With new casinos launching regularly, you can expect most everything available in a brick and mortar casino, and in many instances, even more. Pennsylvania gambling sites offer a mix of betting options, slot machine games, and bonus offers. Some casinos will award players with a no-deposit bonus, while others might have a match offer.
For example, Sugarhouse offers Pennsylvania players an online sportsbook and casino with a $250 sign-up bonus.
Online casinos and sportsbooks are now live in Pennsylvania
Now that July 15 has come and gone, the PA online casino industry is finally up and running. There are several online casinos up and running in the state including:
There are also several PA online sportsbooks to choose from:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Unibet Sportsbook PA
- FOX Bet
- Parx Online Sportsbook
SugarHouse, FOX Bet, and Parx all offer integrated sportsbooks and online casinos. PlaySugarHouse broke ground with the first offering available to iOS users. Players simply sync up the browser version of SugarHouse with the Geo Guard third-party geolocation app and they are good to go.
When it comes to iPhone access, every sportsbook has means for iOS customers to bet. FanDuel, DraftKings, FOX Bet, and Parx all have apps in the Apple app store.
The FanDuel and DraftKings apps are seamlessly integrated with its New Jersey app, which is ideal for Philadelphia-area commuters. Meanwhile, SugarHouse and Rivers are both easily accessible via the iPhone browser.
For online casinos, PokerStars, SugarHouse and Hollywood have iPhone access, but Parx does not. SugarHouse, like the sportsbook, is accessible via the iPhone browser with over 40 titles to choose from.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved ten PA casinos for their interactive gaming licenses and we expect to see additional casinos and betting sites open in the coming months. Plus, with football underway, more sports betting apps should roll out soon.
The only two potential new licensees still in the process are out-of-state applicants MGM and Golden Nugget. Both are approved qualified gaming entities. However, neither has been approved for a license as of the start of November.
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What does the PA online gambling market look like?
Most everyone is getting involved in the PA online casino and sports betting industries in one way or another. In fact, there are also several outside companies taking part.
Here is a look at all the companies involved in online casinos, who their partners are, and where they are in the process:
|Casino||Existing online partners||Sports betting partners||Online Sportsbook launch||Online Casino launch date|
|SugarHouse Casino||Rush Street Interactive / Kambi||Kambi||Online: May, 31 2019||July 17|
|BetRivers Casino||SugarHouse / Rush Street Interactive||Kambi||Online: June, 27 2019||N/A|
|Hollywood Casino||IGT||William Hill||Retail: Nov. 17, 2018||July 15|
|Parx Casino||GAN||Kambi||June 27, 2019||July 15|
|Harrah's Casino||888||Scientific Games||Launched Jan. 24||TBA|
|Mount Airy||888 / PokerStars||FOX Bet||Launched Sept. 4||Nov. 4|
|Valley Forge Casino||IGT / GAN||FanDuel||Launched July 22||TBA|
|Presque Isle Downs||Golden Nugget||SBTech, IGT||Retail: July 24||TBA|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Kindred||N/A||Launched Nov. 18||TBA|
|The Meadows||N/A||DraftKings||Launched Nov. 4||N/A|
Full list of conditionally approved PA online casinos
PGCB has conditionally approved the following casinos for online slots, online table games, and online poker:
- SugarHouse Casino
- Hollywood Casino
- PokerStars Casino
- Valley Forge Casino
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino
- Mount Airy Casino
- Parx Casino
Four other casinos opted for online table games and slots licenses, but will not offer online poker. Those properties are:
- Presque Isle Downs
- Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia (opening December 2020)
- Wind Creek (formerly Sands Bethlehem)
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
That leaves three casinos sitting out. Rivers Casino initially applied, but rescinded its application. It will promote the rebranded Rivers Philadelphia online casino when it launches. Lady Luck Nemacolin and The Meadows are not taking part, likely deferring to their sister properties of Presque Isle and Hollywood Casino respectively.
