It’s taken some time, but playing at Pennsylvania Live Dealer Casinos is now legal thanks to the PA Gaming Board. PA has become the second state in the US to legalize the playing of Live Dealer table games online.
After a lengthy process, Evolution has been granted a license enabling them to offer their range of live casino games to Pennsylvanians online.
This has required Evolution to build a dedicated live casino studio and modify their existing game rules to meet the exacting standards of the PA Gaming Board.
The result is an online experience that is almost the same as playing in a real land-based casino. You can interact with other players, the dealers and enjoy the thrill of playing with real cards and the spin of a real roulette wheel, all from the comfort of your own home.
This article will explain how the live casino operation works and the games you can play. And I’ll show you the rules you can expect, where to get the best bonuses, promos, and comps at online Pennsylvania casinos. For the times when gambling has lost its fun, I’ll show you where to get some help and support.
It is legal to play live dealer games online in Pennsylvania.
Before controls and licensing were introduced it was illegal, but it was still possible for players to play at offshore casinos.
However, the offshore casino and live casino providers, like Visionary iGaming, offer players very little protection. The quality of the live dealer games is poor in comparison to licensed operators.
With licensing, players are protected. The games are checked and audited and you know you’re going to get a fair game. The licensing model keeps the rogue operators out of the market and players safe.
Online casinos have to be licensed to offer games online in Pennsylvania. I’m finding that only the bigger operators are going through that process, so the choice of where you can play is restricted.
However, that doesn’t mean we can’t create a list of the best Live Dealer Casinos in Pennsylvania, because we can.
Even with a larger list, there will be a few casinos that simply outperform the others.
My current recommendations for the best live dealer casinos in PA include PlaySugarHouse, BetMGM, Unibet, and BetRivers.
In my experience, the best PA live casinos all have similar qualities. To qualify for my list they must:
Live Dealer games are supplied to an online casino by a 3rd party service provider, who specializes in providing online streamed live dealer games.
There are about 30 or so operators around the world offering these services. The biggest and best by far is Evolution.
For an operator to be able to offer their games to Pennsylvanians they must have a license from the PA Gaming Board.
They must also have an in-state live casino studio, employ local dealers, and modify the games to conform to Pennsylvania gaming standards.
For the smaller operator, this is a big ask, so only the biggest and best operators are likely to go through that process to be able to provide their games.
The studios are normally open 24 hours a day and the games tables are normally open during the same period. However, some tables have restricted times in which they open, generally, during the day the tables are less busy, so only a few are open. The evening is the busiest time for playing, so that is when most of the tables are open.
Currently, only Evolution is able to provide the live dealer games in PA.
This is because it’s a lengthy and expensive licensing process and also because the licensing requires the operator to have its studio based in Pennsylvania.
This is because the PA Gaming Board wants to protect jobs and create wealth rather than letting the money go out of state.
The exact studio location is not normally revealed in the public domain for security reasons. But I can reveal that it was built somewhere in Philadelphia.
Evolution is a huge live casino operator, registered in Sweden, with live casino studios dotted around the world. The largest is located in Riga, Latvia with others in Romania, Georgia, and Malta to name a few.
They also provide live dealer games in New Jersey from their studio at the Hard Rock Cafe Casino in Atlantic City.
Game-wise they have most of the main casino table game titles, plus some innovative Entertainment games, like Crazy Time, Monopoly Live, and Lightning Roulette.
At the moment (March 2021), three live dealer games have been licensed:
Other live dealer games are expected to be rolled out during the course of 2021, these include:
Live Dealer Blackjack in Pennsylvania comes in two formats:
Online Live Blackjack in PA is played to this set of rules:
The RTP for the main hand is 99.59%. While the optional side bet, 21+3 has a return of 87.11%.
Live Dealer Roulette is based on the standard American Roulette that has a Zero and Double Zero on the roulette wheel.
It comes in two formats:
Betting is achieved through a comprehensive playing interface, which allows single and multiple bets, including pre-configured special bets.
The game rounds take about 60 seconds to complete.
Live Baccarat in Pennsylvania follows the traditional style of the game. Although there is no squeezing of the cards and the reveal of each hand is quite quick.
The game is played with an eight-deck manual dealing shoe.
The playing interface allows one side bet to be played, which is the Banker/Player Bonus. The value of the payouts is determined by the winning margin of the hand.
Commission of 5% is taken on Banker wins. Player wins pay 1:1, Banker Win pays 0.95:1. Ties are paid at 8:1.
There is a good selection of Baccarat Roadmaps, which can be used to view the history of past results. Specialists use these to help determine which hand to bet on next.
The table is open from 16:00 each day.
All of the live casino games are played in real-time.
As most of the games require some interaction with the player, they have to be to make them work.
The live dealer games go through the same level of auditing that you see in land-based casinos, with oversight being provided by the PA Gaming Board.
Each game is tested for its fairness and Return To Player values.
Alongside that, every game is being monitored as it’s being played, so roulette wheels operating outside of certain tolerances, strange-looking results, or as patterns develop are identified and investigated immediately.
Plus, all action is recorded, so it can be reviewed at a later date by the regulators if needed.
The short answer is Yes.
The PA Gaming Board set out the standard the games must adhere to, which includes the rules for each of the games.
You should have exactly the same playing experience online as you would get in a land-based casino in Pennsylvania.
The Best PA Online Casinos will have live dealer games.
In the case of Pennsylvania, all of them will have the same games, because Evolution is the only licensed live casino operator.
That’s not a bad thing as they have the best live dealer games in the world!
You need to be 21 years of age to gamble online.
You will need to provide your name, age, and address details when signing up at an online casino.
Automatic identity monitoring and verification software are used to confirm the details you have supplied.
Yes. The Gaming Control Board has put in place a system that, through the use of GPS software and IP Address identification, will block entry and play of Pennsylvania-licensed internet gaming if a user is outside of the state.
In addition, participating in internet gaming when in a Pennsylvania casino will also be blocked.
Yes. The law mandates that mechanisms are in place through internet gaming software to block access to any person who has placed themselves on the Gaming Control Board’s Self-Exclusion List.
You can find details of how to exclude here.
While gambling is meant to be fun, sometimes you can feel that it’s getting out of control.
If you have any of these signs, it may be worth speaking to someone before things begin to get out of hand:
If you exhibit any of these then you can call 1-800-GAMBLER or Text +1-800-522-4700 for a confidential discussion.
Or visit the Responsible Play Website for further information and advice.