Casinos in pittsburgh, pennsylvania you need to visit

  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh tops the list of best casinos in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • The Meadows Racetrack & Casino offers over 1,500 video gaming terminologies.
  • The Westmoreland Fair also has live harness racing during the summer months.

Pennsylvania has quickly become one of the top states for legal gambling with great Pittsburgh casinos, sports betting, lottery games, daily fantasy sports, poker, and various forms of online gambling on the way.

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Anyone looking to enjoy some can visit some nearby state (MD, OH, NY, WV, MD), but they won’t have to make the trip too much longer.

The Penn National Lottery Gaming Entertainment act was passed back in October 2071 and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf. This opened the doors to many different types of expanded gambling, which included several new casinos throughout the state.

Pittsburgh is home to some of the best casinos in and around the area. We’ll break down all your options in our Pittsburgh casino guide – and we’ll also tell you about your other legal gambling options when you’re in the Steel City.

Best Pittsburgh Casinos

If you’re looking for a full-sized casino in or around Pittsburgh, your options are a little limited. There is one big casino that fits the bill, and a few smaller racino facilities.

It might be surprising to some, but Pennsylvania has only had table games and poker rooms since 2010. That means that some of the best casinos in Pittsburgh have only been around for eight years or so.

The Pittsburgh area used to have a thriving slot machine scene in the early 2000s, but the machines there were considered illegal by the State Supervising Committee. All the slots from those casinos were either thrown out or sent to other locations.

It wasn’t until 2004 and 2006 that slot parlors were officially made legal in Pennsylvania, but table games were left off the list. It wouldn’t be until 2010 that Governor Ed Rendell signed HB 812 into law, allowing table games and poker at Pennsylvania casinos.

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So, the best Pittsburgh casinos are relatively new compared to what you might find in other major cities and towns.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is hands-down the best casino in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. It offers everything you could want in a casino, including over 950 slot machines, 80+ table games, 60 hybrid Lucky Luck tables, and a 30 table poker room.

You won’t find any attractions like brothels like in Nevada or Maryland Live!‘s concert theater, but Rivers Casino makes up for it with its exceptional gaming offerings.

The casino floor features newer machines and tables that are well taken care of. You won’t deal with as many tourists here as you would at some other popular , but the close proximity to Ohio, West Virginia, and New York ensure that there are plenty of gamblers that know how to handle themselves.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh also offers live music and events in their Venue lounge, as well as fantastic dining options.

One of the best parts about this western PA casino is its location. It’s just across the river from the airport and downtown Pittsburgh, meaning that you can easily pop in for an hour if you’re in town.

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I’d consider Rivers Casino Pittsburgh one of the top casinos in western PA, and one of the top casinos near Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino is one of the Pittsburgh casinos that has survived the test of time. It started out as a slot parlor back in 1995 and has grown into one of the bigger regional casinos in Pennsylvania.

Penn National purchased the facility back in 2009, before a lot of the other casinos in the area. They turned it into a fully-operational casino with table games and added even more slot machines.

Today, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino features over 1,500 video gaming terminologies (VGTs). These are essentially just slot machines, but they are regulated differently than traditional slot machines in Pennsylvania.

Video blackjack, roulette, and other table games are also available at the VGTs. You can get player matching bonuses, tournaments, and other promotions on these machines, just like you would at a normal slot machine.

Unlike most other casinos in western PA, The Meadows features live harness racing. There are races every weekend from December through November, with up to nine races per day.

The best casinos always have a dash of history, and The Meadows certainly has that. It’s been around for almost three decades, and it will be interesting to see how it changes and improves in the coming years.

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The Westmoreland Fair

The Westmoreland Fair isn, first and foremost, a . However, it does have live Thoroughbred horse racing during the fair, which runs for eleven days every summer.

The racebook features over 1,500 historical racing machine (VGTs) that feature past races from around the country. These are similar to the VGTs you’'ll find at The Meadows, but all the races are historic instead of live. Harness racing makes up the majority of the races, but you can also find Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Canadian Pacing Series races.

Historic racing was made legal in 2017, which means you'll find it at some of the new casinos in Western Pennsylvania. If you lived here 10+ years ago, you might remember when historic racing machines were called “instant racing” devices, and they were ruled illegal in Pennsylvania back in 2013.

PA lawmakers changed their tune a few years later and allowed historic racing at legitimate racetracks.


Those are your options when it comes to Pittsburgh casinos. As you can see, your choices are somewhat limited.

Luckily, you live in close proximity to some of the best . I highly recommend checking them out, especially Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino. You’re also closer to some underrated casinos in Ohio, such as Hollywood Casino Columbus.