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Mohegan Sun was on a bit slower schedule than its peers, as one of the last casinos to present online casino plans. It announced earlier this year it will work with Kindred for online gaming, in particular, sports betting. The Unibet brand finally went live in Pennsylvania in November.
In May, Mohegan presented sports betting plans and noted that Pala Interactive would be assisting on the online casino and online poker fronts.
The first of the online sportsbooks to launch, PlaySugarHouse Pennsylvania is one of two integrated online casinos and sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. The PA online casino uses the proprietary Rush Street Interactive platform. Kambi supplies the betting odds and some of the tech for the sportsbook.
PlaySugarHouse.com PA is available as an integrated Android app that users can download directly from the site. If you want to access the site on an iPhone, you can do so via your browser, but first, you have to download and enable the third-party GeoGuard app from GeoComply.
Don’t get too used to the name though. SugarHouse is in the process of rebranding to Rivers Casino Philadelphia.
The sportsbook went live at the end of May 2019, while the online casino launched on July 17, 2019.
BetRivers is the online sportsbook product from Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. While it looks like a near-clone of its sister site, PlaySugarHouse, they are actually two different entities. You need to set up different accounts to play on each sports betting site and the funds do not comingle.
Additionally, BetRivers does not have an online casino. Rivers Pittsburgh initially applied for a $10 million interactive gambling license package, but later rescinded its application. It can potentially be a skin of PlaySugarHouse someday, but for now, it is without an online casino option.
Given that SugarHouse is rebranding to Rivers Casino Philadelphia, there is certainly room for the two Rush Street properties to pool their resources when it comes to online gambling marketing and promotions across Pennsylvania.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National is the flagship property of Penn National Gaming. The PA-based casino company is relatively new to the online casino game. Accordingly, it inked a deal with IGT last fall to power its online casino product.
IGT’s PlayDigital platform debuted in the US when HollywoodCasino.com launched in Pennsylvania on July 15. It was the first online casino to launch in Pennsylvania.
The platform features the biggest slot library on the market. Additionally, it is the only online casino to offer the IGT Game King video poker suite with nine different video poker variants.
Hollywood Casino also is supposed to launch an online poker site, but given that they are starting from scratch and up against seasoned competitors, we do not expect this project to be a priority for Penn.
Harrah’s Online Casino
If you’ve spent any time at all on Caesars Online Casino in New Jersey, then you have a good idea of what to expect from Harrah’s Philadelphia Online Casino when it finally launches.
A product of Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) and Nyx, the NJ platform features a robust list of games, including a couple of hundred different slot titles an all your favorite table games on both its browser-based client and its online casino app.
When Harrah’s Philadelphia launches, you can also take advantage of one of the best rewards programs in the business, Caesars Rewards. Your online play can translate into brick and mortar casino rewards at any Caesars properties across the country.
And, of course, Harrah’s Philadelphia’s online gambling offerings will eventually include the largest regulated online poker site in the US, WSOP.com. At launch, the site will likely not be sharing players with sister WSOP sites in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, but PA law does allow for shared player liquidity as an option for the future.
Valley Forge Casino
Valley Forge Casino is up and running with FanDuel Sportsbook as of July 22. The casino has online table games and online slots in the works too.
If the casino product ends up anything like the sportsbook, which offers an iOS app and a shared wallet with players’ New Jersey accounts, it could be a trendsetter on the online casino front as well.
The current plan is to launch the site as VFCasino.com. The casino’s partnership with FanDuel’s parent company, Flutter Entertainment, means they will get to work with GAN on the online casino product. Flutter was previously known as PaddyPower Betfair, so if you want a sense of what to expect from Valley Forge, the Betfair online casino in New Jersey is probably a good indication.
No guarantee some of the same exclusive titles on Betfair will crop up in Valley Forge. However, the hope is there will be a similarly large library of slot titles. Betfair is somewhat lacking in a long list of table games, but it is a dream for slots players.
Presque Isle Downs
The Churchill Downs-owned Presque Isle Downs decided early on not to offer poker, but to move forward on an online casino.
The casino inked deals with SBTech and Golden Nugget in March 2019. For SBTech, it was the first US partnership on a sports betting platform.
