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Legal online gambling in Pennsylvania

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Checked by Lorella F.Geraldine S.

In the world of legal online gambling, Pennsylvania is one of the frontrunners. PA online gambling was one of the first available in the US, with the first sportsbooks launching in 2018. In 2019, legislation expanded to include casino and poker sites too.

Fast forward to 2023, and the number of Pennsylvania online gambling sites has skyrocketed. There are now over 30 legal and licensed sites, so we’ve knocked together all the vital info for you. 

Whether you’re seeking a legal overview or just want to find the best places to play, you’ll find all the information you need right here. 

Pennsylvania online gambling sites — a snapshot of the best

We display some of the best options for PA online gambling. Our expert scores rate all aspects of a casino or sportsbook, and while great bonuses are important, they’re far from the only thing we consider.

We make it a point to only display sites licensed by the government-backed PA gambling regulator, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). 

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1
SugarHouse review
89/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 92% Playscore based on 100% match bonus up to $250
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11 payment methods

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Venmo
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Borgata review
88/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 92% Playscore based on $20 Bonus Dollars + 100% up to $1,000
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  • 12 payment methods
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13 payment methods

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BetMGM casino review
87/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 91% Playscore based on 100% up to $1,000 + $25 Free Play
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14 payment methods

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TAPPP
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BetRivers casino review
86/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 85% Playscore based on Bonus Money reload up to $500
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  • Community chat with rewards
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9 payment methods

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5
Caesars review
85/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 86% Playscore based on 100% up to $2,500 and 2,500 Reward Credits on a $25+ wager
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  • Caesars Rewards loyalty program
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11 payment methods

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Stardust casino logo
Stardust review
85/100 Expert rating by Paul P. 86% Playscore based on $25 free + up to $500 in deposit bonuses
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  • Quick withdrawals
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9 payment methods

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MasterCard
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VIP Preferred
Cash at Casino Cage
Venmo
Bank Transfer

You’ll find pretty much all the major types on offer at PA online gambling sites. The trinity of sportsbook, poker, and online casino are all there, marking PA’s gambling laws as some of the most permissive across the country. In fact, it is Pennsylvania’s permissiveness that has allowed for great new concepts such as Fliff social betting app to be born.

The gambling age in PA stands at 21+ for online casinos, sports betting, and poker. In the case of lottery, you need to be over 18 to buy your tickets. To participate in fantasy sports you need to be over 18 however if this is done at a casino, a person needs to be over 21. Since legalization, gambling company’s profits contribute to PA gambling taxes.

Outside the online world, PA’s open-mindedness carries over, and you’ll be able to place wagers on just about anything. Land-based casinos are huge in PA, and land-based sports + pari-mutuel racing wagers are also legal. You’ll find lotteries too, bingo games, and other small subcategories like “tavern gaming” and “VGTs” — we’ll cover those when we talk about other forms of gambling in PA

Finally, fantasy contests are also authorized and regulated in PA, predominantly fantasy sports.

One thing to note is that online bingo hasn’t been legalized yet, it’s still an offline-only game.

Gambling verticalOffline PA legal ageOnline PA legal ageOnline since
Casinos21212019
Social casinosn/a21n/a
Sportsbooks21212018
Poker21212019
Fantasy sports1818 (21 if at a casino)2018
Horse race betting18212018
Lottery18182019
Bingo18n/an/a

Online casinos — legal since 2019

Pennsylvania online gambling is solid in the casino sector. Only five states have legalized online casino gambling so far, which immediately puts PA online casinos ahead of most — it became the fourth legal state in 2017. Out of those states, New Jersey was the first and is by far the biggest, but PA is in constant competition with Michigan for second place. 

There are more than 20 online casino sites at the time of writing, and while they are smaller than NJ’s, PA can match the best for game variety and bonus offerings, which is good news for our library of casino reviews. PA casinos tend to have less software providers on the whole though, but they make up for it by having a higher ratio of casino software providers to total games, which is definitely a plus.

Online sports betting — legal since 2018

Practically all sports betting is legal in Pennsylvania, both retail and online. To date, over a dozen operators have launched sports betting sites for PA online gambling, with the first legal bets being placed in November 2018.

