Best PA Gambling Sites

Pennsylvania Gambling Laws - An Overview

Online gambling in the state of Pennsylvania has been legal since 2017, as it was October of that year when Governor Tom Wolf signed a crucial bill into law. This bill - named H 271 - not only legalized online betting in the form of online casinos but also allowed for the use of other forms of gambling, such as:

  • Online lottery
  • Online poker
  • Online and Retail sports betting
  • Daily Fantasy Sports betting
  • Some forms of Tablet Gaming
  • VGTs (Video Gambling Terminals)
  • Mini casinos

Thanks to this new law, PA online gambling sites could now begin rolling out services within these sectors of online gambling. It’s important to note that just because the law made these online gaming features available, it doesn’t automatically make every service mentioned legal on each online casino site in PA.

The only sites and platforms allowed to provide online lottery, online poker, mini-casinos, etc., are those that have been carefully examined from top to bottom by regulators and other relevant authorities.

Just one year after H 271 was signed, PA online gambling received another boost upon the fall of PASPA. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, therefore allowing lawmakers across the country - including Pennsylvania - to create their own sports betting rules. Sports betting was instantly made legal in PA as a clause within a bill was triggered immediately after the death of PASPA.

Who Are the Regulators?

Meet the PGCB (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board). This board was set up to regulate and ensure the legitimacy of all legalized gambling in the state in an effort to make Pennsylvania gambling safer for all.

By closely following the actions taken by sportsbooks and online casinos, the PGCB can judge whether or not a particular platform is working to the benefit of its customers. If the board feels that any of the licensed casinos in Pennsylvania are out of order in their actions, they have the right to punish them. This includes potentially revoking their license.

What’s Legal and What’s Not?

Players also need to watch their steps. PA gambling laws have made illegal forms of betting an act that could see offenders imprisoned for up to half a decade and/or fined up to $10,000. Despite more freedom for bettors in PA nowadays, it remains against the law to host poker nights outside of authorized casinos, play numbers games not linked to the Pennsylvania state lottery, and quarter auctions.

Having legalized the Pennsylvania Local Option Small Games of Chance Act in 2013, tavern games would subsequently be allowed in instances where the event is being held for charity. Eligible organizations can host the following games for interested players:

  • Punchboards
  • Pull-tab games
  • Daily/Weekly drawings
  • Raffle auctions
  • 50-50 drawings
  • Pools
  • Race Night games

Legal Operators vs Illegal Operators 

It’s important that players looking to enjoy PA gambling online must understand the difference between an illegal and legal site. Legal gambling operators in Pennsylvania are licensed, regulated, and secure platforms on which players are able to partake in some of the most popular online casino games in the world.

These services are held to high standards by regulators and any Pennsylvania gambling operator that wants to maintain a healthy player base, as well as manage its reputation, is required to keep up the same level playing field that everyone else provides.

Illegal online gaming operators don’t have any reason to follow the rules set out by the PGCB. PA gambling laws simply don’t apply to offshore, illegal sites, meaning that players’ information might not always be safe.

There’s no incentive for these operators to ensure the security of their customers’ data, just as there’s no reason for such online casino sites to serve fair games. At illegal operators, anything goes. That’s why PA online gambling sites are the safest and best options around for bettors in the state.

Gambling Categories Available in Pennsylvania

Sports Betting

The Keystone State entered the sports betting market not long after the death of PASPA. This comes as no surprise considering the wide demand for sports activities and betting in the state, and the first online sportsbook came to fruition in 2019.

PlaySugarHouse was followed by Parx and BetRivers one month later, and since then, the PA online gambling market has continued to grow. We now have eight sportsbooks in the state, including the likes of:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • UniBet
  • BetMGM
  • FoxBet
  • BetRivers

For players that want retail sports betting action, you will find sportsbooks at the following facilities:

  • The Meadows
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Valley Forge Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Presque Isle Downs

Online Casino

Players in PA can enjoy online casino gaming from their mobile devices or desktops, thanks to the introduction of legal online gambling in 2017. In July 2019, Hollywood Casino Online and Parx Online opened their respective doors to an influx of excited customers.

Having opened simultaneously, the pair were greeted with mass numbers of customers and the opening was considered a fantastic success. We’ve since seen the addition of a few new online casinos in Pennsylvania, making PA online gambling more fun than ever before.

