Here at PA Gaming Review, you will find the latest news and information about online casinos operating in the Keystone State and most importantly, you will find reviews and updated info that you can trust, along with honest analysis, and expert opinions on what online gambling sites have to offer.
If you are looking for an online casino where you can play and have a good time, there are several aspects to consider. Our reviews cover the crucial elements, including details about bonuses and promotions, background information on the operator, and the overall experience you will have playing games online.
Pennsylvania made online gambling legal in 2017, and the first legitimate and regulated online casinos launched in PA in 2019. Since then, several more sites have launched and more are sure to come, which is why you can find all the latest PA casino news and updates right here on PA Gaming Review.
Along with some of the best Pennsylvania online casinos, sports betting, and online poker are also legal in PA, so information and reviews for those sites are available on here too. Overseen by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), all of the operators featured are 100% legal and safe.
Each online casino has something slightly different to offer, though. Our guides are designed to help you choose the PA online casino that is right for you. Read on to determine what to expect and learn the signs to look out for when trying to spot a secure and suitable choice.
Types of Online Casino Games Available in Pennsylvania
When the state saw its first online casinos launch, initially, there were three sites. After that, a total of 10 licenses were granted, and the choices expanded. Since then, new operators like BetMGM have joined the mix of live gambling sites, such as BetRivers, and “PokerStars Casino“.
More choice means a better selection of games to choose from, which can only be seen as a good thing. When you head to the lobby of a Pennsylvania online casino, you can expect to see the following categories.
These games of chance are a fan favorite for a reason. Within this category, there is a huge variety of titles. They usually involve three to five reels with symbols. The aim is to spin and land matching combinations across specific lines to win.
Most slots have a theme, such as fruit, animals, or could even be based on a movie, TV show, or musician. The games include exciting features, such as bonus rounds triggered by different icons. They might take you to a second screen where new rules apply or where multipliers give you access to even bigger winnings.
While you could choose a game based on its style, you can also consider a number of other features. Pennsylvania casinos have slots with high and low volatility, which tells you whether a slot pays out large amounts infrequently or smaller ones regularly. You can also choose based on the number of paylines or whether it offers free spins.
The beauty of slots is that they are easy to play. You just need to click to spin, although it is best to check the paytable and symbol information first. Slot machines are known for their animations, stunning graphics, bright colors, and vibrant soundtracks, and the online versions certainly don’t disappoint.
Slots in PA online casinos come from several successful game studios. Popular titles include:
- 88 Fortunes
- Fruit Spin
- Raging Rhino
- Monopoly Mega Movers
- Kronos Unleashed
A much-loved card game, blackjack is often listed under table games or casino classics. It has been around for a long time, and there are two excellent reasons for that. One is that it is simple to play. You can pick up the rules in a few minutes, which means anyone can play.
The other reason that blackjack tables are popular in land-based casinos and online ones in Pennsylvania is that the odds are some of the best. Most variants have a house edge that is under 1%. Continuous shuffles, multiple decks of cards, and slightly different rules can impact that, but overall your chances are great compared to other casino games.
Linked to the odds is a big reason why people come back to play blackjack time and time again — the game is not completely random; you have some choices to make. From deciding how much to bet to knowing when to hit, split, stand, or surrender, you can apply basic or advanced strategies.
When you think of casinos and their glitz and glamour, there is one game that usually comes to mind: Roulette. Online casinos in PA are sure to include this table classic on their lists, as roulette is a real crowd-pleaser.
Roulette is a game of chance. Unlike slots, there are a few rules to follow, variants to be aware of, and betting types to know. Every version involves a wheel that spins and a ball that lands in one of several numbered segments.
The odds change depending on which type of roulette you play. European Roulette has one zero slot, whereas American Roulette has a zero as well as a double zero slot. French Roulette has some different betting options and rules. Plus, there are several variations that add speed, an extra ball, or other thrilling features.
Ultimately, roulette is about experimenting with the different versions and bet types to figure out which you like best. If you want most of the action to be in the croupier’s hands and love the anticipation of waiting for the ball to land, it could be the game for you.
This game is often considered to be the best of both worlds. It mixes the strategy and cool head that you need to play poker. However, it is more like slots as you do not need a table full of people to play. It is just you against the dealer or the computer.
Some online casinos in Pennsylvania have extensive video poker catalogs, whereas others might just have one or two titles. That’s really all you need to give this game a try. The first step in this game is to determine your bet amount. Most titles only pay out the top prize when you are placing maximum bets, so remember to check the paytable.
You will be dealt your first five cards, and then it is time to make some decisions to try and build a winning hand. You choose the cards you want to hold and then draw some more. The aim is to build the best hand possible. Knowledge of poker hands is useful here, so be prepared to see a potential royal flush or straight.
Popular varieties of video poker include:
- Jacks or Better
- Double Bonus Poker
- Deuces Wild
This Pennsylvania gaming guide would not be complete without taking a look at a popular innovation — the live casino. Live dealer games merge the glamour and excitement of the casino with the comfort of playing from your own home.
