaming, live dealer games allow online players to interact with a live dealer and other players.
These games allow online players to look in on a live casino table via live stream. There are a real-life dealer and physical table located in a secure studio. These games are starting to become available at Pennsylvania’s online casinos.
Live dealer games include:
Live dealer blackjack gives players the thrill of the live experience and the comfort of playing from a desktop or mobile device.
Another favorite from the live casino world, live dealer baccarat offers the social experience of the live game, but with the convenience of playing from anywhere within the state.
Another ideal game for the live dealer format, multiple versions of live dealer roulette are going live at Pennsylvania’s online casinos.
Casino Table Games
Games like Casino Hold’em and Three-Card Poker are available as live dealer games at some Pennsylvania online casinos.
Progressive Jackpots At Pennsylvania Online Casinos
Slots rule the landscape at retail and online casinos. As such, Pennsylvania’s mobile casino platforms offer more slot variants than any other game.
Much like their retail counterparts, the biggest jackpots to be won at online casinos come from progressive jackpot slots. Some of these grand prizes can reach into six figures and beyond
Much like in the New Jersey online casino industry, the Divine Fortune progressive slot finds a home on multiple platforms in the Pennsylvania market.
Divine Fortune resides at Hollywood Casino, SugarHouse Online Casino, FanDuel Casino, Unibet Casino, and others. The slot’s progressive grand prize, the Mega Jackpot, can yield jackpots of $375,000 or more.
Mercy Of The Gods
The progressive slot sequel to Divine Fortune, Mercy of the Gods offers big jackpots up into six-figure totals. Like Divine Fortune, Mercy of the Gods offers these grand prizes at several online casinos in Pennsylvania.
BetRivers, FanDuel Casino, and Hollywood Casino are all mobile platforms that host the Mercy of the Gods progressive slot.
PA Online Gambling Options
Game options in Pennsylvania include hundreds of different varieties of slots. This includes online versions of popular classic and progressive jackpot slots that are often seen in retail casinos.
Other games on the online casino platforms include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, video poker, and casino card games like Caribbean Stud and Pai Gow Poker. Live dealer table games, in which online players interact with a live dealer and other players, will be introduced in the future as well.
Players 21 and over can access Pennsylvania’s legal online casinos from anywhere in the state. All of these platforms use geolocation software to determine a user’s location.
With this geolocation technology in place, players can enjoy the casino gaming experience from anywhere in the state.
Online casino gaming offers Pennsylvania players the ease and convenience of playing, depositing, and withdrawing from any mobile device or desktop. Many of the games enjoyed by players on a physical casino floor are found on these legal casino apps.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulates all of Pennsylvania’s online casinos, like their retail counterparts.
Pennsylvania’s Online Gambling Industry
Some of the biggest players in Pennsylvania’s online casino industry include FanDuel Casino (operated in partnership with Valley Forge Casino), SugarHouse Casino (Rivers Casino), PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino), Parx Casino, and Hollywood Casino.
FanDuel Casino surged to the top of the market immediately after it launched in January 2020. Rivers’ online casinos, however, have recently drawn the most revenue. Still, with online casinos and sportsbooks live, operators have multiple areas where they must compete.
The PGCB breakdown of overall revenue from the state’s online casinos can be read here.
Pennsylvania’s Online Gambling Options: The Breakdown
Pennsylvania’s online casinos have already made a major impact on the state’s overall gambling revenue. The launch of FanDuel Casino in January 2020 sparked the biggest month yet for online casinos.
In February 2020, FanDuel Casino’s first full month in operation, saw the state’s online casinos (excluding online poker) bring in more than $17.6 million in revenue. That number represents a nearly 50 percent increase for the industry over January, in which overall revenue from online casinos totaled just over $11.8 million.
More platforms are set to launch in 2020 and 2021, as Pennsylvania’s online casino industry appears slated for more growth. With New Jersey and Delaware as the only other US states offering legal online casinos (for now), Pennsylvania is poised to be a big part of the overall US online casino market.
Online Sports Betting In Pennsylvania
In October 2017, Pennsylvania State House Bill 271 legalized online gambling options. The state first launched mobile sports betting.
The state legalized both retail and online sports wagering with the house bill in October 2017. The state’s casinos couldn’t begin to launch sports betting operations, though, until the fall of the federal mandate, PASPA, in May 2018.
