The governor of Pennsylvania legalized sports betting in 2017 via Law 42. Online casinos, retail and mobile sports betting, an online lottery, satellite casinos, and many other gambling options became legal that year.
Today, players in the Keystone State can access a wide variety of online gambling options that are regulated, licensed, and secure. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board licenses online casinos in the state.
Popular games in PA
Online poker is also legal, with some of the best platforms being PokerStars, Borgata, BetMGM, and WSOP.com.
Online casinos must partner with land-based ones in the state. For example, there is no land-based BetMGM casino in PA, but the reputable operator joined forces with Hollywood Casino to enter the local market.
The first online poker platform in Pennsylvania was PokerStars, which launched in 2019. They partnered with Mount Airy Casino Resort. In the years that followed, a few other poker sites launched, bringing some much-needed competition to the market.
Poker sites in PA can share players with poker sites in other states. The total player pool increases for everyone as a result.
Blackjack in PA
You can find blackjack at most online casinos in Pennsylvania, and it’s one of the games with the most attractive odds. There are many ways to play, including live dealer games. This simple card game has many variations.
If you are based outside Pennsylvania, you can’t play at a state casino. Casinos use geolocation technology to stop people from placing bets outside of state borders.
History of endorsement
The bill passed in 2017 allowed licenses for ten new casinos, but they had to be situated 25 miles or more from an existing one. The licenses allowed up to 30 table games and 750 slot machines. With the bill’s passage, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to make online gambling legal, preceded by Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
The new law allowed casinos to launch sports betting after the US Supreme Court ruled the federal ban unconstitutional in 2018.
Up to five slots were allowed at truck stops. Local governments could prohibit gambling at truck stops. As for airports, casinos could operate an interactive gambling platform with the authority of any of the state’s regional or international airports. With this decision, the Keystone State became the only state to allow gaming at airports except for Nevada.
In July 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board started accepting applications for online gambling licenses. By the initial deadline, nine casinos in PA had applied.
Among the providers licensed to offer fantasy sports in the state are FanDuel, DraftKings, Draft, Boom Fantasy, Yahoo Fantasy Sports, and Sportshub Technologies.
There was a phenomenon in the state that involved so-called “skill machines,” which usually looked like VGTs or video slots. As there had been an earlier court decision that those weren’t slots, the skill machines could circumvent gaming laws.
Although retail and online gambling is legal in the state, illegal forms continue to proliferate. Many truck stops, private clubs, bars, and social halls have video poker or slot machines on the premises. State authorities are discussing legislation to regulate them in these establishments. At the moment, a bureau of the Pennsylvania State Police is responsible for enforcement. It’s estimated that there are tens of thousands of illegal machines in the state.