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Online Real Money Poker in Pennsylvania - legal and trusted sites in 2022!

Online Poker in Pennsylvania Is a Fun Form of Entertainment

Can I play online poker in Pennsylvania? The answer is yes!

Is it legal to play online poker in Pennsylvania? The answer to this is also yes!


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Pennsylvania is a surprisingly large state with some major cities that could easily support a very healthy poker economy whether it be regulated or offshore.

While regulated Pennsylvania online poker is not available quite yet because the enabling legislation for it was just recently passed in late 2017, offshore gaming certainly is available now. Pennsylvania is open to all of the major US-facing sites, and with the way things have been growing on these sites of late, there is little doubt that these are better than what you would be able to find on any kind of regulated site.

Below is a great list of the collection of online poker sites Pennsylvania residents can play. Each of these sites offers something a little bit different, and all offer great opportunities for players! Furthermore, we have done the due diligence for you and weeded out all of the shady poker sites with sketchy business practices and sub-par withdrawal speeds.

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Pennsylvania?

There are many possibilities for real money gaming online from within Pennsylvania, which means that it's not easy to identify the premier sites for poker. We've gone through all the data carefully to craft a shortlist of recommended operators. Regardless of which of the below poker rooms you join, you'll be able to enjoy a variety of games and stakes, the rapid payment of your winnings, and fair randomization of the deal. Read through this information, and then you'll be able to make an educated decision.

1

IGNITION

BONUS:
150% up to $1,500
★★★★
4.5 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE WITH THE MOST TRAFFIC

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO
MORE INFO
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Ignition Poker is the largest online poker site that Pennsylvanians can sign up for, so you'll probably have no trouble finding a game you want to play. You can enjoy cash game formats like NL Hold'em, PLO, and PLO/8 as well as fast-fold Zone Poker. Sit-and-gos, Jackpot SNGs, and multi-table tournaments are also popular at Ignition. The Monthly Milly, as the name implies, is a monthly tourney featuring at least a $1 million prize pool. All poker play at Ignition is anonymous in an attempt to protect newer, recreational players from being targeted.

Ignition Poker offers a downloadable poker client for Windows and Mac devices. Players who wish to utilize other hardware can play on a fully functional, browser-based version of the poker room that is compatible with any tablet, computer, or mobile device. You can receive a poker bonus equal to 100% of your first deposit up to $1,000. Crypto users will see their bonus increase to 150% with a $1,500 maximum. Be sure to check out the attached casino for similar promotional value.

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2

SB POKER

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.4 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE FOR BAD BEAT JACKPOT

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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SB Poker offers a wide selection of cash games including NL Hold'em, PLO, and PLO/8 featuring blinds up to $5/$10. Fast-fold Boost Poker, sit-and-gos, randomized Windfall SNGs, and numerous MTTs are also present. SB Poker boasts the largest Bad Beat Jackpot available to players from Pennsylvania, occasionally topping $1 million! Keep an eye out for daily and weekly leaderboards which can also help boost your bankroll.

The SB Poker client is available to download on any Windows or Mac system. Mobile users on Android or iOS can also utilize an excellent mobile application to play. You can receive a first deposit bonus worth 100% up to $1,000 to play poker and be sure to check out the attached casino and sportsbook for additional promotional offers.

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3

BETONLINE

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.3 / 5

BEST PA SITE FOR MOBILE ONLINE POKER

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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BetOnline is a member of the Chico Poker Network along with SB Poker. Both sites share a combined player pool and offer the same array of poker games. BetOnline is known for its stellar mobile application which offers the entire plethora of games and features that exist on the desktop software. You'll also be able to play multiple tables at once from within the mobile app.

BOL's poker software is available for download on any Windows or Mac device. The mobile application works on any iOS or Android smartphone. You can get a generous poker welcome bonus worth 100% of your first deposit up to $1,000. Visit the casino and sportsbook to take advantage of additional promos and bonuses.

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4

BOVADA

BONUS:
100% up to $500
★★★★
4.2 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE FOR SPORTS & CASINO

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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As a member of the same network that Ignition Poker is on, Bovada boasts all the same ring games and tournaments as its partner site. In addition, Bovada lets you bet on sports and races, which is not possible at Ignition. Bets on all major sports including MLB baseball, NFL football, NBA basketball, soccer, and more are available at Bovada. Bovada also lists over 100 horse tracks around the world, so you can always wager on horses if you so desire.

