Online Casino Games Pennsylvania
Since 2018, any gaming operator in Pennsylvania has legally been able to set up an online casino or online sports betting site if they wanted to. Finally, in July 2019, gamblers in the Keystone state have seen four casinos release an online platform with game libraries full of slots, table games, and video poker. While online poker still hasn't seen a casino site, it is expected to launch any day now.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling License
Today, Pennsylvania has 12 existing casinos with a 13th under construction that is expected to open in 2020. The state has quickly grown and become the second highest-grossing casino economy in the US, behind Nevada, as it gets ready to launch online casinos July 15th.
For a casino to attain an interactive gaming license, each came at a fee of $4 million. However, when the initial offer started in 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board offered a package deal of all three licenses for $10 million total, (this deal no longer exists).
The PGCB needs casinos to meet three essential requirements in order to start the Interactive Gaming License Process:
- The QGE (a casino currently licensed to offer to gamble in any district) must hold a license in or outside of the United States as well as a licensed slot machine.
- The license must be in good standing and not still under review.
- The QGE must show financial stability and the ability to pay the $4 million required for online gambling documentation.
The following casinos took the package offer:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino
- Valley Forge
- Sands Bethlehem
- Mount Airy
Three casinos in Pennsylvania have chosen to stay offline: The Meadows, Lady Luck Nemacolin, and Rivers.
Pennsylvania Online Casinos
Along with the interactive gaming licenses, game operators were also given the option to apply for the approval of sports betting as both licenses were passed together. The following casinos have been approved for all licenses:
- Valley Forge
With the approval of all the licenses means these casinos will soon be able to offer players online slots games, online poker, house-banked games, and sports betting. It is expected that most of the online casinos in PA will offer demo versions of all the table games, giving new users the chance to learn without spending (or earning) any real money.
Pennsylvania Online Casino Games
Live dealer table games are going to play a big part in the interactive gambling experience soon to commence in Pennsylvania. The only difference between the online and retail casino is players will be placing real money bets using an electronic wagering interface and will be able to watch and bet through a live stream.
PA online casinos offer a large variety of slots, table games, and including the following:
- Casino Hold'em
- Three card poker
In the last ten years, online poker has become a global sensation for gamblers, increasing by the millions year after year. It is the mothership of online gambling providing players with different variations like Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker, and worldwide tournaments with guaranteed prize pools.
As players in PA finally see online poker launch, rumors begin wondering if Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey governments will reach an agreement to allow player pooling between all four states. Golden Nugget's Online Casino in New Jersey launched the game online in 2017 making it the first Live Dealer Online Poker play in the United States, however, they are still in the process of getting approved to offer online casinos in PA.
Here's what players can expect once online poker goes live in Pennsylvania:
- Must be 21 years or older to play - sites will be required to verify identification.
- Players must be inside state lines to play for real money - sites will be required to verify player location within borders of Pennsylvania.
The following four sites are currently seen as frontrunners due to connections attained inside the Keystone state:
- Pokerstars - Official partnership with Mount Airy and currently the #1 poker operator in the world. The first online casino in PA to offer online poker and get the ball rolling!
- 888 Poker/WSOP.com - Owns interstate poker network in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware that PA is expected to join, and also has links to Mount Airy and Harrah's casinos.
- GVC/Partypoker.com - Expanding reach in the United States due to multiple partnerships like with Boyd Gaming.
- Rush Street Interactive - Both casinos under Rush have applied and received online gaming licenses and are also rumored to have developed their own poker software.
Right now, 10/12 casinos in Pennsylvania offer poker rooms with a total of 225 tables.
Due to the fact that slots are the most loved game among players, it's no surprise that all of the PA online casino site are made up of slot games, from exclusive online slots to online versions of PA land-based casino slot games, giving players over 100+ different slots to choose from. Players can also expect fixed and progressive jackpots as well as themed PA online slots based on popular movies and TV shows.
Players will be able to experiment with demo versions but can also wager real money online at any time.
