Gambling in Pennsylvania
Sports Legal Since: 2018
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2018
Casino Legal Since: 2017
Poker Legal Since: 2017
Lottery Legal Since: 2018

Online Gambling in Pennsylvania: Guide to the Best Pennsylvanian Gambling Sites 2019

Penssylvania Daily Fantasy

The Daily Fantasy Sports have been legal in Pennsylvania since October 26, 2017. The legalization took part of the H271 Gambling Expansion Bill that was officially approved by the Pennsylvanian Senate in 2017. The new law made Pennsylvania the 17th state to regulate daily fantasy sports. On April 28, 2018, a few months after the industry’s hard work and efforts to offer reliable online platforms, more than six licensed online operators were launched.

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Gambling Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has come from nowhere to become one of the most progressed states in terms of gambling. For years, no gambling, with the exception of lottery and horse racing was allowed at the state. However, things started to change quickly after in 2004 the Pennsylvania legislators passed Act 71 and legalized casinos and racetracks within the state. The consequent establishment of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also led to many changes in the gambling industry and the opening of new, successful casinos. According to recent data, the state’s actions proved to be beneficial to the economy as the land-based casinos are generating $1.4 billion in taxes annually for Pennsylvania – even with NJ gambling providing stiff competition.

However, the state took its biggest step towards the modernization of its gambling laws in October 2017 when the Pennsylvania Legislature sent House Bill 271 to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk. Wolf eventually signed the bill and officially legalized online casinos with table games and slots, poker rooms, lottery, daily fantasy sports and sports betting. The online lottery and the daily fantasy were the first officially launched segments. According to our information, online sports betting is also expected to be launched in early 2019. Various online casinos and poker rooms have already received their licenses and are expected to be launched by 2020.

Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

Sports betting used to be illegal in the United States under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. However, things started to change in 2011, when New Jersey claimed that states must have the option to legalize gambling on sports if the population favors it. The state’s fight for the legalization of sports betting has been going for years until June 2017 when the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it would hear New Jersey’ case. In May 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey allowing all states to legalize sports betting. Pennsylvania was one of the states interested in the legalization of sports gambling. The state even approved a sports betting law in October 2017 and had officially authorized sports betting in August 2018. Various brick-and-mortar casinos in Pennsylvania already accept sports betting. While currently unavailable, various sports betting websites are expected to be launched in early 2019.

Online Casinos in Pennsylvania

In 2017, Pennsylvania became the fourth state in the US to officially legalize online casinos. As we mentioned above, in October 2017 Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law that authorizes and regulates online gambling. However, high taxes have discouraged potential online gaming companies and there are no online casinos currently operating in the state. Nevertheless, according to recent information, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has already licensed ten online casinos in the state. While there is no exact launch date, at least two operators are expected to go live in the first quarter of 2019 and more are expected to become available to Pennsylvanian players by 2020.

Online Poker in Pennsylvania

Online Poker has been legal in Pennsylvania since October 2017 when it was officially authorized. Currently, Pennsylvania continues setting up its online poker network and is expected to join the multi-state pooling agreement that would allow it to share players with states such as New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. Meanwhile, the state has received various applications for online poker licensing and the first poker website are expected to launch operations in 2019.

Pennsylvania Online Lottery

The Pennsylvania Lottery has been legal and available since 1972. In addition to its regular drawing, the state also participates in the popular games Powerball and Mega Millions. However, Pennsylvania made the first steps towards lottery expansion after the 2017 law made its online version legal. The official Pennsylvania iLottery was launched on June 4, 2018. The new website has been a commercial success since then, as even though it does not offer standard draw games, it consists of many other unique games. However, the site’s content has been repeatedly criticized by various casino operators, according to which the iLottery games are similar to casino video slots. According to the casino companiess, it is unfair that iLottery works with similar RNG content, while they are required to pay S10 million license fee, shall they wish to launch an online gaming website.

History of Gambling in Pennsylvania

Turning Pennsylvania into one of the most developed and successful states in terms of gambling was undoubtedly a long process. Things in the state were rather steady until Ed Rendell became the Governor of Pennsylvania and promised to allow slot machines at racetracks in order to lower the taxes. However, the real progress began in 2004 when the state legalized brick-and-mortar casinos, racetracks and other forms of gambling. Would you like to trace the full story behind Pennsylvania’s gambling development? In the timetable below, you can find all important events of Pennsylvania’s gambling history from the establishment of Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to the legalization of sports betting.

Pennsylvania Gambling Law History
2002 The former mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell wins Pennsylvania governorship. He promises to lower taxes by allowing slot machines at racetracks and to push for further gambling laws.
2004 Pennsylvania establishes the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and legalizes casinos, racetracks and many other forms of gambling.
2010 Casinos are legally allowed to operate table games. The table games legislation also increased the number of slot machines resorts casinos could have from 500 to 600.
October 2017 The Governor Tom Wolf signs the House Bill 271 and legalizes the operation of online casinos with table games and slots, poker rooms, lottery, daily fantasy sports and sports betting. The new law also allows the introduction of video gambling terminals as well as daily fantasy sports and regulated gambling at airports and truck stops in Pennsylvania.
May 2018 The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of New Jersey’s case and allows all states to legalize sports betting. Pennsylvania’s already existent betting laws helps the state to quickly introduce sports betting and it only takes several months for any casino to apply for a sports betting license.

Pennsylvania State Facts

Pennsylvania is without a doubt one of the most developed states in terms of gambling, but there is so much more to it! Being one of the original 13 founding states of the United States, Pennsylvania currently has the sixth largest economy in the US. There is no doubt that the growing gambling industry has made a significant contribution to the state’s economy in recent years. However, in order to understand Pennsylvania’s economic and legal development, we must explore some of the main facts about the state. For your convenience, we have listed the most important facts about Pennsylvania in the table below.

Facts About Pennsylvania
Population 12,805,537
Min Income $1,256.67
Biggest Offline gambling location Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
Gambling commissioner
Spoken languages English 90.15%, Spanish 4.09%, German 0.87%
Biggest local sport club
Penssylvania tax athourity
Link to the state law https://www.legis.state.pa.us/
Winning tax (per product) 3.07% Personal Income Tax to Cash Prizes
State website link https://www.pa.gov/
Famous Local Poker Player Bill Benter

Gambling Age in Pennsylvania

The current legal gambling age for pari-mutuel betting such as lottery, horse racing and bingo in Pennsylvania is 18 and 21 for casino gambling. Underage gambling is punished by the law and anyone 18 or 21 caught gambling could lose his money and face trouble with the state. Casinos deny access to any visitor under 21 who tries to gamble. Both service and payment could be denied to players under the legal gambling age.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    The legal age for online gambling, as per the law, 21 years
  • Alcohol Age
    The minimum legal age for alchohol drinking in Pennsylvania is 21 years.
  • Weed Age
    Weed is illegal for recreational use in Pennsylvania. Medicinal use is acceptable for 21 year olds.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

Pennsylvania treats gambling problems seriously and has various organizations dedicated to their treatment. Additionally, there is broad information and professional help for the prevention of gambling addiction. Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs offers various solutions for people suffering from gambling addiction, including a 24-hour hotline, a list of specialized organizations and 24-hour chatline. Additionally, there are many other independent specialists qualified to provide personalized therapy to gambling addicts.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

There are no expected gambling legal changes in Pennsylvania. However, the state is currently occupied with the implementation of the recent online sports betting legalization. Various sports betting websites are expected to be launched in early 2019, accompanied by online casino and poker sites in 2019 and 2020. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is still reviewing applications from various gambling operators and is constantly regulating the gambling industry and its recently applied laws.

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