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Pennsylvania Online Gambling

Your complete guide to Online Casinos in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State Guide

While the rollout of Pennsylvania online gambling faced delays after delays, the state finally legalized online casinos back in October 2017.

As a result, PA residents now have opportunities to access a range of internet-based casinos to enjoy the immense thrill of gambling in the comfort of their homes. The majority of locals in the state are already getting giddy with excitement.

Naturally, whether you are interested in gambling via the internet, there must be a couple of questions that have already crossed your mind. Fortunately, you just landed in the right place.

Here you will get a snapshot of all the PA online gambling sites, the current legal situation, and the requirements for playing in any Pennsylvania casino.
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FAQ

  • Is online gambling legal in Pennsylvania?

  • When did online gambling become legal in Pennsylvania?

  • Are Casinos at CasinoTalk Licensed?

  • How do I know if a casino is licensed in Pennsylvania?

  • Do Online Casinos in PA offer No Deposit Bonuses?

  • Which banking options can I use to deposit money into an online casino in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania Online Casinos

The new Pennsylvania online gambling industry is growing faster than we had foreseen. As a result, several land-based casinos in PA have applied for licenses for online gambling

It’s time to look at the best legal PA online casino sites. First, we will give you the pros and cons of online gambling in Pennsylvania. Next, let’s look at what PA offers online gambling savvy customers. 

Right now, the most popular online casinos in Pennsylvania include the likes of BetRivers, Caesars, Unibet, and BetMGM but there are so many casinos to choose between. Keep reading to get the current and most up-to-date list of casino bonus offers in PA

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Is Online Gambling in Pennsylvania safe, secure and regulated?

Yes, you are safe when playing in any regulated PA online casino. First and foremost, the legislation ensures that all casinos are operating legally, and the legislation provides the latest security features to ensure safety.

Everyone knows that a licensed casino is the safest casino because it is continually being checked for irregularities. At the moment, all legit state online casinos in PA are licensed by the Gaming Control Board of Pennsylvania, which means you can trust them.

If you have any concerns about providing your details, you should know that your data is safe thanks to deploying the latest encryption layers to keep data breaches at bay.

Additionally, the law requires Pennsylvania’s regulated online casino sites to keep the player’s funds in separate bank accounts. That way, if the systems of a gaming platform are ever hacked (which is practically impossible), the hackers still won’t gain access to your funds. This means that your money is always kept safe, and you can cash out any time you want.

The payment methods that you’ll find in any regulated PA online casinos also meet the airtight international security standards to guarantee secure and safe financial transactions.

Who can Play Online Casino Games in Pennsylvania?

Regulated online casino sites in the Keystone State are not just for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. To ensure that safe gambling doesn’t get out of hand, the state lawmakers thoroughly defined who can play in PA online casinos for real money. So, if you are to be eligible for online gambling, you will have to meet the following player criteria:

  • You must be within the Pennsylvania State borders to play at any PA online casino.
  • You must be at least 21 years old to play for real money
  • It doesn’t matter if you were born in Pennsylvania. As long as you are within the state, you are allowed to play.
  • You can fund your account from anywhere around the US, but playing for real money is restricted to PA only.

Compared to the rest of the world, online gaming laws in the United States are pretty stringent. Not all states have legalized online gambling and those that do have rules that define the activity in their unique way. While the terms seem over the top, by regulating online gambling in this manner, PA state in particular aims to meet the following goals;

  • To generate revenue for the state.
  • Ensure integrity of the various software used in online casinos.
  • Exclusive vetting of online casino license applicants
  • Make sure that casino games are fair to prevent partisan advantage for the house.
  • To monitor any violations by casino operators as well as players.

You may also be interested to know that before you start gambling in any online Pennsylvania casino, there are a couple of verification processes that you must pass through first. 

  1. First, the casino will verify your location using geolocation software to confirm if you are in Pennsylvania. 
  2. Next, you can also be asked to provide your social security number to verify that you are who you say you are. 
  3. Finally, the gaming platform may also ask for proof of your physical address, which could require you to submit a copy of your credit card statement or recent utility bill.

Although making online payments was deemed insecure a while back, things have changed for the better thanks to recent innovations and international banking regulations. 

The latest security technologies, such as 128-bit encryption and two-factor authentication, have made online money transfers safer. These technological advancements have led to plenty of online banking options that we will cover in the later sections of this review.

Gambling as a Resident

Although you have to be at least 21 years, the current Pennsylvania laws have made online gambling easier for residents. All that’s left for you is to find a legitimate online casino and create a new online account. 

In most cases, you will be required to make your first deposit to your account and grab a welcome bonus before you can start playing.  

Gambling as a Non-resident

If you are not a resident of the Keystone State, on the other hand, it is impossible to create an account in any online casino located in PA. This is due to the current law in the US, which compels online casinos to have geolocation software to track your location to ensure you are within state lines. 

