Hooray, online poker is available in Pennsylvania again! Within hours of the online poker launch on 4th of November 2019, many players were already battling on both cash games and tournaments on the virtual felt against each other. If you want to play the best possible poker games available in Pennsylvania, you’ve come to the right place. To come up with instructions on how you can join the action, we have compiled for you comprehensive guide on where to play online poker in PA & US, pointing out the major poker operators and their software partners – not to forget the best bonuses offered to new players in 2020.
Let’s dive right into it!
Online poker in US
Playing online poker is not strictly against any of the current US laws, and there are numerous operators with both licenses in US and elsewhere offering games to US players. There are 4 states in the US that are currently offering legal online poker to their adult citizens. New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware were joined by Pennsylvania as PokerStars went live in PA in the beginning of November 2019. WSOP, also known as 888 US, is the number one poker site in the US based on player traffic, as players from Delaware, Nevada & NJ are allowed to play there.
For some professional players, especially tournaments specialists, moving to Canada was the only option several years ago if they wanted to pursue online poker as their career. An extra bonus for moving to Canada is that as a foreigner you don’t have to pay taxes on poker winnings once you have applied for a non-residency status. Also opening a bank account in Canada isn’t too hard for non-Canadians, and you can do that before actually moving to live there. Coming from the US a passport is pretty much all you need to pass the border.
Since poker is generally an integral part of culture in the US, most states have either commercial or tribal casinos where you can play some live poker. There are some states though where you can legally play even live poker, including Utah, Hawaii, Tennessee, Alaska, New Hampshire and Georgia. Texas is an exception since they are experimenting with poker in private social clubs, and it’s left to be seen whether live poker will be fully legalized there at some point.
Thanks to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the private apps have gained a decent share of the online poker market in the US. There are many clubs on PPPoker with most of their customer base being Americans. You can read more about private poker apps in our dedicated review section Poker Deals.
Online Poker sites in Pennsylvania
Online poker is offered in Pennsylvania through partnerships between land-based casinos and international poker brands. These high-profile partnerships include Mount Airy Casino and PokerStars, Valley Forge Casino & partypoker and Harrah’s Casino & 888/WSOP.com. From these partnerships the first one to go live with their product is PokerStars, which is also the biggest online poker room worldwide and known for tournaments with big guaranteed prize pools.
partypoker and 888 are expected to start operation in the near future, which is great for poker enthusiasts living in PA as a broader offering will help you in finding a suitable game for your taste. Below you can find the complete list of Pennsylvania land-based casinos who have obtained a license that allows them to open an online poker room for internet players:
On top of the licensed sites, players can find great games on poker apps such as PPPoker, Upoker and Poker Bros. To read the complete reviews from these poker sites including rakeback, player traffic, games offered and descriptions of first-hand experience from our team that has tested those sites, you can jump into our Poker Deals
Pennsylvania Online Poker History
While the modern purpose of gambling legislation in PA helps creating boost the economy and create jobs through the revenues from the industry, the state lottery has been established already in 1971 as a government run entity. In the 1980s bad examples of corruption in Nevada didn’t help Pennsylvania to grant licenses to casinos, and it wasn’t until 2004 when PA legislators passed Act 71 which would later lead to gambling being legalized. Act 71 became known as Pennsylvania Racehorse Development and Gaming Act controlling the terms & conditions for opening both casinos and racetracks within the state. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board authorized four categories of casino license: Horse race track casinos, stand-alone casinos, resort casinos and satellite casinos.
Slowly gambling was being better accepted publicly and since casinos were owned by publicly traded corporations, the link between gambling and crime was no longer there. Revenues of casinos grew fast and over 18 000 jobs were created in the process, resulting in 1.4 billion dollars in tax revenue in 2016.
Guide to PA Online Poker Deposit & Withdrawal Options
Regulation means that depositing and withdrawing funds is far less risky than pre-Black Friday and includes many of the common payment methods people use to purchase goods online.
With regulation in place deposits and withdrawals are scrutinized more thoroughly, which also gives the player a peace of mind since there are far less risks than during the times before Black Friday happened and player funds were seized by authorities. The most popular deposit and withdrawal methods are basically the same methods that consumers use for purchasing different products online – most likely you possess at least one of these:
Casino Cashier Cage:With partnerships in place, you can just drive to the casino and request a deposit with cash through them. We recommend this method for live poker players who want to test out the new online games offered in PA.
eCheck: A safe and traditional way to move funds between your bank account and an online poker site. Basically a direct transfer between your bank and the site, eCheck is also quite popular among poker players in PA.
Credit Card, Visa & Mastercard: Usually available just as a deposit method, and for withdrawals you need to request either a check or a bank transfer. Credit and debit cards are basically the most convenient way of depositing money to poker sites besides eWallet, which also offer you the withdrawal option.
Skrill: Skrill is one of the major eWallets that is intended for usage with online gaming operators such as online casinos, poker sites and forex sites. Skrill gives you a very fast way to move funds between sites with both deposit & withdrawals options, plus you can use funds on your Skrill account through the Skrill debit card that can be attached to your account. Pretty much a must-have for players who travel a lot! Skrill also offers you cashback from deposits in case you open the account through Beasts Of Poker or attach your old account under us – get the cashback deal from ourSkrill review.
PayPal: A very popular method for transferring money online, PayPal has been working with poker sites since 2013 and has stayed a worthy deposit option for players ever since.
Pennsylvania Online Poker Bonuses, Rakeback & Promo Codes
Most poker sites offer great sign-up bonuses and rakeback to new players joining, and poker sites in PA make no exception to this rule. You can get great rakeback deals to private poker apps and a sign-up bonus on PokerStars. There are four typical bonus types that you might encounter:
First deposit bonus: A matched bonus on your first deposit to the poker site. Typically this bonus is a 100% match bonus, meaning that for a 200USD deposit you will get an additional 200USD to play with. Most first deposit bonuses require a rollover before the bonus amount can be withdrawn.
Reload bonus: A reload bonus works basically the same way as a first deposit bonus, except it is not available to all players. You can get one only if the poker site you play at decides you’re a loyal customer worth giving a reward to – this means that the more you play, the more likely you’re to get a reload bonus at some point.
Rakeback: A rakeback deal is basically a form of cashback, where you get rewarded a certain piece of the rake you generate. For example, a 30% rakeback deal means you will get 30 USD back from every 100 USD rake generated. In the long-run, it’s very important to find the best possible rakeback deal for the sites you play on – you can read more about this from our article Significance of Rakeback.
No deposit bonus: A bonus that is essentially free requiring no deposit at all. Through a no deposit bonus you can test out the software & games without depositing, but in case you win there are usually high turnover requirements in place before a withdrawal can be made. Anything from cash bonuses to SNG & tournament tickets are available depending on the site.
Playing Live Poker in Pennsylvania
Live poker options are plenty when it comes to playing in PA: There are a great selection of both cash games and tournaments offered at several casinos, some of which have as much as 30 tables running at peak times. To jump into the live poker action in PA, consider trying out these casinos: