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Online Casinos in Pennsylvania (US)

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As of 2017 online gambling was made legal in Pennsylvania, meaning that players were finally able to freely access licensed sites with the full protection of the law. The state could then also directly benefit from tax revenues derived from such activities. This all created a big incentive for casinos to begin competing against each other in the region, which ultimately benefits the players with more bespoke features and offers. It is however still important to consider that there is always a risk when transacting online and players will still need to be able to identify the most trustworthy sites that can also offer the best features.

  • Is the casino licensed to operate in Pennsylvania?
  • What do reviews say about the site?
  • Is there an appealing welcome offer available?
  • Does the site feature a loyalty program?
  • Will you be able to use your preferred payment methods?

Asking yourself the above questions is a great start to recognizing whether an online casino is for you. You can always keep it posted here at GoodLuckMate to keep yourself informed and get the latest scoops on everything casino-related. So, next time you are looking to sign up at a new casino, why not check out our reviews to help let you make the best choice for your needs.

Gambling Regulation – Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

The 30th of October 2017 saw the enactment of  HB 271, which legalized online casinos and poker. Sports betting was approved shortly after, due to a ruling made against the  Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. In essence, this allowed a licensed online casino to offer a complete set of games and services to Pennsylvania residents. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was the authority tasked with overseeing the gambling industry in the state. The first operations licensed were the already established land-based casinos and racetracks, after which the process opened up to external operations. 2019 saw the first internet-based operation open its doors with many others following up soon after. An important aspect of the law included a tax on gambling winnings attained from the internet, which is set to 3.07%

The change in law made Pennsylvania the fourth state in the US to legalize online gambling and there was a big hope that this was the beginning of a domino effect across the rest of the country. Unfortunately, there still remains little movement from the majority of states, as many face opposition from entrenched land-based or state-run operations.

Localized Online Casinos

Due to the regulated nature that the state currently finds itself in, it is much more likely for residents to find a site that specifically caters to them. As Pennsylvania is one of the few states that allow overseas operations to legally interact with residents, these sites will tend to look at betting culture, promotional roadmaps, and local events to create a venue that speaks to the locals. It takes a lot of time and investment for a casino to be able to open up a new market, so they will usually put in the extra effort of ensuring the market is successful, which comes from offering up the best service possible. English speaking language options, locally used payment methods and tailor-made welcome offers are just some of the features that Pennsylvania residents should come to expect.

Gambling with US Dollars

US dollars are such a widely used currency that it was already a staple of online casinos before Pennsylvania legalized it. As most online casinos are based in Europe, euros and US dollars have been the default currency options for most operations. It is therefore very easy to find an online casino that accepts deposits and withdrawal requests in US dollars. Cryptocurrencies are also becoming more and more popular with players across the world. They provide an alternative method to gamble while excluding your bank and keeping your playable balance separate. E-wallets are also a commonly used method with players, allowing you to make quick and easy transactions instantly.

Casinos in Pennsylvania 

Land-based casino gambling was made legal in Pennsylvania back in 2004. Since then nine casinos have opened their doors with more planned in the near future. The law back then allowed for slots, horse racing, and electronic table games, but all other betting activities were restricted. This was then opened up in 2010 when the law again opened up, this time for table games. Today, Pennsylvania’s online casinos are flourishing alongside the land-based establishments, with more and more operations setting up shop in the state. As the tax benefits that this has allowed for, it becomes more and more obvious for other states there is a genuine hope that Pennsylvania will be one of the beacons for a regulated market across the entire country.


Dispute resolution – can I get help from a third party?


A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.


Secure payments – can I trust a casino with my money?


If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.


Fair gaming – do the games give me a fair chance to win?


The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.


Encrypted website – how is my information kept safe?


An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.


Gambling license – can I play at a casino from my country?


The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.


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