Best Real Money Online Casinos in Pennsylvania 2023
Online casinos in Pennsylvania have recently become legal, and it’s been a real challenge: to study all the legislation, consider all taxation-related questions, and evaluate the gambling activities to be forbidden or permitted by the laws.
This page is meant to shed light on the legal aspects related to online gambling in the Keystone state.
Generally, the Keystone state-based gambling started off in 1959 with the Race Horse Industry Reform (13 March 1959). Besides, the Act mentioned underwent the 1981 and 1993 amendments to turn into Act 114 of 2016 called Race Horse Industry Reform.
Nonetheless, the casino legislation process in the state was officially initiated in 1963. So, look through the timeline we’ve provided below for more information.
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino Opened
June 28, 1963 following the 1959 Race Horse Industry Reform, the first casino was officially run in Pennsylvania. Its name was the Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties, the casino is located 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania Lottery Opened
August 26, 1971, the first lottery was established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly undergoing the State Lottery Law dated the same day. The first ticket was officially sold on March 7, 1972. In a week, the number one draw took place in the state.
The first Pennsylvania-based on-land casino—Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs—opened. After that, the brick and mortar casinos obtained a right of partnership with the software providers to create the online versions of the same casinos. We’ll shed some more light on it a bit later on in this article.
Tom Wolf’s Bill Passed
In October 2017, Tom Wolf, PA governor, released a bill—House Bill 271—allowing fantasy sports, online gambling and casino activities at airports. Some amendments were made by Ortitay, D. Costa, Dunbar, English, Kortz, Ward, Nelson and Jozwiak.
Online Casino Licence Applications to Be Received
As of July 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has officially accepted the applications to receive a licence for the gambling activities online in PA. By the way, the procedure was designed back in 2010 by Pennsylvania Gaming Supplier Regulatory Overview.
First Video Gaming Rooms Established
The first video gaming rooms—Rutter’s and Penn National Gaming—opened in Pennsylvania back in 2019, which is pretty recent.
As the online gambling in PA timeline demonstrates, the gambling development history in the state has been pretty complicated before getting shaped in the modern form.
In any case, the PA online casinos are at the moment regarded as the safest ones in the USA. Why so? We’ll prove that in the successive section.
Are the Online Casinos in Pennsylvania Safe?
All PA online casinos are absolutely safe for the gamblers because there are a couple of reasons, namely:
They are controlled and regulated
The governmental agencies tend to audit the casinos
All of the games in the PA online casinos are based on RNG.
These three reasons serve as fundamental postulates elaborated by the PA Gambling Commission (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (also known as PGCB) to ensure the best PA online casinos functioning. What’s more, the agency oversees the matters of possible illegal gambling in the state.
These facts mean that online gambling in Keystone state is even more than safe.
What is more, the PGCB agency also takes the gambling activity types over. There’s a distinctive list of gambling entertainments to be legal in the state.
As a result, they’re monitored by the PA Gambling Commission to avoid any errors and prevent any possible illegal actions.
Let’s now consider some of the casino types available and legit in PA and proceed with the games you can play legally within the state borders.
There are currently four different types of casino and gaming categories in the State of Pennsylvania, as outlined by the state regulator. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board recognizes and issues casino licenses for four different categories, with each having its own particularities.
Category 1 – This type of license is issued to racetrack facilities which have to cover an initial licensing fee of $50 million with the license then up for renewal every three years. A Category 1 applicant may also submit a separate application and pay a one-off fee to operate table games in exchange for $16.5 million.
Category 2 – In this case, licenses are issued to standalone casinos that wish to run slot machines with the initial licensing fee of $50 million. A renewal fee is once again paid every three years. In order to operate table games, a Category 2 casino must also pay a one-off fee of $7.5 million.
Category 3 – Category 3 licenses are granted to casino resorts that feature slot machines and mandate an initial fee of $5 million. Certain conditions as outlined by Stat. 1305(d) have to be met for a person to apply for a Category 3 license.
Category 4 – Category 4 licenses are the latest, and they apply to mini or satellite casinos. The PGCB has granted rights to ten Category casinos that cannot be within a 25-mile range of Category 1, 2, or 3 casinos. These properties must offer at least 300 slot machines, up to 750, and up to 30 table games.
Mini-casinos originate from PA, and they’re expected to carry on being established all over the US.
What are mini-casinos? How do they function, and what do they bring?
Mini-casinos, or satellite casinos, are smaller versions of ordinary brick-and-mortar casinos. Nonetheless, the mini-casinos are known to possess several distinctive features compared to the on-land ones, namely:
The casinos can’t be located less than 40 miles from each other
There’s a lesser number of slot machines
There’s a smaller number of table games, and
The building/complex is of a smaller size.