The Bovada Poker client is available to download on Windows and Mac devices, and an excellent web-based version allows players to play on virtually any tablet or mobile device. The poker bonus at Bovada is worth 100% of your first deposit up to $500. The attached casino and sportsbook also offer promotions worth up to $3,750!

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5

AMERICAS CARDROOM

BONUS:
100% up to $2,000
★★★★
4.0 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE WITH FREE BANKROLL OFFER

NETWORK:
WINNING
FREE
$10
MORE INFO
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Americas Cardroom is the flagship site on the Winning Poker Network, the second-largest U.S.-facing poker site. ACR is well known for offering an extensive variety of tournaments across numerous buy-in levels. Weekly tournaments offer prize pools totaling at least $1 million. Of course, ACR also offers numerous cash game formats including NLH, PLO, and LHE. Weekly leaderboards are also on offer and reward high-volume players.

Americas Cardroom offers a complete, downloadable poker client for Windows and Mac devices. A mobile app is also available, but many game types are not present. Use our exclusive ACR bonus code PRB10FREE to receive a $10 no deposit bonus as well as a 100% first deposit bonus up to $2,000.

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6

COIN POKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★★
4.0 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE FOR CRYPTO GAMES

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
30% RAKEBACK
MORE INFO
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CoinPoker is currently the busiest crypto-only poker room available online, in part due to Tony G's sponsorship and involvement. When you play at CoinPoker the tables will be denominated only utilizing USDT, or Tether. You'll also have the option of using a few other cryptos for deposits and withdrawals. Another benefit to this room is the weekly leaderboards for both cash games and sit-n-goes. NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, 5 Card Omaha, and Open Face Chinese are all present.

You can play at CoinPoker from any Mac, PC, Android, or iOS device. You won't get any first deposit bonus here, but you will have the option of earning 30% rakeback every week if you're willing to invest a little into the proprietary CHP coin.

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7

EVERYGAME

BONUS:
200% up to $1,000
★★★
3.9 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE FOR RAKEBACK

NETWORK:
HORIZON
EXTRAS
CASINOS, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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Everygame does not have the traffic of some of its competitors, but where it stands out is in its exceptional promotional offerings. 36% rakeback is offered as the standard and rakeback payments are issued daily. Additional value can be had through the weekly rake races, overlay tournaments, reload bonuses, and a VIP loyalty program.

Everygame Poker is available for download on Windows devices only. Users of other hardware need not fret, as the instant-play version of the poker software is compatible with almost any modern computer, tablet, or mobile device. The poker welcome bonus is worth 200% of your first deposit up to $1,000. You may want to explore the attached casinos and sportsbook to receive additional promotions.

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8

SWCPOKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★
3.6 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE SITE FOR DIFFERENT POKER VARIANTS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
FREEROLLS
MORE INFO
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SwCPoker is a crypto poker room online that is highly regarded for its wide range of poker formats supported. All poker here is played with BTC or BCH, and cashier functions also are limited to these two cryptos. One major benefit to playing here is that you can play at micro-stakes tables without paying any rake whatsoever, so you can increase your profits as you learn.

SwC runs on any modern device including Mac, PC, iOS, and Android machines. You won't get any bonus when you deposit here, but you'll be able to receive up to 50% rakeback based on your play at the tables.

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9

NITROBETTING

BONUS:
100% up to 25mBTC
★★★
3.4 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE FOR LOYALTY FREEROLLS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Nitrobetting's cashier is Bitcoin-only, which results in impressively fast payouts, oftentimes taking less than an hour. You can choose from a variety of poker variants here including Hold'em, Omaha, Pineapple, and Crazy Hold'em. You can earn additional profits by participating in the weekly freerolls, as long as you play enough volume to earn your entry.

Nitrobetting’s poker client is fully web-based, so it is compatible with nearly all popular devices. You'll get a poker bonus worth 100% of your initial deposit up to 25mBTC. In addition, you can earn crypto payouts as you play through the Nitro Rewards program. Visit the attached sportsbook and casino to receive additional promotions.

