Harrah’s Philadelphia is one of the first movers in gambling expansion. The Caesars Entertainment property applied for all forms of interactive gaming licenses. It also was one of the first to pony up $10 million for a sports betting license.
Delivering a full suite of quality online gambling offerings should be no trouble for Harrah’s. Caesars has online gaming offerings in New Jersey, Nevada and soon to be Pennsylvania. The company also has retail sportsbooks running in Mississippi.
Harrah’s Philadelphia’s licenses are in order.
Harrah’s Philadephia Online Casino overview
Harrah’s Philadelphia is one of the nine Pennsylvania casinos that applied for the three-piece package of interactive gaming licenses. For $10 million, the casino applied for an online slots license, an online table games license, and a peer-to-peer game license to offer interactive games like online poker.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved Harrah’s for all three licenses on Aug. 15,2 2018. Harrah’s also enjoys the advantage of its sister properties operating online casinos in states other than Pennsylvania.
Harrah’s does have an existing partnership with 888, which just launched its first online sportsbook in New Jersey. The company is getting some good practice for a Pennsylvania sports betting launch.
That day may come sooner rather than later. Harrah’s became the third casino in Pennsylvania to apply for a sports betting license on Sep. 25, 2018. The casino received approval from PGCB the following month, then launched on Jan. 24. It should have its Caesars online betting app up and running by football season.
Harrah’s also has a technology partner with Scientific Games. So, the online casino in Pennsylvania will be powered by SG technology when it gets underway. We could potentially see a Harrah’s product at any time now. However, most reports across the state put the launch of any online casino to the back half of 2019.
Harrah’s Online Casino welcome bonus and offer
We won’t know exactly what Harrah’s online casino in Pennsylvania will offer, but we can make an assumption based on what’s available in our neighboring state.
Harrah’s Casino should offer players two options:
- $10 free bonus money upon registering an account.
- 100% deposit match on their first deposit, worth up to $300 bonus money.
While this is a nice start for new players, it should be noted that Harrah’s bonus money wager policy holds a 20x turnover requirement. So to turn an initial $100 deposit into cash, a player would have to wager at least $2,000.
We will know more about the Pennsylvania site’s welcome bonus when it launches.
Harrah’s Online Casino bonus code
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Harrah’s Casino loyalty program
Pennsylvania residents and visitors can choose from a dozen different land-based casinos, so unless you already have a favorite go-to place to gamble, you might have a tough time picking one over another. The most compelling reason to play at Harrah’s Philadelphia is its superior multi-casino player rewards program called Caesars Rewards.
Casinos almost have to offer some sort of incentive in the form of player rewards to keep their customers happy and make them want to return. Accordingly, all of the Pennsylvania land-based casinos have a program in place for rewarding players for their patronage and activity. However, in this reviewer’s opinion, none of the others can offer anything close to the convenience, versatility, flexibility, and extent of benefits of the Caesars Rewards Program.
Caesars Rewards is a special program that only Caesars Entertainment-owned casinos offer. If you don’t already have a Caesars Rewards Card, the next time you visit Harrah’s Philadelphia or any other casino participating in the program, you can visit the Caesars Rewards Center and obtain a card instantly free of charge. Then, each time you play at a participating casino, all you have to do to earn rewards is insert the card into the slot machine you are playing or present it at the start of play at a table game.
All of your play at participating casinos, including not only land-based casinos but also online casinos is pooled together. That includes if you play on Caesars online gambling sites in New Jersey. So it is entirely up to you where and when you want to redeem your rewards. For example, you can play at Harrah’s Philadelphia, but save your comps to use towards a meal on your next trip to Harrah’s (or another Caesars’ owned casino) in Atlantic City or Las Vegas.
Harrah’s Online Casino games
The land-based casino offers all of the popular casino games a player could desire. Online should see much of the same. Having Scientific Games as a partner will give the site access to a large library of games to choose from.
