Welcome to our guide to everything you need to know about online casino games in Pennsylvania. This guide was put together by our team of experts after fielding many questions about the topic over the last couple of years. We thought it would be much easier for our readers if we simply answered some of the most common questions, and if we get any more information that we think is relevant for you to know, we’ll add it to this page.
Are Online Casinos Legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes! Online casinos, along with sports betting and poker, are now legal in the state of Pennsylvania. Back in 2017, the state government passed a law that would make these games legal to play for anyone over the age of 21 situated within the state borders. This means that both visitors and travelers to the state are allowed to download and play the games from their computers or mobile devices.
Who is allowed to run an online casino in Pennsylvania?
The 2017 legislation provided for 13 online casino licenses to be awarded in the state. This number was no accident – it matches the number of land-based gambling facilities in the state. The land-based casinos were given the first chance at applying for licenses for online sports betting, poker and casino separately at a cost of $4 Million per license or a combination license for $10 Million. Not shockingly, the process moved slowly with such a high price tag. Ultimately, all of the online casino licenses were scooped up by the land-based properties.
What is the tax rate for online casino games in Pennsylvania?
Another reason for the slower-than-expected launch of regulated online casinos in Pennsylvania is the tax rate the sites have to pay on their games. For online slot machines, the tax rate for operators is a whopping 54%, which is far higher than any other state that has regulated the same games. Luckily for operators, the tax rate on table games like Blackjack and Roulette is a far more manageable 16%. These rates make it very difficult for an operator to be profitable, which is why many sites haven’t yet launched.
What about offshore online casinos? Are they still available?
For almost twenty years before legislation was passed in Pennsylvania, residents were able to download and play online casino games provided by sites operating from outside the country. These sites sit outside the laws of the United States and have been a contentious topic for many years. Even though the laws have changed to allow for legal operators in the state, these rogue sites still attract players from all over the United States. As the sites are not subject to the taxes that legal operators have to pay, they can make their offers more attractive to players. However, given that there is no legal recourse for a player who has an issue with an offshore site, and the ways to get money to and from sites is shrinking every day, we cannot recommend these sites to any of our readers. With so many great legal options available and that number growing every day, there is no reason to take the additional risk.
Where can I play online casino games legally in Pennsylvania?
To date, only 5 of the possible 13 regulated online casinos have launched in Pennsylvania. While there are many that are planned to launch in 2020, these are the ones you can currently choose from:
- Sugarhouse Online Casino
- Hollywood Online Casino
- Parx Online Casino
- PokerStars Casino
- Unibet Casino
Each of these online sites has a corresponding land-based partner.
What Types of games are offered at online casinos in Pennsylvania?
When you are playing at an online casino, you will find hundreds of titles available to you across all the game categories. With no physical boundaries, an online casino can add or remove games whenever they want, which means you will always find the best quality and most popular games at your fingertips! Here are the different types of games you typically find in an online casino lobby.
Slots are far and away the most popular games in any casino, and at the regulated online casinos in Pennsylvania, you will find so many different games it will make your head spin! From the classic three-reel games to games with intricate storylines and graphics, there is a little something for everyone. These days, the collaborations between land-based vendors and online operators means that titles like Wheel of Fortune and others are found online as well. Also, there is so much branded content in the industry that you are going to see many familiar names and faces across the slots floor.
If you are not much of a slots player, you are in luck with the volume of table games you can find at an online casino. While there are usually only a handful of tables and games in a physical casino, you can find almost every variant of every game in the lobby of your favorite online brand. Games like Blackjack have dozens of variants all on their own! You can try many of the games for free, so you can get used to the speed of the gameplay or just try out a game without having to put up real money. Our guides to the different casino games will help you feel more comfortable at the virtual tables!
Residents of Pennsylvania are very lucky that online casinos were regulated, as this introduced the Live Dealer Casino option to the casino lobby. Live Dealer games combine the best of both the online and offline worlds. You are still able to play your favorite table games from your phone or computer, but a dealer is being live-streamed from a studio dealing the cards or spinning the wheel for your game. Many players like this option better as it feels much more like playing in a land-based casino.
How do I create an account at an online casino?
Thankfully, the regulations in Pennsylvania for online gambling do not force you to have to go to a physical casino to create your account. To get started, you can either head to one of the casino websites or if you like, you can download an app right to your iOS or Android device. When you click on the Registration button, you will be prompted to give the casino a few pieces of information about yourself, and then you will be able to choose a username which you will use to login and play.
That’s all it takes to create an account with an online casino!
How do I make deposits and withdrawals?
Making a deposit is the next step after you create your account if you want to go play real money games. Deposit methods in a regulated gaming environment are plentiful, and if you want, you can even go to the casino that owns the online brand you have chosen and make a deposit right at its cage!
If you are planning to make a deposit via an online method, you can choose from one of the following methods:
- Credit and Debit Cards (some banks may reject the transaction still)
- Pay Near Me
- Prepaid Cards
- Wire Transfer
Many of these methods are also available for withdrawals when you win big playing your favorite games!
Why should I choose one online casino over another?
We could go on for pages detailing why you should choose one casino over another. We have a full review of every available casino in Pennsylvania if you want to take a deep dive, but here’s a quick recap of what our experts look at when rating each different brand.
- Game selection -we look at what software vendors are being used for the games, as well as the number of titles and range of betting that is available on the site
- Promotions – we review all the Terms and Conditions of every bonus and offer to make sure you can take advantage of each offer as efficiently as possible
- Customer Service – we track the response times for each of the different sites as well as review all the ways you can contact a site
- Payment methods – which sites have the most and best payment methods