Best Casino Hotels in Pennsylvania on Tripadvisor: Find 6,634 traveller reviews, 1,419 candid photos, and prices for 9 casino hotels in Pennsylvania, United States.
- Resorts Casino Hotel opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first legal casino in Atlantic City. Resorts and the rest of the Atlantic City Boardwalk is within 60 miles of Philadelphia. It quickly become evident that Pennsylvania residents are some of the budding Atlantic City casino.
- ^ 'Top Online Casinos PA (Real Money)'. Retrieved 2020-12-09. ^ 'Pennsylvania Satellite Auction Winners and Mini Casino Sites'. Play Pennsylvania. Retrieved August 13, 2019. ^ Jon Harris (September 2, 2020). 'A mini-casino near State College?' The Morning Call. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
News has identified top casino hotels in the USA by taking into account amenities, reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings. Best Casino Hotels in Pennsylvania on Tripadvisor: Find 6,634 traveler reviews, 1,419 candid photos, and prices for 9 casino hotels in Pennsylvania, United States.
Pennsylvania legalized online gambling as of the summer of 2019, making it the fourth state to join the party after New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. The Keystone state comesjust second to Nevada with the largest gambling market in the United States.
Before 2019, gamblers in Pennsylvania were either playing poker in their friends' basement or driving to the closest brick and mortar to try their luck on a game of slots. Now that onlinegambling has been legalized in the state, players can skip the road trip and sign up for an online casino to play their favorite games.
Land-based casinos in Pennsylvania can hold up to 5,000 machines and offer games like video poker, slots, blackjack, roulette, three card poker, and craps, while online casinos have muchsmaller libraries but still offer the classics.
A player must be over the age of 20 and located in the state's borders to access an online casino or enter a brick and mortar.
Online Casinos in Pennsylvania
While online casinos and poker have been legal in Pennsylvania since 2017, it took two years for the first casino to come out with an online platform.
Compared to New Jersey who started launching online casinos way back in 2013, this is still a new industry for PA. Regardless, there are already numerous online casinos for players to sign upfor.
Each platform has hundreds of games in the library with competitive bonuses to offer new players.
Top 10 Reasons to Play in an Online Casino
- Play from the comfort of your own home
- Available 24/7
- Claim big welcome bonuses
- Save money on travel and other amenities at the land-based casino (drinks, food)
- No waiting in long lines
- Collect points every time you play online to use on casino rewards
- Better RTP on games
- Avoid social interaction
- Play for free to practice a new game
- Huge game selection
Why playing online is better for you
Online casinos are becoming extremely popular in the state, mainly because of convenience and the money players are saving. We've listed a few of the main reasons why it would bebeneficial to sign up for an online casino instead of head to the brick and mortar to wager.
- Bonuses: You won't find any bonuses at the land-based casino, compared to online where operators hand them out regularly. These types of bonuses can come in the form of freemoney, free spins, and match deposits.
- Convenience: Online casinos are readily available 24/7. You can play whenever you like from anywhere inside the state.
- Money: Everyone wants to save money, and staying in to play is exactly how you can do that. By choosing to play at an online casino versus the land-based, you will save moneyon gas expenses and drinks or other activities you may be tempted with on the casino floor.
List of Online Casinos in Pennsylvania
SugarHouse currently offers one of the best welcome bonuses in the state! Sign up now and you'll receive a 100% match on your first deposit. The bonus has a 1x wagering requirement, which isthe lowest in PA currently. You can click the link below to get started.
Parx is one of the only casinos in the state to have Free Spins offered in the welcome package. New players can claim a 100% deposit match up to $500, plus 500 free spins to use on selectslots!
Hollywood Casino has a bonus ready for you before you even sign up. Once you complete registration, you’ll be rewarded with $25 in free play. After you make your first deposit, Hollywood willmatch it 100% capping it at $500.
PokerStars was the first operator to bring online poker to Pennsylvania. Players will find the poker platform on the same site as the online casino, which makes it easy to switch between thetwo. Sign up to PokerStars and claim a three-piece welcome package offer! You can read more about the offer, here.
New players will get $10 right away to use on any games in the Unibet library after they have signed up. Next, have your first deposit matched by 100% up to $500!