Harrah’s Philadelphia boasts over 2,900 slot machines at the land-based casino. Pennsylvania has an unfortunate 54% tax on slots, but there will still be a wide variety of slots in Pennsylvania for players to enjoy. Having a partner in Scientific Games/NYX means that Harrah’s could feature a game library of over 300 slots.
Some popular slots you can expect to see include:
- Triple Diamonds
- Wheel of Fortune
- Triple Red Hot 777
- Family Guy
- Wolf Run
- Raging Rhino
Blackjack is one of the most popular games at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Blackjack is a game that partly relies on skill, so knowing the rules of the game and proper strategy will give a player better odds.
Rules of the game should be very similar to that of the rules at Harrah’s brick and mortar casino:
- Blackjack pays 3:2.
- Dealer stands on soft 17.
- Doubling down permitted on any two cards.
- Doubling down after splits.
- Splits up to three hands (except aces).
- Late surrender.
Based on the other casino you will be able to find:
- Classic blackjack
- European blackjack
- Premium blackjack
Roulette is another popular game. The roulette games you can expect to see at Harrah’s online casino include:
American Roulette — The is the type of roulette you see in most American casinos. This version has 38 numbers including 0 and 00. The house edge on single number bets is 5.26%.
European Roulette — This type of roulette has better odds with a house edge of single number bets of 2.7%. The board is slightly different from American roulette as it features numbers 1-36 with only a single 0.
French Roulette — This is the original version of roulette with numbers 0-36, and it features two unique rules. The first rule is called “En Prison,” which means players who make even-money bets on red/black can take back half their bet or leave half their bet on their board when the ball lands on 0. The second rule is called “La Partage,” which means players who bet on even-money bets can get half of their bet back when the ball lands on 0. When these rules are available, this is the best available odds, with a house edge of merely 1.35%.
Online video poker
Video poker brings the joy of poker right to your living room. Harrah’s offers an in-depth guide on game variations and poker strategy.
Some of the styles of video poker you can expect to see include:
- 10s or Better
- Jacks or Better
- Deuces Wild
Other online table games
Harrah’s will also offer a wide variety of other games for players to enjoy.
Here are some other games you might find at the Harrah’s online casino:
- Pai Gow
Harrah’s live dealer
Live dealer is a very popular interactive game where dealers are streamed directly to a player’s screen. Online casinos typically offer free and real money blackjack along with poker, roulette, and baccarat.
Other online casinos in Pennsylvania have announced plans to feature these style games. However, neither Harrah’s nor Caesars in New Jersey feature live dealer. Both NYX and 888 have the capabilities to support these games. Only time will tell if the Harrah’s Philadelphia website will have live dealer, but in my personal opinion, I would not expect it for the launch.
Harrah’s Online Casino software
Harrah’s Philadelphia is one of the biggest casinos in the state and is part of the powerful Caesars network. It has an existing partnership with 888, which is a good sign for sportsbook and online poker in PA. Harrah’s also has a technology partnership in NYX (now part of Scientific Games), which will be powering its Pennsylvania online casino. The NYX online platform is the platform that powers Caesars Online Casino.
Having 888 and NYX as partners alongside the Caesars network gives Harrah’s a strong position. All of these groups have deep experience in online gambling in the US and around the world.
Harrah’s Casino app
Online casinos give players the flexibility to play their favorite games from anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania. Harrah’s Philadelphia will offer players this option for Android devices on launch.
Apple users will need to wait until a mobile option is available.
Players will be geolocated to make sure they are in the state of Pennsylvania.
Harrah’s Casino banking
With a deep experience of banking for online gambling, Harrah’s will offer a plethora of options for players to easily withdraw from and deposit to their account. Players will need to verify their identity before banking. This is standard protocol known as Know Your Customer (KYC), which helps protect both operators and players against fraud.
Here are some options you will likely find at the Harrah’s Philadelphia online casino:
- Wire Transfer
- Harrah’s Casino Prepaid Card
- Cash at the Harrah’s Philadelphia Cage
Harrah’s Online customer support
Most basic questions are answered on an FAQ page, but sometimes players have a more specific question. If you need help with a promotion, a game or understanding the site, Harrah’s will offer customer support. Most online operators offer support 24/7 through email, phone, and live chat.
