Online gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania back in October of 2017, when Governor Tom Wolf signing off on the H 271 bill. The scope of the bill entails all sorts of gambling activities, from casinos and sports betting to online poker in Pennsylvania.
So far, PokerStars Pennsylvania is the only online poker room catering to players in the state, but there are three more sites that could launch in the near future:
- WSOP PA – likely to go live before the summer of 2021 as Pennsylvania is high on the list of priorities for the company.
- Partypoker PA – the room has everything lined up and could go live as early as June of 2021.
- GGPoker PA – still has some way to go as they need to partner with a land-based operator first, so their launch may not come until later.
PokerStars PA has done a great job up to this point, offering players a chance to participate in a variety of multi-table tournaments, cash games with stakes as high as $25/$50, and all sorts of SNGs (although not the room’s trademark Spin & Go tournaments).
However, the arrival of more operators will likely benefit players in different ways. More competition will likely result in better bonuses and promotional offers, and newcomers will likely come out strong with some rewarding tournament series to attract players as quickly as possible.
On this page, you will find all the information you need about Pennsylvania online poker with regards to regulation, available options, and much more. We will try our best to update the information regularly as new developments occur to keep the page as fresh and as up-to-date as possible.
Is online poker legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes, online poker is legal in Pennsylvania as it is encompassed by the bill H 271 regulating online gambling activities in the state. Sites wanting to offer online poker games need to acquire the license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and partner up with a licensed land-based operator.
Do I have to be physically present in PA to play online poker?
Yes, it is required that all players playing for real money are physically present within the state borders. This is true for Pennsylvania online poker and all other regulated markets in the United States.
What are other legal requirements to play online poker in Pennsylvania?
Except for having to be physically present in the state, players in PA must also meet the following criteria to legally play online poker:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a Social Security Number
- Have an address in the US (not necessarily in PA)
- Complete the account verification procedure
Where can I play online poker in PA?
Right now, the only available option is PokerStars PA. The room has been present in the regulated Pennsylvania market since late 2019 and it is fully licensed by the PGCB to offer its services.
PokerStars offers two welcome bonuses for new players, and you can claim both of them. The first one will get you $30 worth of free cash and tournament tickets, while the second one is a more traditional 100% up to $600 match bonus.
For more information on these offers, check out our PokerStars PA bonus code and promotions FAQ page.
What other rooms will likely join the Pennsylvania online poker market?
Several companies are currently looking likely to enter Pennsylvania. WSOP.com has very serious plans for PA and their launch in the state seems imminent. Company officials are prioritizing Pennsylvania over other potential markets.
However, the parent company Roar may well introduce online poker under other brands in Pennsylvania first. It launched BetMGM Casino PA, so expanding to that with BetMGM Poker PA seems quite likely. There is also Borgata Poker in New Jersey which could certainly see Borgata Poker PA go live.
GGPoker is a bit of a wildcard in this constellation. Although big in the ROW market, the room still has no presence in the US. However, GGPoker’s parent company NSUS Group was awarded an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer license by the PGCB, which is an important step in the process, allowing it to offer its online gaming solutions to other licensed casino and poker operators.
To actually enter the PA market, GGPoker would still need to partner up with a brick and mortar venue in the Keystone State and obtain another license. On the other hand, having launched after the Black Friday, GGPoker does not have to deal with some of the legal issues that some other operators had to overcome to enter the United States.
What body regulates online poker in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is in charge of licensing and regulating all gaming activities, including online poker. Any company interested in setting up a shop in the state needs to go through the PGCB and get an approval before launching.
Do online poker rooms in PA have to partner up with a land-based casino?
There are two ways that an online poker site can get licensed by the PGCB. The first one is similar to that found in other states, i.e. the operator will partner up with a certified land-based venue. That is what PokerStars did, partnering up with Mount Airy Casino to bring online poker to PA.
However, the PGCB has also opened another possibility for out-of-state operators to acquire any remaining licenses through the Qualified Gaming Entities scheme. GGPoker might go for this second option when they are ready to enter Pennsylvania, provided it is still available at that point and the PGCB accepts their QGE application.