BetAmerica is one of the more recent casinos to launch online and might be the only site to not match your first deposit by 100%. Instead, BetAmerica will offer you a 25% match bonus up to$500. Players will notice the sportsbook integrated with the casino
FanDuel has a unique offer compared to other operators in PA, offering 24 hours of risk-free betting instead of a 100% deposit match. The bonus is worth $200 and can be used on all games in thelibrary. FanDuel will also return any money you lose back to your account.
BetRivers is the sister casino to SugarHouse and offers the same game library and welcome bonus. This means you can claim the same 100% match bonus worth $250, with a 1x wagering requirement.
Caesars is the most recent casino to enter the PA market and launched through Harrah’s Philadelphia. Caesars is a brand known around the country, with an online casino already doing very wellin New Jersey. You can claim a 100% match on your first deposit worth up to $300!
Land-Based Casinos in Pennsylvania
Before online casinos launched in Pennsylvania, players had to make their way to the local brick and mortar in order to place a legal wager. There are currently 12 casinos in the state, with a13th under construction and expected to open in 2021.
Parx Casino is the largest casino in the state, hosting over 3,200 game machines. It’s also one of the most popular, bringing in more revenue than most of its competition every year.
Mohegan Sun Pocono and Harrah’s Philadelphia also had highly rated reviews and seems to be the favorites for venues in the state. If you want to find the gambling hot-spot in Pennsylvania, werecommend heading to Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Both have great casino options with dining amenities and entertainment.
Land-based casinos in PA are broken down into 3 categories. We explain each further, below.
Types of Casinos in Pennsylvania
There are three types of casinos in Pennsylvania: racinos, resorts, and stand-alone. Mini casinos will soon make up the fourth category, once they start opening in the state. The categories arebroken down as follows:
- six horse races tracks (racinos)
- five stand-alone casinos
- two hotel resorts
All of the casinos in Pennsylvania can have a maximum of 5,000 machines, except for the resort licensees, which are allowed up to 600. Additionally, all casinos in Pennsylvania are allowed tohave table games.
Racetrack Casinos in Pennsylvania
When a venue combines horse track betting and casino games together, you have a Category 1 casino, otherwise known as a racino. These types of casinos can hold up to 5,000 machines and featurea track to watch and wager on horses.
The following venues are classified as a Category 1 in PA:
- Parx Casino
- Harrah's Philadelphia
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
- Presque Isles Downs
- The Meadows Racetrack and Casino
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National
Stand-Alone Casinos in Pennsylvania
What’s interesting about Standalone casinos is the requirement that at least two out of the five must be in Philadelphia, with another in Pittsburgh. All of the casinos are allowed to have thesame amount of games and slots as a Category 1.
The following venues have standalone Category 2 licenses in PA:
- Mount Airy Casino Resort
- SugarHouse Casino
- Sands Bethlehem
- Rivers Casino
- Live! Philadelphia Casino & Hotel
Hotel Resort Casinos in Pennsylvania
Category 3 casinos (resorts) are the smallest type of venue in the state and can hold about 600 slot machines.
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
- Valley Forge Casino Resort
Mini-casinos have recently been introduced as part of the gambling expansion in the state. They have the capacity to host anywhere between 300 to 750 slot machines and 30 casino games.
A handful of land-based casinos have started making bids to operate one, starting at 7.5 million. When auctioning had first started for mini-casinos, more than $50,000,000 was being offered.The next round of auctions will kick off in September 2020.
Pennsylvania Land-Based Casinos Map
PA online casinos are up and running, and growing fast.
If you are 21 years or older and inside Pennsylvania state lines, you can now enjoy online slots, table games, and video poker from your desktop computer or mobile devices.
This page contains all the information you need to start playing at online casinos in PA.
Below is a guide to the games you can play for free and for realmoney at PA online casinos. After that, you’ll find information on apps, bonuses, safety, and geolocationtechnology.
Regulated casinos also include protection for problem gamblers, which we cover at the end of this page.
Best online casinos in Pennsylvania 2021
Real money and free online casino games in Pennsylvania
You can play most games at PA casinos online for fun. Playing games in demomode, or with play-money chips, allows you to find the titles you like before you gamble.
The only category of games that are notavailable for free play is live dealer table games. You can watch them, though you will not be able to wager on them – at least yet.
