Can You Play Online Poker in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania passed a gaming act in 2013 that allows tavern games, defined by state law to include tavern raffles (available to liquor licensees) for a charitable or public purpose, and other chance-based games at qualifying establishments. Pennsylvania's legal online gambling status is near complete with casino, poker, and sports gambling supported online by the state. However, some of these online gambling forms have yet to launch. Therefore, we recommend using licensed offshore online gambling sites in the meantime.
Online Gambling in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania passed a wide-ranging gambling reform bill in 2017 to legalize online casinos, sports betting, poker and lottery games.The 2017 bill also established a regulatory framework for daily fantasy sports, authorized the construction of up to 10 satellite casinos and approved the installation of up to 40,000 video gaming terminals across the state. Sports betting has been legal in Pennsylvania since the end of 2018. The state was one of the first adopters of this positive trend, along with New Jersey. Online betting is legal too, and there are many available online betting apps. A display modern and a lit candle and an antler on a table next to a laptop; Breakfast pancake with cinnamon and whipped cream being spread on top.
Yes, it is legal to play online poker in Pennsylvania. Online poker in Pennsylvania has been in demand for a long time, with Pennsylvanians finally getting access to the action that they craved after the passage of legislation to expand gambling throughout the state in 2017. The result of that legislation has been a combination of in-person and online poker that most states in America simply cannot replicate.
In thisguide to online poker in Pennsylvania, find out where it is legal to play poker online, as well as what poker sites will be coming to the state in the future. Additionally, bettors can find out what other online gambling options exist throughout the Keystone State and what regulatory body is in place to oversee it all.
History of Poker and Online Poker in Pennsylvania
The history of PA online poker is an interesting one, as it took until 2017 for legal online poker to emerge after the game was made illegal in the United States. In 2017, H 271 was passed in Pennsylvania, which served as a piece of legislation to legalize several forms of online gambling. This included online casino action, sports betting and poker as well.
Casinos were given the option to pay one licensing fee to operate online poker, online slots and table games online. They typically chose that option over the option to pay separate amounts to license those forms of gambling individually. These casinos have begun licensing PA online poker operators to offer online poker in this state, allowing bettors the ability to begin playing as of November of 2019 when PokerStars and Mount Airy Casino teamed up for the first legal online poker room in Pennsylvania.
Summary of Pennsylvania Gambling & Poker Laws
- Online Poker/Gambling - There are currently seven casinos permitted to offer online poker in PA. So far, Mount Airy and PokerStars are the only one to go to market.
- Live Poker - There are 10 total casinos that offer live poker in Pennsylvania.
- Casinos - There are many casinos in Pennsylvania, offering slots, table games, poker and sports betting.
- Sports Betting - Sports bettors can wager on events in-person at a number of casinos or online on their mobile devices.
- Fantasy Sports - Pennsylvania has offered legal daily fantasy sports since 2018.
- Esports - Pennsylvania gambling laws currently prohibit esports wagering.
- Other Gambling Options - Bettors can also wager on horse racing, take part in the PA lottery and partake in bingo in Pennsylvania.
Online Poker in Pennsylvania
Online poker is up and running in Pennsylvania, with the first PA online poker operator in the state launching in November of 2019. Fortunately, there are several other online poker operators that are set to launch their online poker offerings in the near future, which will give Pennsylvania poker players a number of options to choose from going forward.
In this look at online poker in Pennsylvania, find out more about the legal standing of online poker in the Keystone State. Players can also learn more about what poker sites are available to them, what poker sites may be coming to Pennsylvania in the future and what kinds of poker games they can take part in at those sites.
Is Online Poker Legal in Pennsylvania?
Online poker is in fact legal in Pennsylvania and has been since 2017. In that year, state lawmakers passed H 271 into law, which allowed for the expansion of a number of gambling activities. This law paved the way for legal sports betting to take place in the state, as well as online poker and casino action.
Interestingly, online poker was the last of the newly permitted gambling activities to launch in the state of Pennsylvania. Online sports betting and online casino gaming were first made available to players in July of 2019. Poker players had to wait another four months before they could start playing, with online poker being launched in November of 2019.
Where Can I Play Online Poker Legally In Pennsylvania?
As of now, there is only one place where players can take part in online poker legally. That would be PokerStars PA, which is working with Mount Airy Casino to offer legal online poker in this state. This will not be the only online poker option in Pennsylvania for long, but poker players in Pennsylvania will be content with the options at PokerStars as they wait for competitors to arrive.
Fortunately for online poker players in Pennsylvania, PokerStars has been well-received thanks to its diverse array of game and tournament formats. Highlighted by their Sunday tournaments that offer lucrative prize pools, PokerStars offers tournament play and fast-paced sit and go action to go along with their more traditional cash game offerings.
In the near future, there are sure to be other online poker operators joining PokerStars in this state. The first of which could be Party Poker, which is being licensed by Valley Forge Casino in Pennsylvania. Another popular global poker brand, PartyPoker offers a fast forward option that moves players to a new hand as soon as they fold their existing hand. This feature has become one of the most popular in the online poker world at multiple sites.
Also set to join PokerStars in the near future is the WSOP poker platform. Licensed through Harrah’s in Pennsylvania, the World Series of Poker app will offer software through 888poker in this state. They will also offer a brand name that is synonymous with the biggest poker tournaments in the world, with satellite tournaments to get into live WSOP events being one of the main draws of this poker operator when it launches in PA.
