The PA online gambling market is now firing on all cylinders. Even online poker is up and running, with a huge turnout on the first day of testing.
You have multiple online casinos and PA sports betting sites to choose from, with even more on the way.
If you want to get playing right now, there are plenty of great regulated gambling sites and legal online casino sites in PA you can get started on in a matter of minutes. Take a look at the best options available to Pennsylvania customers:
Top online casinos in Pennsylvania
Casino players have a handful of options when it comes to online gambling and there is only one poker site accepting PA players.
PA online casinos launch dates
If you’re wondering what else is in the pipeline, take a look at the latest news on what sites, deals, and launches are in the pipeline as well:
|Casino||Launch||Bonus||Android app?||iOS access?|
|PlaySugarHouse||July 2019||$250||Yes||Yes||Play now!|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||July 2019||$25 free||Yes||Yes||Play now!|
|Unibet||Nov. 2019||$10 free||Yes||Yes||Play now!|
|PokerStars Casino||Nov. 2019||Yes||Yes|
|Presque Isle Downs||2020||-||-|
|Stadium Park Philly Live! Casino||N/A||-||-|
|Golden Nugget NJ||N/A||-||-|
Read more on PA online casinos
PA online sportsbooks launch
Football season is underway, which means sportsbook operators are pushing to launch during sports bettings most lucrative season. Here is a look at where each operator is in the process:
|Casino||Online Sportsbook||Retail Sportsbook||Bonus|
|DraftKings (The Meadows)||Live as of Nov. 2019||Yes||$25 free||Play now!|
|FOX Bet (Mount Airy)||Live as of Sept. 2019||Yes||$20 free||Play now!|
|FanDuel Sportsbook PA (Valley Forge)||Live as of July 2019||Yes||$500||Play now!|
|PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook PA||Live as of May 2019||Yes||$250||Play now!|
|Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)||Live as of Nov. 2019||Yes||$20 free||Play now!|
|BetRivers Online Sportsbook||Live as of June 2019||Yes||$250||Play now!|
|Parx Casino Sportsbook||Live as of June 2019||Yes|
|Caesars Sport (Harrah's Philadelphia)||2019||Yes|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National||2019||Yes|
|BetAmerica (Presque Isle Downs)||2019||Yes|
|Live! Hotel & Casino||2020||No|
Read more on PA online sports betting
Timeline for online gambling in PA
Take a look at which online casinos and sports betting apps are already up and running in Pennsylvania:
On Tuesday, May 28, PlaySugarHouse Pennsylvania began testing on the first-ever PA online sportsbook. At launch, the site kicked off with several of the same elements present on its New Jersey site, including Jackpot Parlays, in-game betting, cash-out betting, and the same deposit bonus offer. The only thing missing? Access for iPhone users.
SugarHouse had the market to itself for nearly a month, but Parx eventually doubled the number of online sportsbooks on June 24 when it began testing. The final product bore a strong resemblance to the Bet Builder function introduced at retail launch, making for a seamless transition for players going from brick and mortar to online. That is unless they had an iPhone.
Just one day after Parx launched its online sportsbook, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh followed suit with testing on BetRivers. The two ended up receiving final approval at the same time, as BetRivers only needed two days of testing given its sister casino’s successful PlaySugarHouse launch.
After being the first casino to launch a retail sportsbook, Hollywood Casino got to notch a second “first” in its belt. On July 15, the Penn National and IGT product HollywoodCasino.com officially began testing, bringing slots and table games to desktop and Android users.
Just hours after HollywoodCasino.com started taking customers, Parx Online Casino followed suit. The GAN-powered online casino product was the first site and, up to now, the only site with a blackjack game for players. Additionally, the site offered slots, roulette, and video poker.
You would think being third to launch would be a big disadvantage. However, PlaySugarHouse online casino perhaps made the biggest splash of the three casinos because it brought both a new casino site and an answer for iPhone owners. In tandem with GeoComply’s GeoGuard app, SugarHouse offered iPhone users a chance to both bet on sports and play online casino games via their phone’s browser.
The fourth PA online sportsbook totally changed the paradigm for what to expect from a PA betting app. When FanDuel Sportsbook PA launched, it brought with it the first integrated wallet with New Jersey, meaning you could seamlessly travel between the two states with the same app, same account, and same sports betting bankroll. Moreover? They brought with launch the first iPhone app option for PA bettors.
The launch of FOX Bet Sportsbook in PA brought with it the artillery that comes with a major media company. In addition to Android and iPhone apps and sign-up deals, the site also brought a massive marketing campaign with promos centering on FOX Sport’s biggest personalities like Colin Cowherd and Cris Carter.