See our full Guide To Online Sports Betting In Pennsylvania.
The Fall Of PASPA
Since 1992, PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) banned states from regulating sports betting. In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned PASPA. This cleared the way for states to establish their own rules as it pertains to sports betting.
The PASPA Supreme Court ruling was the catalyst for a new era of sports betting in the US. Pennsylvania’s sports betting legislation was already in place after the passage of HB 271 in October 2017 The first of the state’s retail sportsbooks went live late in 2018.
Mobile sports betting officially launched in May 2019. As of early 2021, Pennsylvania bettors have numerous online sports betting platforms to choose from.
The legislature passed in Pennsylvania in October 2017 outlined a significant gambling expansion for the Keystone State. Online poker was among the forms of mobile gambling legalized in the package of bills.
Pennsylvania became the first US state outside of Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware with state-regulated online poker in November 2019. PokerStars PA debuted in the state operating as a license partner of Mount Airy Casino Resort.
The launch of PokerStars PA could be just the start of a burgeoning online poker market in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has approved seven retail casinos are approved to operate online poker in the state.
PokerStars PA is limited to an in-state player pool, as players on the site can only compete against other Pennsylvania players. Even with that provision, however, Pennsylvania’s population of 13 million could make the state a major hub for legal online poker in the US.
Learn more about playing Online Poker In Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Online Horse Race Betting
Pennsylvania is home to a long-standing tradition of horse racing. Many of the state’s retail casinos began as horse racetracks that expanded to eventually incorporate full-scale casino operations.
Federal laws like the 1961 Wire Act and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) stalled the online gambling industry in the US Horse race wagering, though, was exempt from those mandates. As such, online horse race betting has been around for decades.
In 1983, Call-A-Bet introduced online horse race betting in Pennsylvania. It still exists today under the Xpressbet name.
Several options are available for online horse race betting in Pennsylvania, including PABets. PABets is a mobile platform operated by industry leader TVG.
Other platforms include BetAmerica and TwinSpires, both owned and operated by Churchill Downs.
See our comprehensive Guide To Online Horse Betting In The US.
The Pennsylvania Lottery started in 1972. In 2017, HB 271 authorized online lottery in the state.
When first implemented, Pennsylvania’s online lottery options were limited to purchases of instant win tickets. Players now have more than 50 instant win games to choose from. They are available for purchase at all times.
Pennsylvania online lottery options recently expanded to include the ability to purchase tickets for draw games. These draw games include in-state drawings, as well as multi-state games like MegaMillions and Powerball.
The expanded list of online lottery games can be seen at pailottery.com. Players 18 and over can play these online lottery games from anywhere within the state.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites are available to players in about 40 US states. DFS is explicitly legalized in about half of those states. This includes Pennsylvania.
House Bill 271 started regulating DFS in 2017. Before that, though, DFS sites like FanDuel and DraftKings were already popular in the state.
Pennsylvania’s 12.8-million population, as well as its history as a major sports market, makes the Keystone State host to one of the most successful DFS markets in the US.
The fiscal year 2018-2019 numbers show DFS sites bringing in more than $23.5 million in revenue. Like most of the US, DraftKings and FanDuel are the overwhelming leaders in the market. They bring in more than 95 percent of the state’s DFS revenue.
Online gambling sites that operate as sweepstakes casinos include sites like Chumba Casino, the biggest of the sweepstakes casinos, and LuckyLand Slots. Sweepstakes sites are available to players in most states, including Pennsylvania.
Players can purchase “Gold Coins” for use in play money games on Chumba Casino. With the purchase of Gold Coins players also receive “Sweepstakes Cash,” aka “Sweeps Coins.” Players use Sweeps Coins to play in sweepstakes games, separate from the Gold Coins play money games.
Sweeps Coins are redeemed for cash prizes on Chumba Casino. These Sweeps Coins games at Chumba Casino legally operate as mini-sweepstakes games.
Blackjack, roulette, slots, video poker, and an array of other classic casino games are available at Chumba Casino.
Sweepstakes Poker Sites
VGW Malta Limited, the same company that owns Chumba Casino, also operates sweepstakes poker room Global Poker.
