UPDATED: May 24, 2019
The cat is out of the bag. For those wondering what the hold up is with PA online sports betting launch, the answer may surprise you. The hold up is not with regulators nor operators. The culprit is actually the Apple App Store.
PA sportsbooks are having trouble getting their apps approved and into the App Store. Apple is cracking down on apps that are just “wrapped” versions of the product’s websites. The lack of native functionality is a point of contention for Apple.
The question remains: What will sportsbooks have to do to get into the App Store?
There is no set answer yet, but it seems like launching without an iOS option is not something properties in PA are willing to do as of yet.
UPDATED: May 20, 2019
There is a new player in Pennsylvania. Pala Interactive, which is based in California but runs online casino and poker sites in New Jersey got its conditional interactive manufacturer license last week.
Pala will work with Kindred, which is the sports betting and interactive partner for Mohegan Sun Pocono. In addition to Pala’s offering, Mohegan will eventually launch a Unibet-branded online sports betting app.
Other than that, it is relatively quiet on the online casino front. However, during a panel at last week’s ICE North America Conference, Penn Interactive VP of Strategy Jason Kaplan did admit he did not think Paypal would be licensed and available in time for online launch.
|Casino||PGCB Approval Date||Retail Sportsbook||Projected Online Sportsbook|
|Parx Casino Sportsbook||Oct. 3||Jan. 10||June 2019|
|PlaySugarHouse||Oct. 31||Dec. 15||June 2019|
|BetRivers||Oct. 31||Dec. 15||June 2019|
|FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino||Dec. 19||March 13||Summer 2019|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National||Oct. 3||Nov. 17||Summer 2019|
|Harrah's Philadelphia||Oct. 31||Jan. 24||Summer 2019|
|Presque Isle Downs||Feb. 6||Summer 2019||Summer 2019|
|South Philadelphia Turf Club||Oct. 3||Jan. 17||N/A|
|The Oaks (formerly Valley Forge Turf Club)||March 6||March 12||N/A|
|Mount Airy/BetStars||Pending approval||N/A||N/A|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||May 15||Fall 2019||2019|
Yes, but you need to do so on a regulated online gambling site in the state. None of those have launched yet, but they will go live in early 2019.
What remains off-limits are offshore gambling sites. These sites are not regulated by the states, so they do not offer important consumer protections. They should be avoided at all costs.
A legal Pennsylvania online casino is licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). More often than not, they are tied to a land-based casino in the state as well.
There are three types of PA online casino licenses:
There are other types of online gambling available as well. The PA Lottery offers online lottery games that play like scratch-off tickets. The fantasy sports industry is also allowed to offer online and mobile fantasy events.
Eventually, PA casinos will be able to offer mobile and online sports betting. However, do not expect that until early 2019.
|Casino||Existing online partners||Interactive application status||Projected launch|
|Harrah's||888||Conditionally approved||July 15, 2019|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||IGT||Conditionally approved||July 15, 2019|
|Mount Airy||888 / PokerStars||Conditionally approved||July 15, 2019|
|Parx||GAN||Conditionally approved||July 15, 2019|
|SugarHouse||Rush Street Interactive / Kambi||Conditionally approved||July 15, 2019|
|Valley Forge||IGT / GAN||Conditionally approved||July 15, 2019|
|Presque Isle Downs||Golden Nugget||Conditionally approved||July 15, 2019|
|Sands Bethlehem||N/A||Conditionally approved||N/A|
|Stadium Park Philly Live! Casino||GAN||Conditionally approved||N/A|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Kindred||Conditionally approved||N/A|
|MGM Resorts||bwin.party||Application pending||N/A|
|Golden Nugget NJ||NYX||Application pending||N/A|
You can expect most of the popular games you would find at a brick and mortar casino in Pennsylvania. Most online casinos offer a wide range of slot titles, including many you have probably seen on the casino for.
As for table games, you can expect offerings such as:
At online poker sites, the majority of the games are going to be Texas Hold’em. There will be a range of options for what kinds of Hold’em games players can take part in.
Cash games offer a range of stakes, including much smaller stakes than you can find in a casino. Some stakes are as small as $.01/$.02, while the bigger end of the stakes tends to top off at $10/$20.
There are also Sit & Gos, multi-table tournaments, and some novelty games unique to each poker site. For example, WSOP.com offers Blast Sit & Gos, which take the standard Sit & Go and add a gambling element where players can win a big jackpot.
If you want to play online lottery games or fantasy sports, you need to be at least 18 years old. The sites use things like your Social Security Number to verify your identity and age.
If you want to play at PA online casinos or take part in a PA online sportsbook, you will also need to have your age verified. And you will need to be at least 21 to play.
You do not. You do have to be physically located in the state to play, but residency is not required.
The specifics won’t be available until the casino sites actually launch. Generally, though, most online casino sites allow deposits via a range of options, such as: