Pennsylvania's Trusted Source for Legal Betting & Gambling

Pennsylvania bettors have among the most diverse betting options in the country, and PennStakes.com is your one-stop shop for everything gambling in the Keystone State. Here you will find trusted and up-to-date Pennsylvania-specific information that helps you place safe and secure legal wagers at the best PA online gambling sites.

Pennsylvania is the largest state to allow legal gambling, poker and sports betting online, though the market does have high tax rates on operators. Still, the menu of choices continues to expand, and our experts have you covered with the latest news, unbiased reviews and more. Bookmark PennStakes.com for the best offers and to know when new products and sites are launched.

By Michael Kates
Fact Checked by Ron Fritz

LEGAL PENNSYLVANIA OPERATORS

Latest Casino & Sports Betting News in Pennsylvania

Part of our mission is to consistently provide up-to-date Pennsylvania gambling news and developments. We do that both with stories and through social media. As new betting sites launch and new issues and legislation emerge, we will have the latest details for you.

We Are Pennsylvania’s Gambling Experts

We have a veteran team with decades of experience covering Pennsylvania and gambling. We are dedicated to staying abreast of every aspect of PA gaming and have extensive knowledge of the state’s online sports betting and gambling industry. Additionally, our expert reviewers regularly evaluate and review Pennsylvania’s legal gaming sites and apps.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board - Certified Registered Gaming Service Provider - 118095

Everything You Need to Know About Gaming in PA

Pennsylvania closed out 2020 with a record month and began 2021 with another, so the future looks exceedingly bright. Despite concerns that higher tax rates on operators would limit choices for consumers, additional sports betting and casino sites continue to launch.

The state takes a backseat to no one in terms of breadth of offerings. Sweeping legislation in 2017 (a decade after the first brick-and-mortar casino opened) laid the groundwork for explosive growth in a state with an existing gaming infrastructure already in place. The PA lottery debuted its online options in 2018, and retail Pennsylvania sports betting went live in November of that same year. By summer 2019, online sports wagering and online casino sites were available in the Keystone State.

One area for potential growth remains the online poker market, where only one operator was operating in the state to open 2021. There is hope that with a new U.S. Justice Department interpretation of the Wire Act that Pennsylvania players may soon join the interstate compact that pools poker players from several states, including New Jersey and Nevada.

Launch Dates

When Gov. Tom Wolf signed bill H 271 in October 2017, Pennsylvania became a national leader in online gaming, offering more options than any other state at the time. With that stroke of a pen, Pennsylvania gamblers could enjoy online slots, table games, online poker, the lottery, video gambling terminals, keno, fantasy sports and virtual sports from the comfort of their homes or on-the-go on mobile devices. The legislation also set the stage for sports betting, which became legal less than a year later when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Gaming TypeLegalized
PA LotteryAugust 1971
Retail CasinosJanuary 2007
Daily Fantasy SportsMay 2018
PA Online LotteryMay 2018
Retail sports bettingNovember 2018
Online sports bettingJune 2019
Online CasinosJuly 2019
Online PokerNovember 2019

PA Gaming Operators

State law allows for up to 25 licenses for permanent gaming operations, and each can have an online casino and sports betting platform. Because of that, Pennsylvania has a wealth of online sportsbook and casino operators, including some of the biggest in the nation: DraftKings, FanDuel, Unibet, Caesars and BetMGM.

SiteOnline CasinoOnline SportsOnline Poker
BetAmerica Yes Yes No
BetMGM Yes Yes No
BetRivers Yes Yes No
Caesars Yes Yes No
DraftKings Yes Yes No
FanDuel Yes Yes No
Hollywood/Barstool Yes Yes No
PlayLive! Casino Yes No No
Parx Yes Yes No
PlaySugarHouse YesYes No
PokerStars/FOX Bet Yes Yes Yes
Unibet Yes Yes No
Wind Creek Yes No No

PA Laws and Regulations

The legal age to play poker, bet on casino games or wager on sports in Pennsylvania is 21, whether it be online or in a retail sportsbook/casino/poker room. If you are 18, you can bet on horse racing, the lottery or Daily Fantasy Sports.

PA state law allows for up to 25 licenses, under the authority of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, for permanent gaming operations. Those are broken down into four categories: racinos (6 open; 7 allowed), stand-alone casinos (4 open; 5 allowed), resort casinos (2 open; 3 allowed) and satellite or “mini” casinos (5 planned; 10 allowed). All are eligible for online casino games as well sports betting, both retail and online, subject to state license fees and approval. Sportsbooks must be tethered to a land based casino.

Pennsylvania’s tax rates are higher than New Jersey and have been cited as one of the reasons the state has lagged its neighbor in terms of new offerings. Not only does the state charge a $10 million fee to obtain a license, but its tax rate is also 54% for slots and 16% for table games (it is 15% for each in NJ). Online sports betting revenue is taxed at 36% (13% in NJ).

PA Gambling Revenue

Pennsylvania sports betting handle topped $100 million total in March 2019 after just five months after sports betting launched in the state and cleared $1 billion by November 2019. By December 2020, the number was $5 billion. Sports betting revenue saw a similar surge, crossing $200 million total by October 2020. The records have kept falling since. In the fall of 2021, sports betting handle exceeded $700 million four months in a row. The state went over $30 million in a month for the first time in October 2020, and by November 2021 the new record was set at $63.6 million.

Slots revenue has broken the $30 million barrier while table game revenue has exceeded $8 billion. Total slot handle in the state over the years is closing in on $400 billion.

PA gross gambling revenue monthly records:

  • Sports betting: $63.647M (November 2021)
  • Online sports betting: $55.048M (November 2021)
  • Casino (table games): $94.280M (March 2022)
  • Online casino (banking tables) $35,681,701 (March 2022)
  • Online casino (non-banking poker tables) $5.25M (April 2020)
  • Slots: $233.15M (March 2012)
  • Online slots $79,196,510 (March 2022)
  • Video Gaming Terminals $3.851M (April 2021)

FAQ

Responsible Gambling

It is part of our mission to be a resource for gambling education and provide support information to Pennsylvania bettors who may have a gambling problem. We provide contacts for support groups such as the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (1-215-643-4542) and the PGCB helpline (1-800-GAMBLER). You can also ask the PGCB to instruct state-regulated casinos and sportsbooks to exclude you from playing for a period of time.

Contributors

More than 30 years working in online gaming and sports journalism. I hope to explain the growing US online casino market to help those new to internet gambling have a better understanding.

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