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10

BLOCKCHAIN.POKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★
3.0 / 5

BEST PA ONLINE POKER SITE FOR FREE CRYPTO CHIPS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
FREE 50 CHIPS
MORE INFO
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Blockchain.Poker makes use of four unique and separate cryptocurrencies for its gameplay and cashier functionalities. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), and eCash (XEC) are all present here. Designated tables and tournaments exist for each unique currency. Traffic here is somewhat slow on occasion, but you can usually find cash game action across a variety of stakes.

Blockchain.Poker runs directly in any browser, so you can play here on any PC, Mac, Android, or iOS system. Sign up and you’ll get a few chips of the four various cryptos to jump into the action without investing any of your own funds. You can also earn points as you play that you can redeem for crypto payouts.

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ALTERNATIVE POKER SITES


How to Choose the Best Pennsylvania Poker Site For Your Style of Play

All of our partner poker sites are excellent, and it's impossible to say that any single one of them stands above any of the rest. Depending upon your personal playing habits and preferences, a certain room may be superb for you but unsatisfying for your neighbor. There's no exact science to choosing a poker operator, but we can inform you of a few considerations you may wish to think about while pondering which site is right for you.

⊙ If you want to sample the games at the busiest poker sites, then Ignition, Bovada, and ACR stand head-and-shoulders above the others.


⊙ If bonus value is what you're after, then Everygame's 200% offer or Americas Cardroom's 100% bonus up to $2,000 may suit your style.


⊙ If you appreciate steady rewards over time, then Everygame's loyalty levels, ACR's Elite Benefits, and Nitrobetting's Nitro Rewards certainly fit the bill.


⊙ If you'd like to be able to play from whatever device you have handy, then check out SB Poker, Ignition, BetOnline, CoinPoker, and Bovada because they have solutions for many types of hardware.


⊙ If you enjoy playing many hands quickly, then perhaps Ignition's Zone Poker, Americas Cardroom's Blitz Poker, or SB Poker and BetOnline's Boost Poker are worth playing.


⊙ If you understand the positive impact that rakeback can have on your results, then sign up at Everygame for 36% or visit CoinPoker to get 30%, as long as you hold the CHP crypto.


⊙ If you like to dabble in sports or casino betting, then you'll be pleased by the gambling lineup at Bovada, Nitrobetting, SB Poker, Everygame, and BetOnline.

How Do I Receive Withdrawals and Payments?

Brown Bag of Money

Online poker cash moves to and from Pennsylvanians without trouble regardless of which of the above sites they call home. There are numerous methods for both deposit and withdrawal, including credit cards, money transfer services, and Bitcoin. It is this last option that's best for almost everyone because BTC lets you avoid burdensome cashout fees while greatly speeding up the process of receiving your money. If you're uncertain of how Bitcoin works and how you can take advantage of it, then read our page describing how to set up Bitcoin wallet and exchange accounts.

Alternatives to Registering Your Poker Account in Pennsylvania

States Abutting Pennsylvania

Perhaps you are fortunate enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc. If this is the case, then you may have additional online poker options available to you. Here is a list of the states that border Pennsylvania and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. You don't have to restrict your quest for knowledge to these particular states because we've written an overview of the U.S.A. internet poker scene for all states.

Rather than keeping what you've learned to yourself, you can tell your friends and relatives about this page and share it with them. They'll then have a chance to alleviate their ignorance about online poker and the sites that accept citizens of Pennsylvania.

Facts About Pennsylvania's Poker Industry

The sections below will aim to provide information regarding the legality of playing poker online, live gambling options, state regulation, the history of gambling, and famous poker players from the state of Pennsylvania.