Thus, if you try creating an account from a different place, you’ll get a notification from the site informing you that you aren’t within the eligible geographical boundary.

Safe Banking Options for PA Online Gambling

The first PA online casinos have already gone live, and these casinos offer a variety of payment methods that you can use to fund your real money accounts. Most PA online casinos have a conventional model for their payment methods. You’ll find that nearly all of them have similar payment methods on board. Here’s a look at all the most popular payment channels;

Deposit Options

Below is a quick highlight of all the most reliable deposit options available in most online casinos in Pennsylvania.

  • E-wallets: Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal.
  • Instant Money Transfers from checking accounts; ACH transfers, and online bill pay.
  • Debit/Credit Cards and Prepaid Cards: Card transactions: Credit and debit cards from MasterCard, Maestro, Discover, Visa, and American Express.
  • Many online casinos also offer site-branded prepaid cards. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to withdraw using prepaid cards because of this.

Withdrawals

However, you must note that players cannot use any method they like for depositing or withdrawing their earnings. To cash out, you are often limited to the following channels;

  • PayPal
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Paper’s check
  • VIP transfer (VIP Preferred)
  • Bank Transfers

EChecks, PayPal, and ACH are exceptionally convenient out of all the mentioned payment methods. However, unlike instantly processed deposits across all payment options, you are subjected to minor delays when cashing out.

Moreover, the processing speeds for withdrawals will often vary from one payment option to another. For example, E-wallets are typically the fastest, with a same-day or maximum of 48 hours.  On the other hand, checks ACH transfers tend to be relatively slow, with processing speeds that could take about seven business days.

The casino usually does not charge for deposits and withdrawals, but payment options like Neteller and Skrill could still set you. However, it would help if you looked at the terms and conditions of the platform or contacted support for more information about transactional fees.

The other important thing to note is that you can only use e-wallets for withdrawals if you previously used them to make deposits to your account.

Physical Cash Transactions

If you prefer to keep your banking transactions off the internet, you will be pleased to know that you can also physically deposit via designated kiosks. This is all possible using a PayNearMe deposit which needs you to travel to a store like a 7-eleven store, CVS, or Family Dollar.

The other option you can also use for both deposits and withdrawals is Cash at the Casino Cage. If you happen to be close to any land-based casino, you need to visit the cashier’s cage, and you will be allowed to transfer money to your real money account. The best thing about using Cash Cage is that maximum transactional limits will not constrain you.

Land-Based Casinos and Legality of Online Gambling

Operators can choose to offer online slots, online table games, or even both if they want to. And many license applicants have applied for both licenses. The first regulated PA online casinos started operating on the market on July 15th, 2018. The pacesetters of this new dawn included the likes of BetRivers Casino and BetMGM Online Casino.

With time, many more operators followed suit, and as we speak, here is a list of all casino operators that are offering online casino games in PA by the end of July 2020;

Land-based Casino Partners

The online casino operator needs a partnership with a brick-and-mortar casino in Pennsylvania to offer legal and licensed online gambling in Pennsylvania. There are currently 13 land-based casinos in Pennsylvania.

The land-based casinos with online presence are:

Land-Based CasinoOnline Casino Partner
Rivers Casino PhiladelphiaBetRivers and PlaySugarHouse
Harrah’s CasinoCaesars Online Casino
Valley forgeFanDuel
MGM Resorts BetMGM online casino
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet
Penn National Race CourseDraftKings Casino
Presque IsleBetAmerica
Parx CasinoParx Online Casino
Hollywood CasinoHollywood Online Casino
Mount Airy CasinoPokerstars Casino

The Current Legal Situation for Pennsylvania Online Gambling

The Pennsylvania state assembly recently passed the HB 271 bill into law. It’s the cornerstone of legal internet gaming operations with details of what is allowed for residents and online casino operators who provide gaming services.

As we speak, this HB 271 law is quite comprehensive. However, before it was officially passed into law by the state assembly, it underwent many revisions for fine-tuning. In a nutshell, other than online gaming, HB 271 has also legalized the following;

  • Video Gaming Terminal (VGTs) at truck stops
  • Online lottery
  • The construction of up to 10 category four casinos
  • Sports betting

A Quick Timeline of Pennsylvania’s Online Gambling Legislation

Being one of the most recent states to approve legal and regulated online gaming, Pennsylvania took a stride that many locals thought wouldn’t be possible.

The HB 271 bill passed both the State Senate and House, but their taxes are still somewhat problematic. At this time, the state levies every online casino operating in PA a tax rate of 54% and 55% on slot machines. These high tax rates are considered by many exorbitantly high, especially if you compare them to the neighboring New Jersey. In Garden State, the tax rate stands at only 15% of the gambling revenue.

