Pennsylvania online gambling is finally underway. In October 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an unprecedented gambling expansion into law. Eighteen months later, the wait is finally over. Online sportsbooks are up and running alongside PA online casinos and Pennsylvania’s first online poker site.
Pennsylvania online sports betting launched its first app in May 2019. That was when SugarHouse Sportsbook went online for its three-day period of live testing. PlaySugarHouse.com Pennsylvania then went fully live on May 31 of that year.
On July 15, 2019, the era of online casinos began with the debuts of Parx Online Casino and HollywoodCasino.com. SugarHouse Casino joined them two days later.
Now there is a busy market of online gambling to choose from, with even more on the way.
PA online casino update
The online casino market began in July 2019 but is rapidly expanding.
Here is the latest on which online casinos are next to launch:
|Casino||Online brand||Launch Dates|
|SugarHouse||PlaySugarHouse||July 17, 2019|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||Hollywood||July 15, 2019|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Unibet||Nov. 12, 2019|
|Mount Airy||PokerStars||Nov. 4, 2019|
|Parx||Parx||July 15, 2019|
|Valley Forge||VFCasino.com||Jan. 24, 2020|
|Presque Isle Downs||BetAmerica||2020|
|Stadium Park Philly Live! Casino||N/A||2021|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||BetMGM||Dec. 1, 2020|
|Golden Nugget NJ||NYX||Needs PGCB approval|
Online gambling available throughout Pennsylvania
You don’t have to live in Pennsylvania full time to play on an online gambling site. Anyone located within the state can play.
If you’re wondering how sites can tell where you are, the answer is geolocation. Sites use geolocation technology to determine exactly where you and your phone or computer are.
The location devices are extremely precise and go to great lengths to make sure no out of state people get in. In fact, the only time locations may be off are near the state lines, where you might get a false negative that you are just out of the state versus just inside it.
Setting up your PA online casino account
It only takes a few minutes to set up an account at most online casinos. A few things to know in advance. First, players at online casinos must be at least 21 years old. Additionally, you will be expected to provide a certain amount of personal information to confirm your age.
Typically, online casinos require:
- Date of birth
- Last four digits of your Social Security Number
Additionally, when you deposit and withdraw, you will need to provide info for your preferred method for these financial transactions.
Games you can play at Pennsylvania online casinos
What is great about online casinos is that they run out of space. While brick and mortar casinos have finite supplies of different games and seats, online casinos can have hundreds of people playing blackjack at the same time.
Slots are the most popular game and there are already several dozen to choose from. The table games selection is relatively minimal but should expand the longer online casinos are live.
Eventually, most of the following fare will be available, with some even offered as live dealer games:
- Video poker
Live dealer games are where a dealer in a studio deals the game as they would at a casino, bringing the casino experience directly to you wherever you are.
List of regulated PA online casinos
Not all online gambling sites are created equal. What the PA gaming law does is allow for are intrastate regulated online gambling. Typically, most sites will be tied to a land-based Pennsylvania casino. All of the sites are also under the jurisdiction of the PGCB.
Make sure that the sites you play on are under PGCB jurisdiction. These are the following groups approved to offer online casinos:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino
- Mount Airy Casino
- Parx Casino
- Sands Bethlehem
- SugarHouse Casino
- Valley Forge Casino
- Stadium Casino project
- Presque Isle Downs
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
- MGM Resorts*
- Golden Nugget NJ*
*These outside gaming entities still need final license approval from the PA Gaming Control Board.
PA sports betting update
Online sports betting officially launched in Pennsylvania in May 2019 with the opening of PlaySugarHouse.com. By year’s end, there were wight online sportsbook options and a dozen retail sportsbooks within the Keystone State.
Major players from New Jersey like FanDuel and DraftKings are now up and running in Pennsylvania alongside popular PA casinos like Parx and BetRivers.
Hre is a look at the PA sports betting landscape, including what sites are in the pipeline to launch:
|Casino||Sportsbook brand||Online sports betting status||Retail sports betting? application status|
|Harrah's Philadelphia||Caesars Sport||Summer 2019||Yes|
|Mount Airy||FOX Bet||Nov. 4, 2019||Yes|
|Parx||Parx||June 25, 2019||Yes|
|Rivers Pittsburgh||BetRivers||June 25, 2019||Yes|
|Rivers Philadelphia (SugarHouse)||PlaySugarHouse||May 28, 2019||Yes|
|Valley Forge||FanDuel||July 22, 2019||Yes|
|Presque Isle Downs||BetAmerica||2020||Yes|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Unibet||Nov. 12, 2019||Yes|
Download an online betting app or play on your desktop
Those who want to play online can download an app can do so via the respective casino’s website. Most online sportsbooks offer both iOS and Android apps. Others, like Unibet and BetRivers, allow for browser-based betting via the GeoGuard app from GeoComply.
The iOS apps are available in the Apple App Store. The Google Play store does not allow any casino apps, but the operators all have an Android download available on their websites.
Deposit money and verify your identity
Getting money on and off the apps should be relatively easy once more payment options are approved. One nice perk is that PA bettors do not need to go to the casino to sign up for an account. Instead, the app will require a few pieces of information, including things like your birthday and a partial Social Security Number. From that, it will verify your identity and confirm you are at least 21 years old.
In terms of getting money on the app, the early options are just credit cards, cash at the cage, and a branded SugarHouse prepaid card.
However, once the market develops and matures a little, expect a few different options.
- pre-paid cards
- Credit cards
- Bank/wire transfers
Be aware that a certain percentage of credit cards flag deposits as a gambling transaction. With that in mind, some cards will decline your deposit. The method people tend to have the most success with is PayPal.
Be in Pennsylvania state lines when you bet
You do not have to live in Pennsylvania in order to bet on a mobile betting app. You do need to be in state lines though. Most apps will let you look at lines when you are out of state. However, the app will geolocate you to confirm you are in the state before it will let you place a Pennsylvania sports bet.