Legal Pennsylvania Online Gambling, Poker & Casinos

The progressive attitude towards gambling by neighboring state, New Jersey, has seen Pennsylvania steadily follow suit. While history suggests the state has taken a dim view of gambling, Pennsylvania has since legalized some aspects of the industry.

The state's penal code says that "all forms of gambling are illegal" unless existing legislature explicitly permits activity of specified gambling games.

At the time of writing, 12 commercial casinos and racinos are in operation in Pennsylvania. Their success has had a knock-on effect on revenues in neighboring Atlantic City.

Pennsylvania Gambling Laws - Summary and Look to the Future

At the time of writing, there is no active legislature regarding online gambling in Pennsylvania. However, based upon the state's penal code, this means that online gambling is prohibited.

There have been no cases in the public eye of individuals that have been prosecuted for playing online wagers in Pennsylvania. However, it is best to play with offshore platforms that do not require US licensing or regulations.

Pennsylvania Gambling Laws - A Brief History

  • 1820 - Horse racing betting prohibited state-wide.
  • 1967 - Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission established to regulate pari-mutuel betting and racing.
  • 1971 - State-operated lottery legalized as part of Act 91.
  • 1991 - Charitable bingo, raffle games and pull-tab style gaming authorized as part of Chapter 901's updated penal code.
  • 2004 - State casinos legalized and licensed. Sports betting legislation also updated.
  • 2008-09 - Weekly and daily minimum payouts rise for charitable bingo and raffle games.
  • 2010 - Table games permitted at licensed casinos as part of Senate Bill 711.
  • 2013 - Proposed online poker legislation fails to make it beyond committee.

What Types of Gambling are Legal in Pennsylvania?

  • Casino Gambling – Casino gambling is legal in Pennsylvania and they have offerings of all kinds. The 7 racetracks in Pennsylvania have all moved into the casino business as well.
  • Sports Betting- Sports betting is legal in Pennsylvania for horse racing and all of the major sites accept players. A sports betting bill in Pennsylvania has passed and you can follow news on Pennsylvania sports betting here.
  • Online Betting – Most of the horse racing betting sites accept players from Pennsylvania and all of the most recent news suggests that casino gambling will be taking place in the state very soon. We will be following all online gambling news in Pennsylvania here.
  • Daily Fantasy – The DFS sites like Fanduel and Draft Kings accept players from Pennsylvania as there are no laws on the books in the state that prevent them from operating. The Pennsylvania legislature is currently attempting to regulate DFS in the state.
  • Poker – Poker is legal in Pennsylvania and there are several poker rooms located across the state.
  • Bingo – There are Bingo Halls in Pennsylvania and they can operate twice a week with no payouts being more than $250 for a game, $2,000 for a jackpot, and $4,000 for day.  
  • Lottery – There is a state lottery in Pennsylvania as well as sales of scratch off tickets and instant lotteries.