On the bright side, PA residents will now have access to a wide range of online gambling sites, including those situated outside the state. That’s still a win, at least for local players.

Let's take a look at the timeline from the first rumors from lawmakers concerning online gambling starting in 2013. In the following years, there were several instances where lawmakers came close to passing a bill, only for the process to hit a wall at the 11th hour. But thankfully, this wild adventure eventually bore fruit. So let’s see how online gambling crossed the finish line in 2017.

2013

Representative Tina Davis of District 141 spearheaded the earliest efforts to legalize online gambling in PA. She introduced HB 1235 (House Bill 1235), enabling existing casinos and slot machine licensed operators to apply for an additional license for online casino operations. However, the bill made it as far as House Committee on Gaming Oversight, and they decided that the bill be delayed until 2015.

Despite the failure, it became crystal clear that PA was taking online gambling quite seriously. This showed that the SR 273 bill tasked Econsult Solutions to measure the economic impacts of online gaming.

2014

2014 was the year of relative dormancy.  In June, Senator Edwin Erickson proposed an online gambling bill SB 1386, but it failed to generate interest, and they never brought it up for a vote.

2015

In 2015 four online gambling bills were proposed:

  • HB 649: Proposed by John Payne, the bill required a 16% tax rate on gross gaming revenue and licensing of $5 million for any casino operator.
  • HB 920: The bill was proposed by Tina Davis, and it was mostly a copy of HB 649.
  • HB 695: This was an online poker-only bill that required licensing fees of $5 million per operator and tax revenue of 14%.
  • SB 900:  this bill was a joint effort by Senators Elder Vogel, Joseph Scarnati, Robert Tomlinson, and Kim Ward. It suggested a permit fee of $10 million and a 54% tax on gross revenue.

However, all efforts to approve these bills became futile, but they did not lose all hope.

2016

In late June, the new HB 2150 was passed by the house, and this was the first time an online gambling bill sailed through all the State legislative chambers. In the following month, Governor Wolf approximated $100 million for the online gamlbing expansion as a part of a $1.3 billion revenue package. Everything looked good until the Senate decided to sit on gaming reform till the following fall.

2017

In 2017, they finally passed online gambling legislation, but as you can see, the journey towards legalization in Pennsylvania hasn’t been a smooth ride. On October 30th, Wolf late signed an unlimited budget which added HB 271 into the law, and PA became the fourth state in the US to legalize online gambling.

2018

On May 14th, 2018, things took a complete turn in PA and across the country when the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). The PASPA was a federal ban on sports betting that had taken effect in 1992 across the country. Finally, there was room to regulate online sports betting in whichever way each state saw fit!

Getting a Pennsylvania Casino License

Because online casinos can operate in Pennsylvania, many other casinos can’t wait to have a bite at the PA market. But then again, it is not that straightforward to start an online casino because there are protocols to adhere to. The following are some quick facts you should know about what operators have to abide by getting a gambling license in PA.

  • It is legal to play online poker, table games, and slots
  • For the first ninety days of licensing, casinos can seek a collective license covering all three verticals for $10 million.
  • After the 90-day period passes, casinos will be permitted to apply for an individual part of a license, which costs $4 million per segment.
  • After 120 days, any licenses that are not claimed can be bought by a qualified organization that isn’t a recognized PA land-based casino. Again, the cost per segment is capped at $ 4 million
  • Significant vendor licenses will cost $ 1 million
  • Online poker and table games are set at a 14% tax rate of gaming revenue plus an extra 2% designated for local share assessment. On the other hand, the tax rate set for slot games is pretty hefty. It is currently capped at 52%, and an added 2% is also designated for local share.

Other than this, the operators still have to adhere to anti-money laundering, security and fairness standards, and regulations to guarantee the safety of players.

The Impact of Online Gambling to Pennsylvania

Online gambling is a significant revenue generator, and we are pretty sure that it will generate considerable revenue in the coming years. If the state borrows a leaf from the neighboring New Jersey since its online casinos were deemed legal, it has managed to generate revenue of up to billions of dollars. Many casino operators are waiting in line for a license, so it won’t be a surprise if Pennsylvania state revenue from online gambling hits up to over 12 figures.

Besides generating revenue, online casinos are also well known for creating new job opportunities. If online casinos continue setting up shops within Pennsylvania, they will significantly cut down the unemployment rates in the state.

On the other hand, players who participate in jackpot slots and online lotteries end up winning some life-changing rewards. If Lady Luck comes knocking on your door, you could bag millions of dollars after spinning reels online, playing table games, or buying a lotto ticket.

The future is bright for Keystone State and its internet gaming services. With the advancing technology, gaming will inevitably become more attractive to the residents and thus, generate more revenue in taxes for the state.