Pennsylvania is one of those really great states in America where the legal gambling industry is nothing short of thriving! Pennsylvania is home mainly to racinos, but there are also resorts with casinos, as well as commercial land based casinos and racetracks. By racinos, we refer to those gaming facilities that offer both casino games as well as horse/dog racing.
As with any other place in world where gambling is permitted, there are still various precauntions to take and things to take into consideration before gaming there. We have made a short check list for you to go through before venturing to any gambling facilities which we hope will be of great help to you.
As a player, you should be above 18 years of age
- The casinos that you enroll in should be reputable.
- There should be generous introductory bonuses and easy payouts offered on arrival.
- Check for the dress code as well as the traveling time involved.
- There could be smoking bans or separate areas for smoking, where the number of games offered might be limited.
- You must learn the art of gambling before you start wagering huge sums of money.
- Check all promotional offers beforehand.
- Check on the various review sites online to check up on other people’s opinions of the casino.
How to find the best Pennsylvania casinos and gambling facilities
There is quite an abundance of gambling facilities in the state of Pennsylvania, which may not always be such a great thing. As with anything, there will be great facilities as well as those that don’t quite make the cut, and it’s important to make sure you only game at the best possible establishments in order to heighten your overall gaming experience. Thankfully, we have put together a list of all the most popular and highly rated gaming institutions in the state, so feel free to browse through the directory at your liberty until you reach the perfect decision.
Pennsylvania Gambling Laws
Pennsylvania Gaming Board Control is the institution that regulates all forms of authorized gambling in the Keystone State: commercial casinos, race track wagering, pari-mutuel betting, off-track betting, charitable gambling and the lottery. Although the gambling industry does contribute a lot to the state budget, a decline in proceeds was noticeable in 2014. Analysts say that this decline is caused by the new gaming facilities that have been opened up in Ohio, Maryland and New York, therefore taking a big percentage of the usual Pennsylvania gaming market.
Casinos are allowed in Pennsylvania. There are 12 of them, and the most popular ones are Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono, Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia and Parx Casino in Bensalem. There is also one tribal casino – Mogehan Sun at Pocono Downs, but it’s operated under the commercial rules without state’s agreement. All establishments offer a lot of table games along with slots. The legal gambling age for casino gamblers is 21 years old.
Pennsylvania allows horse track betting, harness horse wagering, interstate simulcast horse race betting, and both on-and-off track wagering using the pari-mutuel agreement. Races are held at 6 racinos, including the Penn National Race Course and The Meadows. On the other hand, cockfighting and dog racing are unlawful in Pennsylvania. Anyone caught wagering at unauthorized dog races or cockfights will be fined. Participants of horse racing betting must be 18 years old or older.
Pennsylvania Lottery is managed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and was established in 1971. It offers quite range variety of games, the most popular are Mega Millions, Power Ball, Pick 2. 3. 4. 5, and 6. Under the state gambling law, 27% of the lottery’s revenue must be directed towards funding programs sanctioned by the state. Players participating in the lottery must be at least 18 years old.
There are three types of charitable gambling allowed through the state: bingo, raffles and pull-tab cards. Charitable games must be licensed and operated by tax-exempt charitable institutions or non-profit organizations for either charitable or civic purposes. The Bingo Law is rigidly followed in the state and operators must publicly display their acquired permits and licenses during the game. The monetary reward for a single game must not exceed $250, and the jackpot for a bingo event must not be over $2000. All participants must be at least 18 years old. Minors can enter the bingo gaming hall provided they’re accompanied by a parent, guardian, or a responsible adult.
As of the moment, Pennsylvania’s gambling laws do not mention any actions or reference with regards to online casinos. Thus, the status of all online games remains incomprehensible. However, recently attempts during the 2013/2014 session to legalize not only online poker, but all other types of online gambling (House Bill 1235) allow to suggest that soon it will get legal definition on State’s support.
Tavern gaming in Pennsylvania was legalized on November 27, 2013. The first tavern given their license was Midway Tavern in Hanover. Authorized games under this category are limited to charitable raffles, pull-tab games and daily drawings. In accordance with the new law, retail alcoholic beverages operators with legal permits are permitted to apply for tavern gaming licenses, too. There are exceptions though, such as establishments that hold professional sporting events, grocery stores, and establishments with casino, club, and catering licenses. Players must at least be 21 years old.