Online poker players impatiently awaited the arrival of the state’s first online poker site for months. When it launched, it was only a day or two before the PokerStars PA site surpassed the traffic of the PokerStars NJ site. But it wasn’t just poker, it came with the PokerStars Casino product and integrated in FOX Bet as well.
It looked like DraftKings might not find a way into Pennsylvania, but once it partnered with The Meadows Casino, it was only a couple of months before its app debuted in PA as the state’s sixth online sportsbook.
Unibet debuted wit ha double feature of both an online sportsbook and an online casino. The site partnered with Mohegan Sun Pocono to offer online gambling. it launched with an Android app and iPhone access via the GeoGuard app.
What online casino options are in PA?
Per the PA Gaming Control Board (PGCB), Pennsylvania online casinos rolled out on July 15.
Now there are five online casinos to choose from after the November launch of both Unibet Casino and PokerStars Casino.
While you can expect online casinos in a massive rollout, you might not get too excited about online poker sites. Sure, PokerStars PA is live and partypoker and WSOP.com are in the works, but others will probably take their time with the more low-margin product.
How many sports betting sites operate in PA?
Pennsylvania sports betting apps are launching on a rolling basis, with several expected to debut in the next two months. Currently, there are six betting apps to choose from.
After initial slim pickings for iPhone users seeking to sports bet in Pennsylvania, they now have a glut of options to choose from. Parx is currently the only sportsbook without an iPhone option.
Unibet, BetRivers, and PlaySugarHouse do not have an iOS app for sportsbook users, but all three offer browser-based betting in -tandem with the GeoGuard app, a geolocation app from GeoComply that allows for browser gaming.
The launch of FanDuel Sportsbook was when the market for Pennsylvania sports betting really started to open up. The sportsbook combined the PA and New Jersey app into a single venture for both Android and iOS, with the site geolocating you to determine what you can bet on. DraftKings Sportsbook similarly offers a single app that works in all states where DraftKings accepts regulated sports bets.
FOX Bet also launched with both iOS and Android options when it went live in September 2019, but it segregates apps based on states and offers a separate PA and NJ version for users.
The big perk of this for users is the shared wallet across states. If you go back and forth between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, no more worrying about whether or not the right account is properly funded.
Now there has been a steady stream of launches, with even more to come. Given how profitable New Jersey online sports betting is, expect Pennsylvania online sports betting to continue to grow and dominate retail sports betting as the most popular way to wager in the Keystone State.
What did the PA gambling expansion bill legalize?
The PA Senate passed a bill to legalize online poker, online casino games, daily fantasy sports, and sports betting on Oct. 26, 2017. Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law just three days later. The bill, H 271, enacts widespread gambling expansion that extends beyond just PA online casinos.
Here is a look at exactly what the bill authorizes and why changes may be on the horizon if the tax rates on some gambling expansion is not adjusted.
After months of back and forth on tax rates, license fees, VGTs, mini-casinos, and other details, the bill the Senate passed permits:
- Online poker
- Online casino games (table games and slots)
- Daily fantasy sports
- Tablet gaming in certain areas at authorized airports
- Video gambling terminals (VGTs) at qualified truck stops
- 10 mini casinos
- Alterations to Category 3 casinos (removes membership fee, permits more slots – requires one-time fee)
- Online lottery sales
- Sports betting now that PASPA was overturned
Additionally, the changes in the laws resulted in SugarHouse Casino dropping its lawsuit blocking the Stadium Casinos LLC group from building its planned casino in Philadelphia’s Stadium Park. With legal issues gone, the group quickly ponied up the money for a Category 2 license and are moving forward with construction.
Tax rates and licensing fees
Tax rates and license fees for online gambling have been major bones of contention for months.
After a 54 percent tax rate on slots was floated earlier this year, more recently the figure settled into a more-reasonable mid-twenties range. By comparison, the effective tax rate in New Jersey on online slots is 17.5 percent.
Much has been made of the record-high tax rates for sports betting and online casino, but the rates and high fees haven’t stopped operators from coming into the state. However, critics, such as Chris Christie, say the rates will stifle innovation and competition in the state.
The amended version of H 271 returns to that steep 54 percent number. PA would tax the products as follows:
- 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%
Distinct licenses for each product
H 271 establishes three separate licenses:
- Online slots
- House-banked games
- Online poker and other peer-to-peer online games
Operators were required to purchase a license for each vertical they intended to offer. For $10 million, PA casino operators could purchase all three in a bundle. Eight of the 13 eligible casinos chose to do that: