Since the passage of a landmark Pennsylvania gambling expansion bill in late 2017, online gambling was initially slow to get going. But with licensing and much of the preparation in the rear view mirror, online gambling in Pennsylvania is about to take a giant leap forward.
With the online gambling launch just a week away let’s take a look at what has happened so far and what is coming next, in what will be the largest regulated online gaming market in the United States so far.
PA Online Lottery surges out of the gate
The first form of online gaming to be available to players in the state were games available through the PA Online Lottery. The iLottery, as it is officially called, went live in the spring of 2018, offering dozens of unique instant games to players. Although the games offer quite a variety for players (ranging from collect, match, pegboard, and reveal games ) they can, for the most part, be simplified as online scratch cards.
Since going live, the games have been quite popular with players. For a long time, they were the only form of online gaming available to residents of the state. Each month, players win tens of millions of dollars through the PA Online Lottery.
Online sportsbetting in PA takes hold
Land-based sports betting first became available to Pennsylvania sportsbettors in November 2018. However, it wasn’t until late May that the betting lines became available online. PlaySugarHouse was the first mobile sportsbook to open in the state. PlaySugarHouse is the mobile sportsbook from the SugarHouse Casino, which will soon be changing its name to BetRivers Philadelphia. For more information on the sports book, check out the review and playsugarhouse bonus code.
In the weeks since PlaySugarHouse began taking bets, BetRivers and the Parx have opened up mobile sportsbooks. More online sportsbooks are likely to follow suit before the start of the NFL season this fall. Sports bettors are able to place sports wagers online through a web browser or via a mobile app on Android. iOS versions of apps have not yet been released.
PA online casinos are next
Perhaps the biggest day to come for PA online gambling will be in the middle of the month. On July 15th, the state will hold a coordinated launch of online gambling. Essentially, any casino that is ready on this day will be able to go live with their online casino offering, giving each PA casino an equal chance to begin offering games to players.
While we are not sure exactly how many casinos will begin to offer games on this day, it is likely to be most of them. Every PA casino except Lady Luck Casino and The Meadows Casino have been licensed to offer online casinos in the state, which comprises of online slots and online table games.
Online poker is also on the horizon, although we may not see the influx of online poker rooms like we will for casinos. This is due to the fact that online casinos have performed much better than their online poker counterparts. Neighboring New Jersey, in fact, has just a few online poker operators in the state. Pennsylvania is bigger, but not expect to see a bunch of poker rooms launch right away. The rise of multi-state player pools may aid online poker’s expansion in Pennsylvania, although that will likely not happen this summer.
Regardless, with the expansion of online sports betting and the launch of online gambling later this month, this summer is poised to be very eventful for gamblers in the state.