Pennsylvania is home to several online casinos, which means that Pennsylvania is home to online casino bonuses. For players new to PA’s online gaming sites, numerous great opportunities are available. Notably, each online casino that is active in the state right now offers a deposit match of some sort. Some will even reward new players with free money.
Here’s a rundown on all things related to casino bonuses in the Keystone State.
Best online casino bonuses in Pennsylvania
Many of our bonuses are exclusive to PAOnlineCasino.com; they aren’t available anywhere else.
However, customers should read the fine print on any promotional offer. Almost all the PA online casino bonuses listed comes with some terms and conditions, and it can take some play before it’s possible to withdraw the extra funds.
How do no-deposit casino bonuses work?
A no-deposit casino bonus is one of online gambling’s sweetest things. It’s free money the site gives to players.
The way to receive these bonuses is simple. Potential players must register for an account on the site. That’s it.
The money will be waiting in the new account.
Terms and conditions for no-deposit bonuses
Like most bonuses; however, there are a few strings attached. To redeem a no-deposit bonus in PA fully, players must satisfy a few conditions. They are:
- New accounts only: Free money will only appear in the accounts of new registrants.
- Playthrough: To withdraw the free money, the casino may require players to wager through a multiple of the bonus amount. This multiple can range from 1x, meaning a player must only wager the amount of the bonus itself, to higher standards like 20x the bonus amount.
- Validation: The site may require a confirmation on a new player’s email before redeeming the bonus.
- Opt-in: Players may be required to visit the bonus section of the chosen site. Once there, they must tell the casino that they are electing to take part in the promotion, which is usually by clicking a button.
- Time limits: If the site requires players to redeem their free money, they may only have a certain amount of time after registering to do so. Alternatively, there may also be a limit to how long players can attempt to satisfy the playthrough requirement. In either case, funds not released by the deadline are forfeit and will return to the site.
- Eligible games: Not all games are created equal for online casinos in Pennsylvania. For reasons such as a better partnership deal or a larger profit share, an online casino may require that free money be played on designated games.
There is little reason to ignore or spurn a no-deposit online casino bonus in Pennsylvania.
Even if they are simply a ploy to get a player to try certain games, it’s still a good idea to take advantage.
How do deposit bonuses and match bonuses work?
While some online casinos may not offer no-deposit bonuses, deposit or match bonuses are nearly ubiquitous on every site.
In a match bonus, the player elects to deposit money onto the online casino. In return, the casino pledges to match a certain percentage of that deposit with funds of its own.
The percentage of each bonus can vary wildly. Some bonuses are only good for a 10% addition, while others will match the deposit, dollar-for-dollar.
Each bonus offer will also specify a maximum amount of bonus money that the site will pay out. So, it may take a bit of arithmetic to figure out how to maximize one’s bonus.
For example, let’s say that an online casino has a deposit bonus offer where it will match 25% of the deposit of up to $500. In other words, that $500 represents the site’s maximum contribution at a 25% level.
So, to receive the maximum amount of money, a player would need to deposit $2,000 into his or her wallet onsite.
However, as in all things, there are a few catches.
Terms and conditions for the welcome bonus offers
- Promotional code: Whether the player is new to the site or not, many deposit matches have a promo code associated with them. A player must enter these codes into a box that will appear on the site’s deposit page. Make sure to check promo codes for spelling and punctuation. The success of receiving one’s bonus money depends on the accurate submission of the deposit code on the form.
- Playthrough: As with no-deposit bonuses, most deposit bonuses have a playthrough requirement. Unlike their counterparts, however, playthrough requirements tend to be far more onerous to satisfy for match bonus offers. A player may be required to wager through tens of multiples of his or her bonus amount to redeem it. Depending on the game they favor, it’s not uncommon for players to encounter wagering requirements that exceed 100x.
- Validation: A player may need to validate his or her bank account prior to the site allowing a deposit. This process usually requires proof of identity, and the site may make a small representative deposit into an account to ascertain whether the player’s method of funding is aboveboard.
- Opt-in: Even if there isn’t a promo code available for the promotion, players may still need to opt-in. Once they are logged in, they are ready to deposit.
- Time limits: One of the toughest parts about deposit bonuses are the time limits. Even the most tedious of playthrough rates would be doable, given enough time. Unfortunately, Play PA sites are not going to allow a bonus to stay open-ended forever while the player satisfies the requirement. So, each bonus will come with a time limit. After it expires, any remaining bonus money will be forfeited back to the site.
Is it worth it to opt into a match bonus?
By this point, it may seem as though match bonuses are not worth the hassle.