The current offerings on real money online casinos in PA are growing, and fast. Casino sites regularly add new games as they are approved by the PA Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
We offer an overview of how diverse these casino game categories are. Keep in mind that the most prominent New Jersey online casinos offer more than 600 titles.
Play PA online casino games for real money
The number of Pennsylvania online casinos is now in double-digits. All of the PA casino apps are available 24/7 and offer online slots, video poker, and table games such as roulette, blackjack, and baccarat. Use this table to compare the real money casinos in PA.
|Rank||PA Casinos||Bonus Offer||Progressive||Slots||Play Now!|
|1.||BetMGM Casino||$25 Free + 100% up to $1,000||Divine Fortune + Mercy of the Gods||80+||Play Now!|
|2.||Caesars Casino||100% up to $500||N/A||36+||Play Now!|
|3.||FanDuel Casino||$200 Risk-Free||N/A||25+||Play Now!|
|4.||Unibet Casino||$10 Free + 100% up to $500||Jackpot Shores + Divine Fortune||75+||Play Now!|
|5.||Fox Bet Casino||100% up to $1500||N/A||12+||Play Now!|
|6.||DraftKings Casino||$45 Free + 100% up to $1500||N/A||25+||Play now!|
|7.||BetRivers Casino||100% up to $250||Divine Fortune||50+||Play Now!|
|8.||Sugarhouse Casino||100% up to $250||Divine Fortune||70+||Play Now!|
|9.||Hollywood Casino||$10 Free + 100% up to $502||Divine Fortune||80+||Play Now!|
|10.||PokerStars Casino||100% up to $1500||N/A||25+||Play Now!|
PA online slots
Slots are the biggest category of games for any online casino. You can expect to see over 200 games listed on some sites and you’ll need some way to sort the list of slot titles.
Firstly, casinos will feature their most popular games. You can use filters to search by, e.g., the number of reels, game developer, progressive jackpots, and so on.
If you enjoy live casino slots, then you will be able to play a lot of these online. You can search by name, or browse the listings for IGT, Bally, or another live slot studio.
Many online casinos feature classic games, e.g., Wheel of Fortune, Cleopatra, and WolfRun. You can also find traditional three-reel slots. Online slot studios like IGT created these.
When you browse the tiled graphics for slots to enjoy, you’ll see progressivejackpots listed underneath many of them. These pools can get massive, up to $1 million or more.
Table games at PA online casinos
Tablegames are a broad category, although it mostly covers all the casino games played on the greenfelt.
While most are card-based, dice and roulette wheels also fall under table games. Live dealer games are in this category; however, we will cover them separately.
This list is for the software-based versions:
- Blackjack: There are a lot of variations of basic blackjack rules. These include games with side bets, multi-hand games and entertaining variants like Blackjack Switch, Free Bet Blackjack, and Spanish 21.
- Roulette: You can bet your favorite numbers or try complex betting systems with online roulette. Where available, choose the European roulette wheel because the single zero reduces the house edge.
- Casino poker games: A lot of card-based table games use poker-hand rankings. Online casinos have Caribbean Stud, three-card poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, and Casino Hold ’em.
- Baccarat: Two of the three bets you can place in baccarat have a very low house edge. As long as you avoid the “tie” bet, this favorite among high rollers can be entertaining.
- Craps: With two betting phases and the chance to go on a hot streak as long as no 7s are rolled, craps is a lively live casino game. This appears at some online casinos, which gives you a chance to learn the complex bets.
Live dealer casinos in Pennsylvania
In other states, live dealer table games have become the go-to for many players and soon, they’ll be available in PA. With these, you’ll bet online although the action will be dealt in real-time from studios in PA live casinos. Bets will settle automatically.
Games available include blackjack (where you play on a seven-handed table), roulette, three-card poker, Casino Hold ’em, and baccarat.
Keep in mind, you need to act before the timer runs down in these games. Otherwise, your hand will be folded (or you’ll stand), depending on the game.
You can chat via text with the dealers and other players while you play. The added social element, plus the ability to watch the cards being dealt, make these increasingly popular games.
Video poker and novelty games
PA casinos allow you to play video poker games online. These include bonus poker and multi-hand variations, as well as traditional titles.
