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Online poker regulation in Pennsylvania: FAQ and perspectives

Author: Vargoso Published: 03.11.18

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is one of the fifty states in the USA and its capital is Harrisburg. If you travel to Pennsylvania, make sure to visit the Independence Hall (where the United States Declaration of Independence was signed), eat a "Philly cheese steak sandwich" in Philadelphia, and visit the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

Online poker regulation in Pennsylvania: FAQ and perspectives

Popular poker players from Pennsylvania

Jake Schindler is perhaps the most popular poker player from Pennsylvania, with more than $21 million dollars in profits (Schindler finished 2nd in the Aria Super High Roller Bowl and won the partypoker MILLIONS in Barcelona) mostly from High Roller events, its favorite tournaments.

Image: Card Player

Joseph McKeehen is not far from Schindler in the USA all-time money list, having the 2nd position among PA players, but McKeehen is also popular for winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2015, earning almost $8 million dollars. Joseph won its second WSOP bracelet in 2017 in a $10,000 Limit Hold'em event.

The TOP-10 Pennsylvanian poker players have won more $70 million dollars.

Gambling regulation background in Pennsylvania

Despite the stunning PA poker players results, the gambling regulation has not been an easy path to follow, although today the situation is very promising.

Since 1971 the PA state is working in gambling legislation: Act 91 of 1971 created the state lottery and after that, in the 80s and 90s new laws were approved adding restrictions to the gambling industry. In 2004, Act 71 (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board) was passed allowing the creation of casinos and racetracks within the state.

2017 and 2018 could be considered the definitive years for online poker in Pennsylvania. In 2017, after 4 months discussions in the Pennsylvania House and Senate, H271, the gambling expansion bill was signed by Governor Tom Wolf, which legalized online poker in the PA state.

Thirteen existing casinos are located in Pennsylvania and each of them can request licenses; right now the PA Gaming Control Board is reviewing all the applications that brick and mortar casinos have fulfilled requesting online gambling licenses. Each license has a cost of $4 million dollars (poker, slots, and table games are different licenses and if a company request a full license the price is $10 million dollars) and there are 39 available in the state. 28 are already requested and 11 are still available.

With this in mind, each casino is making partnerships with big online companies like 888Poker, William Hill or The Stars Group.

Casino Online poker license Partnership
Harrah's Granted 888Poker
Hollywood Granted William Hill
Lady Luck Non requested Unknown
Meadows Non requested Unknown
Mohegan Sun Waiting Unknown
Mount Airy Granted PokerStars
Parx Granted Gan/Kambi
Presque Isle Non requested SBTech
Rivers Non requested Unknown
Sands Granted Unknown
Stadium Casino Non requested Unknown
SugarHouse Granted Unknown
Valley Forge Granted PartyPoker

We can conclude that the online poker market in Pennsylvania it's on its best time of all his history.

Playing online poker from Pennsylvania FAQ

Is online poker legal in Pennsylvania?

It will be legal to play online poker in the poker rooms that obtain a license in the state (small "local" skins of big rooms like 888Poker or PokerStars, similar to New Jersey right now), but it's not illegal to play in offshore poker rooms like BetOnline or Bodog, therefore, you can play in any of the poker rooms listed in this article (in this case, the poker room is taking the risk, not the player).

What are the best online poker rooms available for PA players?

In the near future, a closed pool will be created in Pennsylvania, and popular rooms like 888Poker, PokerStars or PartyPoker will be available for PA players. But in our opinion, an EV+ decision if you live in Pennsylvania and want to play online poker is to review our Asian apps offer (PokerMaster, PPPoker, Card Club among others) and offshore rooms like Bodog, Ignition and BetOnline, which are right now available to Pennsylvanian poker players and have great traffic and support from Worldpokerdeals.

What are the deposit and withdrawals methods available in Pennsylvania?

With the upcoming development of the gambling industry in Pennsylvania, hopefully, all the popular payment methods as Skrill and Neteller will become available for poker players. As for today, we recommend taking a look to ecoPayz service and learning how to use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to deposit and withdrawing profits from online poker rooms.

How expensive are poker the taxes in Pennsylvania?

The online gambling taxation in Pennsylvania will be the following one:

  • Online poker: 16%
  • Slots: 54%
  • Sports betting: 36%
  • Daily fantasy sports: 15%

This is currently the highest tax rate in the USA, compared for example with Nevada taxes that are only 6.75%.

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