Pennsylvania State Gambling
Pennsylvania offers one form of legalized gambling. Online horse racing wagers are accepted in Pennsylvania. While there is only one form of online gambling in the state, there are several forms of brick and mortar forms of gambling. Pennsylvania offers live horse racing, racinos, a state lottery, casinos and bingo. Pennsylvania passed New Jersey as the second highest grossing casino state in terms of gambling revenue.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling
A bill is being considered by the 2014 legislature that would legalize and regulate online poker and casino games in Pennsylvania. There is a separate bill that hopes to make online gambling illegal.
Pennsylvania Horse Racing/Racinos
There are six horse tracks in Pennsylvania. These horse tracks offer online, phone and live wagering on horses. Off track betting is also allowed. On December 20, 2006, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted to allow slot machines at horse tracks. The racetracks were already racinos operating on a temporary license. At the beginning, racetracks were allowed to offer slot machines and video poker. That has changed and now Pennsylvania racetracks can also offer table games and poker. The state taxes slot machines at a 55% rate. The table games that are now legal at racetracks are taxed at 16%. Legal table games include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Midi Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, Three Card Poker, Four card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Paigow Poker and Paigow Tiles.
In addition to the six racinos, there are five standalone casinos. These casinos have the same rules as racinos. They can offer slot machines, video poker, live poker and table games. In addition to the five standalone casinos, three resort casino licenses are available.
Pennsylvania State Lottery
The Pennsylvania General Assembly created the Pennsylvania Lottery on August 26, 1971. The first tickets were sold on March 7, 1972. Lottery games include instant scratch off tickets, Lotto drawings and raffles. Lotto drawings include multi state drawings such as Powerball and Mega Millions. A statewide raffle will award 6000 prizes totaling $5 million on December 31, 2011. Tickets are $20 and will sell until all 500,000 tickets have been purchased.
Pennsylvania charities are permitted to offer bingo to generate revenue.