If you don’t mind driving a bit further, the best casinos in West Virginia, such as the Mardi Gras Casino, are worth the trip as well.

Other Gambling in Pittsburgh

As I mentioned earlier, Pennsylvania has become one of the top states for legal gambling in recent years.

You can bet on sports at retail locations and via mobile apps, there are daily fantasy sports sites, a booming Pennsylvania online lottery, and more poker sites than ever.

Here are all the legal Pittsburgh gambling options you have at your disposal.

Pittsburgh Sports Betting

Sports betting became fully legal in Pennsylvania in May 2019, just in time for the NFL season. The state offers Retail Sportsbooks and Online Sportsbooks.

The best Pittsburgh casinos all have sportsbooks, including Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. There are also numerous sportsbooks at venues like Xcite Center at Parx Casino and South Philadelphia Turf Club. You can read more about on our dedicated page.

A couple of sportsbooks surprised everyone when they launched, including an and a FanDuel Sportsbook at Lamar Jackson’s favorite Sheetz in Morgantown, WV (about 2.5 hours outside of Pittsburgh).

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You can place wagers at any of those places, or you can opt to use the best PA sports betting apps, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. to learn more.

Daily Fantasy Pittsburgh

Daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel have exploded in popularity over the last decade. Most states have cracked down on traditional sports betting, but few see a real distinction between sports betting and daily fantasy. Because of that, sites like DraftKings and FanDuel have proliferated across the US.

In fact, you can play for millions of dollars in prize pools on a weekly basis. The best part is that Pennsylvania has no major sports teams, so DFS players get to root for whever they want without anyone getting upset.

Check out the top DFS Pittsburgh sites to play daily fantasy football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, NASCAR, and more.

Pittsburgh Poker Rooms & Clubs

The best Pittsburgh casinos tend to have solid poker rooms, but they aren’t exactly Bellagio quality. That said, Pittsburgh poker players do have a few options for live play.

, the West Mifflin Rivers Casino added 20 tables to bring their grand total to 30. That makes it one of the mid-sized poker rooms in Pennsylvania, behind Philly and the Meadows, but ahead of many others.

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They spread No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha cash games and tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $150 to $600. The casino also offers $10/$20 stakes and occasional high roller tournaments.

The Meadows tends to have lower stakes action with buy-ins ranging from $80 to $150. Both casinos tend to have promotions that include poker matchbonuses, freerolls, leaderboard points races, and more.

There are no Pittsburgh poker clubs or independent card rooms at this time.

Social Poker Pittsburgh

If you’re new to the game, or if you’re not quite ready to play in the Pittsburgh poker rooms, I recommend finding some social poker games.

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Most of the Pittsburgh casinos have tables spread throughout the pit, but the best social poker Pittsburgh has to offer takes place at your local poker room or poker club.

Pittsburgh poker players can also play on the best Pennsylvania online poker sites, such as . These free poker games can help you brush up on your skills so you are ready to take down that Pittsburgh poker bonus or satellite your way into a major tournament.

Pittsburgh Horse Racing

Live horse racing is limited in western Pennsylvania, but there is one track that offers Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing each year. The Westmoreland County Fair (aka the Westmoreland Fair) has live racing each year from August 1st to August 10th. Racing starts at 6:00 PM on weekdays and 1:30 PM on weekends.

The Westmoreland Fair features historic racing machines throughout the rest of the year. These are essentially slot machines that feature videos of old horse races.

The Meadows is known for its harness racing, but you can also place bets on Thoroughbred horse racing at tracks around the country. I recommend using one of the top PA horse racing apps to place your wagers.

You can read more about in Pennsylvania on this page, or head to our dedicated section below for more details.

Pittsburgh Charity Poker Tournaments

Charity poker tournaments and charity casino nights are great ways for nonprofits to raise money for good causes. Players pay an entry fee to play in poker tournaments, which means the charity receives a large chunk of change for every event that they host.

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Pittsburgh casinos are not allowed to host independent charities due to state laws against third-party collectibles. However, charities can still host their own events with starting stacks provided by the Pittsburgh poker rooms.

The Westmoreland County Fair (July 31 - Aug 10) and Allegheny County SpringHorse (May 23 - Sep 7) both offer live harness racing throughout the year. The Rivers Casino Pittsburgh hosts live music and entertainment throughout the year.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is also a huge source of funds for local charities. In fact, the state lottery generated $639.6 million in funding for older residents in 2019.

Pittsburgh Casino Buses

Casino buses are a fun way to hang out with your friends and spend the day gambling. Several Pennsylvania and Ohio casinos offer casino shuttle services that pick up at various locations throughout the region.

