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Gambling In Pennsylvania: Full Overview 2020

Pennsylvania Global State Header
Online Casino
(legal since: 10/30/2017)
Online Poker
(legal since: 10/30/2017)
Online Sports
(legal since: 10/30/2017)
Online Lotto
(legal since: 10/30/2017)
Online DFS
(legal since: 10/30/2017)

Pennsylvania is a state that was integral to the United States becoming free from British rule. And today, people in Pennsylvania are free for another reason, as they are able to take part in plenty of different types of online gambling in PA. Pennsylvanians have the ability to play at a Pennsylvania online casino or live in person. They can do the same with their sports betting at a sportsbook, as that has also been legalized. And online poker is also a possibility for the people of the Keystone State. From Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and everywhere in between, Pennsylvania has solidified itself as one of the leaders of American betting from online gambling in PA to land-based games options.

In this guide to casino gambling in Pennsylvania, find out the answer to the question of are casinos legal along with other important information that bettors should know before they get set to place their bets in casinos, sportsbooks, and everything else that is offered.

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Pennsylvania gambling history and social importance

History: Short but effective

The leadup to the ability to take part in an online casino in PA has been a relatively short-lived history that has become one of the most high-quality histories out of any state. It started in the 1970s with a state-run lottery. But Pennsylvania wasn’t able to get more widespread wagering until they began making that dream a reality in the 2000s. In 2004, to be exact, legislation was passed to establish a gaming control board in the state, which has become an integral part of the continued legalization of wagering in the state.

That gaming control board led to the development of the horse racing industry in the state along with casinos and eventually live sportsbook betting when that became a part of a wave of legalization across the country in the late 2010s. The end result has been a state that has legalized more in a shorter period of time than many states that have had a history with wagering that has dated back centuries. The fact that Pennsylvania has done so much to please people in their state in such a short period of time has been nothing short of incredible.

Social importance: Big in PA

Online gambling PA residents have come to know and love, along with land-based operations, both speak to the progress that the state has made as a whole in a short time period. Just like many of the cities in Pennsylvania becoming powers in sports and other industries, Pennsylvania’s rapid ascent to the top of the wagering sector has shown that the state is one of the best in the nation at things it sets its mind to even if it is sometimes overshadowed by neighboring New York, which has failed to develop its wagering industry in the same way.


Legal situation of casinos and online casinos in Pennsylvania 2020

Land-based casinos: Lots of choices

For those who want to know is gambling legal in Pennsylvania, they will be thrilled to know that they are able to take on land-based casino gambling action to their heart’s content. There are a large number of physical casinos that players can go to. In lieu of online gambling PA players go to these facilities in large numbers, as the experience of going to a physical casino is typically difficult to match. But while both land-based and online wagering have their place in Pennsylvania, land-based casino gambling action came to the state first in the 2000s to clear the path for other games and online slots options.

Legal situation for land-based casinos: Perfectly legal

To enjoy a land-based casino Pennsylvania residents and those visiting the state don’t have to worry about the legal status in the state. The passage of Act 71 in 2004 gave rise to the casino Pennsylvania players craved and that they have become used to today. Since then, more than 10 casino providers have put their roots down in the state and have turned Pennsylvania into one of the top places to bet on slots and table games at casinos in the entire United States. In the northeast, only New Jersey has been able to compete with this state in terms of casinos that people can bet with.

Online casinos: Online action available

To enjoy an online casino in PA is something that is still relatively new to people. The process to make online gambling in PA legal was completed in 2017 for casino players at casinos, with the state as a whole not having too much experience in online casino gambling action. Granted, the state as a whole doesn’t have much legalized gambling experience given that it took into the 2000s for them to legalize casino gaming and casinos at all. But the relatively recent legalization hasn’t stopped premier online gaming brands such as 888 and Pokerstars from operating in Pennsylvania, which is a good sign.

OperatorLandbased Partner
BetAmerica CasinoGolden Nugget Hotel Casino & Marina
DraftKings CasinoN/A
FanDuel CasinoGolden Nugget Hotel Casino & Marina
Golden Nugget OnlineGolden Nugget Hotel Casino & Marina
PokerStars CasinoResorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City
SugarHouse CasinoGolden Nugget Hotel Casino & Marina
Unibet CasinoHard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

Legal situation for online casinos: Legal online play

PA online casino gaming was made legal in 2017 with the passage of House Bill 271 that granted casino sites the ability to offer online casino slots and table games through licensed casinos that are operating in the state. As of now, 888 Casino, Golden Nugget, and Pokerstars have gone through the necessary process to work with an in-state casino to offer online casino slots and table games through those existing brands. With the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board overseeing the casino gambling action online in this state, online casino gambling in Pennsylvania has done a good job of growing in its first two decades of casino gaming in PA through these online gambling sites in PA.