This live casino section of the casino gives you access to live-streams of games being played in real-time at real locations. You could see a live roulette wheel, live blackjack table, or another live card game. There are also game show-like options, where a presenter talks, spins the wheel, and calls for players to place their bets.
Live dealer games give you access to professional croupiers who spin the wheel or deal the cards in front of your eyes. You use the buttons on the screen to place your bets and can have some social interaction if you choose. The action can feel much more dynamic and authentic compared to computer-generated versions.
Types of live dealer title:
- Live roulette
- Live blackjack
- Live baccarat
- Deal or No Deal Live
Baccarat has earned a reputation as a game for high rollers. While they might still be attracted to this table in particular, it is accessible to all budgets. You might see it listed as Punto Banco or Mini Baccarat, but the rules are generally the same.
Baccarat is an appealing alternative for fans of table games, which is why most PA online casinos feature at least one version. There is not much strategy involved, as you place your bets on which hand you think will win before the cards are dealt. Instead, you will be focusing on bet and bankroll management.
You are deciding whether you think the bank or the player will win. Two cards are dealt to each side, and the value of the hand determines whether someone wins or if a third card is needed. The bank has to follow certain rules depending on its hand, which is why the odds are different for betting on the player, the bank, or a tie.
These are a particular type of slot that gives you the opportunity to win a very significant amount. The games might be split into different categories or have different levels of jackpot. They could be minor, mini, major, or mega. In most cases, you only get access to the major and mega jackpots by placing a maximum bet.
The majority of jackpot slots require you to trigger a special event or round to earn the maximum amount. That is different from other games, which pay out the most when you match five of the highest value symbol.
Within this category, you will also find progressive or network jackpots. These games are linked across one or two sites or across the world. That means that the amount you could win goes up anytime other people are playing the slot. The potential winnings are gathered in one pot that keeps growing.
For that reason, you could win millions of dollars playing a progressive jackpot slot. The prize pool resets and begins to grow again as people play. The odds mean that the top win does not happen every day. However, being given a chance to win a life-changing amount of money appeals to thrill-seekers.
Other Table Games
Each casino will also offer a range of other games that don’t fit into a specific category. The majority are played at the table or with cards. This kind of variety might help you choose the online casino that is right for you, especially if you like experimenting with new titles every once in a while.
One of the most common types is a version of casino poker. Casino poker games are fairly similar to video poker, as you play against the dealer or the house. Most commonly found versions include: Casino Hold‘em, Caribbean Stud, or Red Dog. They all have different rules but rely on the same basic premise of forming winning hands.
This section might also be home to games from different countries or cultures. Many casino games came from Europe and were brought to America. In recent years, Macau and other gambling locations have influenced some of the titles you can find.
Popular games include:
- Pai Gow Poker
- Sic Bo
How to Choose a Legal and Safe Online Casino in Pennsylvania
The first priority when finding the right PA online casino for you is safety. You need to know that your financial details and personal information are going to be protected and that you’re not involving yourself with a casino that’s affiliated with criminal activity or money laundering. Additionally, you need to feel comfortable playing there; you cannot relax unless you know things are legitimate and done properly.
There are signs that you can look for to make sure that the operator you choose is legal and secure. The footer of the website or app can provide relevant information. For example, licensed and regulated casinos have to abide by certain rules and will display the logo or initials of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) on their website.
Once you are sure the operator is legitimate, you’ll need to evaluate some other criteria to help you determine what is the best online casino for you. Read on to discover what to look for and why it matters to your playing experience.
Best Welcome Bonus
Even though you only receive a welcome bonus once, it is best to start off with a generous online casino that gives you something extra. The best Pennsylvania online casino bonuses allow you to explore the site without too many restrictions when it comes to releasing the bonus funds.
Common types of welcome bonuses include:
- Free spins
- Deposit matches
- No deposit offers
These offers can be part of a welcome bonus, or you could just receive free spins alone. Often, they are for a particular game. You might get them all at once or get 10 each day to play on a particular slot.
Free spins give you the opportunity to play a slot without having to use your money as the stake. The winnings can come with wagering requirements, including an expiration date and playthrough amount. A large number of free spins is fantastic, but make sure there are not too many restrictions.
The deposit match is the most common type of welcome bonus. It could be linked to your first deposit or could be spread over your first three or four deposits. With deposit match, the operator matches the amount that you paid, by 100% or 50%, or similar, as bonus funds. It is an excellent way to explore the site and play different games without having to add too much to your balance.
These bonus funds will usually have wagering requirements. Usually, there will be a playthrough amount to meet before it is released to your real money balance, and you can withdraw it. Certain games will count more toward the requirement than others.
No Deposit Offer
This welcome bonus is awarded when you register and verify your account. It is usually a smaller amount but is a fantastic way to try out a new operator without any commitment. Even though you do not need to deposit, there are usually wagering requirements, so be sure to read those before signing up.