The Golden Nugget deal is for CDI to open an online casino in New Jersey, but there is no reason to think the company will differ wildly from its NJ offering in Pennsylvania.
Mount Airy Casino
Mount Airy Casino has a big-time partner for its online gambling offering in The Stars Group (TSG). While TSG is better known for its online poker client, PokerStars, it is also a veteran online casino provider. Both sites launched in early November.
What’s unique is the PokerStars client presents online poker, online casino, and sports betting from FOX Bet in a single place. Users can easily jump from one vertical to another with a united account and shared wallet, without leaving the client or the app.
The new kid on the block, Wind Creek is probably better known to Pennsylvania gambling enthusiasts by its previous name, Sands Bethlehem.
The ink is barely dry on the Wind Creek transfer of ownership, so this is a property you should not expect to see any online gambling product from in 2019. Wind Creek’s owners, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, are absolutely pursuing online gambling, but could not lock down a partner or move forward until the $1.3 billion sale of Sands was complete.
Stadium Casino / Philly Live! project
We know Stadium’s owner, Cordish, plans to get involved in both sports betting and online casino. However, it can do neither until the brick and mortar sportsbook opens in December 2020.
With 11 leftover interactive licenses, PGCB opened up the application to qualified gaming entities (QGE) from outside of Pennsylvania.
Rather than partner with an in-state casino, MGM Resorts and Golden Nugget Atlantic City opted to apply. MGM is seeking all three categories of license. Golden Nugget, on the other hand, will not seek an online poker license.
In January, PGCB approved both as QGEs. Next up for the companies is to file petitions for interactive gaming licenses in the categories each are seeking.
The biggest casino in Pennsylvania is forging into new territory with online gambling. It did so kicking and screaming. The company repeatedly trying to foil efforts to bring online gambling to Pennsylvania, now they are of the mindset that, if you can’t beat them, join them.
Parx was the second casino to get an online sportsbook product up and running in the state, joining the SugarHouse PA online sportsbook product. It was also the second Pennsylvania online casino to start accepting bets.
Parx and its partner GAN launched Parx Online Casino on July 15 with a library of slot titles, video poker, roulette, and baccarat.
Is gambling legal in PA?
In October 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the state’s massive gambling expansion bill. The legislation created a wealth of new gaming opportunities in the Keystone State, including:
- Online casinos, both slots, and table games
- Sports betting
- Online poker
- Online lottery
- Virtual sports
- Satellite casinos
- Video gambling terminals (VGTs)
- Airport gambling
This lengthy list does not mean that Pennsylvania gambling is now a free-for-all. There is a big difference between regulated and unregulated gambling.
The easiest way to tell whether or not a gambling site is legal in PA is to determine if it is vetted and regulated by PGCB. Look for the PGCB seal (pictured left). Or, if you are unsure, you can visit the PGCB website.
Unlike illegal offshore casinos, regulated online casino markets mean customers:
- Know their funds and personal info are safe and secure
- All casino offerings are fair and meet the high standards of PGCB
- Can report any issues or concerns to PGCB for recourse
What can you expect from Pennsylvania online casinos
The list of games online should mirror what you find in your favorite PA casino. Games to expect include:
- Video poker
- Pai gow
- Three card poker
- Hold’em bonus
Do not expect games like virtual sports and Keno at your online casinos in PA. These games are the turf of the Pennsylvania Lottery. They are currently available at PA Lottery monitors in bars and taverns and should be online at the PA Lottery’s online site eventually, but they will not be debuting on PA online casino sites.
Deposit and no-deposit bonuses
Online gambling sites will try to win new customers with tempting offers to sign up for accounts on the site. Once those sites go live, check back with PA Online Casino for the best offers and exclusive bonus codes to ensure you get the best deals upon signing up.
Many sites will offer an option to test out the online casino without even having to put money on the site. These promotions, called no-deposit bonuses, will offer small amounts like $10 or $25 in exchange for a player signing up for an account.
