PA Online Gambling 2020

Pennsylvania Online Gambling 2020

Game TypePA Gambling Options
Online casinosEight different online casino platforms available to Pennsylvania players as of June 2020, with several more in development
Online sports bettingSports betting, both retail and online, legalized in October 2017
Online pokerPokerStars PA launched in 2019; several other platforms expected in the future
Online lotteryTicket purchase available online for both in-state and multi-state drawings like Powerball
Online horse race bettingMobile/online betting available through multiple apps
Daily Fantasy SportsFormally legalized in Pennsylvania
Sweepstakes casinosChumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, and other sweepstakes casinos available to PA players
Sweepstakes pokerGlobal Poker available to PA players

Online Casinos Up And Running

Online casinos emerged in Pennsylvania in July 2019. This made PA just the third U.S. state to offer state-regulated, legal online casinos.

Nevada also has laws in place that could potentially see online casinos offered there in the future. As of April 2020, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey are the only three states where online casinos are live.

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.

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. It is currently the most popular of Pennsylvania’s mobile casino platforms.

The PGCB breakdown of overall revenue from the state’s online casinos can be read here. See our full guide to The Best Pennsylvania Online Casinos.

Pennsylvania’s Online Gambling Options: The Breakdown

Online Casinos

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 U.S. states offering legal online casinos (for now), Pennsylvania is poised to be a big part of the overall U.S. 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, PAPSA, in May 2018.

See our full Guide To Online Sports Betting In Pennsylvania.

The Fall Of PAPSA

Since 1992, PAPSA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) banned states from regulating sports betting. In May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned PAPSA. This cleared the way for states to establish their own rules as it pertains to sports betting.

The PAPSA Supreme Court ruling was the catalyst for a new era of sports betting in the U.S. 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 April 2020, Pennsylvania bettors have numerous online sports betting platforms to choose from.

The state’s land-based casinos, in partnership with companies like DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and FOX Bet (owned by the Stars Group) operate Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks.

Online Poker

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 U.S. 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.

Pennsylvania Online Lottery

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.

See our full guide to the Pennsylvania Online Lottery or use our Lottery Numbers Generator to choose tickets for online lotteries. 

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites are available to players in about 40 U.S. 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 U.S.

The fiscal year 2018-2019 numbers show DFS sites bringing in more than $23.5 million in revenue. Like most of the U.S., DraftKings and FanDuel are the overwhelming leaders in the market. They bring in more than 95 percent of the state’s DFS revenue.

Sweepstakes Casinos

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 U.S.-facing poker site that uses the sweepstakes model.

Bonus Guide For Pennsylvania Online Casinos

As of April 2020, eight online casinos operate in Pennsylvania. Many of these casinos offer first-time deposit bonuses in various forms.

The following list is a look at some of the deposit bonuses currently available on Pennsylvania’s regulated online casino platforms:

Match Deposit Bonuses For PA Online Casinos

Match deposit bonuses are the most common kind of bonus found at online casinos.

These bonuses will match a deposit, up to a certain amount, and reward bonus money equal to the deposit amount. Match bonuses usually require a playthrough requirement to unlock the full bonus.

For example, Unibet Casino offers a 100% match bonus of up to $500 for first-time depositors. The bonus requires a 25x playthrough.

Unlocking the full $500 bonus requires the player to wager 25 times the original deposit. In the case of a $500 deposit this amounts to $12,500 wagered.

Match deposit bonuses are often released in increments, with the offer expiring after a certain amount of time.

PA Online Casinos Free Sign-Up Bonus

Some casinos gift players with startup money just for signing up for an account. Hollywood Casino is one of the platforms that offers such a bonus. Registering on the site gives players $25 to try out the site.

Unibet Casino has a similar sign-up bonus. They give players $10 just for creating an account.

Risk-Free Day

The Risk-Free Day promotion is exclusive to FanDuel Casino. Upon initial deposit, players receive up to $200 in rebate on losses incurred in the first 24 hours after the deposit is made.

Simply sign up at FanDuel Casino, make a deposit, and play. Any net losses in that 24-hour period, up to $200, will be refunded.

This rebate only applies to net overall loses in that period. For example, if a player deposited $200 and played down to $0, the entire $200 is refunded.

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 U.S.

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 April 2020, only Pennsylvania and New Jersey have launched products in all three categories.

Overturning PAPSA

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, PAPSA mandated that sports betting was illegal in the U.S.

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 April 2020, Pennsylvania bettors have nine 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 U.S., as PokerStars PA debuted. PokerStars PA is the first U.S. 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

FAQAnswer
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)

Retail Casinos

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

Casino NameLocation
Parx Casino and RacingBensalem (Philadelphia area)
Rivers Casino PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Valley Forge Casino ResortKing of Prussia
Wind Creek BethlehemBethlehem
Harrah’s PhiladelphiaChester (Philadelphia area)
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race CourseGrantville
Lady Luck Casino NemacolinFarmington
The Meadows Racetrack and CasinoNorth Strabane Township (Pittsburgh area)
Mohegan Sun PoconoPlains Township
Mount Airy Casino ResortMount Pocono
Presque Isle Downs & CasinoErie
Rivers Casino PittsburghPittsburgh

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 later in 2020.

Other Gambling In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Lottery

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 2020, 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.

More On Pennsylvania Gambling

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?pr=828

Pennsylvania Lottery

https://www.palottery.state.pa.us/

VisitPA

https://www.visitpa.com/article/12-casinos-pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association

https://pennhorseracing.com/pennsylvania-horse-tracks/

Map of Pennsylvania Casinos

https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?p=180

Pennsylvania Gambling FAQ

Is casino gambling legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Pennsylvania legalized retail casino gambling in 2004. As of 2020, 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.

What taxes, if any, do I have to pay on gambling winnings in Pennsylvania?

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.

What is the legal gambling age in Pennsylvania?

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.

How do I know casino games aren’t rigged?

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.

Is online gambling legal in Pennsylvania?

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.

Do I have to be 21 to gamble online in Pennsylvania?

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.

Are Pennsylvania’s online gambling sites safe?

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.

Is it legal to place an online sports bet in Pennsylvania?

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.

Is my personal information safe on a Pennsylvania online gambling site?

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.

What happens in the event of a dispute with an online casino?

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.

About the Author

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.