There are four additional casinos that have been permitted to offer online poker in Pennsylvania. Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Parx Casino, Rivers Casino and Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino have all been deemed able to provide online poker. However, these casinos have yet to partner with an online poker provider in order to launch online poker products of their own in the state.
If and when these four casinos do find a dance partner, so to speak, to offer online poker, it would create one of the strongest lineups of online poker options of any American state. For now, though, poker players in Pennsylvania can enjoy everything that PokerStars has to offer while waiting for launches from Party Poker and WSOP.
Where Does Pennsylvania Offer Legal Online Gambling?
There are plenty of outlets for legal online gambling in Pennsylvania at this time, though the number of options available does depend on the form of gambling that a bettor wants to do. When it comes to online poker, PokerStars PA is the only option that is available at this time, though that list is set to grow in the future with the arrival of Party Poker and WSOP. But the online casino and sports betting industries in Pennsylvania offer bettors many additional online gambling choices.
As it pertains to online casino gambling, Pennsylvania has a dozen options already live, and could see more enter the state in the near future. Online casino gaming first launched in Pennsylvania in July of 2019 with Sugarhouse Casino.
Here is a full list of the online casino options that have come to Pennsylvania since then:
- Sugarhouse Casino
- Hollywood Casino
- Parx Casino
- PokerStars Casino
- FanDuel Casino
- Caesars Online Casino
- DraftKings Casino
- Wind Creek Casino
In addition to these 12 active brands in the Pennsylvania online casino market, Golden Nugget and MGM are set to launch in the future as well. Those are both big names in the casino gaming industry, and will continue to make Pennsylvania a premier online gambling destination as bettors are able to take on online slots and table games so long as they can verify their location is based in Pennsylvania while playing.
From an online sports betting perspective, Pennsylvania has plenty of options to choose from as well. Several of the biggest names in the sportsbook industry already reside in PA, with more set to join them soon. BetRivers was the first to launch in June of 2019, with the number of available sports betting sites in the state up to a half-dozen today. Here is a list of the sportsbooks that are currently available to bettors in Pennsylvania.
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- Fox Bet
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Unibet Sportsbook
- Caesar’s Sportsbook
Also set to join the list of online sports betting operators in Pennsylvania is BetMGM, whose sportsbook product has been a prominent sponsor of the 2020 NHL postseason that has featured Pennsylvania’s own Philadelphia Flyers.
Will Pennsylvania Regulate Legal Online Poker?
Pennsylvania has decided to regulate legal online poker in the state. When H 271 was passed to expand gambling throughout the state, online poker was put under the purview of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The PGCB was to be responsible for granting licenses to casinos, who could then partner with online poker operators to offer online poker within state lines.
This move was a necessity, given the proximity of Pennsylvania to New Jersey. New Jersey is one of the most progressive states in America when it comes to gambling, with online gaming laws that allow for sports betting, online casino and online poker action. A failure to regulate the industry in Pennsylvania would have caused many Pennsylvania residents to play in New Jersey instead, causing Pennsylvania to lose out on the tax revenue those players would have generated in-state in a regulated market.
The need for Pennsylvania to act defensively against the advances that New Jersey makes in the gambling industry is an encouraging sign for bettors in Pennsylvania. Even if state lawmakers are acting with the primary intention of protecting tax revenue from being cannibalized by a neighboring state, that mentality means that Pennsylvania will continue to offer more and more legal gambling options to keep up with New Jersey.
US Poker Laws 2020 – Pennsylvania FAQ
Is online poker legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes, online poker has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2017 when a gambling expansion bill was signed into law. The first legal online poker site in this state launched in 2019, when PokerStars PA entered the market.
Is Online Gambling In Pa Legal
Which poker sites can I use in Pennsylvania?
Right now, PokerStars PA is the only online poker site that can be used legally in this state. However, Party Poker and WSOP’s poker platform are also going to be offered in PA. There are four additional casinos that are permitted to offer licenses to poker sites as well.
Pa Gambling Sites
Which poker games can I play online in Pennsylvania?
The main game types that are available for online poker consumption in Pennsylvania are No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha. Pennsylvania is a state that does not pool its online poker players with other states, which means that the availability of games in the state depends entirely on the demand from players within state lines.
There are other game types available when the demand is great enough. Pot Limit Hold ‘Em, Seven-Card Stud, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw and H.O.R.S.E. are all games that are available within the PokerStars platform when there are enough other players present to get a game together.
Are there online poker tournaments in Pennsylvania?
Yes, PokerStars offers a number of online poker tournaments in Pennsylvania. These are highlighted by the site’s Sunday competitions that offer the biggest prize pools. But there are smaller tournaments that take place on a regular basis as well, with PokerStars’ software showing players a schedule of tournaments for their preferred game types.
Can I play sit and go tournaments in Pennsylvania?
The sit and go tournament has become a popular game format, allowing players to take part in tournament play without having to wait for a scheduled start time. Sit and go tournaments are available within the PokerStars platform as well, as players can fill up and start tournaments in their preferred game types. As is the case with cash games, though, this format’s availability depends on demand from other players as a sit and go tournament needs to be filled before the tournament can begin.