The Legality of Playing Online Poker in Pennsylvania

Reference Book: Law

The Pennsylvania laws that apply to gambling in general are pretty concise. They do not address poker per se, but in Commonwealth vs. Watkins, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania found that Texas Hold'em was considered “unlawful gambling” for the purposes of state law. This reversed a lower court decision that opined that it was a game of skill and thus not gambling. Despite this bad news, the picture brightens significantly when we examine the PA law that's most relevant to individual gamblers. It is the same law that was up for debate in the case, Title 18 § 5513:

§ 5513. Gambling devices, gambling, etc.
(a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree if he:
(1) intentionally or knowingly makes, assembles, sets up, maintains, sells, lends, leases, gives away, or offers for sale, loan, lease or gift, any punch board, drawing card, slot machine or any device to be used for gambling purposes, except playing cards;
(2) allows persons to collect and assemble for the purpose of unlawful gambling at any place under his control;
(3) solicits or invites any person to visit any unlawful gambling place for the purpose of gambling; or
(4) being the owner, tenant, lessee or occupant of any premises, knowingly permits or suffers the same, or any part thereof, to be used for the purpose of unlawful gambling.

The parts that apply to poker are (2), (3), and (4). Looking closely at the wording here, we see that only those who facilitate games are targeted by the law. You, as an individual online poker player, have nothing to worry about legally unless you try to set up games or solicit others to participate in them. In the Watkins case, the defendant was organizing and hosting poker games, and this is what got him in trouble.

Other laws prohibit manufacturing or possessing gambling equipment, pool selling and bookmaking, conducting an unauthorized lottery and similar activities. Most of these infractions are misdemeanors of the first degree, which can be punished in Pennsylvania by imprisonment for up to five years and/or fines of up to $10,000.

There's a separate part of the PA Consolidated Statutes that applies to regulated real money gaming overseen by the state. These details are contained in Title 4 - Amusements, Part II - Gaming. This behemoth collection of chapters follows a pattern we've seen with many other states: The restrictions that apply to authorized gaming are minutely spelled out, and little seems to be left open to interpretation. Some of the subjects covered are the composition and duties of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, licensing procedures, types of games allowed, testing of casino machines, and enforcement. Consequences for breaking the rules depend on the severity of the offense and whether or not it’s a first-time violation or a repeated breach. They may include revocation of the license, the issuance of a cease and desist letter, and fines that can climb higher than $1 million.

The attorneys that the offshore poker operators have retained seem to have advised them that they're not likely to face any legal problems serving the Keystone State. We're only making an educated guess here, but the facts speak for themselves – hardly any internet poker companies refuse to accept Pennsylvanians as players. This means you'll be able to sign up at any one of a number of poker rooms or indeed multiple sites.

Land-Based Gambling

B and M Building

There are about a dozen casinos in Pennsylvania, divided up between racinos, casino resorts, and standalone casinos. At the racinos, you can also engage in pari-mutuel racetrack betting. There are no tribal gambling opportunities anywhere in the state. Charitable associations are allowed to host bingo games subject to certain limitations and licensing requirements. You can play the Pennsylvania Lottery and participate in the multi-state games that it offers, like Powerball and Mega Millions.

Logo of Parx Casino

Most of the brick-and-mortar locations for real money betting have onsite poker rooms, and the largest of these is at Parx Casino in Bensalem, just outside of Philadelphia. Its 80 tables feature No Limit Hold'em up to $10/$25, LHE as high as $40/$80, PLO, LO8, and mixed games. There are high-hand giveaways, bad beat jackpots, and low-priced tournaments four times a week.

If there is legalized online gambling in Pennsylvania, it should be a rather lucrative market with a lot of natural competitors that know what they are doing from the land-based casino realm. This means that the citizens of Pennsylvania will get a good and experienced online site that will rival that of the other states already available but with much better liquidity due to the overall size of the population of the state.

State Regulation

Black Checkmark

There have been several proposed bills to legalize online poker in PA over the past few years, and 2017 was the year that it finally happened. H271 passed both the House and Senate of Pennsylvania, and it was duly signed into law on Oct. 30 by Governor Tom Wolf. There are a few factors that may make it difficult to establish a workable PA internet poker market, including the fact that the tax rate for online slots is set at a hefty 54% notwithstanding that the rate for poker and other peer-to-peer games is a more reasonable 16%.

Be that as it may, this state is a prime candidate to become a leader in state-supervised online gaming. Its population of 13 million makes it the largest state to have thus far enacted real money online gambling legislation. There's already a healthy brick-and-mortar betting economy, and we'll probably see many familiar casino names jumping eagerly into the online arena.

