Before making any big purchase, it’s always smart to thoroughly research your options – if you want to get the best bang for your buck, that is. This goes not just for buying a big ticket item like a car or new computer, but for choosing an online casino as well.
Sometimes though, there are so many choices available that taking time out to compare every option becomes a time-consuming chore. That’s where we come in. On this website, we strive to make the process of choosing a PA online gambling site a breeze, by providing unbiased and exhaustive reviews written by a team of gambling experts, advantage players and industry analysts.
We’ve gone through each of the state’s online casinos with a fine tooth comb, showcasing not only the positives, but highlighting any negatives you should be aware of as well. With our detailed reports at your fingertips, you’ll have a wealth of info on hand to choose the site that best fits your needs with confidence.
Below we break down our process for conducting these reviews, and give you a sense of what features we find most important in an online gaming site.
When PA online casinos launch later this year, they will be stocked with a huge selection of slots and table games of all stripes. iGaming sites in neighboring New Jersey boast game catalogs which run into the hundreds of titles, with the top sites now surpassing 500 games. Operators in Pennsylvania will follow the same model, offering an eclectic mix of games for patrons to discover and enjoy.
That said, we prefer casinos which have slots libraries in the 300+ range, and which work aggressively to add new titles. Of course, traditionally popular table games like blackjack and roulette are also a must, as are video poker machines that boast high payback rates.
We give extra points to casinos that go even further by offering less commonly seen options. These can include:
- Live Dealer
- Virtual Sports
- Double Bonus Spin Roulette
While PA’s gaming sites might sport similar designs and layouts on the outside, behind the scenes, the differences can be stark. We go beyond the graphics and put all facets of an online casino’s software to the test.
One of the more critical aspects we look at is accessibility. We favor platforms that offer gaming on a range of different devices, not just via web browsers. Indeed, in this day and age smartphones are a huge part of our lives, so the ability to play on the go is a must.
All legal online gaming sites in New Jersey sport iOS and Android apps, and we expect most PA virtual casinos to do the same.
Here are a few other factors we keep an eye out for:
- User experience: Games should load quickly, smoothly and not be prone to crashing.
- Feature-rich account options: Player account back-ends should provide a one-stop shop for checking bonuses and loyalty rewards, making deposits, contacting support and more.
- Intuitive game layout: Patrons should be able to find and discover games through an intuitive and uncluttered front-end interface.
- Solid geolocation: The system used to verify a player’s physical location should work flawlessly.
Casino loyalty programs were created as a way to give back to loyal customers, and are usually based on a hierarchy of tiers. Reward schemes are extremely valuable to online gamblers, who can earn increasingly attractive rewards the higher they climb up the ladder.
Unfortunately, the rewards programs in place at many of New Jersey’s legal iGaming sites are lackluster. Most offer nothing more than cashback for points, which gamblers accrue when they place bets on qualified real money games.
Some sites go the extra mile though, offering perks like discounts on hotel stays and dining options at land-based venues. Those offering extras like these earn our praise, along with a ratings bump.
SugarHouse Casino, a New Jersey iGaming site run by the parent company of SugarHouse Philadelphia and Rivers, offers a unique and creative rewards program which we rate as one of the best in the state.
Instead of offering cashback, SugarHouse awards regular Prize Wheel spins, which can yield a plethora of lucrative rewards. We fully expect to see the same system in place when SugarHouse and Rivers go live with their virtual casinos in PA.
Before online gambling was legalized in the state, US banking institutions were prohibited from processing money for online casinos. But with the industry now legal, well-known and trusted processors can now get into the game. This opens up wide array of options for Keystone State gamblers, who can now deposit and withdraw money with ease.
We give high marks to casinos that embrace as many of these methods as possible, and give extra credit to those that go above and beyond by implementing PayPal.
PA sites should provide the majority of the following:
- ACH (e-Check)
- Online banking transfers
- Prepaid Discover cards
- 7-Eleven PayWithCash
- Wire transfer
- Cash at the casino cage
Due to the strict laws regulating iGaming, PA online casinos are restricted to gamblers who are physically inside the state. As such, they handle far fewer customers than, say, an international gaming site covering the whole of Europe. This means that customer support departments at PA gambling sites are going to be relatively small.
But even with a small team, customer service should be well-equipped to deal with all queries in a speedy and efficient manner. It is generally standard for online casinos to provide support across multiple channels, including the following:
- 24/7 live chat
It’s also common for casinos to offer an extensive help section on their website, which can quickly answer frequently asked questions.
Sites which not only offer the above options, but respond in a friendly and helpful way earn our respect.
Welcome bonus package
Welcome bonuses are undoubtedly one of the most exciting aspects of gambling at an online casino. But they often come with confusing terms and conditions attached, and must be scrutinized closely. Indeed, while a bonus offer might seem extremely attractive on its face, strict requirements in the fine print may turn it into a losing bet.
We demystify the terms in a clear and concise way, and let you know exactly what you’ll be getting into before you decide to opt in.
Here are a few terms we pay close attention to when analyzing the quality of a bonus:
- Play through requirement: The amount of times the bonus amount must be wagered.
- Qualified games: Not all games contribute to the play through requirement – slots usually contribute more, while table games contribute at a lower rate.
- Expiration date: All good things come to an end, and that includes casino bonuses. We put the expiration date on full display so you don’t leave any money on the table.
Our team of analysts has a strong preference for casinos which implement ongoing rewarding promotional schedules. But while some offers may be eye-catching, not all of them live up to the hype.
We’ll break down the best of the best, showing you which offers are worth the risks and highlight those you should avoid. Here are some of the types of promos we might see when Pennsylvania launches its online casino sites:
- Free Spins: Players who meet certain requirements can log in daily and spin a Prize Wheel or special slot for the chance to win either bonus money or a massive cash prize.
- Points races: High-volume players can compete in points races, which award cash to the top finishers at the end of a specified timeframe.
- Reload bonuses: When players deposit during a certain time period, their funds are matched by the casino up to a certain amount.
- Cashback on losses: Losses incurred playing qualified games during a predetermined time are refunded to the player
PA gamblers will have potentially a dozen or more options to choose from when online gambling launches in the state later this year. But while the abundance of sites will be great for competition and ultimately beneficial for customers, the sheer number of casinos available could be overwhelming to new players.
Through our exhaustive reviews, we aim to help gamblers sift through the good and the bad, and help them pinpoint the right casino for them. After all, not everyone is interested in the same thing – some might be looking to maximize bonus money, while others might be more interested in finding a rare game.
In the end, we hope our reviews will help simplify your search for a top-quality online casino, so you can get down to the business of winning big!
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