There has been a great deal of excitement in the great state of PA due to recent changes in gambling laws. We are no longer forced to make the trek to a brick-and-mortar location in order to hit that next big jackpot.
One of the biggest and most exciting changes coming down the pipeline is the ability for Pennsylvania residents to play at live dealer casinos online.
Now that you have the option to turn on your computer or handheld device to connect to a real-money casino, there are some things we want you to know before you begin to play for that next huge stack of dough.
How live dealer casinos work
It may seem as though gambling from your sofa is straight-forward, but you actually have a multitude of choices available when placing your bets online. There are web-based online casinos, download-based online casinos, virtual casino games, and last but certainly not least, live dealer casino games.
The last one we mentioned will be the one we will delve into further here. It’s a pretty exciting way to cast your bet online that feels much more authentic. It feels like what most people are familiar with when the idea of betting comes to mind. Instead of interacting with software, you’re going to be placing your bets with, and getting a live video stream of, a real live dealer who is working on location at a casino.
This type of gambling is offered widely in Europe and Asia. Across their ‘pond’ however, our neighbor was the first to offer this type of gambling.
In the Garden State, the Golden Nugget was the first US institution to introduce live dealer casino games broadcast directly from the casino floor, marking the first time in US gambling history that players were able to place real money bets in real time with a remote live dealer in the privacy of their homes.
Real time play
With this format, human beings run games real time from casino dealing tables. As the dealer is performing duties, everything is streamed via a video link. The player is able to make their bets as they would face to face via a console on their computer screen. As they’re watching and betting, they are also able to communicate with the dealer using a text-based chat function.
The results of the physical transactions by the dealer, like the roulette outcome or dealing of the cards, are translated into data which is then utilized by the software by means of optical character recognition technology.
This allows players to interact with the game similarly to how they would with a virtual game, with the exception of being determined by real-life actions as opposed to automated processes. Most automated games utilize random number generators (RNG).
This gives the games a more exciting real-time feel and also enables you to play against a dealer who is potentially determining the outcome for many more bettors than a table could possibly seat. You get the feeling and experience of actually betting in a casino, but you get to do so from the comfort of your own home.
You can eat and drink and be merry at your computer and not have to worry about the sometimes-excessive costs of food and drink at a brick-and-mortar casino.
Bottom line cost of thrills
Because these casinos employ live dealers, cameramen, IT managers to resolve technical issues swiftly to keep game play flowing, and pit bosses to adjudicate any potential disputes, the cost of operation is significantly higher for live dealer casinos as compared to other types of online casinos, like free slots or progressive slots.
The staff must also have a space from which to broadcast the feed, so real estate is also required to operate this format, something that many online casinos literally never have to worry about. This means that only the most popular games are economically viable for this medium of online gambling; but don’t be concerned about blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. These 3 have always attracted peak interest, so they will surely be available.
The variety of games offered isn’t the only limitation that the high cost presents; another one of the big benefits that most people don’t think about is the fact that virtual casino dealers don’t need sleep, breaks, or meals, so the hours aren’t restricted for them. Therefore, only a limited number of tables are offered for most live dealer casinos, and these operate only during specific hours.
The point is that if you really crave that in-person experience, live dealer casinos can be a good middle ground between the brick-and-mortar casino and an online casino that’s completely automated.
The virtual casinos will always be available, but for those of you that want to have the thrill of live games with other live players, live dealer casino operations are the way to do it in your robe and slippers. Even with the limited games, tables, and hours, we think you’ll love the thrills offered by this exciting way to gamble online.
This is truly the closest you can get to a face to face table gaming experience while still having the luxury of accessing your own fridge and private restroom.
Playing at a live dealer casino in Pennsylvania
Though this may sound straightforward, we should mention that you need an internet connection in Pennsylvania if you want to play at a live dealer casino. The IP address for your device must be traced to a connection established in Pennsylvania.
This is because online gambling is not legal everywhere. After you enter your WiFi password and connect to the net from any location in Pennsylvania, you’re in! Though you still must be 21 years of age if you want to gamble.
Because gambling is still very new in PA, we want you to make sure that you only use authorized and legal websites. Not only does this keep you as a law abiding citizen, it also protects you. Many of the rules and regulations in our great state exist for the sole purpose of keeping you from getting swindled by common crooks.
All of that being said, we’d also like you to understand that these definitions leave room for interpretation, due to the fact that Pennsylvania code doesn’t (currently) define the word ‘gambling’ anywhere.
Our best advice is to stick to the regulated online casinos mentioned here to keep you and your hard-earned cash safe. This also ensures that you don’t end up having run-ins with the law. That’s the last thing anyone needs.
Enter your basic info to get started
After getting online and picking the site lucky enough to get your business (which we’ll go over in a moment), you will need to sign up.
In order to do so, you must provide personal details in order to register. You will be asked for the following:
- Date of Birth
- Email Address
- Phone Number
- Full Address
- Security Question
- Betting Currency
There may be limits to your account until you provide a scan or fax of your photo ID.
The best live dealer casinos in Pennsylvania
There are several gambling sites that are completely legitimate, and we want for you to enjoy each of them to your heart’s desire. They each operate under the strictures and codes set forth by the legislature to keep everything above board and legal.
Because online gambling here is still in its infancy, there aren’t a gigantic number of online casinos that we can recommend. However, we absolutely do recommend that you stick with the ones we list here. Again, this will keep you obeying the law as well as keep your bank account safe from villainous crooks who mean to take your money without providing anything in return.
Keep in mind that there are no live dealer casinos available just yet in Pennsylvania, but that will soon change. We wouldn’t be surprised to find that all of the casinos listed here will eventually have live dealer casinos.
The following sites are all secure, trusted, and verified:
- Sugar House has a 4.7 star rating. Use promo code 250MATCH to get them to match $250 of your first deposit.
- Unibet has a 4.8 star rating. They offer a $10 sign up bonus and match your deposit up to $500.
- Hollywood Casino has a 5 star rating in their reviews in addition to a $25 sign up bonus. Hollywood will match your first deposit (up to $500) with promo code WELCOME.
Not so fast
Pennsylvania is in its infancy when it comes to online gambling. There is quite a bit on the horizon for our beautiful state. We certainly hope you are anticipating this kind of fast-paced experience as we are. Though it isn’t rolled out completely in the Keystone state just yet, it’s just around the corner.
If you followed New Jersey through their journey, you probably noticed it took nearly 3 years for them to roll out live dealer casinos. Even after introducing it here in the US, it didn’t become widely available until the last couple of years.
While this took a significant amount of time to spread like wildfire, more online casinos in Jersey offer live dealer casinos than don’t. Furthermore, because they were the first in the US to do so, we have seen some of the problems that have come up.
With the advantage of hindsight, we believe live dealer casinos will pop up much faster than the timeline witnessed in our neighbor’s yard, and the quality of those casinos is likely to be very high. You’ll likely experience a high level of service and enjoyment when they are finally available.
What that will actually look like depends on how the roll out goes over 2020. It’s almost certain to be an interesting and exciting time in the history of PA.
The future is upon us, and it’s going to be beautiful, exciting, and potentially lucrative for you. No matter the outcome, we’re sure you’re going to have a great time; so, sit back and enjoy the ride!