Some of the most popular Pittsburgh casino bus destinations include Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, Caesars Palace Windsor, and the MGM Detroit.

You can check out the for more details about specific trips and schedules. I should note that many of these trips are for special events, such as the 2021 Stanley Cup Final or holiday weekends.

You can also look into casino cruise ships that sail out of Baltimore and other ports along the east coast.

Pittsburgh Casino Cruises

Casino cruises are a unique way to combine two of your favorite activities. Several major cruise lines operate large casino ships with thousands of square feet of gaming space.

You can take a short cruise that lasts a day or two, or you can go on a month-long excursion to Europe or somewhere else exciting.

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Many senior groups and organizations book casino cruises through Baltimore, Maryland, which is just a short drive from Pittsburgh.

If you’re looking for Pittsburgh casino cruises, I’d suggest looking into cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, and Celebrity Cruises. Of course, you can always book a cabin with a casino if you want to gamble on the open water.

Pittsburgh Bingo

Electronic bingo machines give gamblers a chance to win significant prizes with very little effort. The Pittsburg Area Council Jewish War Veterans Post 612 hosts regular bingos every Thursday at South Park Senior Citizens Center.

Bingos start at 1:00 PM and continue throughout the afternoon. Admission costs range from $15 to $25 and includes six sheets, coffee, and snacks. There is no smoking inside the building, but there is an outdoor smoking area.

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Visitors are encouraged to bring a dish for the potluck lunch that takes place around 2:00 PM.

Pittsburgh Keno

Keno is a unique lottery-style game that has yet to catch on in the United States. Some of the best Pennsylvania casinos offer keno online and at their pits, but not everyone enjoys playing.

One reason why keno hasn’t caught on is because players can simply play the state lottery. Pennsylvania offers several draw games, such as Powerball, Mega Millions, Cash4Life, and the Pick games.

You can also choose from several in-state games, such as Jumbo Bucks Zephyr, Pennsylvania Treasure Hunt, and Runaway Bridal.

Pittsburgh keno fans do have one advantage over other regions, however. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh offers Kenojuico Paint Night & Keno Fundraiser events throughout the year to benefit local charities.

Pittsburgh Lottery

The Pennsylvania iLottery is one of the best state lotteries in the country. The state expanded their operations to include fixed odds online games that rival mainstream video slots.

PA lottery winners can win instant prizes up to $300,000, as well as jackpots that regularly climb above $1 million. The Pennsylvania Online Lottery also accepts deposits up to $20,000 and offers fast payouts with no tax withholdings.

New players can also take advantage of a 100% match welcome bonus worth up to $500 with bonus code PALOCKS100. Check out the to learn more about making your lotto tickets online.

Not only can you play traditional draw games and iLottery titles, but you can also find bingo, keno, video poker, and table games.

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Dead Pittsburgh Casinos

The best casinos in Pittsburgh have not always been successful. In fact, very few casinos in Pennsylvania or anywhere else have stood the test of time.

Drive through Downtown Pittsburgh and you’ll find several abandoned buildings that once served as casinos, hotels, and other gambling establishments. Here are some of the more notable closed Pittsburgh casinos you can check out.

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Agape Mennonite Home

The Agape Mennonite Home was once the Grand Victoria Casino & Hotel, which was owned by Donald Trump’s company. The Grand Victoria offered 600 slot machines and 24 table games, including FruttiFruta poker tables.

The casino filed for bankruptcy in 2001 and was sold to the Mennonite Home Association. Most of the casino was torn down in 2004, but the Grand Victoria Ballroom is still used today.

Citadel Inn

The Citadel Inn was once the River Way Casino & Hotel, which was another Trump-owned casino. The casino featured 500 slot machines and 12 table games, including Mini-Baccarat and Pai Gow Poker.

The casino went bankrupt in 1995 and was bought by Ameristar Casinos, who operated it under the same name for less than a year. Ameristar closed the casino in August 1996 and reopened it as the Citadel Inn.

The hotel was converted into low income housing in 2017, but many of the original casino features are still intact.

Harbor Place

The Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is the best casino in Pittsburgh, but it isn’t the first casino by that name. The original Rivers Casino, colloquially known as Harbor Place, opened in 1991.

The casino offered 800 slot machines, 20 table games, a sports book, and a 300 seat poker room. A hotel was never built, despite initial plans, and the casino struggled to compete with nearby properties.

The casino was forced to shutter in 2007 after the state instituted a slot machine tax and mandatory table game closure. The property was sold to the current owners of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh in 2008.