The sweepstakes casino model is the same for both Chumba Casino and Global Poker. Players purchase “Gold Coins” for play money games and they come with a corresponding amount of “Sweeps Coins.”
Players use Sweeps Coins in sweepstakes to play in sweepstakes poker games. They are redeemed for cash prizes. Sweeps Coins on Global Poker cannot be purchased directly and come as a gift to players with the purchase of Gold Coins.
Both Chumba Casino and Global Poker are available to Pennsylvania players.
Global Poker runs tournaments and cash games at a variety of stakes around the clock. They have, by far, the highest traffic of any US-facing poker site that uses the sweepstakes model.
Pennsylvania’s History Of Online Gaming
Pennsylvania put big plans for gambling expansion in motion in October 2017. Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 271 into law. The bill laid out the legislature’s plans for Pennsylvania to potentially become one of the biggest online gambling economies in the US.
House Bill 271 legalized sports betting (both land-based and online), online casinos, and online poker. It also formally legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).
Pennsylvania is one of five states (along with New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan and West Virginia) to legalize all three verticals of online sports betting, casinos and poker. As of November 2020, Michigan is the only one still awaiting launch, though it’s expected to go live in early 2021.
The state legislation for online sports betting went into place in October 2017, with one hurdle still left to clear. That final obstacle was overcome in May 2018, when PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) was overturned.
PASPA, originally put into law in 1992, was a federal ban on sports wagering. With the exception of Nevada and sports lotteries in a handful of other states, PASPA mandated that sports betting was illegal in the US.
In May 2018, however, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional. This gave states the power to legalize sports betting on an individual basis.
The Launch Of PA Online Gambling
The first of Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks went live in May 2019, when PlaySugarHouse Pennsylvania launched. As of early 2021, Pennsylvania bettors have 11 different mobile sports betting platforms to choose from, with more to come.
Online casinos are up and running in Pennsylvania as well. Hollywood Casino and Parx Casino both debuted their mobile products in July 2019.
November 4, 2019, was a landmark day in the history of online poker in the US, as PokerStars PA debuted. PokerStars PA is the first US online poker network to launch outside of Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Pennsylvania’s Live Gambling Industry History
Of the 50 states, Pennsylvania is second in casino revenue, trailing only Nevada. Legalized horse racing started in Pennsylvania in 1959. And the PA State Lottery started operations in 1971.
In 2004, the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act established legal casino gambling in the state.
The legislation allowed for legalized slot machines at five of the state’s racetracks. It also permitted the development of five stand-alone casinos and two resort casinos. The state legalized table games in 2010.
The state’s 12 land-based commercial casinos brought in $3.4 billion in revenue in 2019, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.
State legislators introduced a plan for massive gambling expansion in the state with House Bill 217. This bill, passed in October 2017, legalized online casinos, sports betting (both live and online), and online poker. It also officially legalized Daily Fantasy Sports.
Pennsylvania Gambling At A Glance
|Is lottery legal in Pennsylvania?||Yes; the Pennsylvania Lottery has been operating since 1972. Multi-state lottery tickets like Powerball and MegaMillions are also available for purchase in PA. HB 217 legalized online lottery ticket sales in 2017.|
|Does Pennsylvania have casinos?||Yes; Pennsylvania is host to 12 land-based casinos, with a 13th slated to open sometime in 2020.|
|Does Pennsylvania have racetracks?||Yes; Pennsylvania is host to six horse race tracks. The state’s current live casino industry evolved from its horse racing industry, as many of PA’s casinos began as horse race facilities.|
|Where else can you gamble in Pennsylvania?||Pennsylvania offers online casinos, sports betting and poker, as well as daily fantasy sports. All of these mobile gaming variants can be played from anywhere within the state.|
|What is the minimum gambling age?||21 (18 for horse race betting and lottery)|
|Who regulates gambling?||Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)|
Of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos, seven are near the eastern coast of the state. Four of these venues are in the greater Philadelphia area, including Parx Casino. This is the largest-grossing casino in Pennsylvania. Hollywood Casino at Penn Racetrack is located about 120 miles west of Philadelphia.
The state’s other four casinos are all located in western Pennsylvania. Two of these (Rivers Casino and The Meadows Racetrack & Casino) are in the Pittsburgh area.
