Pennsylvania Online Gambling Laws

Online gambling has significantly increased in popularity. States are scrambling to keep up with the demand, and Pennsylvania is no exception. They legalized online gambling in 2017 through the Expanded Gaming Act. The legal gambling age in Pennsylvania for online casinos is 21. 

Pennsylvania charges some of the highest tax rates on gambling in the United States. The state puts that money back into its economy, helping all citizens. With the industry’s increasing popularity, the laws regulating it have become critical. So keep reading to learn more about Pennsylvania online gambling laws.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Pennsylvania?

Is gambling legal in Pennsylvania? Yes! In 2017, Bill HB 271 made online casino and poker games legal. The following year, the Supreme Court lifted all gambling bans and gave each state the power to decide how they wanted to regulate online gambling. Each state has its rules and regulations about online gambling.

Pennsylvania online gambling is legal for players who are 21 years of age and are physically located in Pennsylvania. Likewise, players must be 21 if they want to visit a physical casino. Pennsylvania’s gambling age laws extend to sports betting, poker, and daily fantasy sports.

Anyone caught online gambling while underage is subject to fines up to $500 or even ninety days in jail. Despite that, some gambling activities are open to people 18 and over, such as the lottery, horse betting, and bingo.

Players must have a valid social security number. They are also responsible for paying taxes on any winnings, with Pennsylvania’s tax rate being 3.07%. Gamblers must report all winnings, no matter the amount.

Online gambling sites require players to sign up for an account and provide personal information so their credentials can be verified. The operator must verify the player’s age, identity, and physical address.

How Is Pennsylvania Online Gambling Regulated?

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) governs all legal gambling activities in the state. This government-owned agency was founded in 2004 and is responsible for regulating online and physical gaming. 

The PGCB was created to protect casino players and to ensure that casinos followed all state regulations. It issues licenses for online or physical casinos, which must meet several requirements to comply with Pennsylvania gambling laws. In particular, a casino must have a physical address in the state and pass a background check.

In addition, the PGCB is responsible for the monthly testing of slot machines to ensure fair play. The control board also checks with operators to ensure that their programs comply with all regulations. 

Alongside its regulatory powers, the PGCB promotes responsible gambling and does its utmost to prevent underage and intoxicated gambling. They even monitor online gambling sites for malware.

Stipulations for Online Gaming in Pennsylvania

Legal online gambling sites are limited to those that have been vetted, approved, and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Pennsylvania online gambling laws cover poker, casino games, sports betting, lotteries, and fantasy sports betting.

All legal online casino sites are affiliated with a physical casino. 

What About Social Gambling Games and Sites?

There are no state laws that exclusively apply to social gaming, and it is not regulated, as are traditional and online casinos. Operators can organize free games or games that provide no monetary prizes without worrying about getting a license. 

As long as there is no real money involved, there are no regulations. Indeed, free play or entertainment does not meet the criteria of a prize; therefore, these games are deemed legal.

There is a distinction between social fantasy sports and other fantasy sports games. With social fantasy sports games, players can only win game-based currency or tokens that cannot be redeemed for cash. These rewards can only be used within a game, ensuring it remains legal and not liable for regulation.

In contrast, fantasy sports games that offer prize money must follow the same regulations as other online gambling sites to operate legally.

Final Thoughts

Online gambling has been an incredible source of tax revenue for the state of Pennsylvania since the state made it legal in 2017. Now, it is an activity that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board closely regulates. Pennsylvania online gambling laws ensure fair play for all players while promoting healthy gambling habits. 

With that strict enforcement, players can feel confident about their online gambling experience using a legal Pennsylvania online gaming site. So, as long as you choose a legal option, your only focus should be on winning.