Pennsylvania, one of New Jersey’s neighbors, will soon have online gambling. Legal online casinos and online sportsbooks are months, perhaps weeks, away from launching.

In November 2018, Pennsylvania became the sixth post-PASPA state to offer sports betting. Sports betting launched at only one casino in November. Today, there are five PA sportsbooks in operation. Online sportsbooks, online casinos, and online poker are still waiting in the wings.

While the state waits to move ahead, other parts of the 2017 gambling expansion law are already bringing in revenue for New Jersey’s neighbor. So far, PA gambling expansion revenue for the state has hit $396,979,034. This is from a combination of license fees, online lottery, and daily fantasy sports.

In the meantime, here is a handy guide for those NJ online casino aficionados who are curious about how the Keystone State does online gambling.

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PA online sports betting

Sports betting in Pennsylvania became legal in 2017 when the larger online gambling legislation was signed into law. However, as with NJ sports betting, any action was dependent on the US Supreme Court’s ruling.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) mandated a $10 million license fee and a 36 percent tax rate on sports betting, positions that far exceed the requirements in most other states, including NJ.

Due to the onerous licensing fee and taxation rate for offering sports betting, the casinos have been far more hesitant to throw their hats in the ring.

Online sportsbook launch timeline

CasinoOnline Sportsbook LaunchRetails Sportsbook Launch
Hollywood Casino at Penn NationalQ1 2019Nov. 17, 2018
Parx Casino SportsbookQ1 2019Jan. 10, 2019
Rivers CasinoQ1 2019Dec. 15, 2018
SugarHouse CasinoQ1 2019Dec. 15, 2018
Harrah’s PhiladelphiaQ1 2019Jan. 22, 2019
Valley Forge CasinoQ2 2019March 2019

PA casinos and sportsbooks

The PGCB expressed its intent to focus on the launch of retail sportsbooks before giving online sports betting the green light.

The five sportsbooks currently operating in Pennsylvania are:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Rivers Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • South Philadelphia Turf Club

Harrah’s Philadelphia and Valley Forge Casino are both ready to launch their retail sportsbooks after receiving conditional approval from the PGCB.

Furthermore, Presque Isle Downs applied for conditional approval and is awaiting the PGCB’s decision.

Philadelphia sportsbooks

The two casinos in the Philadelphia area opened sportsbooks in time for the NFL Playoffs and Super Bowl betting.

If you’re planning on visiting one of these new facilities, please see below for their posted hours of operation. All listed times are Eastern Standard Time.

SugarHouse Casino sportsbook

SugarHouse Casino opened its PA sportsbook for testing on Dec. 13 and launched full operations on Dec. 15. A permanent sportsbook is in the works. Currently, the casino offers NJ online gambling options including SugarHouse online sportsbook.

Expect a PA-focused sportsbook app sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

The sportsbook at SugarHouse Casino has the following hours of operation:

  • Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to midnight
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 2 a.m
  • Sunday: 9 a.m. to midnight

Parx Casino sportsbook

Parx Casino in Bensalem, just outside Philadelphia, opened its sportsbook officially on Jan. 8. The temporary sportsbook includes 45 self-service kiosks, 20 HD television screens, seven betting windows, and a full-service bar. A larger, more expensive sportsbook is due in summer 2019.

The Parx sportsbook has the following hours of operation:

  • Monday: 1 p.m.-12 a.m.
  • Tuesday-Friday: 1 p.m.-1 a.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
  • Sunday: 9 a.m.-12 a.m.

Harrah’s Philadelphia sportsbook

Harrah’s Philadelphia is owned by Caesars Entertainment, which also owns three Atlantic City casinos. While the two other Philadelphia casinos have sportsbooks open, Harrah’s Philadelphia sat on the sidelines for a bit. It began testing Jan. 22 and opened for business Jan. 24.

The temporary book is set up in a renovated racebook for now while a permanent book is under construction.

You can visit Harrah’s Philadelphia sportsbook at the following times:

  • Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-12 a.m.