Pennsylvania Gambling History

Welcome to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 states of the United States, but unlike the others, it was run by Quakers. This religious sect had a dim view of gambling and merry-making in general. Indeed, Pennsylvania's founder, William Penn, referred to the Puritans, who inhabited much of New England, as “revelers.” Shortly after the creation of the colony in 1681, the legislature banned not only gambling but also “riotous sports” because of the link between sport and real money gaming. However, the British, who had ultimate authority over Pennsylvania and the other colonies, consistently struck down these and other bans. In any event, the lure of being able to raise money without levying taxes proved difficult for the authorities to resist. There was a lottery in 1747 to establish defenses during King George's War and another one in 1754 to generate funds for expanding the Academy at Philadelphia (today's University of Pennsylvania).

Ticket for Revolutionary War Lotto
Ticket from the U.S. Lottery During Revolutionary War

When the States declared independence from the United Kingdom, there was a great need to finance the new Continental Army. Philadelphia was the seat of the Continental Congress, and it was in this city that tickets for the United States Lottery were printed up and sold. After the war, though, the Quaker State returned to its anti-gambling ways. Yet, horse racing was usually exempt from these rules, and George Washington himself reportedly attended meetings of the Philadelphia Jockey Club where money undoubtedly changed hands on the outcomes of the races. This loophole was closed in 1820 when the state banned horse racing altogether. For the remainder of the 1800s, the only gambling to be found was in unlicensed and illicit saloons and parlors.

It's perhaps fitting that the last form of wagering activity to be prohibited was also the first to be reinstated although it took quite a while. In 1959, PA began to allow pari-mutuel betting on racetrack results. The Pennsylvania Lottery came next in 1971.

Charitable bingo was permitted starting in 1981. It was about time that the game was legalized in the state as it was in Pennsylvania that Hugh J. Ward (a native Pittsburgher) first standardized modern bingo. He had observed it being played at fairs and wrote the official rulebook for bingo in 1933.

In 2004, legislation passed that allowed casinos to open up. Some of them are existing racetracks that added slots to become “racinos” while others are standalone sites. In 2010, the restrictions against table games were lifted, allowing blackjack, roulette, and of course poker to appear at these venues. These establishments have proven very popular, allowing Pennsylvania to overtake New Jersey for the #2 spot in state gambling revenues behind Nevada. In 2017, a bill was approved by the legislature and signed by the governor to allow licensed entities to offer online poker in Pennsylvania along with casino table games and slots. The Quaker State thus joins Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey as the fourth legalized internet gaming jurisdiction in the U.S.A.

As of August 2018, nine casino operators in the state have submitted their applications to transact over the internet. None of them have been approved so far, but it's only a matter of time before the Gaming Control Board issues the appropriate licenses. We foresee that it will take a while before the legalized online poker scene in Pennsylvania picks up any steam, so we predict that there will remain a generous space for offshore sites in the meantime.

In order to summarize the rich history of gambling in Pennsylvania, our team has designed a timeline, covering every gambling and poker-related event to occur in the state. The full timeline can be found below.

Gambling Timeline of Pennsylvania

Famous Pennsylvania Poker Players

Yellow Shooting Star

Pennsylvania isn't necessarily the first state people think about when poker comes up, but its residents are no stranger to the card game. Perhaps the most successful of them has been Jacob “Jake” Carl Schindler, from Bryn Mawr, who has made a name for himself on the high-roller circuit.

Jake Schindler
Jacob “Jake” Carl Schindler

Jake's first major poker success came in 2013 when he triumphed in a World Championship of Online Poker event at PokerStars under the screenname “CaLLitARUSH,” earning about $150,000. Yet, he ran afoul of the site's management who contended that he broke the terms of service by playing for real money from within the United States. Schindler denied these allegations, but his account was nevertheless terminated and $250,000 seized.

Jake was thus forced to concentrate his play at live tables, and the change seemed to have agreed with him. Among his victories are a win in the 2014 $25,000 + $250 PCA High Roller event in the Bahamas, worth $1.2 million, and a first place finish in the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Barcelona €100,000 + €1,000 Super High Roller contest in which he collected €1.75 million (approximately $2.2 million). Other stratospheric tourneys in which he has achieved final table results include the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria in Las Vegas, the 2014 Seminole Hard Rock Super High Roller in Florida, and the 2017 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic High Roller Event at the Bellagio. Each of these tournaments cost at least $25,000 to enter.

