The official launch of PA online gambling is now closer than ever. In the middle of July, nine Pennsylvania casinos got in under the July 16th deadline when they applied for a $10 million license. Two additional casinos — Mohegan Sun Pocono and Presque Isle Downs and Casino — joined the original nine in mid-August by submitting applications. Should they be approved, the casinos will be authorized to operate online PA casinos that offer online poker, table games and slots ( Presque Isle Downs and Casino’s application only covers table games and slots).
With the submission of applications to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board we now have a much better idea of the casinos that will be bringing online gambling to Pennsylvania.
With the mid-August meeting, the first three casinos had been approved for online gambling licenses: Parx, Harrah’s Philadelphia and Mount Airy. Since then, four additional PA casinos have been approved to offer online gambling – Hollywood Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Valley Forge and Sands Bethlehem.
A breakdown of PA Online Casinos
Last verified: November 29, 2018.
The group of Pennsylvania casinos that have applied for online gambling in Penn is a diverse mix of racinos, standalone casinos and resort casinos.
|PA Online Casinos|
|Casino||Online Gambling License Cost||Online Gambling Status||Owner||B&M Casino Location|
|Parx Casino||$10 million - poker, table games, slots||License approved August 15, 2018||Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment||Bensalem, PA|
|Live Hotel and Casino||$8 million - table games, slots (rescinded poker application)||License approved October 31, 2018||Stadium Casino LLC||Philadelphia, PA (yet to be built)|
|Mount Airy||$10 million - poker, table games, slots||License approved August 15, 2018||Mount Airy #1, LLC||Mount Pocono, PA|
|Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem||$10 million - poker, table games, slots||License approved October 3, 2018||Bands Bethworks Gaming LLC||Bethlehem, PA|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course||$10 million - poker, table games, slots||License approved September 14th, 2018||Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association||Grantville, PA|
|Valley Forge Casino Resort||$10 million - poker, table games, slots||License approved - October 3rd, 2018||Valley Forget Convention Center||Upper Merion Twp, PA|
|Harrah's Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack||$10 million - poker, table games, slots||License approved - August 15, 2018||Chester Downs and Marina||Chester, PA|
|Rivers Casino||Rescinded application||Application CANCELED - October 4th, 2018||Holdings Acquisition Co.||Pittsburgh, PA|
|SugarHouse Casino||$10 million - poker, table games, slots||License approved - September 14th, 2018||Sugarhouse HSP||Fishtown, PA|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||$12 million - poker, table games, slots||Application submitted - August 15, 2018||Downs Racing||Wilkes-Barre, PA|
|The Meadows Casino||N/A||N/A||Gaming and Leisure Properties||North Strabane Township, PA|
|Presque Isle Downs and Casino||$8 million - slots, table games||License approved October 31st, 2018||Eldorado Resorts||Summit Township, PA|
|Lady Luck Casino Nemoclin||N/A||N/A||Eldorado Resorts||Farminton, PA|
|MGM||$10 million - poker, table games and slots||Applied for license late October, 2018||N/A||Applied as "qualified gaming entity"|
|Golden Nugget||$8 million - table games, slots||Applied for license late October, 2018||N/A||Applied as "qualified gaming entity"|
What this means for Pennsylvania players
The fact that nine casinos have applied to offer online gambling in Pennsylvania is very good news for Pennsylvanians. Should each of the ten casinos be approved to offer online gambling, there should be an abundant selection of online casinos for Pennsylvanians to play, ensuring the competition remains robust in the state.
Pennsylvania players will be the biggest benefactors of this competition. A robust online gambling market will likely mean better bonuses, promotions, improved software and superior customer service.
With the stakes so high, and a potential to expand as additional states regulate online gambling, casinos and soft providers will be eager to make a good impression in Pennsylvanians through a superior product.
The best Online Casino in PA
Pennsylvania casinos will be striving to provide the players with the best online casino and online poker room possible. The casino that stands out from the pack is ultimately up in the air and will depend heavily on strategic partnerships, marketing and leveraging existing brick and mortar casino brands.
When considering these factors, Parx Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia are positioned to stand ahead of the rest of the pack.
Parx Casino is the biggest casino in Pennsylvania, leading Pennsylvania in slot game revenue while holding the second position in table games revenue. Since Parx is a casino leader in PA, they are a good bet to continue their dominance online. Their partnership with software provider GAN has allowed the company to work with Parx on a play money casino product for the last few years.
Given how Parx has positioned themselves up to this point, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Parx falls by the wayside with Pennsylvania online gambling. They illustrated that leadership role when they became one of the first casinos to be approved for online gambling in mid-August.
The other strong contender to offer a strong online casino product is Harrah’s Philadelphia. Harrah’s has a competitive advantage due to partnerships from their parent company, Caesars Entertainment. The company has an established partnership with 888, which is one of the biggest names in online gambling over the last 15 years.
Combine this fact with the Caesars’ and 888’s huge online gambling presence in Nevada and New Jersey, and you can really see the makings of a successful online casino in PA. 888 powered casinos also offer players combined online poker playing pools, increasing traffic to their casinos and poker rooms. Harrah’s, like Parx, was approved for a license in mid-August.
Mount Airy, the other casino to be approved in the first batch, has made an agreement with PokerStars on an online poker room, casino and sportsbook. PokerStars, of course, just so happen to be the biggest online poker room in the world.
When will online casinos in PA go live?
Now that applications have been submitted by casinos to operate online gambling, we can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Pennsylvania casinos that have not applied for a license had until August 14th to apply at an increased rate, either $4 million per license or $12 million for all three. Now that the deadline has passed, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board can open up the licenses to other entities. With ten total licenses remaining, it looks as though the remaining PA casinos will not be applying, so the process has been opened up to outside “qualified gaming entities,” which are effectively gaming companies in other jurisdictions — including outside of the United States — have licenses in good standing.
Once applications have been submitted, the PGCB has 90 days to review them to approve or deny. This would mean that a decision by the PGCB will likely be revealed before the end of October for all PA casinos. If Pennsylvania casinos are ready, Pennsylvanians could be placing bets on PA online casinos by the end of 2018.
Given that New Jersey went live nine months after their online gambling legislation was signed, this seems like a reasonable time frame.
Who can play on PA online casinos?
Online gambling will be available to Pennsylvania residents as well as visitors to the state if they are physically located in the state at the time of play. GPS software and IP address identification software will be used to ensure that players are located within the state will playing .
Players must be at least 21 years of age or older to play. Casinos will use an account management system to verify the age and identity of players.
How to play online casinos in Pennsylvania
As stated, online casinos will not launch in Pennsylvania until well into the second half of the year at the earliest. We will let you know at PromoCodePA when games go live. But there is good news now.
You can join the PA ilottery and play real money games today. New players even receive $5 free when signing up.