Nevada is the most popular state for gambling in the U.S., but that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. However, the second-most popular state for gambling may surprise you. It’s Pennsylvania, which is a short drive from Ontario and Quebec.
It didn’t take long for Pennsylvania to climb up to the number two slot. The first casino opened in Pennsylvania in 2007. Since then, Pennsylvania has gone on to become a premier destination for those who like to gamble in casinos and bet on the horses.1
In fact, two of the top 10 most profitable destinations for gambling in the U.S. are in Pennsylvania. According to the most recent data, the Poconos is the ninth most popular casino destination. Philadelphia, with all of its rich history, comes in sixth.2
With the addition of new casinos, Pennsylvania will continue to be a top travel destination for Canadians and other non-U.S. residents.
Pennsylvania Casino Revenue Reaches Record Levels
Gambling has never been more popular in Pennsylvania. In state fiscal year 2015-2016, ended on June 30, revenue generated from gaming in Pennsylvania increased $112 million, or 3.6%, year-over-year, to a record $3.22 billion.3
This is the third straight year that revenue has increased after a slight dip in 2013-2014. Roughly half of the increase came from table games ($839 million). But at $2.4 billion, slots still generated the most money. Seven of the 12 casinos in Pennsylvania reported an increase in both slots and table gaming; only one casino experienced a drop in both categories.
Top 3 Casinos in and Around Philadelphia
Below is a list of the three most popular casinos in Philadelphia, based on the fiscal year 2015-2016 year-over-year increase in revenue.
Valley Forge Casino Resort
Valley Forge Casino Resort is located outside downtown Philadelphia and is the region’s only full-amenity gaming and entertainment resort.4
The casino, which first opened its doors in the spring of 2012, boasts a 40,000-square-foot casino floor featuring 600 slots and 50 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, pai gow poker, and baccarat.
At the Valley Forge Casino Resort hotel, you’ll find 485 rooms and suites along with amenities such as a fitness centre, spa, and outdoor pool. In addition to nine dining options, there are four nightclubs, including The Vault and Valley Beach, a 20,000-square-foot poolside club with an open-air bar, poolside dining, private cabanas, and live entertainment.
Located in Bensalem, which is just 20 minutes northeast of downtown Philadelphia, Parx Casino is the top casino in Pennsylvania, according to the company’s web site.5
The 200,000-square-foot casino floor features 3,500 slot machines, 130 live table games, a premier poker room with 80 poker tables, and live racing and simulcast. There are also two tracks that offer live thoroughbred racing throughout the year.
Parx offers an array of dining options, from award-winning fine dining to quick service. There is no hotel at Parx Casino, but there are a number of hotels nearby.
The SugarHouse Casino is located in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia on the Delaware River. A standalone casino, SugarHouse opened the first phase of its operations in September 2010. 6
Entertaining more than two million visitors annually, SugarHouse is definitely one of the most popular casinos in the state. The 260,000-square-foot casino floor features more than 1,600 slots and 54 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and ultimate Texas hold’em. At SugarHouse, you’ll also find a poker room with 28 tables.
SugarHouse also offers live entertainment and dining experiences for every budget. There is no hotel at SugarHouse, but it provides free transportation from more than two-dozen lodging locations throughout Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania Gaming Winnings Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
Whether you’re honeymooning in the Poconos or playing the slots at a casino in the City of Brotherly Love after visiting the Liberty Bell, your casino winnings could be subject to a 30% withholding tax.
That’s because casino winnings over $1,200 (along with winnings from pari-mutuel betting, game shows, or any other game of chance) are considered income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and need to be taxed. If you win $1,200 on the slots, the casino will only give you $840. The rest goes to the IRS. But if you live in a country like Canada, which has signed a U.S. tax treaty, you may be eligible for a refund.
There are a number of countries that currently do not have a U.S. tax treaty. However, if you reside in any of the following countries, you could still be eligible for a refund: Canada, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the U.A.E.
To see if you meet the criteria and are eligible to get some or all of your withholding tax back, contact Refund Management Services (RMS).
RMS, the Easiest Way to Get Your 30% Withholding Tax Back
If you’re a non-U.S. resident and had 30% of your gaming winnings withheld while visiting the U.S., RMS can help you recoup a portion or all of your taxable winnings. RMS was founded by a chartered accountant in 1998 and quickly became the most trusted poker tax recovery source. Not only have we successfully completed the most U.S. gaming tax refunds, we’ve also never been refused an eligible refund.
Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest. Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS. It can take a minimum of one year for the IRS to review the claim and for RMS to receive the refund.
1. “Pennsylvania,” Get to Know Gaming web site; http://www.gettoknowgaming.org/sites/default/files/AGA_FactSheet_Pennsylvania.pdf.
2. “The 10 Most-Profitable Casino Towns In America,” The Richest web site; http://www.therichest.com/business/economy/the-10-most-profitable-casino-towns-in-america/.
3. “Total Pennsylvania Casino Revenue Rises 3.6% During the Just-completed State Fiscal Year,” Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board web site; http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?pr=675.
4. “Valley Forge Casino Resort,” Valley Forge Casino Resort web site; https://www.vfcasino.com/.
5. “Parx Casino,” Parx Casino web site; https://www.parxcasino.com/.
6. “SugarHouse Casino,” SugarHouse Casino web site; https://www.sugarhousecasino.com/#sm.000or02dk1c79covwdt19tag6jkk8.