History of Pennsylvania poker
Pennsylvania is new to online poker and gambling and casinos in general. Betting on horse races first became legal in Pennsylvania in the late 1950s, and the state legalized off-track betting about 30 years later.
In 1972, the state also legalized the lottery. But the state didn't allow casino-style gambling until the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act of 2004 legalized slot machines in certain areas.
In 2010, the law was changed to allow table games as well. As a result, there are now a dozen casino gambling properties in the state, most of which opened in the late 2000s.
Pennsylvanians used to play PA poker online on non-US sites until Black Friday in April 2011, when those sites stopped serving US customers. Later that year, the Justice Department said that the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 only applied to bets on sports. This enabled some states to enact their laws governing online gambling.
Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey were the first to do so, opening their first online poker sites in 2013. In addition, Pennsylvania authorities first proposed and began debating a wagering expansion bill that included online gambling in 2013, though this was not the first time.
Later that year, the Justice Department said that the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 only applied to bets on sports. This allowed some states to make rules for online gambling terminals in certain places and daily fantasy sports. It also made online casinos and poker rooms legal, which made state poker players want to start playing online again.
Early guesses said that online poker rooms might open as soon as the summer of 2018. Regulators, on the other hand, took longer than expected, so players had to wait. When the rules were finally set, the casinos put online sports betting and online casinos ahead of online poker.
The first online sports betting app in Pennsylvania went live in May 2019, with several others following suit throughout the year, and the first PA online casinos followed suit in July 2019.
From July to October 2018, seven casinos applied for licenses to open online poker rooms and were given them. Most of these casinos have said they planned to open online poker rooms in 2019