The first idea to implement the satellite casinos in PA emerged in 2017, right with Tom Wolf’s Bill.
In addition, when it comes to the exact sizes of the satellite casinos, the following requirements should be met to consider a gambling venue as the satellite. These requirements/characteristics are as follows:
Number of games
From 300 to 700
From 20 to 30
At the moment, there are five mini-casinos in PA, so consider the casinos in Pennsylvania list:
Online casinos in Pennsylvania
Hollywood Casino Morgantown (by Penn National Gaming)
Morgantown Hollywood Casino York, Penn National Gaming
York Parx Casino
Ira Lubert, near State College
Live! Casino Pittsburgh (by Stadium Casino LLC)
Beaver County (Western PA)
So, if you’re willing to experience a new gambling approach, feel free to visit one of the venues listed above.
Banking Options at a PA Online Casino
When playing slot machines or any other game for real money in PA, sooner or later, the moment will come when you'll have to withdraw your funds.
It'd be better to prepare for this process in advance and immediately after the first entrance to the online casino website, link a credit card to the profile.
It is done through your account. There will be a simple form to fill out, both for PC and Android/iOS.
Next, request verification of the details and wait until the administration confirms them.
When the user's account is already active, you can withdraw money. Before filling out the withdrawal form, it is worth remembering the conditions of the PA gambling online club.
Prove that they are 21+ old. You will have to send scans of your passport and confirm that the player is an adult. Minors cannot play in the casino.
Clear all bonuses. If there is at least one active prize on the account, the withdrawal will not take place. The first step is to fully wager all the bonuses so that you can withdraw even non-prize funds. It's always better to double-check each casino's terms and conditions separately to realize the bonus program essence as this rule could not work for some online casinos in PA.
Phone verification. You need to go through verification by your number. It is done in your account, after which the casino confirms that a real person is playing on their website.
Withdrawals can only be made in the way that the deposit was made. That is, you need to immediately understand that after the first deposit of funds on the site from a card or electronic wallet, only on them will it be possible to withdraw the winnings in the future.
If all the conditions are met, you can go to your account and fill out the withdrawal form.
Naturally, the above are the basic requirements of gambling clubs. In some of them, the conditions may be changed, or some others could be added. It is worthwhile to study the rules of the casino immediately and then try to withdraw money.
After filling out the form, the player sends it, waits for processing by the administration, and if everything is fine, the money will soon be credited to the account.
Gamblers from the Keystone State will be able to play the best slot machines for real money using various convenient payment instruments for payments.
The PA-based reliable gambling clubs provide instant replenishment and quick payouts of winnings using:
Online banking systems
Transfers in international payment services
Services of mobile operators.
Pennsylvania Tax Rates for Online Casinos
Tax rates for the online casinos established by the state are necessary for developing the Keystone State. Of course, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tax income was reduced from $1.4 billion to $1.1 billion.
In PA, some of the casino activities undergo additional taxation. For instance, slot machines are taxed at 52% that include:
State tax — 34%
Local share assessment — 2%
Economic Development Trust Fund — 6%, and
Pennsylvania Horse Race — 10%.
Also, the gambling winnings within the state are taxable. It means that whenever you win at a casino, you're supposed to pay a 24% tax. This kind of taxation is known as federal withholding tax.
Along with this, according to 72 PA C.S. §7303(a)(7), there are winnings to be considered as non-taxable. They include:
In this case, it's paramount to know that the same Title regulates the taxation of the nonresidents of the state. Thus, all of the nonresidents in Pennsylvania are not supposed to pay any taxes from gambling or lottery winnings.
What's more, the nonresidents don't have to declare the winnings in PA as their income.
It's essential to consider the facts mentioned above when it comes to taxation of the winnings. It'll ensure that you gamble legally.
Real Money and Free Casino Games in Pennsylvania Explained
The field of online gambling is known to evolve pretty rapidly. New gambling houses are appearing in PA, attracting with their dynamics and a huge selection of various types of games.
But not every online casino can offer its customers both demo versions and games with real winnings.
The casinos available in the Keystone state solve this dilemma by inviting gamers ready to have fun and those who dream of making real money into its ranks.
So, two kinds of games can be accessible: demo games and real money games. Let’s shortly consider each of the game types to see the number of benefits to use.
Demo versions of games and their advantages are pretty evident. What are game demos? It is an entirely free modification of well-known roulettes, shooters, and slot machines.
The main advantage is that you can play them without registration. You choose the official site and a necessary section and start your game. Besides:
In demo versions, you can hone your gambling skills.
