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Online Gambling in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania became the fourth state in the United States to regulate online gambling, doing so in 2017. Since then, regulators have worked diligently to bring PA gambling sites online. During this time, live sports betting has commenced with online sports betting expected to launch during 2019.

On this site, you’ll learn all about the legalities surrounding PA online gambling and which sites you can expect once PA gambling sites finally launch. We are in an exciting time for regulated online gambling and Pennsylvania will benefit from being one of the early adopters.

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Operating Casinos in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has a robust live gambling scene with 13 casinos operating in various regions of the state. Pennsylvania casinos offer standard casino gaming that includes slots, table games, and live poker that includes Texas Hold’em tournaments.
Sports betting is also legal in Pennsylvania, but only available at six locations in the state. Below is a quick list of casinos that are accepting bets on sports:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • Rivers Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • South Philadelphia Turf Club
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia

Note that the South Philadelphia Turf Club is one of the only non-casino locations presently taking sports bets. It is expected that more land-based sportsbooks will launch at some point in 2019.

Sports Betting in PA

Sports betting is presently legal in Philadelphia and operating in live casinos, but has yet to launch online. Six casinos have already been approved to offer online sports betting. They are:

  • Harrah’s Casino
  • Hollywood Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • Rivers Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Valley Forge Casino

Presque Isle Casino has applied to offer sports betting but have yet to be approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Some providers you can expect in PA including SBTech, GAN, Kambi, and Scientific Games. Valley Forge has perhaps the most interesting partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook. It is also anticipated that BetStars will operate in the state in collaboration with Mount Airy.

Online Casino in PA

Online casino gambling was approved by the bill that regulated PA online gambling in 2017. Presently, regulators are working to finalize licensing for PA gambling sites. Eleven of 13 casinos in the state applied for licenses with only Lady Luck Nemacolin and Meadow choosing not to.

Some of the partners already announced by casinos include Scientific Games, Rush Street Interactive, GVC, GAN, SBTech, and IGT. With many of these providers already operating in New Jersey, all you need to do is check out NJ online casino sites to get a preview of what to expect in Philadelphia.

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Online Poker in PA

Online poker was included in the bill that regulated PA online gambling, but like other forms of online gambling, regulators have taken the slow process in launching games. Presently, seven casinos have applied and are approved to offer online poker in PA.

The casinos approved to offer online poker are:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • Sands Bethlehem
  • SugarHouse Casino

Three of the biggest brands in online poker have partnered with PA casinos. Harrah’s is partnered with 888 and is likely to operate PokerStars has partnered with Mount Airy and partypoker has partnered with Valley Forge Casinos. Valley Forge Casinos.

Online Gambling in the US Status

Presently, only four states have officially regulated online gambling in one form or another. Online poker is currently legal in Nevada while online casino gaming, sports betting, and online poker are legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Pennsylvania is the only state yet to launch any products online, but that is expected to change at some point in 2019.

The legal status of online gambling in the United States became increasingly trickier in 2019 due to a revised opinion from the United States Department of Justice regarding the Federal Wire Act. Back in 2011, the DOJ stated that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting. This opinion prompted many states to investigate online gambling regulation and led to the present regulated market.

However, the recent opinion from the DOJ reversed the 2011 decision and stated that the Wire Act applies to all forms of gambling. This could have consequences on the present state of the regulated gambling market as Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have a shared online poker network.

It has already had an impact on Pennsylvania as there were provisions in the 2017 bill that allowed for some servers outside of Pennsylvania to house and transmit data pertaining to online gambling. PA regulators have since deemed that provision null and online casinos must make all gambling intrastate. This may lead to further delays in the launching of PA gambling sites.

We do expect that PA online gambling will launch at some point in 2019, but the future of other states depends on the result of expected legal challenges to the Wire Act. Don’t be surprised if lawmakers take a step back while a final determination is made on the Wire Act concerning online gambling as it stands to have a potentially catastrophic impact on the regulated gambling market in the United States.