There are very few notable exceptions to sports betting rules when it comes to online gambling in PA. Betting on college events is allowed at Pennsylvania sports betting sites, which marks PA as one of the freest states in sports betting — even NJ has some restrictions there. However, you can’t bet on things like drafts, only athletic events.

Notably, e-sports betting isn’t legal yet, though this might change soon as the topic of legislation was brought up in the PA House of Representatives in  July 2021.

Professional and collegiate sports and athletic events are all legal, as are motor races. Horse-racing is legal via pari-mutuel betting. Both local and international events are available for sports wagers, and new players are generally welcomed to sportsbooks with promotions and bonuses, most typically in the form of a risk-free first bet.

Sportsbook logo Odds rating Bonus Go to sportsbook Button Show more T&C
1
Caesars sportsbook review
90/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 94% Playscore based on Up to $1,000 back as a Bonus Bet on your first wager
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Good to know

  • Excellent rewards program
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  • Bet on 20 different sports

9 payment methods

PayPal
Visa
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MasterCard
VIP Preferred
Bank Transfer
Skrill
PayNearMe
Play+
2
BetMGM review
85/100 Expert rating by Anna M. 91% Playscore based on Up to $1,000 back in Bonus Bets
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Good to know

  • Strong odds on football
  • Stellar customer support
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14 payment methods

VIP Preferred
Visa
MasterCard
TAPPP
PayNearMe
PayPal
Skrill
Play+
Bank Transfer
American Express
Discover
Cash at Casino Cage
Check
e-Check
3
Sportzino logo
Sportzino review
84/100 Expert rating by Paul P. 91% Playscore based on Up to 200,000 Gold Coins + 9 Sweeps Coins
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  • 41 sports
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6 payment methods

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BetRivers review
83/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 86% Playscore based on Second Chance Bet of up to $250
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  • Many regular promotions
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6 payment methods

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Fliff logo
Fliff review
80/100 Expert rating by Ramona D. 83% Playscore based on 100% up to $100 FC
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  • Good sport selection
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5 payment methods

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SugarHouse sportsbook review
75/100 Expert rating by Ramona D. 89% Playscore based on Second Chance Bet of up to $500
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Good to know

  • High number of markets
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  • Available in CT, NJ, PA

10 payment methods

ACH Network
Cash at Casino Cage
Play+
PayNearMe
American Express
MasterCard
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e-Check
Check
VIP Preferred
7
Thrillzz review
67/100 Expert rating by Paul P. 81% Playscore based on Sign up and get $3 in Free Coins
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  • Six ongoing promos
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7 payment methods

Visa
MasterCard
American Express
Discover
Apple Pay
Skrill
Bank Transfer

Online poker — available at online casinos

Online poker games were legalized in 2017, at the same time as internet casino gambling. At the time of writing, 4 sites are running dedicated poker verticals, while online casino games like RNG poker and live dealer poker can be found at many of Pennsylvania’s casinos.

Poker at PA online gambling sites is generally high-quality stuff. Operators like Caesar’s online casino are affiliated with the World Series of Poker, with WSOP having a legal PA site under the Caesar’s brand. PokerStars, one of the world’s foremost brands for online poker, also operates in PA, offering daily tournaments, as well as the $400,000 Pennsyl-Mania tournament.

Pennsylvania does not yet have inter-state poker player pools, so its 13 million residents will have to compete against each other, at least for the time being. For context: Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have a merged online poker pool, combining the three states’ players to provide a broader range of potential opponents.

Other forms of gambling in Pennsylvania

Beyond the three main verticals, a host of other PA gambling options are available to players.

pennsylvania-map-with-lottery-ticket-and-balls

Lottery

Lottery is one of the oldest and largest types of gambling in Pennsylvania, Founded back in 1971, the Pennsylvania lottery has generated over $31 billion in proceeds, all of which go towards funding programs to benefit senior residents. Lottery money has been designated to reduce transport and prescription costs and to provide rent and property tax rebates to older Pennsylvanians. The record win is currently a May 2021 draw of $516 million.
colorado-bingo-numbers