Market prediction for the future

Predicting the future of online casino gambling action in a state is difficult, but the track record of Pennsylvania inspires confidence for anyone trying to project where this state will be in the near future. One place that people should anticipate growth is the sector of online gaming. While there are a few casino options to choose from already, players should be able to expect more sites to jump into the fray given that there have only been a couple of years since legalization for sites to get involved. As the years pass, more casinos will likely do what they need to do to get involved to provide games.

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Legal situation of sports betting and online betting in Pennsylvania 2020

Land-based betting operators/racetracks: Sportsbooks are open

Betting on sports in Pennsylvania has always been something that has made sense, because this state is full of some of the most passionate sports fans on the planet. And since the legalization of sports betting in the state took place in 2017, Pennsylvania has opened up the ability to wager on sports. They had to wait to accept bets until the United States as a whole lifted the federal ban on sportsbook and live betting in states that were previously grandfathered in. But once that took place in 2018, the state was off and running to accept bets as they are doing at a growing number of land-based locations.

Legal situation for land-based betting operators/racetracks: PA is legal

Is sports betting legal in PA is a question that was asked time and time again by aspiring players, and the answer to that question is finally yes. It was House Bill 271 that determined that sportsbook and live betting would be legalized in the state. And the declaration of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 to be unconstitutional that took place in 2018 solidified that the state would be able to start offering sports bets as soon as operators were able to get approval from the state to start taking sports bets.

OperatorLandbased Partner
BetAmericaGolden Nugget Hotel Casino & Marina
DraftKings SportsbookResorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City
FOX BetMeadowlands Racing & Entertainment
FanDuel SportsbookMeadowlands Racing & Entertainment
SugarHouse Casino SportsbookMonmouth Park
UnibetHard Rock Hotel & Casino

Online sports betting: Plenty of choices

Pennsylvania online casino gambling action has been enjoyed throughout the state not just because of the presence of casino games. The addition of online sports gambling in PA has greatly enhanced the online wagering experience in the state. That was made possible in 2018, with some of the biggest names in the sportsbook betting industry being involved with the online sports betting industry in the state. The competition between those brands have allowed players to benefit, mainly in the way of being able to bet on a decent selection of online betting markets and games to wager on.

Legal situation for betting sites: Legal as well

Pennsylvania online casino sites and online sportsbooks benefited from House Bill 271 in 2017, which was the major hurdle for sports betting to be allowed in the state. Once PASPA was dissolved due to being declared unconstitutional in 2018, the race was on for sportsbooks to get into business in the state. Now, sportsbooks are allowed to operate online as long as they are licensed with a casino that is operating in the state as well. That has resulted in betting brands like Betstars and FanDuel operating through licenses from in-state casinos while still having their own branding.

Market prediction for the future

As it pertains to sportsbook betting, the online casino Pennsylvania players would hope to use to bet on both sports and casino games isn’t as common as some would like. However, the future could see more casinos provide licensing to new sportsbook sites to add more competition to the mix in this facet of the industry. While that might not improve the odds of different markets, it could increase the number of markets available as well as the amount of promotions in the marketplace, which would improve the overall experience for new sportsbook bettors throughout the state.

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Legal situation of poker rooms and online poker in Pennsylvania 2020

Land-based poker rooms: Shuffle up and deal

Poker is currently being played in Pennsylvania in land-based poker rooms. There are a number of physical casinos that offer this casino gambling action, with these venues having the ability to claim that they are the only source of legal poker in the state at this time. The poker industry appears poised for some evolution in Pennsylvania, but for right now land-based poker is the main attraction. Whether or not that will change in the future remains to be seen, but casinos can enjoy that designation to allow play while it is still valid.

Legal situation for land-based poker rooms: Legal in the commonwealth

As far as legality is concerned, there is nothing to get in the way of the current legal status of land-based poker in Pennsylvania. The entire casino industry is relatively new in the state, but poker hasn’t missed a beat in spite of that fact. The most interesting thing about the legal status of poker for land-based operators in this state right now is how the impending legalization of online poker will impact it and what land-based operators will be able to get poker offerings into the online market place first and with the highest quality.