If you know you will want to play games and place bets from your smartphone, you will want to check out the best Pennsylvania online casino apps. Some operators give you access from your mobile browser, while others have separate apps available through the Android or iOS store.
The reviews on this site will let you know how you can access the casino from your phone and whether the app is easy to navigate. A smooth experience on desktop and mobile is essential when you choose an operator.
You can also find out about the best Pennsylvania online casino promotions. These will impact your long-term experience at a site, which makes them crucial to your decision.
The reviews on this site will tell you whether an operator has regular promotions for existing customers. You will also find out what kind of offers to expect and if the wagering requirements are reasonable.
Generally, the best casinos will offer quantity, quality, and variety in their lobbies. If you have a specific game that you want to play or a particular style that you prefer, it is critical that your chosen online casino has the right range of titles to suit you.
For example, if you mostly play casino classics and card games, then your operator of choice should have at least five to 10 different options in that category. On the other hand, if you like to have fresh choices, you will want a casino with a lot of titles that frequently adds new slots.
Ideally, you will be able to try the games before you deposit or commit. Many sites have free play options, which means you can play in demo mode without placing real money bets. That way, you can discover whether you enjoy a particular title or not.
Convenient Deposit and Withdrawal Options
Banking methods are something that you should take into consideration. Banking considerations may seem unimportant, but when something goes awry or is a hassle, it can ruin the whole playing experience.
The best operators make sure that payments are convenient. In practice, that means offering several methods so that you can choose one that suits you. The processing time for deposits, and especially withdrawals, should be fast, with no additional charges.
Are you ready to read some reviews and find the best operator for you? The answers to these common questions will give you the information you need to get started.
When did Pennsylvania allow online casinos?
The law that made online casinos legal in Pennsylvania passed in 2017. However, as with most states, the practical aspects of how to regulate gambling and then issue licenses took some additional time.
Once the licenses were granted to the first three operators in November 2018, they began work on the sites, found land-based partners, and developed the software and infrastructure required. The first sites launched in 2019, which is when Pennsylvania players got the first opportunity to place a real money bet online.
Since then, new operators have launched, as new licenses were granted. Today, there is a thriving and competitive online casino industry, which means players can choose between a brilliant selection of legitimate operators.
Can I play legal online casino games in Pennsylvania from my phone?
Yes. You can legally play games and place bets using Pennsylvania mobile casino apps. Most operators provide dedicated apps for iOS and Android devices. They usually have the same fantastic features and game options as the desktop sites. You use the same account credentials and get access to the bonuses and rewards as usual.
Some online casinos choose to provide mobile services through the browser instead of an app. Either way, geolocation services will need to determine that you are physically in the state before you can play. Operators optimize for mobile, adapting the content to make it easier to see on a small screen and adjusting the controls and navigation so that you can scroll using a touchscreen.
Do I get rewards points for land-based casinos by playing at online casinos?
Yes. Pennsylvania online casino promotions usually include a loyalty rewards program. For example, the iRewards system at BetMGM gives players perks and benefits, which they can then use at MGM’s resorts and casinos.
To be issued with a license, online casinos need to partner with a land-based operation. Most sites have a rewards program that is connected to the brick-and-mortar casino. If the systems are connected, you can add your existing rewards card to your account. That means that you can accumulate points when you play in-person and online. The perks often apply across both sites too.
Are Pennsylvania online casinos rigged?
No. If you follow the steps and information in this PA Gaming Review guide, you can rest assured that you are choosing a safe, legitimate casino that operates under strict rules and is not at all rigged. The 100% legal and secure operators featured on this site are licensed and regulated by the PGCB.
They follow rules that include transparency and fairness. Legit online casinos work with game developers that use random number generators (RNGs). They determine that outcomes cannot be predicted or manipulated, which shows that the games are not rigged.
Online casinos that want to run successful operations for many years need to have a good reputation. To do so, they need to provide fair and high-quality gambling experiences to customers.
Do Pennsylvania online casinos offer free play options?
Yes. The best Pennsylvania online casinos give their customers an opportunity to try the games without risking their money. Free play, or demo options, give you the chance to play a game without placing real money bets.
Free play games are an excellent way to learn the game rules and controls, as well as find out whether the style, theme, and graphics appeal to you. To find out if a game has a demo option, you can hover over the title in the lobby. You should see a ‘try me’ or free play button.
What are the wager requirements for online casino bonuses?
Pennsylvania online casino bonuses come with terms and conditions. One of the primary restrictions to pay attention to is the wager requirements. They will tell you what you need to do in order to change your bonus funds into real money, from your standard balance that can be withdrawn.
Each online casino will set specific requirements, which means you will need to read reviews or the terms and conditions to find out what suits you best. Typically, the wagering requirements will include a playthrough amount. It could be anything from 1x to 40x the bonus. That means you need to place bets equal to 40 times the initial amount before you can withdraw the funds.