Introduction to Pennsylvania Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Pennsylvania slot machine casino gambling consists of twelve casinos, including four standalone casinos, two casino resorts, and six racetrack racinos. Two more locations have state legislature approval, including a standalone casino and a racino, but neither have yet to open.
Pennsylvania law has both minimum and maximum theoretical payout return limits. Actual payout return statistics are available online at the state gaming commission.
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Pennsylvania*
The minimum legal gambling age in Pennsylvania depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act passed in 2004, legalizing slot machines at fourteen locations beginning in 2006. Of these, to date, one standalone casino and one racetrack racino have yet to open
Since July 2010, casinos in Pennsylvania can operate table games. In October 2017, the state legislature legalized casino gambling at truck stops, airports, and online. The bill also authorized ten new satellite casinos with some location restrictions
Casino operators may operate a gambling parlor at any of Pennsylvania’s international and regional airports, assuming successful agreements with the airport authority. No airport gaming parlors or satellite casinos have yet to open.
Satellite casinos of existing casino operators must be within 25 miles of their existing Pennsylvania casino. Further, local municipalities may prohibit such a casino. These satellite casino licenses allow up to 750 slot machines and 50 table games
The racinos and standalone casinos can have up to 5,000 slot machines and 250 table games, while casino resorts can have up to 600 slot machines and 50 table games. Truck stops approved by their county may have up to 5 slot machines.
To gamble within either casino resort, players must be a guest of that casino resort. Put another way, the gaming floors within the casino resorts are not open to the public.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Pennsylvania
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in the state of Pennsylvania if it is 25 years old or older.
Gaming Control Board in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is the state gaming commission. The PGCB is responsible for overseeing slot machines and casino gambling in the state. Two other state gaming commissions are responsible for the state lottery and charitable gaming.
Casinos in Pennsylvania
There are two casino resorts, four standalone casinos, and six racetrack racinos in Pennsylvania
The largest casino in Pennsylvania is Parx Casino and Racing having 3,300 gaming machines and 180 table games.
The second largest casino is Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem having 3,000 gaming machines and 200 table games.
List of Casinos in Pennsylvania
The two casino resorts in Pennsylvania are:
- Lady Luck Nemacolin in Farmington located 69 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
- Valley Forge Convention Center Casino in King of Prussia located 21 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
The four standalone casinos in Pennsylvania are:
- Mount Airy Resort & Casino in Mount Pocono located 31 miles southeast of Scranton.
- Rivers Casino in downtown Pittsburgh.
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Bethlehem located 58 miles north of Philadelphia.
- Sugar House Casino located 3 miles northeast of downtown Philadelphia.
The six pari-mutuel racetrack racinos in Pennsylvania are:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Chester located 18 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville located 17 miles northeast of Harrisburg.
- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington located 26 miles south-southwest of Pittsburgh.
- Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre located 15 miles southwest of Scranton.
- Parx Casino and Racing in Bensalem located 19 miles northeast of Philadelphia.
- Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie located 126 miles north of Pittsburgh.
List of Tribal Casinos in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has no federally-recognized American Indian tribes. During the 1700s, colonial expansion displaced the six original tribes of Pennsylvania. Only the Eastern Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania remains
American Indian tribes once native to Pennsylvania ended up on tribal reservations in Oklahoma. Therefore, Pennsylvania has no tribal casinos.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Pennsylvania slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Pennsylvania is bordered by:
- North: New York Slots and Lake Erie
- East: New Jersey Slots
- South: Delaware Slots, Maryland Slots, and West Virginia Slots
- West: Ohio Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that neighboring state to Pennsylvania.
Payout Returns in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law requires gaming machines to return a minimum payout of 85% per state statute section 461a.7 on slot machine minimum design standards. Further, it states a maximum payout return limit which may not equal or exceed 100%. Both legal restrictions apply to any single play.
Monthly payout return statistics are publicly available for each gaming facility, although the player win% comes from dividing payouts by wagers.
For March 2019, the payout returns for slots only, from highest to lowest, are:
- Valley Forge: 90.83%
- Parx: 90.58%
- Mount Airy: 90.32%
- The Meadows: 90.21%
- Sands Bethlehem: 90.14%
- Rivers: 89.96%
- Sugar House: 89.88%
- Mohegan Sun: 89.74%
- Harrah’s Philadelphia: 89.73%
- Nemacolin: 89.39
- Penn National: 89.32%
- Presque Isle: 89.27%
Our Pennsylvania Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Pennsylvania? If so, join our new Pennsylvania slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near Pennsylvania. Come join us!
Summary of Pennsylvania Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019
Pennsylvania slot machine casino gambling consists of twelve casinos, including four standalone casinos, two casino resorts, and six racetrack racinos. Other locations soon to be available include casino gambling at truck stops, airports, satellite casinos, and online.
Pennsylvania law has an 85% minimum and a up to 100% maximum for theoretical payout return limits. Monthly payout return statistics for each casino are available online at the state gaming commission.
Annual Progress in Pennsylvania Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, a delayed opening occurred for the last of the standalone casinos approved in 2004.
2018 Archive: Pennsylvania Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018 – Until recently, Pennsylvania slot machine casino gambling consisted of 14 possible casinos: 7 racinos, 5 standalone casinos, and 2 casino resorts. One of them opens in South Philadelphia in late 2018. But, as of October 2017, casino gambling was legalized at truck stops, airports, 10 new satellite casinos, and online.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
- Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Trip Report and Review – This trip report and review for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, covers its rewards club, high limit slots room, idle slot machines, a penny slot machine called Dragon Emblem Jackpots by Konami, its buffet, and what
complimentarygifts to expect from the local downtown Pittsburgh area. It currently has 2,900 slot machines.
- ABC27’s A closer look at casino slots payouts – An investigative report on the evening news from television news station ABC27 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Anchor Dennis Owens discusses payout percentages at the nearby Hollywood Casino at Penn National with the help of Jon Friedl AKA Professor Slots. Pennsylvania state gaming commission online statistics show how Harrisburg’s only casino has made the business decision to have the second-lowest payout returns in the state. Their returns haven’t been above 90% since 2011.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series – This online resource for slot machine casino gamblers summaries a third year of 56 weekly posts for each U.S. state, territory, and the federal district. Slots players begin here to learn about the slots gaming industry in each U.S. gaming jurisdiction. This summary article links to 56 individual state-specific posts useful to slots players.
- Previous: Oregon Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019 – Oregon slot machine casino gambling consists of 9 tribal casinos as well as 3,935 retailers and pari-mutuel sites. All slot machines are VLTs. Non-tribal VLTs have an upper payout return limit of 96% and a theoretical payout return in each game theme’s menu. No limits or statistics are available from tribal casino VLTs.
- Next: Puerto Rico Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2019 – Puerto Rico slot machine casino gambling consists of sixteen casinos as well as casinos on visiting cruise ships. It has not fully recovered from Hurricane Maria in 2017. Puerto Rico has set a minimum payout return of 83% for their slot machines. No statistics for actual payout return percentages are available online.