After all, a large playthrough requirement and a short timeframe can mean that full redemption of the bonus is going to take some focused play on the customer’s part.
The short answer to whether or not a bonus is worth pursuing: it depends. There are so many variables at work that each bonus deserves its research.
Playthrough requirement math
First and foremost, consider the playthrough multiple. Casinos will often use a selection of multiples for each bonus, which is based upon the type of game that the customer wants to play.
It’s essential to look at what sort of return a player can expect while playing that type of game. For instance, a typical online slot machine will pay back 95% of the money wagered into it.
So, a player can expect to lose $5 for every $100 he or she wagers. Well, on the flip side, a 20x playthrough multiple means that the player will gain $5 for every $100 he or she wagers.
By that rationale, a 20x playthrough on slots is a breakeven proposition. Any bonuses that are 20x and below for slot play are, therefore, a worthwhile endeavor.
It’s possible, then, to calculate the breakeven multiple for most games.
Video poker games, for instance, returns 96% of wagers. So, the prospect of a $4 loss means that video poker bonuses are optimal when they are 25x or below.
Some table games, like blackjack, return more than 99% of wagers to players, provided that the player uses optimal strategy. So, a large playthrough requirement might not be out of order for games that are nearly even odds.
Bonus plus deposit playthrough requirements
There is one other thing to watch for in the fine print of these bonuses.
Specifically, you should look for whether the playthrough requirement is on the bonus amount alone, or if it is on the bonus and the deposit amount.
It’s a rather sneaky ploy, but some online casinos will attach the multiple to both the bonus funds and the deposited amount. So, it’s a way to double the playthrough requirement multiple without advertising it.
Which games are eligible to clear a bonus?
However, the closer a player gets to even odds, the less likely the game in question will count toward the bonus. So, players who only bets table games a certain way might find themselves shut out of using that game to redeem their bonus.
For instance, take the color bet on roulette. A bet on black or red carries a near 50/50 chance, the only source of the house advantage is the green zero space or spaces.
So, it’s common that a bonus might not allow those kinds of even money wagers to count toward the playthrough requirement. Players can still bet on other parts of the roulette wheel, but those kinds of bets are considered to be an exploit of the bonus.
Theoretical losses help determine which casino games are better for clearing bonuses
Theoretical losses refer to the average amount of money that you’ll lose based on the house edge. Given that every PA online casino game has a built-in house edge, understanding theoretical losses is essential for bankroll management purposes.
This is also helpful when deciding if you want to use slots or table games to unlock a welcome bonus. The example below compares theoretical losses between earning a bonus through slots and table games:
- You deposit $200 under a 100% match offer ($200 bonus)
- Wagering requirements on slots are 20x the bonus
- 20 x 200 = $4,000 must be wagered to earn your bonus
- You play a slot with 95% payback (5% house edge)
- 4,000 x 0.05 = $200 theoretical loss
- Wagering requirements on blackjack are 100x the bonus
- 100 x 200 = $20,000 must be wagered
- You play a blackjack game with a 1% house edge
- 20,000 x 0.01 = $200 theoretical loss
You can see from this example that higher wagering requirements don’t always equate to more losses. But table games and video poker can be less advantageous when wagering requirements are more than 100x.
We suggest running the math and comparing slots to other games before pursuing your bonus.
Still, even with all of these requirements, it might seem as though a bonus is always worth pursuing. Even though it will take a while, the bonus will eventually release.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Most online casinos place a time limit on their bonuses.
Usually, players will only have about a week to complete the playthrough requirement to realize the value of the bonus fully. After that time, the bonus expires.
When considering whether to opt into a bonus, players need to be realistic about the volume of their usual or future play. If a player must wager $2,000 to clear the bonus and he or she bet in 50 cent increments, that means that he or she must bet 4,000 times to hit the mark.
As to how long that takes, it varies from player to player. If a player can spend every hour of the day playing, then it might be possible.
However, most of us have jobs and other responsibilities. So, a seven-day slot-a-thon isn’t feasible.
Bonus release interval
It’s important to note that redeeming a bonus is usually not an all-or-nothing proposition.
Otherwise, players would grind for their bonus amount and then forfeit everything if they came up a bit short on the playthrough requirement.
Instead, online casinos will often drip the bonus funds out of the account at a prescribed rate. So, the total amount of bonus may be, say, $100, but the site will pay it out to the customer in $5 increments.
However, these increments don’t have to be present or regular, either. Each bonus or each casino is going to have a policy for how it doles out the bonus money.
How do loyalty or comp point schemes work?
Another form of bonus in the online casino world is the loyalty program.
