PA online casinos launched last week with subdued fanfare, mostly because only three casinos launched, with limited offerings. It might be months until online poker launches in the state, meaning the rollout will be slow. But we figured it would be a good time to compare the three current offerings.
Which casino games are offered?
Currently, Sugarhouse Online Casino, Parx, and Hollywood Casino are all live in PA. They each offer a range of slot games (with some overlap — Jackhammer anyone?) and a limited selection of “table” type games. Many of these are powered by NetEnt, a casino vendor.
Each offers versions of Roulette. Parx and Hollywood offer video poker. And Parx offers a very primitive version of Blackjack.
Not yet, save for one or two options from Parx.
The lack of Blackjack and poker stems from the fact that these games have not yet been approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which said it could takes months to do so for poker.
It’s important to note that online casino games take longer to vet and review than, say, PA online sportsbooks. The latter is effectively just a list of numbers and tables, whereas the former consists of dozens if not hundreds of slots, interactive games, and multiplayer experiences in the case of online poker. And then there’s live dealer, which is several added layers of complexity.
So for now, your options are mostly limited to slots, and SugarHouse has the most reliable set of games.
Each of the three takes a different approaches to bonuses and sign up offers, with SugarHouse’s being by far the best.
Parx offers what seems like a great bonus– $500 deposit match. But it comes with an extreme 20x play-through requirement on slots, 40x on roulette, and 100x on table games. This means you have to play with the bonus money 20-100 times before it is eligible for withdraw. Find out how much is left after all those wagers.
Hollywood offers a paltry $25 free.
SugarHouse Online Casino in PA, however, offers a $250 deposit match with only a 1x play-through requirement. You can also use this with SugarHouse Sportsbook. This continues to be the best sign up bonus in the business.
Only SugarHouse is available on iPhones and iPads. So if those are your devices of choice, your decision is made.
Parx and Hollywood are both impacted by a recent Apple Store Policy update that requires real money gambling apps to be coded natively for iOS. SugarHouse still hasn’t done this for their app in PA, but they have found a workaround which allows you to play on mobile web, where the experience is more or less the same (though we have found some sizing issues on roulette games).
All are available on Android as a direct download and through the web, however.
So far, we like SugarHouse. The iOS option is a big one. But there is also the matter of them having had their technology live for two years in New Jersey, so most of the bugs are ironed out. They also offer the best deposit bonus in the game.