Casino Gambling in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Casino Guide
They say you can't compete with New Jersey's Atlantic City if you're searching for gambling on the eastern seaboard. But "they" obviously haven't been to Pennsylvania. With 11 land-based casino properties, including a mix of resort casinos and racinos in cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, you'll find your own personal Atlantic City in your own backyard. And that's on top of all the real money Pennsylvania online casinos you can play at.
That's just the start. With online casino regulations changing next door, Pennsylvania online gambling legislation is a real possibility. But even without regulation by the state, there's no shortage of places to gamble online in Pennsylvania. Read on for everything you need to know.
Looking to gamble online? Click here to skip to the top Pennsylvania Casinos.
- Population: 12,763,536
- Land Size: 82,643 sq. miles
- Population 18+: 78.3%
- Gambling Age (Casinos): 21
- Gambling Age (Lottery): 18
- Number of Casinos: 11
- Nickname: Keystone State
- Home of legendary horserace gambler Pittsburgh Phil
- Also home to Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwiches
- The state has a history of trying to pass pro-gambling initiatives
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Harrah's Philadelphia777 Harrah's Blvd
Chester, PA 19013
Rivers Casino777 Casino Dr
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Sands Casino Resort77 Sands Blvd
Bethlehem, PA 18015
History of Pennsylvania Gambling
With 11 places to gamble in Pennsylvania, you'd think the Keystone State's gambling history ran deep. You'd be wrong. Sure, people probably gambled back when Pennsylvania was still just a colony. But the truth is people were able to gamble online at a Pennsylvania online casino long before they could legally gamble at a legal land-based casino.
In 2004, the state legalized electronic slot machine and casino gambling as long as they were of the electronic variety. For several years, if you wanted to gamble, your choices were limited to racinos. But that changed in 2010 when the state passed a law to expand casino gaming to include table games, like blackjack. Today, Pennsylvania online casino players can enjoy the same games live that they do online.
Local Casino Venues
Pennsylvania land-based casinos include a mix of racinos (which are horserace/casino hybrids), standalone casinos, and resort casinos complete with hotels. Unlike some other states that limit their racinos to just slots, you can find a variety of table games at Pennsylvania casinos. Online players who are used to playing blackjack, roulette, craps, and other table games will be happy to know that the same games can be found across all 11 Pennsylvania land-based casino properties.
Casino Gambling Age Restrictions
The Gambling age in Pennsylvania looks a bit complex. Depending one what you want to play and where you want to play it, you need to be either 18 or 21. Land-based casinos require gamblers to be 21, but if you're betting on horses at a racino (which also offers casino games) you only need to be 18. If you're making the move to a Pennsylvania online casino, you need to be 21. This runs contrary to what a lot of Internet casinos in Pennsylvania will advertise. Many list 18+ on their homepage, but that usually applies to players in Europe. Remember, many legit online casinos in Pennsylvania are based outside the state, so make sure you adhere to Pennsylvania gambling age law before you play.
Famous Pennsylvania Gamblers
Forget Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog that can supposedly predict an early screen. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Phil was a legendary gambler who made ridiculous amounts of money betting on thoroughbred horseracing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He used horseracing statistics to pick winners, well before it was popular to do so. When he died, he had amassed an impressive gambling fortune totaling $3.25 million. In today's money, that's about $85 million, a huge some even for diehard Pennsylvania online casino players.
The State of Online Gambling in Pennsylvania
Did you know that Pennsylvania recently overtook New Jersey as the 2nd most lucrative gambling state in the country? So, as you would expect, Pennsylvania wants to do everything they can to maintain that position. With New Jersey now legalizing online gambling, Pennsylvania is expected to follow suit, making sure the state next door doesn't get their number 2 spot back.
Pennsylvania online gambling legislation has been floated by state legislators as recently as March 2013. As a seemingly pro-gambling state, there's a good chance fans of state-sanctioned casino gambling in Pennsylvania will get their wish. But even with no legislation, there are tons of online casinos Pennsylvania residents from Allentown to Erie can choose to play at, many of which are reputable and regulated by major international gambling bodies.
The Future of Pennsylvania Casino Gambling
Pennsylvania and Nevada could go to war (not literally, of course) for the land-based and online gambling market, so the future of casino gambling in Pennsylvania should be incredibly interesting over the next few years. It's not a matter of "if" Pennsylvania will explore legal online gambling. It's a matter of "how" they'll do it. Independently? Compacts with other states? Let the tribes handle it? Run it themselves? Whatever happens, Pennsylvania gamblers are in a great spot, and they will be for years to come.
Gambler's Note: Pennsylvania casino laws are always changing. The information on this page is for informational purposes only. Always consult Pennsylvania state law and local regulations before playing at an Pennsylvania online gambling site.
Pennsylvania Department of Health/Gambling Addiction Resources and LinksMany useful links for the compulsive gambler and their family are on this site; from Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon to other state resources that may prove helpful.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board/Problem Gambling InformationThis fact-filled website has information on everything from gambling demographics to facts vs. myths about compulsive gambling.