You have the opportunity to develop your strategies. In terms of the plot and rules, everything is usually the same as in the real money version, but there could be some exceptions.
Having familiarized yourself with the main features of the game and without spending money from your real account, you can proceed to the full version of the game.
There are some differences between real money and free casino games:
Some gaming options and features of the game could be missing in a free version
If you hit a win playing the free version, you will win virtual coins that can’t be transferred into cash; thus, you won’t be able to withdraw them.
The most popular free casino games are:
By the way, there are many opportunities and surprises prepared for you.
The online casino real money Pennsylvania games also possess a myriad of benefits. Let’s see it in more detail.
To start playing for money, you will have to register an account. The age of the club member, his/her real name, and surname must be indicated. They will be needed to subsequently be able to withdraw the earned funds to the card.
Welcome bonuses will be available to you after registration at any PA casino online. So, you are always welcome to use it with a high roller deposit so that the amount of your welcome bonus offer would be higher manifold. You can replenish your account with real money.
After that, the real world of online casinos will let you admire:
There is an opportunity to test your luck in bonus rounds with three or even five times the win
Many prize combinations can change the final score
As a result, when you gamble in Pennsylvania, there’ll be a question: demos versus playing for real money—which one to choose?
It is great to start with demo versions. It will allow you to check the pulse of the game you’re playing, learn the rules, check the quality of it, and see if the plot is interesting. If you do like the game and everything it comes with, then it’s a good indicator that you can move to a real money experience. Feel free to start betting with real winnings ahead of you.
The real money casino games are created by well-known manufacturers such as:
Gaming Realms, and/or
And this, in turn, guarantees honesty in calculating money and in cashing out winnings.
Online Casino Games PA
When it comes to the Pennsylvania casino games, there’s a great variety to pick up the game to satisfy any taste. It supposes that any best PA online casino would unlock both classic and pretty new activities to win money.
So, each best casino in PA will let you play the whole range the games listed below.
Online Casino Slots in PA
Slot machines are among the favorites for the PA residents. And it’s due to the possible winnings. Take a look at the games and jackpots you could have if playing slots:
The casino section presents the most interesting jackpot machines from different developers, including:
Playing slots is fun, enjoyable, and a great way to earn large amounts of money.
Table games at casinos in Pennsylvania are legal both at on-land casinos, online venues, and mini-casinos.
The most popular casino table games comprise the following options for the PA gamblers and nonresidents:
Poker. It is a classic among board card games with a long history. Its goal is to collect the most winning combination of cards. Today there are many types of this game, and each of them has its own rules.
Baccarat. It is another popular card game for gambling lovers. It is believed that its success is due to the fact it is much easier than poker. The winner must collect a specific combination of cards, which are dealt two or three to each player.
Blackjack. It is another popular type of card game. In blackjack, players are dealt two or three cards in hand, and the winner must make a winning combination.
Online roulette. For lovers of gambling at the table who do not like cards, this is an excellent choice. Apart from the classic roulette, there are several more modern variants, for example, American or French roulette.
It is believed that blackjack in PA online casinos is the most popular board card game. The combination of the element of luck with some strategy makes it so popular. At the same time, many players from eastern countries prefer to play baccarat.
Live online casinos PA with real dealers allow hundreds or even thousands of players to play simultaneously compared to authentic gambling establishments.
At the same time, no one experiences even the slightest inconvenience.
A bet can be made with the simple click of a mouse button, and there is no need to squeeze between the crowds of players around the table.
In casinos with real dealers, attractive girls in the uniform of a croupier, pleasing to the eye, work. On the online casino website, you can view the resume of each of the dealers and choose the girl you like the most.
You can change the dealer if you wish, and the most professional and pleasant one can leave a tip.
In a live casino at the highest level, the opportunity to communicate with a dealer and other gamblers is realized. Each player has the chance to give their comments, express their opinion, or even flirt with the dealer in the live chat.
In short, if an online casino is not only an opportunity for you to win money but also to enjoy pleasant company, a live casino is what you need.
Video poker is one of the most popular and profitable gambling entertainment, which is included in the gaming assortment of any offline and online casino.
In fact, video poker is a ‘mixture’ of a slot machine and the famous card game—5-card draw poker.
Real slot machines are equipped with the usual buttons for bets and moves. All winning combinations and payouts are summarized in a unique table, only on the machine screen. Instead of rotating reels, five cards are shown, laid out in one row.
In online video poker, all of the above components are included in the game interface and transmitted to the monitor screen in the form of an image.
The course of the game is pretty simple:
The player makes a bet
Presses the Deal button
Then, five cards appear face down on the screen
After assessing the game situation, the player can save all the cards that will help form a profitable combination.
