Finding the Best Online Casino
No more traveling to sister state New Jersey to participate in the sport of online gambling as Pennsylvanians welcome the new legalization of online casinos this past summer (2019). Today, anyone in the state of PA and over the age of 21 can legally play at an online casino and enjoy popular games of slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, online poker, and more. On top of all the games, PA players are also seeing competitive promotions, and world-renowned software companies partnering with local state casinos.
Since July, four casinos have already gone online by launching desktop and mobile platforms while another four to five are expected to join in by the end of the year. This means, soon, players will have at least eight online casinos to choose from, each offering something a bit different. So, how is one supposed to make such a big decision? When we're talking about a casino potentially getting thousands of dollars from one player in gameplay, this is not a decision to take lightly. Whether you're a serious gambler and know everything there is to know about casinos, or a new player looking to dip your feet in, there are a number of key common factors that go into making a casino the best of the best.
We have created a guide to help players in PA make that choice a little easier. With four casinos as current contenders, we have broken down each element and explain what a player should look for in an online casino before making their first deposit.
Bonuses are very important and a key to casinos' success. A bonus is how online casinos attract potential players and it's ongoing promotions that usually keep them around. In such a competitive industry, operators want to do everything they can to bring as many players to their sites as they can and then keep them happy.
A good bonus should be offering new players a 100% match up on their first deposit, with a low wagering requirement attached. The wagering requirement is what a player needs to spend on real money casino games before being able to withdraw their deposit.
For example, if a casino is offering a 100% match up to $400 with a 20x wagering requirement and your first deposit is $200, you'll need to wager $4000 (200 x 20 = 4000) before seeing the bonus money hit your account.
PlaySugarHouse currently has a great welcome bonus offer to new players because of the 1x wagering requirement attached, which is as good as it can get for a deposit bonus.
No deposit bonuses are also important as this is like free money from the PA casino given to players who have completed signing up to try out on select games.
One big reason gamblers look for online casinos is because of the convenience the platform provides with being able to play a favorite casino game in the comfort of their Pennsylvanian home. Players want to find a casino with a large game library with a variety of options and be able to navigate and play with ease. When it comes to choosing a casino based on the game library, here are a few things to consider:
- What kind of gambler are you?
- What is your favorite casino game?
- Do you play more on your mobile device or desktop?
- Is the bonus you're about to claim eligible to play on one of your favorite casino games?
It's no surprise slots make up the majority of all PA online casino game libraries, but it's important there are games tailored to all players. A good casino should have a variety of table games, video poker, and slots. While casinos are still in the process of launching and adding more and more games to their libraries, it looks like Pennsylvania has a growing selection. Players should keep in mind that although a PA casino library may look small now, in New Jersey some online casino game libraries go up to 400+.
Welcome bonuses always have specific games that can only be used for the bonus, so it's also a good idea to see which games are eligible as some have a lower house edge and high Return To Player. (Stay away from American Roulette!)
Software and Platform
In order for any casino game or bonus to work, a casino needs a strong, working platform. Big software companies and game providers like IGT and NetEnt (along with countless others) have been making their move into the Keystone state and partnering with land-based PA casinos to help them in launching an online platform. Without a proper platform, players will experience glitches, slow games, and other problems that no one really wants to deal with.
If you have a favorite game provider it's good to check out how much they have contributed to an online casino you're deciding between as it's nice to be familiar already. Other features like graphics, how user-friendly the site is, and how well the games work on your device will also determine the success of a casino.
Mobile casinos are essential in today's day and age where everything is done on cell phones - the most revenue casinos make is off their mobile players. Usually, a casino app is not able to hold as many games as players would find on the desktop sites, but Hollywood Casino has done an excellent job of almost mimicking the two platforms with each other.
Here are a few factors to consider when looking at a PA online casino's platform:
- How easy is the site to maneuver through?
- Can I filter to find my favorite game?
- Which companies are providing the games?
- Which software is powering the casino online platform?
- Is the casino compatible with my mobile device?
Deposit and Withdrawals
Players are signing up for online casinos in the state with the intention to spend and win a lot, which means the process of giving and taking money should be stress-free. This goes back to the platform and how user-friendly it is, but it's hard to sign up for a casino if they don't have your preferred payment method.
The following are the most common payment methods used at PA online casinos for deposit and withdrawing:
- Cash at the casino cage
Always speak to your bank before, due to some restrictions that come with online gambling transactions. Parx Casino has done a good job of offering players a wide variety of options to deposit and withdraw on their site, and the more choices the better. Players should also look at fees and wait times associated with withdrawals as it varies from casino to casino.
Our last point to make is regarding the customer support working for the casino. Ideally, a good online casino should have some sort of 24/7 service whether that be through Live Chat or email. It's also important how quick the responses come to players and how willing the support seems to be in helping make all the problems go away. This is key because new casinos especially are bound to run into glitches and problems when launching for the first time, and if there's any chance of keeping a player happy - it's fixing their problem as fast as you can.
Most common customer service features at online casinos in Pennsylvania include:
- Live Chat
- FAQ (for the smaller, quick-fix problems)
Casinos with support teams who take days to answer, or make little effort in helping provide the player with the best gaming experience should be avoided.
Determining which casino is best for you ultimately depends on the type of gambler you are, but the key factors we have explained are crucial for making or breaking a casino. When it comes down to it, casinos have a job to keep the players happy and give them reasons to come back to the site for more. If the platform is missing any of the following, it could hold players back from having the best gaming experience at their chosen PA online casino.