PA Online Gambling
The PA online gambling market is now firing on all cylinders. You have multiple online casinos and PA sports betting sites to choose from. Pennsylvania players can also play legal online poker.
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.
Best online gambling sites in Pennsylvania
Casino players have well over a dozen options when it comes to online gambling and there are now four online poker sites accepting PA players. These legal PA gambling sites are our top suggestions of where you should play:
Is online gambling legal in PA?
On Oct. 26, 2017. Gov. Tom Wolf signed H 271 into law, enacting widespread gambling expansion that extends beyond just PA online casinos.
Here is a look at exactly what the law authorizes:
- Online poker
- Online casino games (table games and slots)
- Sports betting, both retail and online
- Online lottery
- Daily fantasy sports
- Tablet gaming in certain areas at authorized airports
- Video gambling terminals (VGTs) at qualified truck stops
The law allowed the state to regulate and legalize these activities, but the law does not mean that every online casino site or sports betting app is suddenly legal in Pennsylvania. Only sites vetted, approved, and overseen by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) are legal.
All of the legal real-money gambling sites are very clearly tied to a land-based casino in the state. For example, FanDuel Sportsbook (and now, FanDuel Casino), works in tandem with Valley Forge.
Online casinos in Pennsylvania
Legal online casinos in Pennsylvania launched in 2019. The industry is now reaching maturity with over a dozen to choose from. The state awarded 10 casinos interactive gaming licenses initially. Live! and BetMGM were later additions that both now have iGaming offerings in PA. Golden Nugget Casino is another big-name brand expected to launch in PA soon.
Here are the top welcome bonus offers along with links to sign up.
|Rank||PA Casinos||Bonus Offer||Play Now!|
|1.||BetMGM Casino||$25 Free + 100% up to $1,000||Play Now!|
|2.||FanDuel Casino||$1,000 Risk-Free First Day + $100 in Site Credits.||Play Now!|
|3.||Caesars Casino||100% up to $1,000||Play Now!|
|4.||DraftKings Casino||$60 Free + $25 free and a 100% Match up to $2,000 with First Deposit||Play now!|
|5.||Unibet Casino||$10 Free + 100% up to $750||Play Now!|
|6.||Hollywood Casino||Get $10 free at sign up + 100% first deposit match up to $500||Play Now!|
|7.||BetRivers Casino||100% up to $250||Play Now!|
PA sports betting sites
Every casino in Pennsylvania, save for Lady Luck Nemacolin, applied for a $10 million sports betting license. There are now more than a dozen online sports betting apps operational in PA.
Here is a look at where each operator is in the process:
|DraftKings (The Meadows)||Live as of Nov. 2019||Android and iOS||$50 Free||Play now!|
|BetMGM Sportsbook (Hollywood Morgantown)||Live as of Dec. 2020||Android and iOS||$1,000 Risk Free||Play now!|
|FOX Bet (Mount Airy)||Live as of Sept. 2019||Android and iOS||$500 Risk Free||Play now!|
|FanDuel Sportsbook PA (Valley Forge)||Live as of July 2019||Android and iOS||$1,000 Risk Free||Play now!|
|Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)||Live as of Nov. 2019||Android and iOS via GeoGuard||$500 Risk Free||Play now!|
|BetRivers Online Sportsbook||Live as of June 2019||Android and iOS via GeoGuard||$250 Deposit Bonus||Play now!|
|PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook PA||Live as of May 2019||Android and iOS via GeoGuard||$250 Deposit Bonus||Play now!|
|Parx Casino Sportsbook||Live as of June 2019||Android|
|BetAmerica (Presque Isle Downs)||Live as of Dec. 2019||GeoGuard web access|
|Caesars Sportsbook (Harrah's Philadelphia)||Live as of March 2020||Android, Desktop, iOS|
|Barstool Sportsbook (Penn National)||Live as of Sept. 2020||Android and iOS|
|Betfred Sportsbook (Wind Creek)||Live as of Dec. 2020||Android, iOS, and Desktop|
|Live! Hotel & Casino||TBA||TBA|
Real-money gambling apps in PA
Here is a look at when the state’s online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker site launched:
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 with a double feature of both an online sportsbook and an online casino. The site partnered with Mohegan Sun Pocono to offer online gambling. iIt launched with an Android app and iPhone access via the GeoGuard app.
BetAmerica and Presque Isle Downs caught people by surprise with the sneakily quiet launch of BetAmerica Sportsbook shortly before the end of the year. It launched, but did so without an app and only GeoGuard browser access.
What online casino options are in PA?
Pennsylvania online casinos rolled out on July 15, 2019.
Initially, the thought was that everyone would launch on or around this day, but only two, Parx Casino and Hollywood Casino, were ready. SugarHouse Casino rolled out PlaySugarHouse.com two days later.
Months later in early November, Stars Casino debuted alongside PokerStars PA online poker site. Unibet Casino followed a couple of weeks later. FanDuel Casino launched at the end of January, 2020, making PA the first state to house an online casino with FanDuel branding.
BetAmerica and BetRivers Casino joined the market during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, both launching on Jan. 30. Caesars launched on April 23. Before the end of 2020, Wind Creek, PlayLive! and BetMGM online casinos also launched in PA. Borgata joined in Feb. 2021.
Each of these online casinos offer growing libraries of games after most started out small. Things that are commonplace in New Jersey, like live dealer games, are now available in Pennsylvania and a number of online casinos offer them.
The online gambling industry in PA is now chugging along at full steam, despite lagging behind the offerings of neighboring New Jersey. Why the slow start in PA?
The short answer is the Wire Act. Ever since the Department of Justice released a new, much stricter, interpretation of the Wire Act in January 2019, Pennsylvania regulators took an extremely conservative approach to online gambling. Part of that approach includes having every operator and every casino game provider stand up separate servers in Pennsylvania. Because operators and game providers planned on sharing New Jersey servers with their PA products, the change in regulations caused delays.
But now that most operators are live and competition is strong, the number of game offerings is catching up fast in PA.
What PA sports betting sites are live and legal?
Online sportsbooks, on the other hand, got off to a hotter start.
After initial slim pickings for iPhone users seeking to sports bet in Pennsylvania, they now have several options to choose from. Parx and Caesars are currently the only sportsbooks 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.
Online poker in PA
The first PA poker site, PokerStars PA, went live in November 2019, over two years after the law legalizing and regulating it passed. Another six casinos have obtained licenses to offer online poker, but it took a while for any other site to come online.
In 2021, three more sites launched in quick succession: BetMGM Poker, Borgata Poker and WSOP.com PA. The WSOP online poker site comes via a partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia. All three of these sites are operational in New Jersey. WSOP.com is also available in Nevada and Delaware.
Before you get too excited about the prospect of playing online poker with players in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, which share a compacting agreement, be advised that Pennsylvania has yet to join the MSIGA or Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement.
Compacting with other states is possible in the law and PGCB regulations, but uncertainty around interpretation of the Wire Act has caused hesitation in PA in the past. However, a court ruling against a 2018 DOJ Wire Act Opinion in January 2021 should at least open up the possibility.