If you want to just test out the games a PA real-money gambling site has to offer, you don’t have to reach for your wallet either. Most games come with a free-to-play demo where customers can give the game a try before giving it any of their money.
Deposit bonuses offer bigger monetary offers in exchange for customers depositing on the site. These deposit offers often match 100% of your deposit in bonus funds up to a maximum of $200 or $250.
Most bonuses come with certain terms and conditions, like a wagering or playthrough requirement. Be sure to check what a promo entails.
How to deposit and cash out at Pennsylvania online casinos
Getting money on and off online gambling sites in PA is relatively straightforward. For some sites, the options may begin relatively limited, but should eventually expand to include:
- Credit cards
- Electronic checks (ACH deposits)
- Cash deposits at the casino
- Online payment processors such as PayPal (currently not available)
- Prepaid debit card
- PayNearMe at 7Eleven, CVS, and other retail establishments
Withdrawal options are generally limited to the method you used to deposit. For some deposit methods, instead, players will need to opt for a check in the mail.
PA casino loyalty programs
Just like PA brick and mortar casinos reward loyal players, online casinos have programs where players can earn cash, prizes, and other rewards in exchange for playing on the site.
One example players can already take advantage of is iRush Rewards, which sports bettors on both Rivers and SugarHouse can earn rewards and move up a tiered system that offers bigger rewards to higher-level players.
In fact, many of these online promotional programs will sync up with your brick and mortar account. Here are some of the programs we know will interlink online and brick and mortar:
- Caesars Rewards (Harrah’s Philadelphia)
- Rush Rewards (SugarHouse and Rivers)
- MyxClub (Parx)
Live dealer games
Unlike online versions of games like roulette and blackjack that rely on a random number generator and computer graphics, these games play just like you are in a casino.
That is because these games feature a real person as your dealer, dealing real cards, and spinning a real roulette wheel. Cameras in a studio capture the action and players online can even chat and interact with their dealers.
The result is the comfort of playing the game in the comfort of your home or on the go on your phone but with the fun and social interaction of a PA brick and mortar casino.
Parx is already advertising its online dealer plans, and we expect most casinos will eventually roll out this option.
Progressive jackpot slots
Pennsylvania online gambling sites should offer progressive slots to attract players as well.
You may get some of the more popular progressive slots titles like Divine Fortune, Rags to Riches, and Wonderland. The PA guidelines on minimum returns to the player are some of the lowest in the nation, making for notoriously tight slot machines.
Other online gambling offers in Pennsylvania
PA online lottery games
While casino lovers of PA count the days until launch, there is one way to pass the time. As part of the gambling expansion law, the state-legalized PA online lottery. Pennsylvania’s iLottery launched in May 2017 with a dozen or so online instant games.
These online instant games are like a scratch-off ticket you would buy at the store, but more interactive. Online instants often include bonus games in addition to the scratch-off component, allowing you to multiply your winnings on each ticket.
As part of the rollout, the PA Lottery also introduced a revamped PA Lottery mobile app. While you cannot purchase lottery draw tickets online just yet, you can use the app to play instant games, check winning numbers, and scan your draw tickets to find out if you have a winner.
PA online poker update
Eventually, there are supposed to be eight different PA online poker sites up and running in the state. In all honesty, the likelihood of a sustainable Pennsylvania online poker market with that many operators is slim.
What Pennsylvania poker players can expect is these operators getting up on running once they are ready and vetted by the PGCB:
The first site, PokerStars, is scheduled to launch for live testing on Nov. 4. No word on when the other sites might join the marketplace though.
Responsible gaming at PA online gambling sites
Another great asset in a regulated online casino market is the array of responsible gambling tools at a player’s disposal.
In Pennsylvania, there is a separate self-exclusion list managed by PGCB. Players who want to ban themselves from playing on any regulated PA online casino can do so through them. This list is separate from the brick and mortar self-exclusion list.
Additionally, many online sites, both sports betting and casino, offer means of controlling your play with things like:
- Deposit limits
- Betting limits
- Time limitations
- Cooling off periods
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler
If you want other resources to address problem gambling, consider: