PA Online Casinos

PA Online Casinos

PA online casinos took a huge step forward in 2018 when ten of Pennsylvania’s thirteen casinos applied for online gambling licenses that cover online poker, online slots, and online table games.

Online sports betting and casino gambling has begun in the state as of July 2019. By years end, Pennsylvanians will have a wide variety of online gaming sites to choose from, each competing for their business.

List of PA Online Casinos

Last Updated: May 3, 2021

Below is where each of the 13 PA casinos stands in regards to online gambling and sports betting in Pennsylvania.

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How we got here

The original ten casinos that submitted applications each applied for $10 million licenses that cover a suite of online gambling products: poker, table games and slots. The original deadline to apply for these licenses was July, 16th 2018.

The remaining PA casinos had until August 14th, 2018 to apply for licenses at a price of $4 million for individual product licenses (poker, table games, and slots). The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) then decided to open up additional applications to outside Qualified Gaming Entities for the remaining licenses.

Sports betting was the first to be added to PA casinos in late 2018. In 2019, online sports betting went live in the spring while online casinos started popping up in the summer of 2019.

Which will be the best PA Online Casinos?

The PA online casinos that launched in the summer of 2019 were given a jump start on the PA market with PlaySugarHouse, Hollywood Casino and Parx Casino first launching online casinos.

Ultimately, casinos will likely leverage their first-to-market status as well as their partner relationships with software providers to get a leg up on the competition. But we’ll know more when more than the original three begin offering casino games to players.

The frontrunners

Parx Casino – The biggest casino in PA is one of the first online casinos to go live in PA and has an edge on the field by being one the most recognizable brands in the state. On top of this fact, Parx has an established relationship with software provider GAN, who currently provides the software for the play money online casino and mobile app. Parx launched their online casino on July 15, 2019.

PlaySugarHouse – Using the license of SugarHouse (soon to be Rivers Casino Philadelphia) Rush Street, the parent company of both SugarHouse and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh operates under the PlaySugarHouse brand. Rush Street has been running this online casino brand successfully in New Jersey for the past few years. The Rivers Casino is the third largest casino in Pennsylvania while SugarHouse is number eight. PlaySugarHouse launched their online casino on July 17, 2019.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National – Hollywood Casino was the first to launch a legal retail sportsbook in PA and is clearly interested in being at the forefront of the online gaming market as well. They were officially the first online casino to launch in the state as well, opening their virtual doors at 11am ET, July 15, 2019. 

Harrah’s Philadelphia, owned by parent company Caesars Entertainment who currently run a successful online casino with online poker in both Nevada and New Jersey through a strong partnership with 888. The partnership should allow the brand to take advantage of merged liquidity agreements in other states when they become available. They are licensed for online gaming and expected to launch in the summer of 2019.

Mount Airy, formed their partnership with PokerStars, which also makes them a good bet in Pennsylvania. Shortly before their license was approved by the PGCB, Mount Airy announced a major partnership with PokerStars to offer an online casino and online poker room and with BetStars to offer a sportsbook. The Mount Airy online sports book went live with FoxBet after a rebrand from BetStars in September 2019. This was followed by the launch of the first online poker room, PokerStars, as well as the PokerStars Casino in early November. PokerStars name recognition in the online poker world could help cement its position as a top online casino as well.

Other applicants

Sands Bethlehem was somewhat of a surprise in the first round of Pennsylvania license applications given that they were owned by staunch online gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson. But with a $1.3 billion takeover by Wind Creek Hospitality and as one of Pennsylvania’s top casinos, new ownership is eager to jump into the online gambling market with both feet.

Valley Forge Casino is licensed for online gaming and expected to launch sometime in 2019, especially after the successful launch of the FanDuel online sportsbook.

Presque Isle Downs is licensed for online slots and table games (no online poker) and expected to launch sometime in the summer of 2019.

Mohegan Sun Pocono is also licensed for online slots and table games only (eschewing online poker). They are expected to launch sometime in 2019.

Stadium Casino although their Philadelphia site is still unbuilt, they are licensed for online gaming. It is expected that the Stadium Casino will first launch their brick and mortar casino in 2020 before following it up with the launch of their online product.

MGM and Golden Nugget are two out-of-state operators that have been tentatively approved to offer online casino gaming in Pennsylvania under the Qualified Gaming Entity provision of the PGCB. They are still working on their official licenses but are expected to enter the market soon.

The abstainers

Not all of Pennsylvania’s 13 eligible casinos applied for online gaming licenses — The Meadows Casino, Lady Luck Casino, and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh are sitting on the sidelines. Rivers Casino’s abstention makes sense. As mentioned above, parent company Rush Street will use SugarHouse’s license to reach the state’s online players. No need to pay twice. At the present time, the Rivers Casino has launched online sports betting as BetRivers but looks to be avoiding an online casino with the PlaySugarHouse online casino serving Rush Street Interactive’s online casino business.

Despite the fact that The Meadows did not apply for a license they will likely use the license from Penn National Gaming, which also operates the Hollywood Casino and has already went live with games.

The other casinos must think either the taxes and fees are too high, or that their market share would be too low to attempt the venture.

When will PA Online Casinos launch?

The launch process has already begun. Three online casinos (Hollywood, Parx, and PlaySugarHouse) launched in July of 2019. Many more are expected by the end of 2019.

PokerStars was the first online poker room in PA

Over four months after the first online casino, PokerStars PA became the first online poker room in Pennsylvania. The player pool is limited to players from Pennsylvania for now, but that did not stop PokerStars from attracting over 1,000 real money players in the early days of its launch. PokerStars PA could eventually participate in a multi-state agreement that would allow it to merge player pools with New Jersey and other states that legalize online poker.

What about sports betting?

In early 2018, sports betting wasn’t even legal in Pennsylvania, but now it’s a new and exciting marketplace. In July of 2018, the PGCB opened up 13 sports betting licenses at a cost of $10 million per license and nearly all of PA casinos have applied to offer sports betting.

The first casinos were approved in early October while others were approved later that month. Hollywood Casino launched the first sportsbook in November and other casinos have suit into 2019.

Online and mobile sports betting lagged behind, but eventually launched in May 2019 with the opening of the PlaySugarHouse sportsbook. BetRivers Parx, FanDuel and FoxBet were the next to open, as sportsbooks were eager to launch online sportsbooks before the start of the 2019 NFL season. DraftKings PA, through a partnership with The Meadows, opened up its virtual doors during the middle of the 2019 NFL season.

Other online gaming options in PA?

If none of these games strike your fancy, you can always play the PA online lottery, which went live in Pennsylvania in May of 2018. New players can receive a $5 free bonus to try out the selection of engaging games.

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