Pennsylvania Casinos At A Glance
|Parx Casino and Racing||Bensalem (Philadelphia area)|
|Rivers Casino Philadelphia||Philadelphia|
|Valley Forge Casino Resort||King of Prussia|
|Wind Creek Bethlehem||Bethlehem|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Chester (Philadelphia area)|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course||Grantville|
|Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin||Farmington|
|The Meadows Racetrack and Casino||North Strabane Township (Pittsburgh area)|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Plains Township|
|Mount Airy Casino Resort||Mount Pocono|
|Presque Isle Downs & Casino||Erie|
|Rivers Casino Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh|
The origins of Pennsylvania’s land-based casinos go back to the state’s long-standing horse racing industry.
The 2004 Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act authorized seven of the state’s horse racing venues to install slot machines. It also authorized licenses for up to five more stand-alone casinos and two resort casinos.
From those original expansion plans, the Pennsylvania gaming industry evolved into the current 12 land-based casinos.
The Pennsylvania Casinos
Parx Casino is the largest and most popular casino in the state. Located just northeast of Philadelphia in Bensalem Township, Parx Casino was one of the original seven horse racing venues to expand into casino gaming after the state passed the 2004 legislation.
Then known as Philadelphia Park Racetrack and Casino, the property grew into the state’s highest-earning casino property, with $639 million in revenue in 2019.
According to 2019 figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), Wind Creek Bethlehem ($522 million), Rivers Casino Pittsburgh ($392 million), and Rivers Casino Philadelphia ($339 million) follow Parx Casino with the highest revenues for 2019.
Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc., owns Parx Casino. Wind Creek Hospitality owns Wind Creek Bethlehem, the state’s second highest-earning property. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians operates Wind Creek.
Rush Street is the parent company to Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, in addition to two additional Rivers Casino properties outside of Pennsylvania.
Gaming and Leisure Properties is another company operating multiple Pennsylvania casinos. They operate Meadows Racetrack and Casino and Hollywood Casino. Caesars Entertainment is another player in the PA casino industry. They operate Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Due to PGCB regulations, a maximum of 14 land-based casinos can operate within the state. Currently, 12 are in operation. A thirteenth casino, Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia is slated to open early 2021.
Other Gambling In Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Lottery started in 1971, with the first state lottery tickets sold in 1972. The state first established the lottery to provide tax breaks for the state’s seniors. To this day the program applies all proceeds to programs that assist the state’s elderly population.
The state lottery began with a weekly drawing game that cost 50 cents. It awarded a grand prize of $1 million.
In the nearly half a century since then, the Pennsylvania Lottery evolved to include a massive selection of draw, scratch-off instant win, fast-play, and Xpress Sports games.
The 2018-2019 fiscal year saw the state lottery sell more than $4.5 billion in games and produce $1.14 billion in revenue. All of those proceeds went to programs to benefit Pennsylvania’s senior population. This makes the PA lottery the only of its kind.
Pennsylvania also participates in multi-state lottery games like Powerball and MegaMillions.
The passage of HB 217 in October 2017 legalized online lottery sales in the state. As of January 2020, the Pennsylvania iLottery platform allows players to play numerous in-state games. They can also purchase tickets for Powerball and MegaMillions.
Horse Racing In Pennsylvania
Horse racing is another longtime tradition in Pennsylvania. As of 2021, at least six tracks remain active. All of these tracks actively run events and take wagers.
Because Pennsylvania’s earliest land-based casinos evolved from horse race venues, all six major racetracks are on casino grounds. This makes them one-stop-shops for all forms of gambling.
In addition to these racetracks, no less than seven off-track betting (OTB) facilities operate in the state.
Legal Pennsylvania Online Casinos Versus Illegal Online Casinos
As one of just a handful of states with legal online casinos, Pennsylvania offers access to a growing number of mobile gambling platforms. Each of these casinos expands their game libraries every month, which allows Pennsylvania players to enjoy the best of mobile casino gaming.
State-Regulated And Secure Online Casinos
Pennsylvania’s land-based casinos own all of the state’s online casinos, in partnership with approved technology partners. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) oversees and regulates all of the state’s online gambling sites.
The PGCB, a government agency, also regulates Pennsylvania’s retail casino industry. Playing on a legal, state-regulated online casino platform in Pennsylvania ensures the same level of safety as playing at one of the state’s retail casinos.