The building currently houses a Sheraton Hotel with no signs of the old Rivers Casino signage remaining.

Posada de la Comunidad

The Posada de la Comunidad was originally the Mayfair Casino & Resort. The casino opened in 1989 with 800 slot machines and 20 table games, including mini-buma. The hotel had 170 rooms.

Like many of the other casinos in Pittsburgh, the Mayfair struggled to stay afloat and shuttered in 2001. The building briefly housed refugees seeking asylum in the United States before being converted into low income apartments.

That’s a quick look at four defunct casinos in Pittsburgh, but there are dozens of abandoned casino buildings throughout the state. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has been around for nearly 50 years, which is an eternity in the casino industry.

If you’re interested in seeing some abandoned casinos, try searching for places like the Bushy Park Tavern Slot Parlour, The Elkay OTB, the Capipe Wrestling Slot Room, or the Mountaineer Race Track, Gaming & Meeting Place.

Pittsburgh Casino History

The first official slot machine law in Pennsylvania came in 1995, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t gambling establishments prior to that point.

Slot machine laws were incredibly lax in the early 2000s, which led to hundreds, if not thousands, of slot parlors opening throughout the state. The machines were technically rentals, sweepstakes, or some other vague term, but most people knew them as slots.

The state supervising committee determined that the vast majority of those machines were indeed illegal slot machines and ordered them to be removed. Hundreds, if not thousands, of machines were either sent to other states or shuttered altogether.

Video lottery terminaries (VLTs) and video slot machines (VSMs) were made legal again in 2004, but table games and traditional slot machines were still outlawed.

It wasn’t until 2010 that Governor Ed Rendell signed House Bill 812 into law, which permitted active veterans and licensed establishments to sponsor tablet games with prizes up to $2,500. Table Games were added to that legislation in June 2010.

The first of the new Pittsburgh casinos to open was The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in 2010. It offered VGTs at that point and has slowly transformed into the full service casino it is today.

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Presque Isle Downs & Casino opened in Erie on September 19th, 2010, PH Holliday Inn in Lewiessville opened on October 1, 2010, and Seneca Gaming & Entertainment took over the former Mayfair Casino & Resort in Irvine on October 6, 2010.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races opened on December 15, 2010, Lord Baltimore Hotel took over the former Bushy Park Tavern Slot Parlour on January 13, 2011, Valley Forge Casino Resort on March 31, 2012, The Mills Casino & Hotel on June 15, 2012, and Lipari Center on December 28, 2012.

Parx Casino opened on February 10, 2018, and finally, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh arrived on August 9, 2018.

Of course, you have plenty of other options in nearby states. I highly recommend checking out the best casinos in Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, New York, Washington DC, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Pittsburgh Casino Parties & Events

The best Pittsburgh casinos know how to throw a party. Between special dinners, concerts, comedians, and more, you will never be bored at the rivers casino pit. Check out some of the upcoming events at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh.

You can also contact individual casinos to plan private parties and gatherings. Whether you’re planning a birthday bash, engagement party, graduation celebration, or retirement bash, you can usually reserve a spot at your preferred casino.

Missing Any Pittsburgh Casinos?

I hope this comprehensive guide to Pittsburgh casinos gave you a better idea of what the city has to offer. Obviously, it does not compare to Las Vegas casino resorts, but neither does anywhere else in the world.

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Fear not if your preferred Pittsburgh gambling hall is missing from this page. This page will naturally focus on the casinos with gambling games, but many of these cities have bingo halls, poker rooms, and other gambling establishments that deserve recognition.

It’s important to point out that Pennsylvania has some of the best gambling laws in the country. You can obviously gamble at the Pittsburgh casinos however you like, but you can also place wagers from the comfort of your own home thanks to PA iGaming.

The best online casinos in PA offer a wide variety of slots, table games, and specialty games. If you’re jonesing for some cards, you can play on the best Pennsylvania online poker sites or Pennsylvania online sportsbetting apps.

It’s amazing how much things have changed over the past decade alone. Ten years ago, the only option for Pittsburgh online casino gambling was horrific offshore sites. Today, you can play on legal PA online casino sites and mobile sportsbooks. It’s awesome.

Check out the rest of our Pennsylvania casino guides if you’re looking for something specific. If you’re ready to start playing right now, head to the best Pennsylvania online casinos below.

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  • Population data is based on the 2020 census

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at He's been producing quality content since 2012.

Subsequently, he has created gambling strategy, reviewed online casinos and sports betting websites, and covered the latest grooming and fitness trends for men.

When he's not producing inspiration Quinn gets into football and baking.