In Pennsylvania, you won’t find any Indian-run casinos, bingo halls or gaming facilities. That being said, there are two Native American tribes that have set up shop in the state and operate gambling establishments that are licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Neither tribe is under the control of the U.S. Department of Interior.
The first tribe to put down roots in Pennsylvania was the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut. They bought a casino and racetrack just outside Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, which they named Mohegan Pennsylvania, back in 2005.
The second tribe to invest in the state was the Poarch Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama. They purchased the Sands Bethlehem in May 2019 for a whopping $1.3 billion and rebranded it as Wind Creek Bethlehem. Although it’s not a federally regulated Indian casino, it is a commercial casino that’s licensed by the state. The Poarch Creek Indian Tribe manages and operates the casino and entertainment side of things under the name Wind Creek Hospitality.
List of Top Gambling Venues in Pennsylvania
|Hollywood Casino At The Meadows Washington||210 Racetrack Rd, Washington, PA 1530||www.hollywoodmeadows.com|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||777 Harrah’s Blvd, Chester, PA 19013||www.caesars.com/harrahs-philly|
|Wind Creek Bethlehem||77 Wind Creek Blvd, Bethlehem, PA 18015||www.windcreek.com/bethlehem|
Best Casinos in Pennsylvania
1. Wind Creek
Wind Creek Bethlehem is a Pennsylvania-based casino and entertainment complex that was launched in May 2019 after the Poarch Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama bought the Sands Bethlehem. The venue spans over 145,000 square feet, making it one of the larger casinos in the state.
The casino boasts a diverse range of games including more than 3,000 slot machines, table games, and electronic table games. Some of the most popular titles include Wheel of Fortune, Double Diamond, and Blazing 7’s. There are also plenty of table games to choose from, such as blackjack, craps, and baccarat.
Wind Creek Bethlehem also features several dining options, including an upscale steakhouse, casual eateries, and a food court with a variety of options. For those looking to stay overnight, the venue offers a 282-room hotel with numerous amenities, including a fitness center, a spa, and an indoor pool.
Despite being a relatively new venue, there have been a few customer complaints about the service quality and payouts. However, the casino management has made efforts to address these issues and improve the overall experience for its patrons. Overall, Wind Creek Bethlehem is a popular gambling and entertainment destination that attracts visitors from all over Pennsylvania and beyond.
2. Parx Casino
Nestled in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Parx Casino reigns as one of the largest and most favored casinos in the state. Since its inception in 2006, the casino has undergone a series of expansions and renovations to improve the overall experience. Parx Casino is a colossal entertainment hub, with a massive gaming floor measuring over 260,000 square feet. The casino offers free admission, but guests must be 21 years or older to enter.
Parx Casino offers a diverse range of games, including over 3,300 slot machines and 180 table games, such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat. The casino features well-known slot machine titles, including Wheel of Fortune, Quick Hit Platinum, and Game of Thrones, that guarantee an exhilarating gaming experience.
Apart from gaming, Parx Casino also boasts an array of exceptional dining options. Visitors can indulge in mouth-watering cuisine at multiple on-site restaurants and bars such as Parxgrill, Liberty Bell Gastropub, and Chickie’s & Pete’s. Additionally, the casino provides a food court with quick-service options that cater to all tastes.
3. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a popular casino destination in the state. The casino first opened its doors in 2009, and it has since become a popular spot for gaming and entertainment.
The casino offers over 2,900 slot machines and 100 table games. Some of the most popular slot machine titles include Wheel of Fortune, Lightning Link, and Buffalo Grand. Table games include blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, among others. There is also a 30-table poker room that offers daily tournaments and cash games.
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh does not have a hotel on site. However, there are several hotels located nearby that offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the casino.
The venue boasts a spacious event center that accommodates concerts and live performances, along with multiple lounges and bars to chill out. Guests can avail themselves of free parking, and for a fee, the resort also provides a valet parking option.
4. Mount Airy Casino Resort
Mount Airy Casino Resort is located in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania and is a luxurious casino and hotel. The casino first opened in 2007 and has since undergone several expansions and renovations.
Mount Airy offers over 1,800 slot machines and 70 table games. Some of the most popular slot machine titles include Lightning Link, Wheel of Fortune, and Buffalo Grand. Table games include blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, among others.
Popular restaurants include Guy Fieri’s Mt. Pocono Kitchen, Bistecca by Il Mulino, and The Buffet. There is also a food court with several quick-service options.
For those looking to stay overnight, Mount Airy Casino Resort has a 284-room hotel on site. The hotel features luxurious accommodations, including suites with separate living areas and whirlpool tubs. There is also a spa on site that offers a variety of treatments and services.
5. Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
Nestled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is a top-rated casino and hotel, serving as a popular entertainment hub in the state. Since its establishment in 2009, the casino has become a prime destination for gaming and leisure.
The casino boasts over 3,000 slot machines and 200 table games, including well-known titles such as Wheel of Fortune, Buffalo Grand, and Lightning Link. The gaming floor spans over 183,000 square feet, providing ample space for visitors to enjoy the gaming experience. Admission is free, and visitors must be 21 years or older to enter.
In addition to gaming, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem features a range of exceptional dining options. Visitors can indulge in delectable cuisine at several on-site restaurants and bars, including Emeril’s Chop House, Buddy V’s Ristorante, and Steelworks Buffet & Grill. Furthermore, the food court has multiple quick-service options that cater to all tastes.
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem’s hotel comprises 302 luxurious rooms, including spacious suites with separate living areas and whirlpool tubs, providing a comfortable stay for guests.
You’ll also find a nightclub that features live music, several lounges, and bars. Furthermore, the outlet mall, housing high-end retail stores, is an excellent shopping destination for visitors.
6. Harrah’s Philadelphia
Harrah’s Philadelphia is a casino located in Chester, Pennsylvania, and is a popular destination for gaming and entertainment. The casino first opened in 2007 and has since undergone several expansions and renovations.
The casino offers over 2,000 slot machines and 100 table games. Some of the most popular slot machine titles include Wheel of Fortune, Buffalo Grand, and Lightning Link. Table games include blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, among others. There is also a poker room that offers daily tournaments and cash games.
Harrah’s Philadelphia is a large venue, with a gaming floor spanning over 100,000 square feet. Admission to the casino is free, and guests must be 21 or older to enter.
Harrah’s Philadelphia has several restaurants and bars on site. Some of the most popular options include Guy Fieri’s Philly Kitchen & Bar, Mien Noodles, and Caffe Napoli. There is also a food court with several quick-service options.
The establishment offers several options for entertainment. There is a nightclub on site that hosts live music and entertainment, as well as several lounges and bars. The casino also features a racetrack and sportsbook for horse racing and sports betting.
There have been a few customer complaints about the level of service and the atmosphere of the casino. However, the casino has generally received positive reviews for its gaming selection, dining options, and entertainment offerings.
Pennsylvania Gambling Revenues: Where the Money Goes
Pennsylvania is one of the few states in the United States that has fully embraced gambling, and it shows in the amount of revenue the industry generates. According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state’s 14 casinos brought in $2.65 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2021 alone.
But where does all that money go? The majority of the revenue generated from gambling in Pennsylvania goes to the state government. In fact, during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the state collected $1.37 billion in taxes from casinos and other forms of gambling, accounting for more than 5% of the state’s total revenue.
In addition to taxes, a portion of the gambling revenue is allocated to support various programs in the state. For example, a percentage of the revenue is set aside to fund the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Trust Fund, which supports the state’s horse racing industry. Another portion is allocated to the Local Share Account, which provides grants to municipalities for various projects.
It’s not just the state that benefits from the gambling industry in Pennsylvania, either. Local communities that host casinos receive a portion of the revenue as well. For example, the City of Philadelphia receives 2% of the gross terminal revenue generated by its two casinos, which helps support public safety, parks, and other city services.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Pennsylvania: A History of Sovereignty and Disputes
Pennsylvania is home to several Indian tribes, many of which have a long history of sovereignty and self-governance. Today, several of these tribes operate gaming facilities that have become an important source of revenue for both the tribes and the state.
The history of Indian gaming in Pennsylvania dates back to 1982 when the federal government recognized the Poarch Band of Creek Indians as a sovereign nation. Since then, several other tribes have been recognized, including the Seneca Nation of Indians, the Oneida Indian Nation, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.
However, not all Indian tribes in Pennsylvania have been able to operate gaming facilities. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied recognition to several tribes, including the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation and the Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation, preventing them from operating casinos in the state.
Despite the success of Indian gaming in Pennsylvania, disputes between tribes and the state have been common. One of the most significant disputes was between the Seneca Nation and the state over the sharing of gaming revenue. In 2020, the two parties reached an agreement that would allow the Seneca Nation to continue operating its three casinos in the state while providing the state with a share of the revenue generated.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Pennsylvania:
- Poarch Band of Creek Indians
- Seneca Nation of Indians
- Oneida Indian Nation
- St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
- Delaware Nation
- Delaware Tribe of Indians
- Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation
- Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation
- Schaghticoke Tribal Nation
- Stockbridge-Munsee Community, Band of Mohican Indians
A History of Gambling in Pennsylvania: From Lotteries to Casinos
Pennsylvania has a long and complex history when it comes to gambling. From early lotteries to the modern casinos of today, gambling has played a significant role in the state’s economy and culture.