OperatorLandbased Partner
PokerStarsResorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City

Online poker: Can play online soon

Poker play at an online casino in Pennsylvania was approved in 2017, as was the case with a number of other forms of wagering. The difference between those other forms of gaming and this one, though, is the fact that nobody has put any cards onto the table in the online poker industry in this state. That is something that looks likely to change, as sites are being approved to operate poker sites for play in Pennsylvania. But at this time legislators have made it known that the ball is in the court of approved sites to start offering games as they have already been legalized.

Legal situation for online poker: Waiting for sites to start

Regarding the legality of online poker at an online casino in Pennsylvania, there is nothing to stop poker operators that have been approved to start offering poker action in the state. This is thanks to House Bill 271 in the state, which made legal online poker acceptable in 2017, along with new sportsbook betting and poker. No poker sites have stepped up to the plate and offered their services to players in this state yet. It remains to be seen if that will change in the coming months and years as poker’s most popular days could still be ahead of them in this state.

Market prediction for the future

The future of poker is one that has a clear avenue for improvement in Pennsylvania, one that is easy to see coming to fruition. That improvement and feasibility comes from the fact that no poker operators are currently running in the state just yet. It is safe to project that the future will see online poker start up in Pennsylvania, as a poker operator is likely to break the seal on this form of wagering sooner than later. That should open the floodgates for more action from other sites, who can then compete with each other to deliver the best possible experience to poker enthusiasts.

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Legal situation of lotteries and online lottery in Pennsylvania 2020

Lottery gaming in Pennsylvania was really the first form of betting in the state, and served as the only sanctioned form of betting in the state for a long time while the state was waiting to legalize other forms of wagering until the 2000s. Offline lottery play has been allowed in Pennsylvania since 1972 through the Pennsylvania Lottery. The state is a part of the Multi-State Lottery Association as well. And online lottery play is possible in Pennsylvania as of 2017, with House Bill 271 playing a role yet again, this time to allow online scratch cards to be a part of the wagering repertoire that has become commonplace in the Keystone State. While that isn’t a comprehensive online lottery portfolio by any stretch of the imagination, the ability to buy scratch cards online makes that option vastly more convenient than having to go purchase them live in person.

Legal situation of daily fantasy sports in Pennsylvania 2020

Daily fantasy sports are also legal in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with House Bill 271 of 2017 also authorizing DFS action in addition to what feels like every other kind of betting imaginable. That legalization has resulted in several massive names in the daily fantasy sports industry being a part of the action in PA. DraftKings and FanDuel have led the charge in this state as they have in countless others, but other big names in the industry such as Yahoo! have joined the fray in their own right. What makes daily fantasy sports unique in this state is the fact that players can wager against their friends through some of these providers, creating a fun atmosphere that betting against the house can’t always provide to players with certain preferences. Either way, daily fantasy sports is another way to compete while wagering on sports.

Pennsylvania Gambling

Legal situation of social casino in Pennsylvania 2020

Social casino action is permitted in the state of Pennsylvania, which is a nice way for players to take part in casino action without having to either go to a physical location or make any deposits the way that they might at a real money casino. This is because social casino play is different than using online gambling sites in PA in that they do not require players to make deposits or otherwise use money to get involved in their offerings. Instead, players simply play games that resemble real casino games for free, often using social media accounts to access these titles, hence the name of this game genre. With so many real money gambling choices out there, it isn’t likely that there is a huge overlap between social casino players and traditional casino enthusiasts. But the addition of more choices in this sector is never a bad thing.

Conclusion: Wagering options aplenty

Pennsylvania was a late bloomer when it came to both land-based and online gambling. They didn’t even have a lottery until the 1970s, but the state has done an incredible job of bouncing back and creating casino and other gambling content that has amazed people on a consistent basis. With tons of land-based and online casinos, a growing sportsbook industry, and a poker sector with tons of space to grow, the Pennsylvania gambling industry is one that is overflowing with potential. It is safe to say that Pennsylvania is a leader in the gambling world, and that is set to continue, especially if the poker industry in Pennsylvania sees things culminate with online poker play starting up in the near future. Don’t miss your chance to enjoy your betting play in Pennsylvania. Check out one of the top casinos in the state and get your bonus now.

Gambling typeLegal status
Land-based casinosLegal
Online gamblingLegal in sports and casino
Sports bettingOnline and land-based are legal
LotteryLegal offline and online scratch cards
Daily fantasy sportsLegal
Minimum gambling age21, 18 for horse racing