Online gambling in Pennsylvania crossed a major milestone in July news that nine PA casinos had applied for online gambling licenses to offer three different product types: online poker, online table games and online slots.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has since approved nine Pennsylvania casinos for online gambling, meaning real money online gambling could be live by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Who’s offering online gambling in PA?
Last verified: 11/29/2018
|Casino||Games and Betting||License Status||Sports Betting|
|Parx Casino||poker, table games, slots, sports betting||Approved August 15th||Approved October 3rd|
|Stadium Casino||table games, slots||Approved October 31st|
|Mount Airy||poker, table games, slots||Approved August 15th|
|Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem||poker, table games, slots||Approved October 3rd|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course||poker, table games, slots, sports betting||Approved September 14th||LIVE as of November 17th, 2018|
|Valley Forge Casino Resort||poker, table games, slots||Approved October 3rd||Applied Mid-November|
|Harrah's Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack||poker, table games, slots||Approved August 15th||Approved October 31st|
|Rivers Casino||sports betting||Canceled October 3rd||Approved October 31st|
|SugarHouse Casino||poker, table games, slots, sports betting||Approved September 14th||Approved October 31st|
|The Meadows Casino||N/A||Application not yet submitted|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||poker, table games, slots||Application submitted August 15th|
|Lady Luck Casino||N/A||Application not yet submitted|
|Presque Isle Downs and Casino||table games, slots||Approved October 31st|
|MGM||poker, table games, slots,||Applied late October|
|Golden Nugget||table games, slots||Applied late October|
The nine existing PA casinos that applied for licenses over the summer gave us a first look at what the online gambling landscape will look like once online casinos and online poker rooms are available to Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania’s remaining casinos had the option to apply for licenses until August 14th, albeit at a higher rate of $4 million per license — versus $10 million for all three. Joining the original nine in mid-August were Presque Isle Downs and Casino and Mohegan Sun Pocono. Since the original applications were submitted Stadium Casino has rescinded their online poker applications while the Rivers Casinos canceled their application for all licenses so that parent company Rush Street Interactive could focus on the Sugar House casino.
Parx, Harrah’s and Mount Airy were the first to be approved for online gambling, which were quickly followed by the Hollywood Casino, SugarHouse, Valley Forge and Sands Bethlehem. Stadium Casino and Presque Isle Downs have each receive licenses to operate online table games and online slots, forgoeing online poeker for now.
Things look to continue to evolve for the rest of 2018 and into 2019.
Predicting the best PA online casino
With at least nine Pennsylvania casinos looking to launch online gambling, competition is going to be stiff as companies look to stand out for the rest. Launching games first may give casinos a bit of an advantage but it wont be the only advantage.
Each casino that applied for a comprehensive suite of online gambling games is putting down $10 million to offer online gambling in Pennsylvania. That’s a pretty hefty sum that would not be made by casinos if they weren’t serious.
With that said, a few casinso look stand above the rest: Parx Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia, Mount Airy and Hollywood Casino.
As the largest casino in Pennsylvania by revenue, the Parx Casino is likely to make waves in the state’s online gambling market. Parx was also the first casino to apply for the comprehensive license by a few days, illustrating that their leadership role may extend to the online world.
Parx has partnered with GAN as their software provider, the same platform that the company has used for a play money platform over the last few years.
Look for the name recognition of Parx to bring it to the top of the heap. Add this to the fact that Parx was among the first three to approve and it looks like Parx will definitely be in the mix.
Harrah’s Philadelphia is in the middle of the pack in terms of PA casino revenue, but where Harrah’s really stands out is their connection to online gambling powerhouse 888.
The Caesars-owned brand has a partnership with 888 in all three states that have regulated online gambling thus far. Despite not offering real money games to United States players in the last ten years, the company has clearly been doing something right in New Jersey and Nevada.
Add this to the fact that a merger of online liquidity is inevitable in Pennsylvania, gives any casino or poker room partnered with 888 a unique distinct advantage.
Harrah’s Philadelphia was approved for a license in August 15th, further indicating that Harrah’s is going to be a strong player in online gambling in PA.
Penn National’s Hollywood Casino has been extremely aggressive with gaming expansion over the last year. In addition to an online gambling license, the company will also add two mini-casinos as well as sports betting.
Hollywood had their online gambling license approved in September and they will be working with IGT on software and platform. IGT has one of the biggest casino software providers in the world and currently has a presence in New Jersey.
Approved as part of the original three, Mount Airy looks to get a jump start on online gambling when regulators get the go-ahead. The biggest reason to be excited about Mount Airy can be described in two words: PokerStars. The online poker powerhouse will be partnering with Mount Airy on online poker, casino and sports.
Through October, nine out of 13 PA casinos have made pretty strong commitments to participate in online gambling in PA.
As for the remaining Pennsylvania online gambling licenses, PA regulators have opened up those licenses (5 online poker, 3 table games and 3 slots) to qualified gaming entities, which can be located in or outside the United States. A list will be released of interested parties in early November before a public drawing is held.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board must approve or deny applications within 90 days of “determining the [application] is complete,” which would give most applicants a mid-October decision at the latest. Only the Mohegan Sun Pocono has not yet received word on their license application.
Pennsylvania neighbor New Jersey launched online gambling nine months after Governor Chris Christie signed the state’s online gambling bill. While that time-frame as passed, we still should see online casinos in PA soon, likely in the early part of 2019.
What can I do now?
Games are not yet live from Pennsylvania online casinos. Stay tuned to Penn Online Casinos for updates when when games do go live.
However, the Pennsylvania Online Lottery is available TODAY. Players who sign-up can even receive a free $5 bonus and a 50% up to $50 bonus when making a first deposit.