Online sports betting has officially launched in PA and new customers at Pennsylvania online casinos will be eligible for welcome bonuses, which include deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, and free play.
A no-deposit bonus is awarded to players just for creating registering account. No financial investment is required on the player’s part. You can withdraw your no deposit bonus after meeting certain requirements.
A deposit bonus does require a deposit in order to qualify for free money. Deposit bonuses are bigger than free play and can offer a substantial amount of money. This type of bonus can be cashed out, too.
Free play bonuses are similar to no deposit bonuses, however, the former cannot be withdrawn. Only winnings generated from free play are eligible for withdrawal.
The catch with these bonuses is that they’re not technically “free.” Instead, you need to meet specific requirements before the money becomes yours officially. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) requires that all internet casinos operating in the market list bonus terms and conditions on their websites.
If you have questions regarding bonus terms at any casino, read our casino reviews or contact us directly.
Pennsylvania online casino match deposit bonuses
First-time depositors will receive a match deposit bonus at most Pennsylvania internet casinos. These deals see you deposit money into the casino and become eligible for a match percentage of that amount.
For example, let’s say that you deposit at a PA casino with a 100 percent match bonus up to $500. If you deposit $250 under this deal, then you’ll qualify for a $250 bonus. The maximum amount of bonus cash that you could earn under this deal is $500.
Casinos don’t hand you the money right away. Instead, it’s put into a separate bonus account until you’ve earned the funds by satisfying terms and conditions. This is done so that players don’t make a deposit just to get the bonus, then cash everything out immediately afterward.
Match deposit bonuses vs. cashback bonuses
Presumably, Pennsylvania online casinos will offer match deposit bonuses. But a small number of operators give cashback to new customers instead.
Cashback bonuses reward a certain amount of money back on your short-term losses. For example, an internet casino might offer $100 cash back on losses within your first seven days.
These offers include stipulations on the loss amount. For instance, you might have to lose 90 percent or more of your initial deposit before receiving money back. And you’ll need to meet a minimum loss amount, such as $10.
Cashback welcome bonuses aren’t as popular as match bonuses because they don’t give you a chance to earn as much money. Plus, there’s a negative connotation associated with bonuses revolving around losses. Nevertheless, these are still good deals if you’re looking to provide loss insurance on your initial play.
Terms and conditions on PA match deposit bonuses
Some deposit bonuses appear to offer the same value on the surface. This is especially true when considering that a 100 percent match is standard at online casinos. But terms and conditions separate the best bonus deals from the rest.
Deposit bonuses are another area where you should look at the terms and conditions page before depositing. You specifically want to check:
- Wagering requirements
- Allowable games
- Time constraints
Match bonuses require you to wager a multiple of your bonus and/or the deposit amount before withdrawing the free cash. Here’s an example of how deposit bonus wagering requirements work:
- You deposit $100 under a 100 percent match deal
- This qualifies you for a $100 bonus
- Wagering requirements are 10x the bonus plus deposit amount
- (100 = 100) x 10 = $2,000
- You must wager $200 before the money is yours.
Yes, $2,000 sounds like a lot to wager to receive a $100 bonus. But you can make a theoretical profit in some cases, depending upon the games you choose.
Here’s an example to illustrate this point:
- You play an online slot with 96 percent payback (4 percent house edge)
- You wager $2,000 on this game
- 2,000 x 0.04 = $80 theoretical loss
- 100 bonus – 80 losses = $20 theoretical win
Games affect how quickly you earn match bonuses
Table games and video poker can be even better than slots for clearing bonuses. This fact is especially true when considering that some blackjack and video poker variations offer under a one percent house edge.
But this is where game restrictions and stipulations come into play.
Casinos don’t want the average player earning a huge profit on their bonus deal. Therefore, they force you to meet different requirements on games with low house edges.
Slots, Keno, and scratch cards typically have the highest house advantages in the Pennsylvania online market. Therefore, you typically don’t have to meet high wagering requirements while playing any of these games.
In contrast, baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, and video poker give you a stronger chance to win. Therefore, you’re left betting more money to get your bonus. Wagering requirements on these games can range between 100x and 200x the bonus.
Theoretical losses help determine if slots or table games are better for chasing 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 percent 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 percent 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 one percent 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.
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 percent 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 percent 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 percent 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.
Pennsylvania online casino no deposit bonuses
no deposit bonuses are rare in many online gaming markets. Most internet casinos don’t like giving players a chance to earn free money without making a deposit
How to get Pennsylvania no deposit bonuses
If Pennsylvania online casinos offer a no deposit bonus, you will have to open an account to receive it. Creating an account only requires entering a few personal details, such as your name, home address, email address, mobile phone number, username, and password.
Make sure to enter the given bonus code from our website so that you qualify for best-available welcome bonuses.
You should receive the no deposit bonus once your account is verified. You can then use the funds to try real the site’s real money games.
No deposit bonuses differ from merely playing free online casino games, where you wager using fake chips with no prospect of winning real money. A no deposit bonus actually gives you the chance to win cash.
Why do Pennsylvania online casinos offer no deposit bonuses?