Pennsylvania online casino apps
There are pros and cons to online casino apps compared to mobile-friendly websites.
With apps, you often find only a limited number of game titles, along with account and cashier functionality. Compared to the hundreds of games you can play on your browser, this is a significant drawback.
On the positive side, having the graphics stored on your phone helps the games initialize faster. If you have ever had to wait for a bonus game to load on your mobile device after you hit it on a slot, you know how frustrating this can be.
Are the online casinos in Pennsylvania safe?
All online casinos in PA are licensed and under the jurisdiction of the PennsylvaniaGaming Control Board (PGCB).
Players are protected by know your customer (KYC) guidelines and responsible gaming laws. The games are tested for integrity and fairness. A complaint and dispute process is available if necessary.
When it comes to Pennsylvania online casinos, you really can’t get any safer.
The PGCB stated early in the licensing process that they have a deliberate, slow approach. This includes testing periods for new apps and websites. With the licenses for online casinos in Pennsylvania held by local live casinos and racetrack casinos, you’ll have trusted brand names behind each of the apps.
A major concern for players new to casino games is the fairness of the spins or deals. At regulated casinos, games are regularly audited and the expected return-to-player (RTP) percentages are published. While each game has a small edge in favor of the house, you can be sure that you are getting a fair shot at winning and it’s in line with the published figures.
Casino bonus offers in Pennsylvania
With a lot of real money online casinos opening in PA in quick succession, you can be sure they will be competing to attract new players.
This means 2021 is a perfect time to take advantage of their marketing budgets. Casino bonuses take four primary forms, and not every casino will offer them all. If not, the bonuses they do offer will need to be generous.
Here are the main types of casino bonuses:
- No-deposit welcome bonus: A popular way to attract new players is to offer free play for registering. This bonus is usually a small amount (between $10 and $25). You’ll need to wager it a number of times before you can withdraw it. These offers can start your casino bankroll, if you get lucky. If not, then you’ll have a chance to check out the real-money slot titles without any personal risk.
- Matched deposit bonuses: This is the most common form of a casino welcome bonus in PA. Your first deposit will be matched 100%, usually up to around $300, though sometimes much higher. You then get 30 to 60 days to meet the specified playthrough (wagering) requirements.
- Loyalty/comp point schemes: Some casinos will tie their online comp point schemes together with their live casino. Others have separate schemes, with complex tier systems unlocking progressively bigger bonuses. For high rollers, these loyalty schemes often have a VIP level, too.
- One-off promotions: How active a casino is with promos can make a big difference to your bankroll over time. These vary widely, and include double points deals, reload bonuses, promos linked to new games and free chips for sharing on social media.
While nothing is stopping you from taking up several casino bonuses, keep in mind that these are restricted to one per household for each casino. Many players have been tempted to sign up their entire family for a free-play offer only to find their accounts to be closed down quickly.
Licensed and legal PA casinos vs. offshore casinos
For many years, the only way to play online casino games in Pennsylvania was to risk your money at offshore casinos. While there were some limited legal options with sweepstakescasinos, the new legal PA internet casinos effectively remove the need to take this risk.
Offshore casinos are usually based in the Caribbean or Central America and their legal status is uncertain. While their host nation licenses them, they are not recognized or licensed by any US authority and our banks are legally obliged to block payments to them.
A greater concern is the lack of oversight and controls. Many offshore casinos have disappeared over the years, and many players have faced significant issues getting their winnings paid. If you have a dispute with an offshore casino, there is no industry body or organization to help you.
With PA casinos under the watchfuleye of the PGCB, they are licensed to accept conventional payment methods and thoroughly tested. There is no longer any reason to risk playing at an offshore site.
Geolocation and PA casinos
You will be able to access the PA online casinos fromanywhere. However, playing games for real money and making deposits can only be made within PA state lines.
Pennsylvania casinos will not allow real-money play if there is any doubt about your location. In New Jersey, this led to a lot of “falsenegatives.” Players who were on mobile devices near state borders were sometimes flagged as being outside of the state.
Fortunately, those initial problems were ironed out and geolocation technology is more reliable.
If you are using a VPN or proxyserver, you might still experience issues. Mobile users on 4G and close to the state border who experience problems can download additionalgeolocationsoftware in some cases.