Can players from Pennsylvania play with players in other states?
At this moment, PA online poker remains ring-fenced, meaning Pennsylvania players can only play against other players physically located in the state. So the PokerStars PA player pool is not shared with PokerStars MI or PokerStars NJ.
The situation might change in the future, as operators will probably be eager to combine their player bases across state lines and bolster their traffic. However, any developments on this front will be determined by what happens with the Wire Act interpretation.
Namely, in 2018, the DOJ came up with an interpretation that the Wire Act applies to online poker as well, making interstate online poker illegal. Their decision was challenged and recent legal developments give hope that things could change for the better in the near future.
That said, it all remains in the realm of speculations at this point in time. As we have seen in the past, these legal issues can sometimes take way too long to resolve, and companies are not likely to go all out on creating interstate compacts until they have reassurances for the future of such compacts.
Do I have to pay taxes on online poker winnings in Pennsylvania?
Online poker winnings in Pennsylvania are in the same bracket as all other gambling winnings. This means that you do need to pay taxes on them.
Any winnings from poker tournaments exceeding $5000 are subject to 24% federal tax as well as 3.07% state tax. At the moment, PA has the lowest personal income tax rate, so players at least have that going for them.
Taxation laws and regulations constantly change and can be influenced by many factors, so take the numbers cited here as guidelines. To make sure you are doing things right, consult a lawyer or an accountant.
Poker Rooms in Pennsylvania Casinos
The iconic Harrah’s Casino and Racetrack is based in Chester, Philadelphia and run by Caesars Entertainment. It has slots, all the casino table games you would expect such as Poker, Roulette and Blackjack along with a horse racetrack.
The Poker Room at Harrah’s is the only WSOP poker room in whole of the state. It has 28 tables and is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Poker variants include Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud and Omaha with limit stakes starting at $2-4-6 and no limit stakes starting from $1-2. Monthly promotions and tournaments run in the poker room a bad beat sweeter for anyone who has been unlucky at the tables.
Like the low, mid and high stakes games you can play in the casino, restaurants at Harrah’s include options ranging from “Quick Bites, Casual and Upscale” with everything from a Krispy Kreme franchise to a Steakhouse and Raw Bar. Live entertainment also reigns supreme at Harrah’s with a range of shows from music, adult to family friendly offerings.
Harrah’s works with the WSOP.com to bring special promotions to its customers and considering the WSOP.com are already working in the shared player pool as a leading operator it would not be surprising if they work with Harrah’s to bring online poker to Pennsylvania residents.
Mount Airy Casino
Based in Mount Pocono, Mount Airy Casino is out-of-town and offers a range of outdoor activities such a Hiking, Fishing, Horse Back Riding when looking to get a break from the tables. But that’s not to say there isn’t plenty to keep you occupied inside the casino.
There are all the casino games you would want such as poker, craps, roulette, Pai Gow and a top-notch entertainment scene perfect for everyone There is also a wide choice of restaurants to choose from.
The poker room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are 12 tables, and Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and Stud are spread.
PokerStars PA is partnered with Mount Airy for online poker.
Meadows Racetrack and Casino
This is more of a no-frills options for people looking to just hit the casino floor. There are all the games you would expect along with a dedicated poker room with 14 tables. Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha hi/low are the variants played in the room, overlooking the racetrack.
There is plenty of dining options with a food court, carvery and more. For those looking to for a flutter there is a horse and dog racetrack with plenty of promotional offers to get you going.
Bowling and a nightclub are available for those looking to let their hair down after a long day at the tables.
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Mohegan Sun Pocono is located near the mainstays of New York, Philadelphia New Jersey and Delaware in 400 acres of hillsides of Plains, Pennsylvania.
There is a 238-room hotel with onsite spa and the casino has more than 90 table games and 2,300 slot machines.
There are daily poker tournaments with a mix of No Limit Hold’em and Bounty tournaments in the Poker Room. There’s a Bad Beat Jackpot for cash and tournament play. A special “Progressive Royals” promotion runs where $25 is added to the royal flush each day until the royal flush is hit.
