Pennsylvania online gambling is finally underway. In October of 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 the first PA online casinos.
Pennsylvania online sports betting launched its first app on May 28. 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.
On July 15, the era of online casinos began with the debuts of Parx Online Casino and HollywoodCasino.com. SugarHouse Casino joined them effective July 17.
Now there is a busy market of online gambling to choose from, with even more on the way. There are currently seven online sportsbooks, five online casino sites, and one online poker option for Pennsylvania gamblers.
PA online casino update
We are just a few days away from the start of PA online casinos offering table games and slot machines. The first sites rolled out on July 15, followed by a third on July 17.
Here is the latest on which online casinos are next to launch:
|Casino||Existing online partners||Potential or speculated partner||Interactive application status|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||N/A||IGT||Conditionally approved|
|Mount Airy||888 / PokerStars||N/A||Conditionally approved|
|Sands Bethlehem||N/A||N/A||Conditionally approved|
|SugarHouse||Rush Street Interactive / Kambi||N/A||Conditionally approved|
|Valley Forge||IGT / GAN||partypoker / GVC||Conditionally approved|
|Stadium Park Philly Live! Casino||N/A||GAN||Conditionally approved|
|Presque Isle Downs||Golden Nugget||NetEnt||Conditionally approved|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Kindred||N/A||Conditionally approved|
|MGM Resorts||bwin.party||partypoker / GVC||Approved QGE|
|Golden Nugget NJ||NYX||N/A||Approved QGE|
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
PA sports betting app launch May 28
SugarHouse beat everyone else to launch, however, we wouldn’t call it a smashing success. Numerous operators are having trouble getting their apps into the Apple app store, and SugarHouse was no exception.
The operator launched with an Android app and a desktop version, which is accessible via the browser function on iPhones.
Additionally, the site only offers a handful of deposit options for now. Some of the more popular options like ACH deposit or PayPal will be added in the coming weeks.
Two more apps come along
Nearly a full month after SugarHouse broke the mold, both Parx and BetRivers upped the state’s number of betting apps to three.
Parx began testing at the onset of the final week of June, followed a day later by the online sportsbook by Rivers Casino.
Both products went fully live June 27.
PA betting apps to expect in the state
There are currently eight sportsbooks in the state, two of which are off-track betting facilities. Three other casinos are in the process of getting approved for or launching sports betting. These are the casinos you can expect to see offer a sports betting app as well as who their partners are:
|Casino||Sports betting partners||Retail sports betting application status||Online sports betting launch status|
|Harrah's Philadelphia||Scientific Games||Launched Jan. 22||Summer 2019|
|Hollywood Sportsbook||William Hill||Launched Nov. 15||Summer 2019|
|Mount Airy||BetStars/FoxBet||Application pending||N/A|
|Parx||Kambi||Launched Jan. 8||Fully launched June 27|
|Rivers Sportsbook||Kambi||Launched Dec. 13||Fully launched June 27|
|SugarHouse Sportsbook||Kambi||Launched Dec. 13||Fully launched May 31|
|FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge||FanDuel||Launched March 12||June or July|
|Presque Isle Downs||SBTech, IGT||Launching Fall 2019||N/A|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Kindred||Launching Fall 2019||Launching Fall 2019|
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. Updated iOS guidelines prevent these betting apps from entering the Apple store or viewing online sportsbooks in browser mode. They can, however, use a desktop computer to see lines and create accounts.
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.