Bingo

Bingo is also legal as a form of charitable gambling run by nonprofit organizations. Games of chance and tavern gaming, which include raffles, pools, and daily drawings are also authorized as forms of charitable gambling and are regulated by the Department of Revenue (games of chance) and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (tavern gaming). Bingo is still unavailable online.
horse-racing-betting

Horse racing

Pennsylvania has a long history of horse racing and it was back in 1959 that the state granted its first racing licenses. Fast forward to 2004 and PA passed on the legislation to construct racinos requiring operators to join forces with a racetrack. Nowadays the revenue from horse race betting is second only to Nevada.
daily-fantasy-sports-betting

Fantasy sports

Since 2018 the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has been overseeing the Fantasy Sports section within PA. Even though it was never outlawed before this, operators wanting to provide fantasy sports to their customers need to go through a formal licensing process.

Gambling offline

Though casinos have only been legal since 2004, Pennsylvania’s are second only to Nevada’s in terms of revenue generated. There are currently 15 casinos operating around PA, under 12 brands (Rivers Casino, Live! Casino and Hollywood Casino each have two establishments).

All of them except Lady Luck Casino have an online gaming presence. Each other brand runs, or is affiliated with, an online sportsbook, and most of them have retail sportsbooks too. 

There are four different types of casinos in PA, as determined by the PGCB’s license categories:

Retail Launch date Online casinos Online sports betting Social casinos Location
Harrah’s PA 2007 yes yes no Chester
Mohegan Sun Pocono 2005 yes yes coming soon Wilkes-Barre
Parx Casino 1974 yes yes no Bensalem
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
2009 
yes yes yes Pittsburgh
Rivers Casino Philadelphia 2010 yes yes yes Philadelphia
Mount Airy Casino Resort 2007 yes yes no Mt Pocono
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course 1972 yes yes no Grantville
Hollywood Casino Morgantown 2021 no yes no Morgantown
Presque Isle Downs Casino 2007 yes yes no Erie
Live! Casino Philadelphia 2021 yes yes no Philadelphia
Live! Casino Pittsburgh 2020 yes yes no Greensburg
Valley Forge Casino Resort 2012 yes yes no King of Prussia
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino 2021 yes yes no Washington
Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino 2009 yes yes no Bethlehem
Lady Luck Casino 2013 no no no Farmington

How we rate Pennsylvania online gambling sites

Fortunately, finding licensed sites is no problem at all. Pennsylvania gambling laws are strict and focused on transparency. The state regulator (PGCB), keeps lists of licensed PA online gambling sites available for public viewing in their gaming information section.

As for rating PA gambling sites, we have a list of criteria that we look for, corresponding to a point-based system. This ensures that when two sites have different scores, there are real and visible reasons why. 

Scroll on for an overview of what we look out for, or head to our How We Rate page for the full breakdown.

Disclaimer! We base our ratings on the best product available US-wide. In the casino vertical especially, online gambling in PA still has a ways to go — you’re not likely to find PA products that can hit these goals yet.

PGCB license

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is the state regulator. All PA gambling sites must be approved by the PGCB if they are to comply with PA gambling laws. If a sportsbook, casino, or poker site is advertising to PA players without the proper licenses, we blacklist it.

Live gambling

For the casino vertical, we’re happy when live games are available 24/7, have a chat function, and are streamed from a physical casino floor, rather than a studio. When casinos run more than one live game provider, it’s a huge perk. With sportsbooks, we look for things like live odds updates which allow players to make informed wagers. PA gambling competes with the best when it comes to sportsbooks, but we’ve yet to spot a casino that offers 2 or more providers here.

Usability

This is all about accessibility, how easily you can use the PA online gaming site, and user experience. Quick and hassle-free registration, and the same for claiming bonuses. Automatic or 1-click bonuses get top points, as well as a registration form that takes us less than 5 minutes to complete. Excellent navigation options, such as a complex filter for casino games, are also checkmarks in our rating book.

Products

This differs depending on the vertical (casino/sports/poker). For casino, games, and software is the first place we look. The best in the US can offer over 700 different games from a solid variety (20+) of software providers. For sportsbooks, we consider the number of different sports you can bet on, the types of bets and quality of the odds, whether you can bet on ongoing games, college sports, etc. Poker is not as big a vertical, but we look at tournaments (regularity/quality), and whether operators are associated with specific poker organizations.

