PENNSYLVANIA GAMBLING FAQ
WHAT FORMS OF ONLINE GAMBLING ARE LEGAL IN PENNSYLVANIA?
You’ll be able to bet on sports, play casino games / slots, enjoy online poker, bet on horses and play state lottery games online.
HOW WILL CASINOS AND SPORTSBOOKS KNOW I AM LOCATED IN PENNSYLVANIA?
Geolocation technology has become very accurate. While there were some issues close to the state border in New Jersey on launch, these have since been resolved. IP address information and Wi-Fi are used. For mobile devices close to the border, you could also install extra software to verify that you are in Pennsylvania if there are issues.
WHAT IS THE LEGAL AGE TO GAMBLE IN PENNSYLVANIA?
You need to be 18+ to bet on horses (or enter a racetrack casino) and to buy lottery tickets. For other forms of gambling and land-based casinos, the minimum age is 21.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BET ONLINE?
Anyone 21+ who is within the Pennsylvania state lines can gamble online. There is no requirement to be a permanent resident.
WHEN WILL PA ONLINE CASINOS GO LIVE?
The first online casinos are expected to go live in July 2019.
WILL PA GAMBLING SITES OFFER BONUSES?
Yes. There will be a lot of competition between the casino brands, and a lot of opportunities to grab a welcome bonus. These take several forms:
- Free play bonuses: Small amounts (for example $20) simply for registering
- Matched first deposit bonuses: Usually a 100% match to your first deposit
- Comp / loyalty point schemes: Online gambling sites will reward your play, often using tiered loyalty schemes
- Promos / special offers: It is worth keeping an eye on the “promotions” pages for extra deals
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A GAMBLING LICENSE IN PA?
The initial gambling licenses was awarded to holders of full casino / slots licenses.
HOW WILL PA GAMBLING SITES ENFORCE RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING?
Responsible gambling is part of the licensing requirements for online gambling sites. They need to provide information, links to help organizations and tools for timeout / bet limits / self-exclusion. A complaints process via the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board could be used to flag any issues with the sites.
WILL I BE ABLE TO DEPOSIT WITH A CREDIT CARD OR PAYPAL?
Some credit cards will be accepted by PA gambling sites, and PayPal should be included eventually. Banks sometimes decline transactions for online gambling, so if your initial credit card is declined, try another option.
CAN I HAVE MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS?
No. Accounts are limited to one per person and one per physical location / household. This is to prevent bonus abuse. Detecting multiple accounts is very simple, and those accounts will be locked.
WHAT PERCENTAGE OF REVENUE GOES TOWARDS TAXES?
Pennsylvania has a high tax rate for gambling activities compared to other states. This is an effective rate of 36%, in addition to a $10 million license fee. While this caused controversy when introduced, it has not prevented the sale of licenses.
DO I HAVE TO PAY TAX ON GAMBLING WINNINGS IN PENNSYLVANIA? IF SO, HOW MUCH?
Yes, gambling winnings are taxed at 3.07%.
IS OFF-TRACK BETTING LEGAL IN PA?
Yes. You will find several OTBs around the state. These are listed in the article above.
WHICH PA CASINOS WILL HAVE MOBILE SPORTS BETTING APPS?
At the moment SugarHouse, Parx and BetRivers all allow play via mobile devices. There are Android apps, and the websites automatically adjust to your screen size. Apple recently made betting apps move to the company’s own proprietary code, meaning there will be a delay before iOS betting apps appear.
HOW BIG WILL THE PA SPORTS BETTING AND CASINO MARKET BE?
With 12.8 million people living in the Keystone State — and a big sports fan base — the market for online gambling in Pennsylvania could be huge. Based on figures in New Jersey, this is likely to generate multiple billions of dollars a year in revenue. The 36% tax rate means that the state coffers could get a welcome boost.