To do this, the player needs to tap/click once on the desired card or use the Hold buttons located under each of the five cards.
At the next available move, all unselected cards are replaced with new ones free of charge. If the paytable provides the resulting combination, then the player wins.
PA-based Legal and Regulated Casinos vs. Offshore Casinos
The essence of offshore casinos is that they’re not registered directly in Pennsylvania. When it comes to the legality of these gambling venues, it’s pretty evident that they can’t compete with the PA-based legal establishments.
In fact, PA legislation in the field of gambling doesn’t forbid offshore casinos to function within the state. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that the PA authorities have a right to control the activities of the offshore casinos somehow. In other words, if you gamble online at the offshore casinos within PA borders, you can’t be one hundred percent safe.
Indeed, it’s advised to play at the casinos that have a direct relation to the state. In other words, it’s better to gamble at the casinos having the PA gaming license.
Firstly, it’d let you avoid any illegal actions from the non-Pennsylvania casinos (i.e., the offshore ones).
Secondly, your data would be stored safely according to state law instead of being used for any illegal purposes by the casinos registered overseas.
Geolocation and Pennsylvania Online Casino
Geolocation serves an important function when it comes to online gambling. When it comes to Pennsylvania, geolocation is more than significant, for the state’s gambling regulations forbid online gambling at the on-land casinos.
It means that whenever an online gambling app user intends to initiate playing for real money, the geolocation should be received by the app. It’d be necessary to prevent illegal online gambling within land-based casinos.
What’s more, some countries in the world do not allow gambling in any form/manifestation. So the PA-based gambling facilities—be it separate online platforms or the ones powered by the brick and mortar casinos—should double-check if a newcomer is from an eligible country to bet online.
Mainly because of the legal issues, it’s not advised to use any VPN to gamble online, as the illegal access to gambling facilities online would cause your account deactivation, and none of the winnings you got would be paid.
This rule works for all regular and best online casinos PA. Be sure to play responsibly and legally not to break the current law and legal regulations and ensure the best gambling experience.
Web Casino Assessment Criteria
Regardless of pseudo-professional gambling reviewers providing countless criteria to evaluate online casinos, the ones that we apply are the most elaborated and thought-out.
To provide our readers with the utter casino quality, we’re assessing each gambling venue following a particular procedure.
Cast a glance at the core criteria we apply to each of the casinos that we’ve reviewed and get to know the essential characteristics we assess.
Security and Trust: we examine a casino paying attention to its licence(s), RNG, and payouts to be sure that everything’s fair
Bonuses: by comparing different casinos’ bonuses we have all bases to state if a particular casino bonus offer/promotion is reasonable or not. Besides, within the bonus criterion, we also consider
Reasonable Terms & Conditions — it means that some casinos may apply the unfair bonus conditions, so that a gambler would never win or play the bonus
VIP & Loyalty Rewards — these are significant, for they reflect if a casino treats its customers in a proper way and allows them to have additional benefits to enlarge the gambing and winning experiences
Banking: it’s always paramount to be aware of the banking options available at a casino, for it’s a sign of the casino’s reliability and security. Also, it’s also necessary to consider the following factors, like
Game variety: the number of games by the various reliable software providers is a great advantage for any casino, as it determines the fair game and excellent gambling experiences
Software: availability of different world-renowned software providers and accessibility of the casino for different devices are the qualities to consider to ensure that a gambler would have the best gambling experiences
Mobile — how the casino is adapted for the mobile devices via a browser
App — if a casino possesses an app for better gambling experiences
Support: how the casino ensures the all around the clock customer support team to assist the registered users with any possible issues.
As you may see, these criteria don’t comprise any aspect like “the biggest casino in Pennsylvania”.
These criteria for PA online casino list work in an ideal manner for properly assessing an online gambling platform. Thus, whenever we apply these points, we are sure that no bugs can be evident or any negative features at a casino can harm a potential gambler.
In compliance with the current law in PA, there are 4 essential organizations created to assist all persons diagnosed with problem gambling in the state. Feel free to consider the table below for more details.
Address: 55 East Court Street, 4th Floor Doylestown, PA 18901
Toll-free: 1-855-222-5542 (1-855-2-CALL-GA)
Of course, no matter how the online casinos PA are safe and reliable, one should always keep in mind all of the essentials of responsible gambling. Regardless of Pennsylvania online casinos functioning in compliance with the current law, it doesn’t mean that a gambler can’t get any issues related to irresponsible gambling.
So, be sure to play responsibly and wisely and choose the licenced and the best casino in Pennsylvania for real winnings.