Introduction to Pennsylvania Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Pennsylvania slot machine casino gambling consists of twelve casinos of which six are pari-mutuel racetracks with slot machines, four are standalone casinos, and two are casino resorts.
Pennsylvania has both minimum and maximum theoretical payout limits. Return statistics are publicly available online.
This post continues my weekly State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambler to success. Now in its third year, each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or 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
In 2004, the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act passed. This Act legalized slot machines at fourteen locations. Of these locations, gaming licenses have yet to be issued for a standalone casino and a pari-mutuel racetrack with slot machines.
Since July 2010, table games are in Pennsylvania casinos.
In October 2017, the state legislature legalized casino gambling at truck stops, airports, and online. This bill also authorized ten new satellite casinos with location restrictions.
- 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.
- Racetracks 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.
Casino operators may operate a gambling parlor at any of Pennsylvania’s international and regional airports, assuming successful agreements with the airport authority. None have yet opened, but expected in 2020.
To gamble within a casino resort, players must be a guest there. 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 might apply to various forms of gaming. It is not legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Pennsylvania
It is legal to own a slot machine privately in the state of Pennsylvania if it is 25 years old or older.
Gaming Control Board in Pennsylvania
The state gaming commission is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The PGCB is responsible for overseeing slot machines and casino gambling in the state.
Two different state gaming commissions are each responsible for the state lottery and charitable gaming.
Casinos in Pennsylvania
There are two casino resorts, four standalone casinos, and six racetracks with slot machines in Pennsylvania.
The largest casino in Pennsylvania is Parx Casino with 3,238 gaming machines during the last week of January 2020.
The second-largest casino is Wind Creek Bethlehem with 3,046 gaming machines during the last week of January 2020.
Commercial Casinos in Pennsylvania
The two casino resorts in Pennsylvania are:
- Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, 69 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
- Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, 21 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
The four standalone casinos in Pennsylvania are:
- Mount Airy Casino Resort Spa in Mount Pocono, 31 miles southeast of Scranton.
- Rivers Casino Philadelphia, 3 miles northeast of the downtown area.
- Rivers Casino Pittsburgh in the downtown cultural center.
- Wind Creek Bethlehem, 58 miles north of Philadelphia.
The six pari-mutuel racetracks with slot machines in Pennsylvania are:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester, 18 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, 17 miles northeast of the capital of Harrisburg.
- Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, 15 miles southwest of Scranton.
- Parx Casino in Bensalem, 19 miles northeast of Philadelphia.
- Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, 126 miles north of Pittsburgh.
- The Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel in Washington, 26 miles south-southwest of Pittsburgh.
Tribal Casinos in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has no federally-recognized American Indian tribes. Therefore, Pennsylvania has no tribal casinos as allowed by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1989.
However, Pennsylvania is one of the few U.S. states with commercial casinos owned and operated by an American Indian tribe:
- Mohegan Sun Pocono is owned and operated by the Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut through their Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment corporation.
- Wind Creek Bethlehem is owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians through their Wind Creek Hospitality corporation.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Pennsylvania slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering Pennsylvania is:
- 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 blog for that neighboring U.S. state to Pennsylvania.
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 join this closed Facebook Group freely.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in Pennsylvania. Join us!
Payout Returns in Pennsylvania
The theoretical payout minimum for slot machines in Pennsylvania is 85%. Further, the maximum theoretical payout limit may not equal or exceed 100%. Both limits apply to each single play.
The PGCB makes monthly return statistics publicly available for Fiscal Year 2019/2020 for each gaming facility. To calculate player win%, divide payouts by wagers provided in each report.
For February 2020, the player win% at slots for each casino and statewide were:
- Harrah’s: 89.47%
- Hollywood: 89.38%
- Mohegan Sun: 89.63%
- Mount Airy: 90.35%
- Nemacolin: 89.18%
- Parx: 90.43%
- Presque Isle: 89.43%
- Rivers Philadelphia: 90.49%
- Rivers Pittsburgh: 89.68%
- The Meadows: 90.11%
- Valley Forge: 90.25%
- Wind Creek: 89.98%
- Statewide: 89.97%
For February 2020, the highest player win% went to Rivers Philadelphia at 90.49%, followed closely by Parx and Mount Airy. The lowest player win% went to Nemacolin at 89.18% followed closely by Hollywood Penn National and Presque Isle.
Summary of Pennsylvania Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Pennsylvania slot machine casino gambling consists of two casino resorts, four standalone casinos, and six racetracks with slot machines. Other locations should still open in 2020.
The theoretical payout limits are a minimum of 85% and a maximum of up to 100%. Monthly return statistics by casino are available online from the state gaming control board.
Annual Progress in Pennsylvania Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem became Wind Creek Bethlehem, acquired by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians through their Wind Creek Hospitality corporation for $1.3 billion.
Otherwise, there have been numerous casino name changes including:
- Lady Luck Nemacolin became Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
- Valley Forge Convention Center Casino became Valley Forge Casino Resort.
- Mount Airy Resort & Casino became Mount Airy Casino Resort Spa.
- Sugar House Casino became Rivers Casino Philadelphia.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
- Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Trip Report and Review
- ABC27 Harrisburg Evening News: A closer look at casino slot payouts
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series
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