Publish Date: 30/05/2021
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
Pennsylvania has a long history of casino gambling. But lately, things have gotten more difficult for the state's gamblers. The coronavirus has not only led to panic buying and school closings – but Pennsylvania casinos have been shuttered as well.
This has left gamblers wondering what to do when they get that itch for action. Imagine not being able to place a bet on the Phillies or spin a slot machine when you get the urge!
The good news is that there is an alternative – and it's not calling up your local illegal bookie.
Instead, you can try Pennsylvania online casinos, which were legalized in 2017. While the majority of people in the state have not experimented with online casinos yet, they are the wave of the future during the coronavirus lockdown. We have no idea how long the casinos will remain closed – or when we’ll be able to leave our homes just to have some fun.
So, there’s been an understandable increase in interest in online casinos. People are starting to realize that when you bet online, you have the chance to win much more than when you are in a land-based casino. More importantly, you won't have to worry about catching a virus when you bet from your own home. And there is zero risk of spreading COVID-19 to others.
That's why we’re giving you our list of the five best online casinos in Pennsylvania when you want the fun and excitement of casino playing or betting on sports.
Online casinos are the place to go, and not only when COVID-19 is keeping people home. Many people are unaware that when you gamble online, there are all kinds of bonus offers you can claim that are not offered by their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Plus, online casinos offer a much higher return to players than “real” casinos.
The reason is obvious. When you operate a casino, you have a ton of overhead you have to deal with. You have to pay rent on the property. You have to pay a ton of employees. You have to subsidize all the freebies you’re giving away to keep people at the tables. All of this adds up and has to eventually be paid for by the gamblers themselves.
On the other hand, when you run an online casino you simply have fewer expenses. To make themselves more attractive to online gamblers, these casinos raise their return to player averages. So when you win at an online casino, you'll take home much more money than you would from a land-based casino.
Online casinos will also give you bonuses you would never expect from a brick-and-mortar casino, from free spins to bonus cash. These two things allow you to play longer without spending more of your own money. That extra playing time is a godsend to people who just love to play.
Plus, when you do win you won't have to worry about carrying large sums of money to your car and potentially getting mugged. Instead, you can just transfer the money straight to your bank in complete privacy and security.
This all adds up to a great deal for gamblers. And right now, with the coronavirus raging, is a great time for them to try some online casinos and discover the exciting offers they have for people who are looking to play – and win even more money.
When you’re new to online gambling you probably want to check out the best online casino first. In our opinion, that is the Golden Nugget. Whatever type of gambling you want, this casino delivers. And the whole setup is easy for even the newest online gambler to understand.
They also make the switch from real to virtual casino experiences seamless. They offer a live casino that makes you feel like you’ve just pulled up at one of the tables. You can see and talk to the dealer. You can talk to other players. It's exactly like being in the Golden Nugget, except you have no risk of catching the virus or spreading it to others.
You also can take them up on a great bonus offer where they match your first deposit up to $1,000. That means if you deposit $500, you'll end up with $500 in real money to play, plus $500 of the house’s money to play. When you play with the bonus money you only have to bet through 10 times before you can withdraw your winnings. Compare that to casinos in the UK where you often have to play through your bonus money 50 times or more.
Golden Nugget offers everything you could ask for from an online casino – including hundreds of video slot machines, many of which are replicas of the slots you know and love from going down to the casinos. Try out Wheel of Fortune or Warlords Slot and claim your free spins.
Then there is their excellent VIP program, where you can build up points and trade them in for free spins and bonus cash.
This is where you want to start your journey into playing at online casinos in Pennsylvania.
The second site you should check out is the Hard Rock Casino. You've probably been to their cafes or brick-and-mortar casinos. They are tailored to a younger crowd than the traditional casinos and are a lot of fun.
You can pick from over 250 video slot machines to play on. Free spins can be claimed on Berryburst or Black Diamond as well as on other hot slots. Also check out their six table games and try your luck at blackjack or baccarat.
Their welcome bonus is almost as good as that being offered by Golden Nugget: they will match your first deposit up to $1,000. But you will have to play this through 20 times rather than 10. That's still much better than in other parts of the world. You do have to play through in 14 days, but that's just an excuse to spend more time online placing your bets!
And then there is the VIP program. You earn loyalty points while you play. As they build up you can exchange them for bonus cash or free spins. But you also have the chance to trade them in for merchandise from the Hard Rock or stays in their casinos when they reopen. That's a nice twist that you can use to your own advantage.
Anyone who’s ever gambled in America knows the name Harrah's, especially in Atlantic City. It's been around for years and people like it. It's very trustworthy, which is why it has made it to the number three casino on our list for players in New Jersey.
Their bonus isn't as exciting as Golden Nugget or the Hard Rock, but it's still pretty good. With your first deposit, you'll get matching funds up to $300. This is why you want to make your first deposit as high as possible.
On their turnover requirements – you'll be able to withdraw $10 for every 10 tier credits earned. That's similar to what the Golden Nugget is offering.
