Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania allows online casino gambling and online sports betting.

On October 30th 2017, Pennyslvania governor Tom Wolf signed a Gambling Expansion Bill that allowed casino gambling to be permitted at truck stops, airports and online. This led to the legalization of online casino gaming in Pennyslvania and made it the fourth state, after New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to permit legal online casino gaming.

The bill covered the following types of gambling:

  • Online casinos, both slots, and table games
  • Sports betting
  • Online poker
  • Online lottery
  • Keno
  • Virtual sports
  • Satellite casinos
  • Video gambling terminals (VGTs)
  • Airport gambling

Where Can You Bet Online in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s online casino gaming bill allows any existing licensed casinos to operate an online website and app to permit casino gambling. Each online product is tied to the Casino license and it is the responsibility of that operator to ensure that the terms of the license are met.

At present players can gamble legally at the following online casinos:

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How to Bet Online in Pennsylvania

Like neighbor New Jersey, Pennsylvania has tight restrictions around their online gambling laws, which are put in place to protect operators, players and the general public. These mostly center around the location of a player who is placing a bet to make sure that they are within state lines.

In order to do this correctly it was decided that mobile web betting was not allowed in Pennsylvania and there are no legal casinos which will accept bets placed on a mobile web browser such as Google Chrome or Safari. This is due to the fact that the location settings of these browsers can prove unreliable.

Instead, what users can do is to sign up via registration forms on their web browser but then in order to place wagers, they have to access the casino either via a desktop or laptop computer, which has been fitted with a Geo-Location product called GeoComply, or through a mobile casino app, which contains in-built location tracking software.

This location software does not track any activity other than the location where the bet has been processed and this is simply to comply with the gambling laws. No data is shared with any company and GeoComply is the only location tracker approved by all legal casinos and so used by each one. The first time you open a casino game or place a wager via your computer you will be asked to download the software but it is a one time download only.

After that, players are able to download as many casino or gaming apps as they wish and play on whatever games are available from each, providing they have a verified account with the casino operator.

Opening an Online Casino Account in Pennsylvania

Opening an online casino account is a very simple process but can require some basic verification checks, which are done in order to protect both the casino and the player. These will always be done either on initial registration of an account, or before a first wager is processed, in order to ensure that the casino is not accepting bets from players who are ineligible to wager at Pennsylvanian Casinos.

The basic requirements for opening an Online Casino account in Pennsylvania are:

  • Player Must be Over 21
  • Player Must be a Resident of United States of America
  • Player Must be Within Pennsylvania State Lines When Playing
  • Player Must Not Be Self-Excluded of Banned from Gambling
  • Player Must Not Already Have an Account at the Online Casino
  • Player Must be Funding His/Her Own Gambling Wagering

The above requirements are done by providing the casino with the following information, which will be required on sign up for all Pennsylvania Online Casino accounts:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Last 4 Digits of Social Security Number
  • Payment or Banking Information

When providing this information, the Casino can verify the identity of a player and that they are eligible to play on the Casino games.

Verifying Your Online Casino Account

Many people balk at the idea of being asked to provide additional verification documents for online betting but everything is done in order to comply with the Pennsylvania gambling laws.

The Casinos themselves are duty bound to handle all information with care and must never divulge any details to any third parties. The same security and safety procedures that are in place when you share your information with a real bricks and mortar Casino or Hotel.

The Casino may, therefore, request the following verification information:

  • Copy of Passport
  • Copy of Driving License
  • Utility Bill
  • Social Security Number

These documents are used to check against databases for identification purposes and to verify that no-one is either trying to open an account fraudulently in someone else’s name, or that the player has either been banned or excluded from gaming at any casinos in America.

Funding Online Casino Betting in Pennsylvania

As with all forms of banking or money transfer, there are strict regulations around funding online betting accounts in Pennsylvania. These are often down to neither the state nor the casinos themselves, but the banks, who haven’t managed to yet catch up with the casino betting bills.

Unfortunately, many banks still class casinos as a form of money advancement and individual banks have their own rules regarding whether you can use a Credit Card, Debit Card or an ACH Transfer in order to fund your online betting account.

Our advice is to instead use the likes of PayPal, Skrill or one of the Play+ Cards offered by the casinos themselves. These can all be funded by any form of payment and will allow for near instant withdrawal either at ATMs or to use the funds online for purchases.

Free Bets Available to Pennsylvania Residents

As sports betting is very new, there are often special introductory offers available for those looking to try out this new pastime without risking their own funds, or before linking a bank account to a sportsbook

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Pennsylvania Online Gambling History

Pennsylvania has a strong history of gambling with the state run lottery starting in 1971. Since then, with a focus on bringing in revenue and tax dollars to the government, there has been a consistent push to open up other forms of gambling in Pennsylvania.

This has often been around riverboat gambling, with the idea being that casinos could be placed on the state waterways and could be controlled and policed correctly in these locations. They would also be away from city centers and so would be exempt from some of the social issues that blight gambling locations.

There were various different bills proposed in the 1990s to allow gambling on riverboats and also to permit Horse Racing in Pennsylvania, with racetracks also seen as viable locations for slot machines and other forms of basic casino gambling. These bills never came to fruition with voter referendums required, which lost a lot of the momentum of the campaigns.

However, in 2004 Pennsylvania legislators passed Act 71, known as the Pennsylvania Racehorse and Gaming Development Act, which established the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to oversee all gambling within the state and allowed racetracks and casinos to open and operate in Pennsylvania for the first time. The act came with various different charitable funds which helped recircle the gaming revenue into projects within Pennsylvania and this helped to curtail any serious opposition to the legalization of gambling as the revenue was seen as crucial in helping inject funds into a struggling economy. In the first year of operations, the seven legal Pennsylvania Casinos contributed $766 million towards tax revenues.

This success, and the thriving gambling industry in nearby New Jersey, led to calls for the further lifting of gambling restrictions in Pennsylvania and the 2017 Truck Stop and Satellite Casino Bill led to the establishment of 10 new mini-casino sites, casino gambling at truck stops and airports, plus online casino gambling sites.

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