Internet casinos benefit from giving players a no deposit bonus in two ways:
- no deposit bonuses motivate players to try their games, which increases the chances that they’ll deposit.
- Casinos can get your email address for marketing purposes.
Online casinos have little to lose by giving new customers a small restricted bonus. Most players won’t meet the requirements to cash out their bonus. And those who do will likely try parlaying their winnings into more money, which causes them to lose their bankroll in the end.
Terms and conditions on PA online internet bonuses
Terms on no deposit bonuses will vary throughout the Pennsylvania online gaming market. This is why it’s essential to visit the terms and conditions page at any PA internet casino that you’re considering. You can also refer to our online casino reviews for more information.
No deposit bonuses do share some commonalities, including the following:
- Only available to new players
- The casino must verify your account (this is done automatically)
- You must meet wagering requirements before withdrawing bonus funds
- You must claim the bonus within a specific time frame
- no deposit bonuses come with an expiration date (e.g. seven days)
- Some casino games cannot be played using bonus funds
Two important factors include knowing the wagering requirements and any time constraints on the no deposit bonus.
no deposit bonus wagering requirements can be higher than deposit bonus requirements, and you usually only have about a week to use the no deposit bonus.
Here’s an example on no deposit bonus terms so you can get a better sense for how this offer works:
- You create an online casino account with a promo code
- The promo code entitles you to a $20 no deposit bonus
- Wagering requirements are 10x the bonus amount
- The casino requires you to clear your bonus within 72 hours
- You must wager at least $20*10 = $200 in the allotted time to be able to withdraw any part of the bonus or generated winnings
There is nothing to lose when chasing no deposit bonuses, other than a few moments of your time. You should especially take advantage of these offers if you’re already interested in PA online gaming to begin with.
Pennsylvania freeplay bonuses
Freeplay offers are very similar to no deposit bonuses in that both are awarded after registering a new account and they do not require a deposit. However, one important distinction between the two is that a freeplay bonus cannot be cashed out. Only winnings acquired through wagering are subject to withdrawal.
Here’s an example: you receive $20 in freeplay with a 5x turnover requirement. You play slots and video poker and end up winning $10 in total
You now have $20 in freeplay plus $10 in winnings in your account. You can cash out the $10 winnings by meeting the wagering requirement (5*$10 = $50). However, the $20 freeplay can never be withdrawn, no matter how much you end up wagering.
Bonus and promo codes – what’s the difference?
Players new to online gambling can get confused between bonus and promo codes. And it’s important to know the distinction so that you get the deals most relevant to you.
A bonus code is used when signing up (and depositing) at an internet casino. These codes give you the chance to claim both no deposit/freeplay and deposit bonus offers.
Online casinos usually make their bonuses available for months or years. This means that there’s no rush to use bonus codes within a certain time frame. Instead, you can take your time deciding if you want to deposit at a particular venue.
Sometimes casino operators use the term promo code instead of bonus code, making them seem interchangeable.
But promo codes can also indicate short-term promotions that will expire within a specific time frame. This leaves you with a small window to take advantage of a bonus before it expires.
We recommend familiarizing yourself with the terms that your preferred online casino uses regarding welcome bonuses and other offers.
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 percent match bonus
- Wagering requirements are 40x the bonus
- 300 x 40 = $12,000 must be wagered
- You play slots with 95 percent 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 percent match bonus
- Wagering requirements are 20x the bonus
- 300 x 20 = $6,000 must be wagered
- You play slots with 95 percent 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.
Casinos that are eligible to offer PA online gaming & bonuses
It’s good to familiarize yourself with the Pennsylvania internet gaming market so that you know where to look for bonuses.
The Keystone State features 10 commercial and racetrack casinos (a.k.a. racinos). They also have two smaller slots gambling parlors along with a 13th casino that’s coming to the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. This gambling venue is set to be completed in 2020.
The following PA land-based casinos are eligible to apply for online gaming licenses. PA online gaming is expected to launch mid-2019.
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- The Meadows Casino
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
- Mount Airy Casino Resort
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
- Parx Casino
- Presque Isle Downs
- Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
- South Philadelphia Sports Complex casino (under development)
- SugarHouse Casino
- Valley Forge Resort Casino
Separate licenses are needed for different types of gaming
Pennsylvania online casino licensing comes in three groups:
- Table games
Land-based casino operators can apply for one or more of these licenses. Some PA casinos might take advantage of all three, while others are only interested in specific licenses.
If any of the 13 Pennsylvania land-based operators decide not to apply for an online gaming license, then these licenses will be made available to outside businesses. The Stars Group (owner of PokerStars) has already expressed interest in obtaining one of these permits.
Choose a casino that offers everything you need
You should take into account all the different types of gaming you’re interested in when deciding on a site. After all, you don’t want to be forced to sign up and deposit at three separate sites for slots, table games, and poker.
PA internet gaming operators are free to create multiple skins for their branding, though there are some limitations on how those skins work. This allows them to offer various casino or poker brands under the same license. Casinos with numerous skins often feature the same bonus deals at each site.