Their VIP program is broken down into several levels. Every time you make a bet you earn points. Collect enough points and you'll move up a level. The levels are Gold, Platinum, Diamond and Seven Stars. If you reach the top, you'll get a $500 complimentary dinner and a free stay at the casino once it reopens.
You have over 250 video slot machines to pick from and you can use free spins if you try out Lucky Tree and Dazzle Me.
Also on offer is a decent selection of video poker and table games. This is the online casino to go to if you know what Harrah's is about and want to play where you feel comfortable.
Everyone has heard of Scores. And guys have probably been there or been tempted to make a visit. They started out as a chain of gentleman's clubs. Then they moved on to online gambling. They had a great reputation when they were running gentleman's clubs, and that has carried over to their online casino today. They are definitely worth checking out.
You get to pick from more than 150 video slot machines. You also can try out five types of Blackjack and four versions of Baccarat, Craps or Roulette.
Before you even make your first deposit, they will give you $25 worth of bonuses just to let you play and see how you like it. Then when you do make your first deposit, they will pony up $500 in matching cash. This has to be played through 20 times before you can withdraw it, but you get 30 days, which is plenty of time.
Every day you play at Scores you'll also earn a free spin that has the potential of paying off up to $1 million. And of course, there is a loyalty program. Keep betting at Scores and you'll win points you can trade-in for free spins, bonus money, and other items.
In other words, Scores continues to treat gentlemen (and ladies) right.
There is one main reason to try out the Sugarhouse casino – their incredible bonus offer. It is unmatched in the Pennsylvania online casino industry.
First off, they will match your initial deposit up to $250. And then when you bet that money, you only have to play through one time before you can withdraw it. Honestly, that's incredible. Place a bet with your bonus cash and if you win, you can withdraw it immediately. Every other casino requires you to play through their bonus offers. Sugarhouse does not. That's a real advantage for anyone who likes to gamble – it's essentially free cash, no strings attached.
They also have a 10-tier loyalty program. As you bet with real cash, you'll get points to help you move up the tier system. Every time you go up a level, you'll be able to spin the Sugarhouse Casino Prize Wheel. That will give you a variety of prizes – up to several hundred thousand bucks. Of course, you can also trade in your points for various prizes including free spins or bonus money.
Sugarhouse also has one of the largest selections of video slot machines you'll find anywhere. Choose from over 500 old school, standard and ultra-modern games. Try out DaVinci Diamonds or 88 Fortune if you want free spins.
You can also play Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat or even Texas Hold 'Em and feel like you are on the floor of a casino out in Vegas or down in AC. There are four types of Blackjack and six variations of Roulette, so you’ll find the perfect table.
Sugarhouse is on its way to becoming a true powerhouse of online gambling in Pennsylvania. That's because they are working hard to get your business.
Making the transfer from brick-and-mortar casinos to online casinos can seem challenging to the average gambler. That's why all online casinos have welcome offers to tempt you through their virtual doors.
But once you make the switch, you'll find them to be just as fun as playing in a real casino – and you can do it from anywhere. We strongly suggest that you try out the bonus offers, which essentially offer you free money to play.
We strongly suggest that you give online casinos a try and cash in on their bonus offers. It's fun and they pay out much more when you win than the land-based casinos do.
People who gamble all the time know the advantage of playing at online casinos. Now, you can't go to a brick-and-mortar casino these days, but PA online casinos are open 24/7. We encourage you to give them a shot because we think you'll love what you find.
The bottom line is when you win at an online casino, you'll take home more money than when you win at a brick-and-mortar casino. That's just logic. Online casinos have lower operating costs, so they can give back more to the players.
As this virus continues to spread, odds are you’re going to be stuck at home for a while. You certainly won't be able to go to a real casino. So why not go to an online casino and see just how much more you can profit?
Our advice is to try all five of the casinos we've recommended. You can start with the Golden Nugget and work your way down the list. Then choose the one you really like and stick with it. We know you'll end up a fan.
Yes, but nobody has any idea when. Some people think they will reopen in May. Other people think it might be August before they can accept gamblers again. All we know is that it will certainly be at least several weeks before you can go back, and probably a lot longer.
They’re much better because online casinos have fewer expenses. At brick-and-mortar casinos, they need to keep their margins high. At online casinos, they are able to offer a much greater return to players.
It generally only takes a couple of clicks to go from spinning the slots to placing a bet on sports. That said, you won't be able to transfer over any of your casino bonus money to your sportsbook bets. They are kept in separate accounts.
No. Brick-and-mortar casinos are heavily licensed. And they paid a lot of money for that license. They aren't going to risk it all just to open up in defiance of the government.
Of course! We only suggest that you play at casinos that are fully licensed and allowed to operate in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You should have no problem accessing any of these sites as long as your IP address is set to Pennsylvania.
Online casinos are a great way to keep betting during the coronavirus and are so much fun you may want to stick with them even once this situation is over.
Finding out your favorite real casino has been shut down due to the coronavirus isn't fun. We get that. But it does give you an excuse to try out the online casino sites. And they are just as enjoyable as being in a brick-and-mortar casino. Try them today and have some fun.