Mobile app

In all verticals, we rate these in comparison to their desktop offering. For casinos, we expect at least 95% of their games to be available on mobile, while sports & poker should carry every functionality over to mobile. In every vertical, we give points for mobile-specific interfaces which have been optimized for smaller screens. Mobile-specific bonuses, promotions and payment methods are rated well too. We expect apps to be glitch-free and smooth, especially when making a real money wager.

Payments

Here we look at  how you can make a deposit, how quickly you can get your money into and out of an operator’s hands, and how transparent the casino is about its payment terms & other processes. We expect 15+ payment methods at the best gambling sites, which is one area where Pennsylvania online gambling lags behind (expect 9-12 max as things currently stand).

Other local auditors

While the PGCB is the big cheese of Pennsylvania online gambling, there are a couple more to watch out for. Casinos, poker, and sports are handled by the PGCB, but beyond those verticals, you’ll find some other names.

The Department of Revenue regulates “small games of chance”, and also takes care of “tavern gaming” alongside the PGCB and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Find out more about tavern gaming and small games of chance in our Other Types of Gambling section.

Pennsylvania gambling laws: a brief history

Curious about how PA’s relationship with gambling has changed over the years? We’ve put together a highlight reel with all the major developments, going back all the way to the ’50s with the introduction of the first racetracks.

jockey-on-horseback-with-victory-symbols
1959

How it all began

Horse racing is legalized by the Race Horse Industry Reform Act, making it the first legal form of gambling in Pennsylvania. It would take four years doe the first horse racing hub – the Meadows Racetrack – to open in 1963.

lottery-ticket-with-numbers-on-balls
1971

The beginning of the PA lottery

The Pennsylvania Lottery is established, providing property tax relief to citizens aged 65+.

Live Casino Bankroll Management
1993

First attempt at making gambling legal in PA

An attempt to legalize gambling on state riverboats fails to acquire sufficient support.

hammer-on-chip
2004

Gambling becomes legal in PA

Act 71 is passed, establishing the PGCB, legalizing land-based casinos in PA and expanding racetrack legislation.

Casino Game Variety
2017

Online gambling is legalized in PA

PA online gambling legislation expands heavily, allowing for online casino gaming, mini “satellite” land-based casinos, fantasy sports contests, interactive gaming at airports, and VGTs.

daily-fantasy-sports-legalized-colorado
2018

It’s now time for sports betting to become legal

Sports wagering is legalized across the US, and the first PA retail sportsbook opens at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Fantasy sports generates $3.5 million in tax revenue in its first full year.

american-football-on-top-of-cash-pile
2019

Tax results for gambling in PA are in

The first PA gambling sites, all online casinos, open in July, generating $97,200,855 in tax by the end of the 2020 fiscal year. The first 5 online sportsbooks open in November. 

Latest PA gambling updates — poker pooling?

FAQs

Can you gamble online in PA?

Yes, poker, casinos, and sports betting are all available at PA online gaming sites. You can play the state lottery online too. The notable exception is bingo, which is only legal offline for now. You can find more details in our what’s legal section above, or check our best sites by category.

Is online gambling legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes, online gambling is legal in Pennsylvania. A list of legal sites can be found on Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s website. You can also head to our top PA Gambling sites section since we only recommend legal sites. 

When did online gambling become legal in Pennsylvania?

The bill that legalized online gambling passed on October 30, 2017 assed. However, the first online sportsbook did not appear until May 2019, and the first online casinos opened in July 2019.

Is it safe to gamble online in PA?

Yes, as long as you stick to the right operators, licensed by the PGCB. We only recommend legal sites, so you can check out the best PA gambling sites which currently have our highest safety scores.

Can you gamble at 18 in Pennsylvania? How old to legally gamble in PA?

The gambling age in PA for casinos, sports betting and poker is 21 both offline and online. You can play lottery, bingo, fantasy sports and bet on horse racing at 18 if this is done offline, and in case of lottery, online. Have a look at our detailed breakdown of what’s legal and at what age.

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