In total, Jake Schindler has earned more than $20 million during his live tournament career. Something that's missing from his resume, though, is a World Series of Poker bracelet, which has eluded him thus far despite his 30 cashes in WSOP MTTs. As of August 2018, Jake is only 28 years old, so there's still plenty of time for him to work toward this goal.

John Hennigan, who hails from the City of Brotherly Love, is from an older generation of poker players, having been born in 1970. Nicknamed “Johnny World” because of his reputation for being ready to bet on anything in the world, he took up pool when he was young and used his betting skills to become a pro on the billiards table.

In the late '90s, Hennigan realized that the income he could make as a pool hustler wasn't enough to get by on, so he made the transition to poker. After cashing in World Series events in 1997 and 1999, he picked up his first bracelet in the 2002 $2,000 HORSE tournament along with $117,320 in prize money. As commendable as that performance was, it paled in comparison to the money up for grabs a decade later after the poker boom had gotten underway. He cashed in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship – often considered by insiders to be the “real” annual poker Main Event – in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2018. In 2014, he won it for $1.5 million.

John has 44 WSOP cashes to his credit along with a couple of dozen profitable results in other tournaments, including a WPT victory at the 2007 Borgata Winter Open in Atlantic City. His overall brick-and-mortar tourney winnings exceed $8.1 million. In 2018, John Hennigan received the honor of being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Other Types of Online Gambling

The main focus of this article has been poker, but there are plenty of other types of online gambling available including slots, table games, video poker, and sports betting. Our team has evaluated all of the options and we will provide our best recommendations for online casinos and sportsbooks below. We only recommend brands that we have personally used.

Online Casinos

Cards and Chips

Pennsylvania now has a thriving licensed internet casino ecosystem, but you might prefer gaming with an unlicensed organization. These international sites tend to have more games and bonuses than those that cater to just a single state. Our picks for the top internet casinos are:

1. Ignition Casino - 150% up to $1,500 bonus on crypto deposit
2. Bovada Casino - Bonuses on first three casino deposits
3. Sportsbetting Casino - Three welcome bonuses + slot and video poker reloads

You can read about even more online casino options on our page describing the best of the most trusted online casinos for USA players.

Online Sportsbooks

Sports Balls

Pennsylvania has, in the past few years, introduced its state-licensed sportsbook economy. Yet, you may have a better experience with the broader array of markets and bets available at an offshore bookmaker. We've identified the three best ones for you to bet at:

1. Bovada Sports - Up to $250 sports bonus (up to $750 with Bitcoin)
2. Sportsbetting.ag - Welcome bonus, reloads, free bets, and more
3. Everygame Sports - Receive $250 bonus on first three deposits

There are other reputable international sportsbooks online that cater to residents of Pennsylvania. To learn more about them, check out this list of online sportsbooks for USA.

Summary of Pennsylvania Online Poker

The laws on online poker in Pennsylvania don't exactly permit the activity, but all charges are directed at the operators of the games. Regular, everyday players, like yourself, have no need to worry. The only concern in your mind should be finding a stellar Pennsylvania online poker site to play at, and you can do so without any hassles by following our advice above.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Pennsylvania online poker environment is quite complex, so it's only natural for you to still have questions about it. Below, we've compiled a list of popular questions and answers for you to gain knowledge.

The Pennsylvania legislature passed H271 in October 2017, which set up a framework for legalized online poker and casino gaming. As of August 2018, nine casinos have applied for interactive poker licenses, but none of them have opened up as of yet.

In order to apply for online poker licenses, qualifying entities must pay a fee of $4 million. If they wish to obtain three-in-one licenses covering poker, slots, and casino table games, then they have to hand over $12 million although discounted combination licenses were available for just $10 million during a limited introductory period. Online poker revenue is subject to a 16% tax. Slots, though, are taxed at a 54% rate, raising doubts as to the long-term viability of the entire internet gambling market because many of the organizations that are interested in providing poker are also keen on recouping their investments through slot machine profits. Instate brick-and-mortar casinos have first dibs on the licenses, and any that remain unclaimed might be offered to outside groups.