HP poker room
The Harrah’s Philadelphia Poker Room, like the main casino, is open 24/7. It is the only World Series of Poker (WSOP) poker room in the Philadelphia area. The room includes 28 tables and offers limit and no-limit hold ‘em, stud, and Omaha. The limit games start at $2-$4-$6 and go up to $20-$40. No-limit games range from $1-$2 up to $10-$25. Poker players are comped for cash game play based on type of game and number of hours they play.
In addition to the cash games, there are both regularly scheduled and special tournaments. There is also a high hand promotion in effect every day but Saturday.
Harrah’s Philadelphia amenities
No hotel, but the casino feels like home
Unlike most Caesars-owned casinos, Harrah’s Philadelphia has no hotel on the premises, so those who want to visit for more than one day will have to find accommodations in the area. Many guests choose to stay at one of the Philadelphia airport hotels since the airport (only ten minutes away) is closer to Harrah’s than Center City Philadelphia.
Harrah’s Philadelphia won’t win any for décor or ambiance anytime soon, but it does a great job of creating a friendly and welcoming environment. Not only this Harrah’s Casino, but Harrah’s Casinos all over the country receive consistent praise from their customers with regard to the hospitality and friendliness of their staff. Not every casino realizes that making guests feel welcome and appreciated can go a long way towards making a visit, win or lose, more enjoyable. Harrah’s management should be commended for showing that kind of interest.
The casino at Harrah’s Philadelphia is open year-round 24/7, while the racetrack is open for live racing from March through December. Horse racing fans can also bet on and watch races from other tracks around the country, which are simulcast every day.
Dining and entertainment
Besides gambling, this facility’s other amenities include five restaurants, two shops for essentials and gifts, and varied entertainment. There used to be a buffet, but it closed and The Block Entertainment Center opened up in its place.
Restaurants include the fine dining fare Cove Steakhouse & Raw Bar (open Thursday – Sunday), and for more casual dining, Caffe Napoli, Riverview Tavern, Philly Steak Shack, Mien (an Asian restaurant) and Guy Fieri’s Philly Kitchen & Bar. Based on Yelp reviews and other sites, the general consensus among guests is that the food could be better. The entertainment at the C-Bar includes local musicians, singers, dancers, and DJs. The performances at The Block are more diverse and include vintage entertainers like the Goo Goo Dolls and Tony Orlando, as well as comedians and specialty shows.
Who can play in the casino?
The minimum age to gamble at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino is 21. This is the same minimum age for gambling all of the licensed Pennsylvania land-based casinos. This age requirement is strictly enforced. The racetrack allows anyone 18 and up to place bets on the races. Children accompanied by an adult are allowed to be in the grandstands for race days as well.
Security and fairness
Players at this casino have complained about the slots being tight, but there are similar complaints with regard to the slot payouts at all Pennsylvania casinos, so Harrah’s is not any worse than the others in this respect.
Harrah’s Philadelphia, like all land-based Pennsylvania casinos, is licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). This agency, which is responsible for overseeing all legalized gambling in the state, holds Pennsylvania casinos to strict regulations regarding permissible games, rules, and payouts.
In addition, Harrah’s is a very well known and highly regarded brand with many years of experience in the gambling industry. The first Harrah’s Casino in Reno was established in 1937. Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the current owner/operator of Harrah’s Philadelphia and other Harrah’s and affiliated casinos throughout the U.S. Caesars is also is the largest provider of branded casino gambling and entertainment in the world. Players at Harrah’s Philadelphia can be assured of a safe and secure gambling environment. All of the games offered are in full compliance with the standards of the PGCB and give players a fair chance to win.