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin located in the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania and again is an outdoorsy option for those looking for a casino experience. The casino has 600 slot machines and 28 table games. However, there is no poker room.
Casual dining options in the restaurant and lounge are available. There is no hotel on site but the Lady Luck Casino has partnered with Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, which is only a mile away from the casino, to offer accommodation. Due to its rural setting there is plenty to do to keep outdoor enthusiasts occupied.
Wind Creek Casino Bethlehem
The Sands Casino in Bethlehem boasts 3,000 slot machines and over 200 table games.
There is also a 36-table poker room and spreads a decent mix of games, including limit and no-limit Texas Hold’em, Stud and Omaha. Limits starting at $3/$6. It promises a smoke-free environment and at-table dining options. There is also a Bad Beat Jackpot daily.
Presque Isle Downs and Casino
Located in Eire, Pennsylvania the Presque Isle Downs and Casino is near Cleveland and 2 hours from Pittsburg. It has a casino, racecourse and poker room with all the food and entertainment amenities you would expect.
Each month a slate of promotions and tournaments are released in the Poker Room with everything from Happy Hours where free pizza is served to $15K Sunday Tournaments and $200 a day giveaways. Daily mini Sit and Go tournaments are also run in the casino riffing of the popular poker variant seen heavily in the online poker arena.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pennsylvania is a casino where you can play poker, table games and slots along with hitting the racecourse for a flutter on the horses.
The Poker Room has 17 tables and is open all year. The casino release monthly promotions such as a “High Hand” promotion that was running in May that saw $500 being won every 30 minutes for the highest ranked hand.
Other promotions include a Bad Beat Jackpot where a losing hand may result in a jackpot payout. In Rake in Cash, the more games you play the more cash bonuses you are rewarded. A monthly tournament schedule is also released on the website which shows a full slate of tournament events.
Rivers Casino in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania has over 90 table games and a 30-table poker room, not to mention over 2,000 slot machines.
River’s Poker Room features 24-hour food service so that players can get fully immersed in the experience of poker. Poker variants played in the room include Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em along with Omaha Hi-Low and Pot Limit Omaha games.
No Limit Hold’em tournaments are run throughout the month on a daily basis, and a calendar of these events is uploaded online so that you can plan your trip in advance. Poker promotions also run throughout the months such as high hand promotions and special freeroll tournaments. A guest rewards program is also in place in the Poker Room.
Entertainment such as trivia nights and free concerts run throughout the year and there is a choice of eating establishments on site ranging from a steakhouse to cafes and a bar and grill.
Located just outside Philadelphia, ParX Casino hosts a whooping 3,330 slot machines. There are 180 table games, racecourse and poker room.
48 poker tables sit within the Poker Room at ParX Casino with 3 VIP poker table specially designed for high stakes action. Tournaments run daily in addition to promotions such as a Bad Beat Jackpot. Game variants include the classic No Limit and Limit Texas Hold’em games along with Pot Limit Omaha and Mixed Games to spice the action up.
Parx Casino also runs their very own tournament series. April/May 2018 saw Big Stax XXV run with unlimited re-entries and late registration.
Sugar House Casino
Poker is a big deal at the Sugar House Casino, Philadelphia, which is billed as the only poker room in Philadelphia. The Poker Room is home to Poker Night in America that is aired on the CBS Sports Network every Monday night.
Monthly tournament schedules for the Poker Room can be found online that feature a mix of No Limit Hold’em and DeepStacks games. Monthly promotions such as a High Hand Giveaway are also on offer.
The Poker Room is made up of 28 tables and has 24/7 “in-seat text-to-order” food service. Another perk is that complimentary alcoholic drinks for all active players on all games are provided.
Sugar House Casino has all other casino games you would expect, including Pai Gow and Blackjack.
Dining options are plentiful along with a full suite of entertainment.
Valley Forge Casino
The Valley Forge Casino has 600 slot machines and 50 table games and is based near Philadelphia. Entertainment is king at the Valley Forge Casino with an extensive live music and entertainment scene.
However, there is no dedicated poker room at Valley Forge Casino.
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