Pennsylvania's anti-gambling laws don't criminalize the act of playing poker over the internet. Federal laws don't apply either because the Department of Justice found in 2011 that the Wire Act is only intended to combat sports betting, not lotteries, poker, or any other type of real money gaming. Therefore, it's perfectly legal to enjoy a game of cards on your PC within Pennsylvania.

Yes, it's not against the law to sign up and play at PokerStars. Yet, you can't do so at real money tables because 'Stars has only made available its play money games to residents of the Keystone State. The reason for this is that the company was targeted in the Black Friday crackdown on online poker in 2011. As part of the settlement it reached with federal authorities, PokerStars had to pay a massive fine, and it agreed to exit the U.S. market except in those states where it holds a license to operate. The only state where PokerStars is legally permitted to offer its services is New Jersey.

Ignition Casino Poker is part of the PaiWangLuo Network, which is headquartered in Hong Kong. It's therefore not subject to U.S. law, and the management of the company would likely contend that it's acting completely legally in the United States. Ignition conducts its business with an understanding of international rules that allow member parties to trade with each other's citizens.

BetOnline is a Panama-regulated entity, and it therefore complies with all the legal requirements of that jurisdiction. The United States has argued in the past that such sites are illegal, but it has lost World Trade Organization judgments time and again. The WTO has decided that it is the USA that's breaking the law by blocking gambling firms' access to its consumers, which is against its treaty obligations.

Global Poker states that its sweepstakes poker arrangement keeps it in compliance with all relevant state and federal laws. However, we think there are many holes in this argument. Space doesn't permit us to go into all the specifics here. You can look through our review of the site for further information.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has set a minimum gambling age of 18 for most forms of gambling but 21 for casinos and poker rooms. These same rules transfer over online, so you ought to be 21 to be in full compliance with Pennsylvania law when you log on for a session of online poker. However, the poker sites aren't realistically able to keep abreast of age of majority rules in thousands of jurisdictions around the world, so they'll allow you to sign up and play as long as you're over 18. It's up to you to ensure you're following the rules. If you're under 18, we advise you not to open an account at any online gaming site because you might have trouble with identity verification documents when you attempt to withdraw your winnings.

If you endeavor to get into the gambling business in Pennsylvania, we counsel you to obtain the proper licenses and paperwork first. Otherwise, you could face serious charges. Just look at the case of Tony Zenner who was arrested in July 2018 in connection with at least 142 illegal gambling devices that he installed in retail establishments in the state.

Gambling income is treated as taxable by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Unusually, Pennsylvania even makes non-residents pay tax on any gambling winnings they collect from within the state's borders. The amount of your tax liability will depend on several factors, including your level of annual income and your tax filing status. You can discuss these matters with a CPA or qualified tax attorney if you have further questions about your tax obligations on poker winnings.

Most internet poker rooms focus mainly on Windows users, but this doesn't mean Mac enthusiasts are left out in the cold. There are a number of sites, like Ignition, Bovada, and Sportsbetting.ag, that have deployed dedicated Mac poker software. Even at other sites that don't especially cater to the platform, you may be able to use a browser-based client to access the games. Finally, many users have reported success in running the regular Windows executable on their Macs via Parallels or other emulation solutions. For more info, check out our Mac poker page.

Tablets and smartphones are proliferating throughout our society, and internet poker organizations have taken note. A growing number of them are providing special apps to cater to these devices. For example, SB Poker has downloads for mobile systems. Other sites, like Ignition, Bovada, and Everygame, maintain web interfaces that you can browse from your phone or tablet to access the poker action.

Depositing money with your credit card and requesting your withdrawals by check is the standard way of mobbing cash around at internet poker sites. However, the advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has largely done away with this cumbersome way of transacting. While it is possible to conduct all your transactions via legacy mechanisms, most rooms prefer that you fund your account and receive your cashouts through digital coins. These cryptos let you bypass the hidebound, inefficient banking sector to, in effect, become your own bank. They permit low-fee transactions with an enviable level of anonymity. In addition to Bitcoin, several “altcoins” have been gaining prominence in the world of online gaming. You can find out more about a couple of them in our Ethereum gambling page and our Bitcoin Cash online poker guide

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!