Legal Pennsylvania Online Poker

Welcome to, the Keystone State's #1 resource for finding online poker sites that are legal for Pennsylvania residents.

The goal for those who come here is to walk away educated about the legalities of and why it is to legal to play poker for real money in the state. In getting to the meat of it all, our visitors are going to be able to get up to date details about the push to legalize online gaming sites, like poker, in Pennsylvania, plus which poker sites will allow them to play.

Feel free to click around or go to any of the Pennsylvania legal online poker rooms we've listed if you need more info about anything related to the topic. Going to the source and experiencing things for yourself is always the best way to go, and it's a premise this site is built around.

Is It Legal To Play Online Poker In Pennsylvania

We'd like to just defer to what Pennsylvania's online poker laws say but that wouldn't do much good in a real-world application. To know whether it is legal or not, simply ask those who play online everyday. Do you see those people getting in trouble or being slapped with fines + penalties? Likely not because that is the same story anywhere you go, even in Washington where state statues forbid any online gaming.

Rather than focus on legal, let's focus on safety. With respect paid to not having to fear of getting into any trouble, residents can pretty much assume that any online poker room that accepts Pennsylvania residents is one that is legal to play at.

Which ones allow those living in Pennsylvania to play? We're glad you asked because we're about to approach that subject now:

Legal Online Poker Sites For Pennsylvania Residents

If you are in the market to join an online poker site that is friendly for residents of Pennsylvania, you cannot go wrong using any of the three options we've provided. We know for a fact that these sites are open to players living in Pennsylvania, and we also know that they deliver what we promise... because we play there ourselves.

Bovada Poker - Pennsylvania Residents Can Collect Up To $1,000 Free For Depositing

Bovada features a ton of great options for those interested playing online poker from Pennsylvania. If you are one who likes to play in a lot of games and tables at one time, Bovada is your ticket. How does up to 20 tournaments plus tables playing simultaneously sound? Well, at Bovada that is possible, as they don't want to limit their players in what they enjoy doing.

To get started at Bovada, an account is needed. Pennsylvania poker players are able to legally create an account with Bovada Poker, so there is no fear of playing illegally here. Playing for real cash at Bovada poker entitles players to win big money and get paid out fast. For the complete list of options at Bovada, be sure to check it out on site.

BetOnline Poker - Lifetime Bonuses + $150K Of Guaranteed Tournaments Monthly

Let's not beat around the bush. BetOnline is one of the best choices that a Pennsylvania player could go with if they are interested in participating in a quality online gambling site for real cash that is legal for them to play. That's pretty straightforward, but we definitely think that it's true in all areas.

BetOnline is an industry leader, and excels over their competitors in a number of key areas. One of the most noteworthy features in which BetOnline is a step above the rest is in their poker bonus department. This site offers a bonus for every deposit made into an account, which differs from most that offer just one bonus upon sign up. The maximum bonus of $900 can be yours by choosing to go with BetOnline.

SportsBetting Poker - Texas Hold'Em, Omaha, Stud Games + Blackjack Can Be Played

SportsBetting's poker room has a lot that they can offer the online poker player living in the state of Pennsylvania. For one, they offer a high quality legal online site that features all forms of gambling and all U.S. players are capable of signing up if they are old enough. All that players need to do in order to get their account rolling is to sign up at SportsBetting and download the software. Creating an account doesn't cost anything to do as it’s always free to sign up here.

To play for real money on site though, a deposit is required. But there are several ways in which this can be done, so players are able to pick the best fit for them. One such option is that of a credit card, for which allow Visa and American Express deposits. For those who don't have one of these, or would rather go another way, there is a Western Union wire transfer option, as well as a MoneyGram transfer option. And if those still don't seem to fit what you want, send a cashier's check or a money order. There are plenty of choices!

Who Can Use These Websites?

Anyone that meets the legal age to gamble in Pennsylvania is permitted to sign up for a new account. Check your local statutes because if the age to play poker is 21 years old, you will have to wait until then despite most poker websites mandating that their users be 18 years old.

Will you get into trouble? Not likely but that depends on your definition of trouble. We can tell you that it is less severe than what would happen if you were caught gambling underage at gambling venues. Age is something that is definitely dealt with in the laws and regulations that we've mentioned below.