The earliest form of gambling in Pennsylvania can be traced back to the early 1700s when lotteries were used to fund public projects such as roads and bridges. However, by the late 1700s, lotteries had become a source of corruption and were eventually banned in the state.
In the early 1900s, Pennsylvania legalized horse racing and pari-mutuel betting, which allowed residents to place bets on horse races. This form of gambling became increasingly popular, and by 1957, the state had established the Pennsylvania Racing Commission to regulate the industry.
It wasn’t until 2004 that Pennsylvania legalized casino gambling, becoming the fourth state in the US to do so. The first casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, opened its doors in 2006. Today, there are 14 casinos operating in the state, generating billions of dollars in revenue each year.
In addition to casinos, Pennsylvania has also legalized online gambling and sports betting. In 2019, the state saw over $3.5 billion in sports betting handle and $1.5 billion in online casino revenue.
While gambling has brought in significant revenue for the state, it hasn’t been without its controversies. One of the biggest issues has been the location of casinos, with many communities opposing the construction of new gambling facilities in their neighborhoods.
Another issue has been the impact of gambling on individuals and families. The state has established programs to help those with gambling addictions, including a helpline and self-exclusion program.
Gambling Taxes in Pennsylvania: How Much You Need to Pay and How to Do It
If you’re a resident of Pennsylvania and you gamble, you’ll need to pay taxes on your winnings. The amount you’ll need to pay depends on the type of gambling you’re involved in and the amount you win.
For example, if you win more than $5,000 playing slots, the casino will withhold 24% of your winnings for federal taxes. In addition, Pennsylvania requires a 3.07% tax on all gambling winnings, regardless of the amount.
To report your gambling winnings, you’ll need to fill out Form W-2G, which the casino will provide you with if you win more than $1,200 on a slot machine or $5,000 on a table game. You’ll also need to report any winnings on your federal tax return, using Form 1040.
If you’re a non-resident of Pennsylvania and you win money while gambling in the state, you’ll still need to pay taxes on your winnings. The amount you’ll need to pay depends on the state you reside in and the amount you win.
For example, if you’re from New York and you win $10,000 playing blackjack in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to pay Pennsylvania’s 3.07% tax on your winnings, as well as New York’s tax on out-of-state gambling winnings.
If you’re a professional gambler, you’ll need to report your gambling income on Schedule C of your federal tax return, as well as pay self-employment tax on your net income. You may also be required to pay estimated taxes on your gambling income throughout the year.
Pennsylvania Gambling FAQ
How much can you win at Pennsylvania casinos before being taxed?
If you win more than $5,000 playing slots, the casino will withhold 24% of your winnings for federal taxes. Additionally, Pennsylvania requires a 3.07% tax on all gambling winnings, regardless of the amount. If you win less than $5,000, you’ll still need to report your winnings on your federal tax return and pay any applicable taxes.
How to ban yourself from casinos in Pennsylvania?
If you feel like you have a gambling problem and want to ban yourself from casinos in Pennsylvania, you can enroll in the state’s self-exclusion program. This program allows you to voluntarily ban yourself from entering any Pennsylvania casino for a minimum of one year, up to five years. To enroll, you can visit any Pennsylvania casino and complete a self-exclusion form, or you can download the form from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s website and mail it in.
Who regulates gambling in Pennsylvania?
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is responsible for regulating all forms of gambling in the state, including casinos, racetracks, and sports betting. The PGCB oversees licensing, enforcement, and the implementation of regulations to ensure the integrity of gaming operations and protect consumers.
What is the minimum gambling age in Pennsylvania?
The minimum gambling age in Pennsylvania is 21 for all forms of gambling, including casinos, racetracks, and sports betting. Minors who are caught gambling in Pennsylvania can face fines, community service, and other penalties.
Can I gamble online in Pennsylvania?
Yes, online gambling is legal in Pennsylvania. The state offers online sports betting, online casino games, and online poker through licensed operators. You must be physically located within the state to participate in online gambling.
What types of gambling are legal in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania has legalized many forms of gambling, including casinos, racetracks, sports betting, online gambling, and the Pennsylvania Lottery. The state also allows for charitable gambling events, such as bingo games and raffles, with proper licensing.
Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in Pennsylvania?
Yes, you can deduct gambling losses on your Pennsylvania state tax return, but only if you itemize your deductions. You can deduct gambling losses up to the amount of your winnings, but you must have accurate records of your losses to claim the deduction. Be sure to consult with a tax professional for guidance on deducting gambling losses on your taxes.