Pennsylvania, the 33rd largest state in our nation, has more nicknames than most other states, among which we find The Quaker State, The Coal State, The Oil State, The State of Independence and The Keystone State. Spanning over 46,000 miles with 13 million people, you are sure to find some fun gambling action here.
The gambling laws in Pennsylvania are currently changing, as the state is making a turn from conservative to liberal. The reason for this to be happening is a common one to many states, Atlantic City and New Jersey, neighboring states, take the gambling money away from Pennsylvania and the solution found was to legalize gambling, to a point where every single most popular form of gambling is now legal in the state.
This ends up being curious, as the Pennsylvania Crimes Code states that “all form of gambling is illegal”, including private games – a rather old rule not commonly seen on other states – but then goes and lists several amendments to this law.
One of these amendments concerns charitable gaming, which means the legality of raffles, bingo games, but also casinos with the goal to fundraise, considering the operator of the games is a recognized non-profit organization and that the profits go 100% to the cause.
Electronic games and low stakes slots are also legal in nightclubs and bars and they are spread all over the state, but the low stakes don’t make it much appealing for those looking for the bigger values excitement.
The specific case of online gambling
Online gambling in Pennsylvania has taken a long road, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to have a conclusion coming anytime soon. While in New Jersey, a neighboring state, the legalization of online gambling has already generated $640 million and $111 million in taxes since 2013, Pennsylvania has been unable to approve something that most see as a benefit for the state.
In November 2015 the state approved bill HB649 to legalize online gambling and poker. It’s just one of many steps before becomes an actual law, but it’s a step given in the right direction of approving another type of gambling already so common throughout the world.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania citizens will continue to play in the New Jersey online casinos and contribute for the millionaire profits of that state.
Gambling Found in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania offers a lottery just like 36 other states. Players within this state have a fairly new lottery with many different gaming types. Mega Millions, Powerball, Big 4, Cash 5 and many others. The lottery, of course, is available to players who are 18 and over.
Pari-mutuel betting is the next type of gambling for players in Pennsylvania with one track for horse races that is open to players at just 18. In addition to the lottery and pari-mutuel betting, players in Pennsylvania have casinos which they can choose from.
There are twelve different casinos for players who must be at least 21 or over to play. The casinos include; Sugarhouse Casino, The Rivers Casino, Parx Casino, and Racing and much more. Pull Tabs and Bingo is another form of gambling which has caught on quickly for the 18 and up the crowd.
Apart from those 12 casinos, there are still two resorts being developed in Philadelphia, and the overall casino industry and gambling options have become so popular that it’s said that it’s responsible for the decline of gambling in Atlantic City.
From one of the most restrictive states, Pennsylvania changed to a state that has commercial casinos, racinos, and access to gambling machines was expanded to nightclubs and bars, making Pennsylvania a gambling hotspot.
Even if online gambling is not legal, the relaxed attitude from the state towards gambling doesn’t anticipate anyone getting in trouble for doing it. More, it’s quite possible that the state will regulate online gambling in order to get taxes from that activity, currently evading to other states where online gambling is legal, something that has been under study since 2013.