Pennsylvania Online Poker Laws

The Pennsylvania State government has been one of the first governments to act on the clarification of the Federal Wire Act, with plans to sell state lottery tickets online starting sometime in the next couple of months. Could state-regulated online poker be far behind? Neighboring states New York and New Jersey are already planning to regulate online poker statewide and there are rumors of a collaboration between the three states on a fully regulated online poker network by sometime in 2013.

As it stands now, there are no laws on the books in Pennsylvania that explicitly outlaw online poker. The UIGEA has made it a little difficult for citizens of Pennsylvania to fund their online poker accounts, but American-facing casinos have found ways around that, using third party payment processors.

Online Poker Regulation In Pennsylvania

In the spring of 2013, Pennsylvania brought forward a bill that would allow already licensed casinos in the state the opportunity to form Internet sites to offer players. This is similar to the New Jersey online gambling bill that will allow for the Atlantic City casinos to do the same. This not only extends to online poker for Pennsylvania players, but would also cover an array of online casino games as well.

House Bill 1235 was introduced by Representative Tina Davis. The bill aims to regulate Internet gaming in the state, and would mandate several qualifications needed by the licensed casinos to move forward with online games. Such stipulations include a $5 million start up fee, for which a $500,000 annual fee would be attached every year following to renew that license. There would also be a 28 percent tax rate cast upon the casinos which would be based off of their revenue generated each year.

As per HB 1235, it would initially only allow those in Pennsylvania the chance to participate at these online casinos. However, those who have been following these developments with states opting to pursue online gambling legislation should be familiar with the term 'interstate compact' being thrown around. This is an important term because it can allow for states with regulated Internet gaming to combine efforts so long as no federal laws are compromised.

Is It Legal to Play Land-Based Poker in Pennsylvania?

The legal status of playing poker for money is, in the best of times, ambiguous.  However, for residents of Pennsylvania who love playing poker, the news is all good.  State laws have very little to say about the act of playing poker, in fact, no law, state or federal has anything to say about the mere act of playing poker.

This may seem counter-intuitive to conventional knowledge, but the reality is that no Pennsylvania resident may be legally prosecuted for the simple act of participating in a game of poker, even if it for high stakes.

However, Pennsylvania state law does prohibit the act of facilitating a poker game without a very specific license.  Similar to the right to sell alcohol or tobacco, a facility must possess a specific license issued by the state in order to be considered a legal poker room.

This means that if a Pennsylvania resident attempts to organize a poker game, even amongst friends where they may stand to make a profit by earning “rake” (the percentage of bets and winnings a poker room takes in order to maintain profitability) then they may be convicted of a crime and prosecuted as such.  However, as long as one avoids this course of action they may freely, legally, and most of all safely enjoy a good sit down at a poker table.

Where to Play Land-Based Poker in Pennsylvania?

Luckily for poker fans in Pennsylvania, there is no shortage of state licensed poker rooms.  Harrah’s casino in Philadelphia alone accounts for many poker tournaments, with buy ins as cheap as $25 for lower stakes tournaments, all the way up to $150 which could prove to be far more lucrative.  Players have the option to face off in intense bouts of No Limit Hold ‘Em both here and in countless other poker rooms across the state.

Just outside of Washington, Pennsylvania is the Meadows poker room, an offshoot of a popular racetrack.  Here as well there are daily tournaments of No Limit Hold ‘Em with several options for buy ins and profitability.

Of course, it is also legal to host a friendly poker gathering amongst friends.  As long as the host of the game does not collect any profits or “rake,” it is perfectly within any Pennsylvania resident’s rights to host a friendly poker game where they wager small amounts of money.  Potential poker hosts in Pennsylvania will want to be careful though, for if they even act in a way that could be perceived as profiting off of poker happening in their private homes, they may be punished by law.

In short, there are plenty of ways to legally play poker both for fun and for profit.  Although some options for customization playing land based poker may be lacking, some players prefer the stand down of squaring off against a table full of people face to face.

Note: The above article should not be read as legal advice for those looking to play legal online poker in the United States. For questions about online poker laws in Pennsylvania and online poker play, consult a lawyer familiar with Pennsylvania state gambling law.