Wi-Fi data is difficult to fake, and if you are not using a VPN, desktop players are unlikely to experience geolocation issues.
PA casinos eligible to offer online gambling in Pennsylvania
|PA Online Casino||Launch Date|
|Sugarhouse Online Casino PA||July 17, 2019|
|Hollywood Casino||July 15, 2019|
|Parx Casino PA||July 15, 2019|
|PokerStars Casino||Nov. 4, 2019|
|Unibet via Mohegan Sun Pocono||Nov. 12, 2019|
|FanDuel Casino via Valley Forge||Jan. 24, 2020|
|BetAmerica (Presque Isle Downs)||Jan. 28, 2020|
|BetRivers (Rivers Philadelphia)||Jan. 30, 2020|
|Caesars Online Casino (Harrah's Philadelphia)||April 23, 2020|
|DraftKings Casino (Hollywood)||May 1, 2020|
|Wind Creek Casino||July 24, 2020|
|PlayLive! (Live! Casino & Hotel)||Aug. 14, 2020|
|BetMGM (Hollywood)||Dec. 1, 2020|
|Golden Nugget NJ||TBD|
In total, there are 12 licensed casinos that can legally offer online casino games, including slots and blackjack.
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino
- Meadows Casino
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
- Mount Airy Casino Resort
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
- Parx Casino
- Presque Isle Downs
- Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
- Rivers Casino Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse Casino)
- Wind Creek Casino Resort (formerly Sands Bethlehem)
- Valley Forge Resort Casino
In the first month of 2020, FanDuel Casino, BetAmerica, and BetRivers Casino launched just before the Super Bowl. The long-awaited Caesars Online Casino in partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia followed in April.
Rivers Philadelphia (Formerly SugarHouse Casino) was the first brick-and-mortar casino to offer two different online casino skins under its casino license: PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers. The latter is integrated with the Rivers Pittsburgh online sportsbook that carries the same BetRivers name. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh did not obtain an online casino license.
On May 1, 2020, DraftKings Online Casino went live, becoming the second interactive gaming site under the Hollywood Casino license. Meadows, DraftKings’ land-based partner for online sports betting, does not hold an online casino license. But both Meadows and Hollywood are owned by Penn National Gaming, which has a market-access deal with DraftKings.
FanDuel and DraftKings originally launched online casinos that were integrated with their sportsbooks. Now, both have stand-alone online casino apps live in PA.
In late July 2020, Wind Creek Bethlehem dove into the online betting scene, launching the Wind Creek online casino through a partnership with Pala Interactive.
Live Pennsylvania casinos
There are currently 12 licensed gambling properties in the state of Pennsylvania, with another casino in the works in Philadelphia’s Stadium Park.
According to PGCB, this includes 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos and two smaller resort casinos. The former two are Category 1 and 2 casinos, while the latter falls into Category 3. These gaming establishments employ approximately 18,000 people and generate close to $1.4 billion in tax revenue annually.
Mini-casinos: The next phase of Pennsylvania casino development
As part of its gambling expansion law passed in October 2017, the state had the ability to issue up to tenCategory 4 licenses. These licenses allow for mini-casinos with 300-750 slots. A supplemental license costing $2.5 million allows these satellite casino properties to offer up to 30 table games as well.
The process for the issuance of mini-casino licensing involves a series of auctions. The preliminary auctions began in January 2018 and were limited only to the licensed Category 1 and 2 casinos. The first license went to Penn National, who spent $50.1 million to secure a location 50 miles south of its existing Hollywood Casino. During the first round of auctions, PGCB awarded five licenses.
The PGCB ran a second round of auctions on Sept. 3, 2019 but there were no bidders this time around. As a result, the five remaining licenses will go unclaimed. In all, $114 million in license fees were raised.
Pennsylvania problem gambling support
A system for self-exclusion for problemgamblers is available at live casinos in Pennsylvania.
This program involves filling out some forms, providing a photo ID, and voluntarily requesting one-year, five-year or lifetime exclusion.
A list of excluded people is distributed to all live casinos. Then it is the casinos’ responsibility is to prevent those people from entering gaming areas.
Removal from this list (for the shorter periods) does not happen automatically. After the period expires, individuals must request their removal personally.