Types of online slot machines players can expect to see with the launch of online casinos in PA:
- Classic 3-Reel Slots
- Bonus Video Slots
- Pick 'Em Bonus
- Buy a Bonus
- Stacked/Cascading Wilds
- Bonus Wheel
- Themed Slots
All online slots in PA are monitored by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board who also put the games through a variety of tests to ensure everything is kept fair for players.
One of the most popular casino games around the world, the player's goal is simply to beat the dealer. Its popularity is accounted for its very high chance that the player will beat the house.
In PA, Blackjack rules are authorized by the PGCB and include:
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Dealer stands on soft 17
- Double down on any two cards
- Split up to three hands (except aces)
- Double down after splits
- Late surrender, half the bet is allowed to be given up when the dealer doesn't have Blackjack.
These rules are followed to ensure house edge stays low to around 0.40 percent, giving a return to player rate of 99.6%.
Online casinos in PA are following the same rules as land-based venues when it comes to how Blackjack is played.
Another casino game that is known worldwide, roulette has rules that are easy to follow with good payouts. The game is either played with an American or European wheel which has a big impact on the house edge as the European wheel has a single green zero, whereas American features both a green zero and green double zero.
House edge for American roulette is 5.26% with an RTP of 94.74% versus 2.7% house edge and 97.3% RTP for European.
The outcome of what a player has wagered is all decided by where the ball falls in the wheel. Players wager on numbers and red or black, the colors of the numbered slots on the wheel, and the ball is rolled inside the opposite direction of the way the wheel is spun. If given the option, always go for European Roulette!
Baccarat is a casino comparing card game played between two hands, the “banker” and “player”. There are different versions that can involve different sized tables and minimum bets but the basic gameplay is always the same.
- Dealers deal out two hands consisting of two cards, one to “banker” and one to “player”. Players then bet on which hand will end up closer to a value of nine or tie, the banker or player.
- 10s and face cards mean nothing, aces are worth 1 point, and the rest of the values are represented on each card. If a hand ends up adding to more than 10 points, only second digits are used.
- Another card is dealt if the “player” hand is five or less and if a third card is dealt to the “player,” the dealer will draw according to the rules set in place for the set game.
- There is a 5% commission charge on winning banker bets but there are versions that allow a zero commission.
RTP for Baccarat is 98.94% on “banker” bets, 98.76% on “player” bets, and 85.6% on ties.
Known as the most social game inside PA casinos, Craps is a dice game where players bet on the outcome of what they roll. While the online version lacks the social atmosphere players get in a casino, it’s a great way for players to learn the game at their own pace.
- Players start with betting on the pass line or don't pass. What the player rolls decide what will happen next.
- If the dice come out to seven or eleven, all pass lines are paid and don’t-pass bets lose. A crap out occurs when a two, three, or twelve is rolled and don’t pass bets are paid, pass line bets lose.
- Anything else rolled establishes the point where the player continues to rolls until the point is hit or “craps out” at seven.
- Once a point is established, players can choose to make and odds bet up to a posted maximum where the bet is paid at true odds if the point is rolled out before the player “craps out.”
- Players also have the option to bet on a variety of numbers and group of numbers before each roll with payout rates displayed on the table.
Craps is the fastest moving casino game and gives players the chance to wager on dozens of options, usually requiring a larger bankroll than other table games.
The RTP on crap bets depends on the bet but basic pass-line bets equate to an RTP of 98.59%.
Pennsylvania Online Casino Bonuses
In order to attract and keep customers, it can be expected that all PA online casinos will offer a wide variety of new player bonuses, including a no deposit bonus just for players creating a newly registered account, as well as a 100% deposit match bonus.
PA online casinos will also offer a variety of customer retention bonuses that can include things like game-specific bonuses, volume, and deposit bonuses and also casino loyalty programs that give players the chance to earn loyalty points.
Most of the bonuses will come with wagering requirements that will force gamblers to wager with the bonus a certain amount of times before it can be withdrawn.