Legal retail and online casinos in Pennsylvania operate with a vested interest in providing fair games and prompt payouts. These platforms also provide the highest level of encryption to protect personal information.
Risks From Offshore Gambling Sites
Offshore gambling sites can’t guarantee this same level of fairness, transparency, and personal protection. Playing from Pennsylvania on any gambling site not regulated by the PGCB doesn’t have the same oversight as the state’s legal casinos.
Offshore gambling sites in the US are also operating illegally, possibly exposing players to criminal penalties.
Looking for more information on online gaming in PA? Check out our comprehensive Guide To Online Gambling In Pennsylvania.
More On Pennsylvania Gambling
Pennsylvania Gambling FAQ
Yes. Pennsylvania legalized retail casino gambling in 2004. As of 2021, the state is home to 12 land-based casinos.
The Pennsylvania casino industry is one of the most prolific in the U.S. And Pennsylvania is second only to Nevada in annual casino revenue among the 50 states.
The state taxes gambling winnings at 3.07 percent. For state residents and non-residents alike, the state taxes gambling winnings from in-state gambling institutions and the lottery at the state personal income tax rate of 3.07 percent.
This tax rate applies to all gambling winnings, except non-cash prizes won in the state lottery. All gambling winnings, from retail or PA online gambling platforms, must be reported. You can find more about PA gambling tax laws here.
Players must be 21 for most forms of gambling. To legally play any game at a retail casino, or play at an online casino, sportsbook, or poker room, players must be age 21 or over.
Exceptions to this law are lottery and horse racing, both of which carry a minimum age of 18.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which itself is a government-regulated agency, regulates all legalized gambling in Pennsylvania.
State casinos must adhere to fairness of play regulations set forth by the PGCB. For slot machines, state laws dictate that all slots must payback at least 85 percent to players.
Casinos violating these payback laws, or in any way colluding to rig games or deceive players about the rules of a game, are subject to penalty by law.
Yes. Passed in 2017, HB 417 legalized online sports betting, casino games, and poker. These Pennslyvania online gambling platforms can be accessed from anywhere within state borders.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulates all legal online gambling platforms. All games must display the PGCB seal on the site.
Yes. The minimum age requirements to play on Pennsylvania’s regulated online gambling sites are the same as they are at retail casinos.
You must be 21 to play at an online casino, sportsbook, or poker room. The minimum age for online horse race betting and online lottery is 18.
Yes. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), a government agency, regulates all Pennsylvania’s online gambling platforms.
The state’s land-based casinos own and operate all of the online gambling platforms. Playing online comes with the same level of safety as gaming at a legal land-based casino.
Yes. The state legalized both retail and online sports betting in Pennsylvania in October 2017.
All of these legal online sportsbooks are available to bettors 21 and over, as long as they’re located within state borders when playing.
Yes. Pennsylvania’s state-regulated online gambling sites operate on secure https connections. All of these platforms use high-level encryption to protect customer’s personal information.
Protecting customer information is the highest of priorities for Pennsylvania gaming sites. State-regulated online gaming sites use encryption technology on par with that of banks and major retail vendors, like Amazon for example.
Per the PGCB, disputes that involve an online casino are directly filed with the operator of that casino.
The PGCB website has a series of forms for use when filing a complaint or dispute. Should a dispute with an online casino need to be resolved by the PGCB, the requisite form will need to have a complaint number from the original filing with the casino.
Yes. DraftKings Casino is one of Pennsylvania’s legal, state-regulated online casino platforms. It launched in May 2020.
DraftKings Casino operates as a technology partner of Hollywood Casino. The casino is integrated into the DraftKings Sportsbook Pennsylvania site. It’s available to players anywhere within Pennsylvania borders.
A variety of slots and table games, as well as blackjack, roulette, craps, and other casino table games, reside on the DraftKings Casino platform.
Yes. FanDuel Casino went live in Pennsylvania in January 2020 and is licensed to Valley Forge Casino Resort.
Upon launch, FanDuel Casino immediately took a place as one of the most popular mobile casino platforms in the state. The platform is found as part of the hybrid sports betting and casino site at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Players 21 and over can access FanDuel Casino from anywhere in Pennsylvania.