These programs or their perks are sometimes called “comps,” which is short for complimentary. The term is a fancy way of describing anything that the casinos give away for free.
Loyalty programs are usually a point system that rewards players for their activity. Players earn points based upon the game and dollars they’re betting onsite.
Obviously, the higher the bet amount, the more points the player earns. Games that carry a lower rate of return to the customer will also yield more points per play than others.
These points are redeemable for a whole range of perks, prizes and benefits. Patrons can exchange points for free meals, event tickets, or hotel stays at its land-based counterparts.
Loyalty programs tend to separate customers into different strata according to the number of points they earn. Players can get certain levels of attention or benefit, like preferential placement in line or exclusive events as they progress.
The player’s tier acts as an easy way for casino personnel to identify the revenue potential of their customers.
Like most things in a casino, comps are designed to promote more gambling from their patrons. True to form, some gamblers will identify the achievement of these perks as a primary objective of their play.
Nevertheless, most of them are free to join. A person who plans to play on a particular site may as well register for the program, since they will gain a benefit from the activity they planned to do, anyway.
Good vs. bad online wagering requirements
We reiterate that it’s wise to compare bonus terms and conditions between Pennsylvania online casinos. After all, you want to have the best chance of earning free money. But what constitutes good wagering requirements?
The standard for Pennsylvania match bonuses is 20x the bonus (or 10x bonus + deposit) on slots. This means that you can theoretically break even when earning your bonus through slots offering 95% payback. Playing games above this payout percentage gives you a strong chance to earn profits.
Finding wagering requirements between 10x and 15x is even better. A bonus with such requirements means that you can turn a profit when playing slots with 95% payback. And you’ll potentially earn a large profit on games that pay above this mark.
Anything higher than 20x playthrough is a bad deal in comparison to the market average. You should reconsider playing at a casino with 25x or 30x turnover, given that other PA gaming sites probably will offer better deals.
The standard for table games and video poker is 100x turnover. Such requirements are comparable to a slot with 95% payback regarding theoretical wins/losses.
Blackjack, craps, and roulette can sometimes offer even lower requirements worth around 50x. This is an incredible deal that gives you the chance to earn a nice profit.
Now, 200x playthrough requirements are on the opposite end of the spectrum in that you’re highly likely to lose money in the process of clearing the bonus. Such steep multipliers are common for Blackjack at some casinos.
Regulated online bonuses vs. US offshore casino bonuses
The high value of casino bonuses in regulated US markets can be seen when comparing them to the offshore casino bonuses offered to most Americans. An offshore internet casino is characterized by operating in unregulated markets. These sites are usually located in Caribbean countries with lax standards on internet gaming.
Offshore casinos typically impose 40x wagering requirements on a 100% match deposit bonus. This ensures that they make a theoretical profit off the average player.
Here’s a comparison between a regulated and an offshore casino deposit bonus:
- You deposit $300 at an offshore site with a 100% match bonus
- Wagering requirements are 40x the bonus
- 300 x 40 = $12,000 must be wagered
- You play slots with 95% payback.
- 12,000 x 0.05 = $600 theoretical loss
- 600 loss – 300 bonus = $300 net loss
- You deposit $300 at a PA internet casino with a 100% match bonus
- Wagering requirements are 20x the bonus
- 300 x 20 = $6,000 must be wagered
- You play slots with 95% payback.
- 6,000 x 0.05 = $300 theoretical loss
- 300 loss – 300 bonus = break even
Favorable wagering requirements are a major reason why Pennsylvania residents are lucky to be dealing with licensed casinos, rather than offshore sites.
PA online casino market snapshot
At present, three online casinos are up and running in the state of Pennsylvania. All three launched within a three-day period in July.
The three online casinos are available for bets in the Keystone State around the clock. They are:
Five more sites are expected to go live by the end of 2019. So, the following casinos should be available sometime in the next few months:
Of course, things can change, but it’s clear that the PA online casino market is only in its early stages. For bonus seekers, that’s a good thing because more competition means more casinos that are trying to impress with bonuses.
So, sit tight, and keep your eyes peeled. There should be a ton of free money floating around Pennsylvania soon.
Players need to weigh all of these factors before they opt into a casino’s bonus offer.
It is entirely possible that the bonus is a good deal. In fact, many of them are since the casino wants to attract more business.
However, players must take a look in the mirror at the type of player they are. A casual player will have a more difficult time taking advantage of a deposit bonus than a serious one will.
Long story short, players should take each deposit bonus and read through its material before deciding. Otherwise, they may set themselves up for some frustration down the road.