Online gambling prevents new challenges when it comes to the management of problem gambling. For the majority to enjoy safe gambling online, support systems need to be in place for players who experience issues.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Commission manages this support program.
Here is what legal Pennsylvania online casinos must provide:
- A prominentlink to their responsible gambling information page.
- Tools for time-out, self-exclusion and betting limits.
- A list of questions to assess whether you or someone you know has a gambling problem.
- Links to support organizations and therapists.
Support programs in the state include:
Overview of Pennsylvania’s casino industry
The Pennsylvania casino industry is relatively young. Casinos only became legal in 2004. Yet, in the dozen or so years in existence, the industry quickly became a powerhouse. Now it is the second-largest commercial casino industry in the country judging by gross revenue, trailing only Nevada.
Thanks to steep tax rates, Pennsylvania casinos actually generate more tax revenue for the state than Nevada does. That number has gotten even bigger thanks to the gambling expansion law passed in the fall of 2017.
Here is a look at the history of the Pennsylvania casino industry, starting with the latest news and moving back towards the casino industry’s more humble beginnings:
The year began on a high, but that soon changed as the spread of COVID-19 led to the shuttering of all retail casinos and racetracks in PA by mid-March. That meant furloughs for casino employees and falling casino stock prices.
Online sportsbooks were also hit hard, with most sports sidelined for a lengthy period of time.
On a positive note, three more online casinos joined the market before the Super Bowl. The FanDuel online casino made quite a splash, surging to highest handle and revenue earner after its first full month in February.
The long-awaited Caesars sportsbook went live on March 10 in partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia, bringing the state’s online sports betting apps to a total of nine. The Caesars online casino followed on April 23, making it nine internet casinos too. An online poker room under the WSOP.com name is expected to follow.
On May 1, DraftKings added an online casino product to its established online sportbook. Its online casino product is under the Hollywood Casino license, while the DraftKings sportsbook partners with Penn’s other PA property, The Meadows. Both FanDuel and DraftKings later debuted standalone online casino apps in June and July, respectively.
Wind Creek launched its first online product with an online casino in late July, and Live! Casino brought PlayLive! online casino to PA in mid-August. Live! was the only casino to launch iGaming ahead of retail openings, which are to follow in 2021.
Online wagering sparked and sportsbooks blossomed.
With sportsbooks, there were just three operations at the beginning of the year, and all were retail. By the end of the year, the Keystone State had 12 retail sportsbooks.
But eight online sportsbooks were also running by year’s end, with around 84% of all sports wagering done online. Taken together, sports betting took in more than a billion bucks in 2019.
Five online casino sites went live, the first ones launching in July, though a new Wire Act opinion likely slowed that market segment at the start.
And at long last, an online poker site finally launched. On Nov. 4, FOX Bet was joined by PokerStars Casino and PokerStars PA, making poker a reality in the Keystone State.
In October 2019, SugarHouse changed its name to Rivers Casino Philadelphia, but not before launching the first PA online sportsbook in May. PlaySugarHouse sportsbook and online casino still retain the SugarHouse name.
After a summer of bickering, the state legislature drafted a new version of the gambling expansion package, which both the House and Senate passed. Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law on Monday, Oct. 30, 2018. The new law allows for a wide range of new gambling ventures, including:
- Online casinos
- Video gambling terminals (VGTs)
- Daily fantasy sports (DFS)
- Satellite casinos
- Sports betting
It also offered a new class of license eliminating the amenity fee in place at Valley Forge and Lady Luck Nemacolin. Valley Forge paid the fee immediately after the bill became law.
New licensing fees brought in more than $311 million for the state.
The PA Lottery launched several new games and created the online platform iLottery.
New Casino In Pennsylvania
A US Supreme Court ruling allowed sports wagering to begin and nine of 12 properties immediately applied for licenses.
Total gambling revenue topped $3.4 billion.
Legislation which would legalize and regulate online gambling in Pennsylvania, and offer online gaming licenses to the state’s 12 casino properties first, was passed by the Senate. In June 2017 it was amended and passed by the House, sending it back to the Senate.
The law was approved at the end of October.
