Casinos became legal in 2004, and the Pennsylvania law allowed slot machines in 14 locations across the state – 7 racinos, 5 stand-alone casinos, and 2 hotel resorts. Since then, the keystone state has grown to be the second-largest gambling market in the United States. In 2017, Pennsylvania joined Nevada, Delaware, and New York to become the 4th state to legalize online gambling. It was slow to implement, but by 2019, online casinos were in full swing.
Previously, Pennsylvanians were struggling to maintain their gambling passions, just like most other states. They would drive to the nearest casino establishment or hide out in their homes for some poker action with friends. Sweepstakes gambling was limited, and many would risk money at offshore casinos. Out of the 14 establishments that were licensed by the bill of 2004, 12 are still in operation. With the majority of these casinos being racinos, horse racing was the most prominent gambling activity before the casino expansion.
The online casino scene is proliferating, especially with the welcome bonuses that new customers receive from these sites. Players get match deposit bonuses to play their favorite games and free spins on the most popular slots. Online gaming has a different allure, the games themselves may not be as numerous as those in physical casinos, but they are very diverse. From classic slots, 5-reel video slots and progressives with massive payouts to table games in multiple variations.
At Poker Stars, tournament and cash games are available to players. The site teamed up with Mount Airy Casino and is currently the only casino offering online poker. That will change soon as new online poker casinos are in the works.
Players do not need to visit these sites all the time, most online casinos have mobile apps that are compatible with smart devices, including iOS, Android, and Windows systems. Outside state borders, you can’t place real money bets, but you can play for free.
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Interesting State Facts
Much of America’s history is rooted in Pennsylvania, and there are lots of interesting facts about the state. Notable Pennsylvania “firsts” include the first presidential mansion, the first baseball stadium built in Pittsburgh in 1909, the first computer in 1946, and the first daily newspaper back in 1784.
Away from the major metropolitan cities, Pennsylvania is full of lush forests, rolling hills, and millions of acres of farmland. The rural counties are very prominent, especially Forest County and Perry county, and it is the state with the highest rural population percentage.
Fairmount Park in Philly boasts more than 8,000 acres of land. Visitors rush to see the famed Liberty Bell and The Rockville Bridge, the longest stone arch bridge in the world.
Pennsylvania Gambling Venues
When gambling online, there are 8 online casino sites available in the state. SugarHouse, Parx, Hollywood, Poker Stars, Unibet, BetAmerica, BetRivers, and FanDuel. Land-based casinos continue making deals with the best online operators in the US, and by the end of 2020, at least five more online sites will launch.
Online gambling is much more convenient, but land-based lobbies continue to thrive in the state. Not only residents but also tourists flock to these destinations for the casino experience mixed with resort luxury. You can find all varieties of slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and many more.
Wind Creek (formerly Sands Casino) and Parx are the two biggest casinos in Pennsylvania. They both have over 3,000 gaming machines and more than 150 gaming tables. The most famous hotel resort casino is Valley Forge Casino.
Pennsylvania casinos host a large number of visitors every year and produce billions of dollars in state revenue. Residents from neighboring states like West Virginia and New Jersey often cross the border to gaming hubs, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. International patrons are not scarce either.