These are:

  • BetRivers
  • Unibet
  • BetMGM
  • Caesars Casino
  • DraftKings Casino
  • FanDuel Casino
  • Stars Casino

Poker

Four months from the launch of online casinos in Pennsylvania, the state began operations with regard to poker. PokerStars was the first entity to begin accepting customers at their virtual poker tables, and bettors have consistently returned to the site ever since.

Currently, PokerStars is the sole online poker operator in PA, but that could change at any time given the incredible popularity of the game and the casinos offering poker in the state. The following are retail-only licensed poker operators in Pennsylvania:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • Harrah’s
  • Mount Airy
  • Parx
  • Valley Forge
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia
  • Wind Creek

Lottery

One of the oldest forms of legal gambling in the state of Pennsylvania as lotteries have been enjoyed since 1972, they continue to garner the interest of players. PA gambling laws allow for state lotteries and daily picks, as well as instant play games and intra-state games, too.

The website “PA iLottery” provides a platform for players to enjoy instant win games, however, the ability to pick lottery numbers from the site itself is yet to be added as a feature.

Also readily available at PA iLottery is Xpress Sports, which is a virtual sports betting service. Here, players can place bets on virtual horse races and other types of sports, which is a great way to enjoy placing bets even when there are no live sports.

Bingo

Unlike most other types of gambling in Pennsylvania, the legal age for playing bingo is 18, rather than 21. Although it’s considered a charitable game more than it is a gambling game, it’s still legal for bettors in PA to play bingo in an effort to win profit.

The most played versions of bingo are American Bingo, 30-ball bingo, 80-ball bingo, and video bingo. We’ve listed each of the best bingo halls in Pennsylvania below:

  • Uptown Bingo II, Harrisburg PA
  • Sunset Bingo, Lebanon PA
  • Lions Hall, Red Lion PA
  • Westlawn Program Bingo, Reading PA
  • Astor Bingo Hall, Allentown PA
  • Aramingo Bingo Palace, Philadelphia PA

Horse Racing

Betting on the outcome of horse-racing events has been legal in Pennsylvania for many years thanks to some leeway from the state. Now, more than ever, the growth of racetrack and mobile bets has risen massively. There are three ways to bet on horse races, and these are via off-track betting (OTBs), at the racetrack, or through online betting platforms.

PA online gambling sites offer odds on horses finishing in a particular order, like 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th. This bet is called a superfecta. As all horse racing bets are placed into pools, returns can be higher or lower depending on the number of bettors that chose the position of a certain horse. Sites offering horse-racing odds in Pennsylvania are:

  • TVG
  • TwinSpires
  • BetAmerica

Bets can be placed on races taking place all over the US throughout the day. It’s also worth mentioning that some retail casinos in Pennsylvania host OTBs, with two at Penn National, one owned by The Meadows, and some that are branded as “Turf Club” at Parx. Racetracks found in Pennsylvania include:

  • Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
  • The Meadows Racetrack
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse
  • Parx Casino and Racing
  • Presque Isle Downs & Casino

FAQs

Is it legal to gamble online in Pennsylvania?

Yes! Online gambling was made legal in 2017 when Gov. Tom Wolf signed bill H 271 into law. Now, players in the state can enjoy all kinds of online casino games. These include poker, blackjack, slots, baccarat, and more.

What is the legal gambling age in Pennsylvania?

For horse racing and lottery tickets, players must be at least 18 years old. The legal gambling age for all other types of gambling in Pennsylvania is 21.

When did Pennsylvania legalize gambling?

Pennsylvania made horse racing legal in the 1950s, while retail casinos were allowed from 2004 onwards. The legalization of table games in 2010 undoubtedly led to increased demand for online gambling, and that arrived in October 2017 when the governor signed a bill that made online betting legal.

What forms of online gambling are permitted in Pennsylvania?

Citizens in Pennsylvania are permitted to play casino games, sports betting, poker, horse racing, lottery, bingo, charitable gambling, and online gambling.

What gambling sites are available in Pennsylvania?

There are plenty of online gambling sites in Pennsylvania, including Unibet, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, FoxBet, and more. Check out our list of gambling sites above for more on what you’ll find in PA, or head to our dedicated pages that detail all the best PA online gambling sites.

Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Robert is responsible for all content on BettingGuide US. Robert previously worked as a poker dealer during his college years at MIT where he studied Computational Science and Engineering. With a great interest in gambling, Robert likes to go in-depth when writing so that you can make a wiser choice when choosing an operator.

Last updated: 2021-06-11