The law ushered in sportsbook wagering and video game terminals at truck stops, and a new category of “mini-casinos” was created. As part of the expansion, horse racing money from casino slot revenue was encumbered in a trust fund. The slot money was originally set aside as part of the deal which led to the 2004 approval of casinos.
Casinos set a revenue record of $3.227 billion.
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin opened in July 2013.
Valley Forge Casino Resort opened its doors in March 2012 becoming the first Category 3 licensed casino in Pennsylvania.
After several ownership changes and failed financing plans with no construction to date, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted to revoke the Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia gaming license in December 2010.
SugarHouse Casino opened its first phase in Philadelphia in September 2010.
Pennsylvania passed a law in January 2010, authorizing table game operations at the state’s licensed racino, casino, and resort casino properties. The law also clarified the size and scope of gaming and other operations at the state’s three different categories of gaming licensees, including:
- Allowing up to 250 table games and 5,000 slot machines at Category 1 racino facilities
- Allowing 250 table games and 5,000 slot machines at Category 2 stand-alone casinos. These properties were also authorized to operate amenities including restaurants, spas, and entertainment options, but not hotels.
- Allowing up to 600 slot machines and 50 table games at Category 3 resort casinos. These gaming facilities can include attached hotels.
Parx Casino standalone gaming facility opened its doors in December .
Rivers Casino opened in Pittsburgh, PA’s Chateau neighborhood along the Ohio River in September.
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened on the Bethlehem Works development site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in May 2009. Table games were added in July 2010. The property officially changed ownership to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in June 2019. The casino is now known as Wind Creek Bethlehem.
Hollywood Casino opened at Penn National racetrack in February 2008.
Mount Airy Casino Resort officially opened in the Poconos in November 2007, becoming the first Pennsylvania casino with lodging.
Casinos In Pa
The Meadows Casino began as a temporary casino adjacent to the racetrack in Washington County, PA in June 2007. The permanent casino opened in 2009.
Presque Isle Downs casino and horse racing track near Erie, Pennsylvania opened in February 2007.
A slots parlor began operation at Harrah’s Philadelphia racetrack on the Chester waterfront. Table games went live at the property in 2010.
Parx Casino opened as a temporary gaming facility at the former Philadelphia Park racetrack in December 2006.
Foxwoods Casino Philadelphia is granted one of five stand-alone casino licenses for a soon-to-be-built property located along the Delaware River in South Philadelphia. The project fell apart, resulting in PGCB revoking the license in 2010.
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs became the state’s first slot parlor after opening its doors in November 2006 at a harness track near Wilkes-Barre.
State lawmakers made a number of amendments to horse track security bill authorizing both the use of 61,000 slot machines at racetracks and other new casino locations across Pennsylvania. Lawmakers rushed the bill through the House and Senate over the Fourth of July weekend, then quickly became law before any real opposition to casino gambling had a chance to oppose it.
The bill ultimately authorized the issue of three separate categories of slot machine licenses. These included:
- Category 1 for existing racetracks.
- Category 2 for designated tourist areas, including two in Philadelphia and one in Pittsburgh.
- Category 3 for resorts.
Former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell runs for Pennsylvania Governor. He wins on a campaign that includes support for the idea of allowing slot machines at racetracks in an effort to lower property taxes.
Under Then-Governor Tom Ridge the State Legislature came close to legalizing riverboat casinos. The state’s anti-gambling movement began to grow and Gov. Ridge said he would veto any gambling bill not approved by referendum. Eventually the entire idea was scrapped.
A statewide survey found 48 percent of Pennsylvania residents supported legalized riverboat gambling and just 38 percent were opposed. However, Then-Governor Robert P. Casey claimed to be opposed to gambling and threatened to veto any gambling legislation passed in the state.
First developed under Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode, and championed by mayoral successor Ed Rendell, a proposal to allow riverboat gambling in Philadelphia made it to the state legislature. The claim was it would create $25 million in new revenue for the city and 11,500 new jobs. However, the House of Representatives voted against it in November by a margin of 118-81.
Resorts Casino Hotel opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey, becoming the first legal casino in Atlantic City. Resorts and the rest of the Atlantic City Boardwalk is within 60 miles of Philadelphia. It quickly become evident that Pennsylvania residents are some of the budding Atlantic City casino industry’s best customers.