Caesars Rewards program
There are two types of credits that you earn based on your play: reward credits and tier credits. Reward credits can either be converted into cash or you can use them just like cash towards:
- Hotel stays
- Gift shop purchases
- Other amenities at any participating Caesars property
You can also earn extra reward credits based on the money you spend out of pocket on these amenities, as well as on purchases at designated local restaurants and retail shops. Every 100 reward credits is equivalent to $1 in spending money.
The Caesars Rewards Program has four tiers:
- Seven Stars
The number of tier points you have at any given time, which is reset back to zero on the first day of each year, determines your tier placement. In order to qualify for Platinum, Diamond, or Seven Stars status, you must earn 5,000, 15,000, or 150,000 points, respectively. Each higher level opens up additional enhanced rewards and privileges.
Ordinarily, one of the perks of top-tier status is complimentary hotel stays. But since Harrah’s Philadelphia doesn’t have a hotel, a player’s host can possibly arrange for the casino to pick up the cost of accommodations at a hotel nearby.
Diamond and Seven Star privileges
Depending on the player’s status, access to the Diamond Club or Seven Stars Lounge is another special privilege that is available only to those who qualify. However, Harrah’s Philadelphia doesn’t have a Seven Stars Lounge so, unlike Diamond level players, who can only visit the Diamond Club once a day, Seven Stars members and guests have unlimited visiting privileges.
Curiously, alcoholic beverages are not comped in the Diamond Lounge. This decision has many patrons, who spend staggering amounts of money in the casino, in an uproar. Some of the other enhanced rewards reserved for the casino’s top players are:
- Comped meals and shows
- Priority service
- Special gifts
- Getaway vacations
- Invitations to exclusive events
While Seven Stars players at Harrah’s Philadelphia may feel shortchanged by the absence of both a Seven Stars Lounge and a hotel, this casino makes up for it in a way by offering them a fantastic reward that is not available elsewhere. Every year they can have a horse race named after them (or another designated person). Then, after the race, the player and guest get their photo taken with the winning horse. They also receive a $25 credit to bet on another race and a $125 food credit.
In addition, every Saturday, Seven Stars members are invited to a “happy hour” with complimentary cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres. The highlight of the happy hour is a special drawing where five cardholders win $100 in free slot play.
Caesars Rewards offers something for everyone
Clearly, Harrah’s Philadelphia is a gambling facility that goes out of its way to treat its top players like royalty. But what makes Total Rewards a truly great program is only in part that it is high-roller friendly. All players, even small bettors, can earn enough reward credits to receive extra cash or convert their credits into casino comps. They can also access ongoing and special promotions. All players receive a small discount on the price of their meal at casino restaurants.
There is no such thing as a casino that is perfect in every respect and capable of completely satisfying every player. So we would be remiss in this review if we didn’t briefly mention some of the things which many of this casino’s customers have found not to their liking:
- Food could be better
- Beverage service could be faster
- No free drinks in the Diamond Club when they are complimentary on the casino floor
- Smell of smoke in the casino
- Tight slots
- Minimums on table games are too high
- Hard to earn decent comps from table game play
On the hand, players find the staff to be very courteous and friendly. Total Rewards and customer service staff and personal hosts do whatever they can to address players’ concerns and be accommodating. Furthermore, there is plenty of game variety, live and simulcast racing, and nightlife. Harrah’s Philadelphia is not only a fun place to gamble but also a fun place to spend an evening, have a pleasant meal and be entertained.
The Total Rewards Program, which Harrah’s Philadelphia participates in, is a standout because it rewards all levels of players and offers complete flexibility. Players also appreciate the convenience of the Caesars Priority Total Touch System, which allows them to check their Total Rewards account balance and redeem free play and other offers instantly any time.
While the lack of an on-site hotel is no doubt a big inconvenience for some players, what is nice about this casino’s location is its proximity to Philadelphia. Ultimately, you will have to weigh both the positives and negatives of this particular casino in order to decide if it is for you, but we think the pluses outweigh the minuses.
777 Harrah’s Blvd.
Chester, PA 19013
Philadelphia, PA 19125