South Philadelphia Turf Club

South Philadelphia Turf Club is ideally located in the parking lots for Lincoln Financial Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles, and Citizens Bank Park, home to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Additionally, the Turf Club is a mile away from Wells Fargo Center, home to both the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers.

The South Philadelphia Turf Club is open:

  • Monday-Friday: Noon – 11 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. – Midnight
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Pittsburgh sportsbooks

Rivers Casino is the only Pittsburgh casino with an open sportsbook.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

The 3,000 square-foot Rivers’ temporary sportsbook is located on the south gaming floor with seating for nearly 100 people and a luxury sports lounge. Rivers is scheduled to open its permanent sportsbook in the spring of 2019 and will be in the center of the casino on the main gaming floor.

Hours of operation are:

  • Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – midnight
  • Friday: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Sunday: 9 a.m. – midnight

Eastern PA sportsbooks

Valley Forge Casino

Valley Forge Casino has received conditional approval to launch sports betting operations in PA. It appears the casino is targeting March to open its betting windows.  Boyd Gaming owns Valley Forge and has partnered with FanDuel to provide sports betting for the casino.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course

The Sportsbook is located near Skybox Sports Bar, just off the casino floor with conveniences such as individual viewing stations and a 50-foot video wall. The permanent sportsbook will be opening later this year.

  • Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. – midnight
  • Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – midnight

PA online casinos

For the purposes of this guide, online casino gambling pertains only to slot play and table games. Due to the fact that some PA casinos elected not to apply for online poker, we will consider it separately from this section.

There are no online casinos open for business in Pennsylvania… yet.

However, PA online casinos could launch as soon as February, if not later in the spring. The casinos listed below have already applied and received their conditional approval to offer slot play and table games online:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • Sands Bethlehem
  • SugarHouse
  • Valley Forge Casino
  • Stadium Casino
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono

The remaining casinos in Pennsylvania never applied for online gaming or withdrew their applications. There will not be online slots or table games branded for the following locations:

  • Lady Luck Nemacolin
  • Rivers Casino
  • Meadows Casino

In all three cases, the ownership of these casinos already has other casino properties in-state. Filing for an application (and paying the $4 million per license fee) is redundant since these properties can merely advertise the online space of their sister properties.

Additional PA online casino licenses

As part of a 2017 gaming law expansion, Pennsylvania granted these 13 properties the ability to apply for online slots, table games, and poker licenses. Altogether, PA casinos applied for and received 27 of the 39 available licenses. The remaining available licenses are as follows:

  • Six online poker
  • Three online slots
  • Three online table games

In order to fill the surplus license spots, the PGCB has allowed gaming interests without an existing casino in the state to apply for any or all of these remaining licenses.

So, it’s possible that there will be online casinos in Pennsylvania without a physical counterpart. Instead, they might be operated by qualified gaming entities (QGEs).

As such, two other casino companies submitted applications and received approval in January. The names should look familiar here in the Garden State:

  • MGM Resorts
  • Golden Nugget

PA online poker

The list of sites with plans to offer online poker in Pennsylvania is much the same as the list for online casino gambling, but a little smaller. There are only seven applicants, compared to 10.

Nevertheless, there will be plenty of options for online poker play. The following casinos have applied and been approved for online poker in the state:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • Sands Bethlehem
  • SugarHouse
  • Valley Forge Casino

MGM Resorts is seeking to offer online poker, too. The PGCB approved its application in January.

PA gambling and casinos

Pennsylvania is home to 12 gaming operations. Some are standalone properties; others are combination casino and racetrack, or “racinos.” All are under the purview of the PGCB, which functions similarly to the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey.

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • Sands Bethlehem
  • SugarHouse
  • Valley Forge Casino
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino
  • Lady Luck Nemacolin
  • Rivers Casino
  • Meadows Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono

A 13th casino, Stadium Casino, is under construction in south Philadelphia and will open in 2020.