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The casino industry is booming in greater Philadelphia. Loose slots, sports books, and specialty poker offerings abound at these properties that are convenient to city dwellers and residents in the neighboring suburbs. There are more options now than ever, so it’s hard to know where to go for a fun time. We’ve visited them all to see which ones are the best casinos in Philadelphia and nearby.
Before you head out, it’s important to set your expectations. If you’re looking for a grand night out or a getaway with lots of entertainment, dining, and spa treatments, your best bet likely remains heading to the famous Atlantic City casinos. But if you’re more interested in gambling in a nice environment closer to home, the options around Philadelphia are solid. Here’s a look at what to expect.
Our favorite casino in Philadelphia is actually a little bit northeast of the city in Bensalem. About a half hour away, Parx Casino has lots of gaming choices plus a good mix of restaurants and some of the best entertainment around.
We’ve been both for a concert and to check out the table games. Spending time here is literally a breath of fresh air, as it’s the only casino we visited where we weren’t overwhelmed by the smell of stale cigarette smoke.
When it comes to gaming, Parx has over 3000 slots and over 100 table games, including roulette, craps, and baccarat. If poker is your game, the 48-table poker room has a range of stakes, including 3 VIP high-limit tables plus tournaments that you can track online. For something outside of Las Vegas, it’s nice.
I am not a sports better, but lots of people love the 24-hour Parx Casino Sportsbook where you can watch up to 36 games at any time. Parx East, which is adjacent to the main casino, is famous for its live horse racing Monday through Wednesday.
Top restaurants at the property include Liberty Bell Gastropub that offers dinner daily with salads, seafood, rotisserie, and a range of burgers. Next door, the Asian restaurant Bambu has everything from sushi to Peking duck at lunch and dinner. Chickies & Pete’s, the stalwart Philadelphia sports bar, is a reliable standby. Make sure to wash the cheese sauce off your hands before you head back to the slots.
One big draw at Parx is the 1500-seat Xcite Center that hosts big name entertainment acts. Its size means there’s not really a bad seat in the house to see performers ranging from Emmylou Harris to Tracy Morgan. We came to a concert here last fall and would definitely return.
Live! Casino & Hotel
Uniquely positioned in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, Live! Casino and Hotel has increased the entertainment quotient of South Philly. Full of energy pretty much any time of day, the casino is a fun place to visit regardless of whether there are home games at the surrounding stadiums.
Live! offers a little bit for everyone, including gaming, entertainment, good food, and top-notch accommodations. The casino has 2100 slots and live table games as well as FanDuel Sportsbook with 24 TVs.
The casino opened in early 2021, so everything inside—including air filtration—is still quite new, which is great for both casino visitors and hotel guests. We spent two nights here in the summer for work and were pleased with how updated everything is and that the mild smoky smell from the casino floor didn’t carry up to our well-appointed room.
This casino is less an entertainment destination than some of the others on our list, likely because its within steps of the Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers. However, there are often concerts, comedy shows, and sports exhibitions from nationally recognized talents.
When it comes to food, there are several great Philly classics like the Asian recipes of Sang Kee Noodle House and Geno’s Steaks—while not my very favorite cheesesteaks, they’re decent if you have a late-night craving. For something sweet, hit up Termini Bros. They’re famous for their cannoli, but we love the limoncello cake and cheesecake. For drinks, Sports & Social—complete with a 52-foot-tall TV screen—is one of the best sports cars in the city.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood is home to the city’s first casino. Formerly known as Sugarhouse, Rivers Casino is located on the banks of the Delaware River.
The gaming experience here is much like you would hope for at any good casino. Over 1500 slots and over 100 table games ensure that there is always plenty to choose from, even when it’s busy. As at Parx, Rivers is known for its poker offerings—there are 28 tables and at least one tournament every day.
The BetRivers Sportsbook is the place for sports betting. More than a dozen games can be shown at any time in the 5700-square-foot space. It’s a good place to hang out because you can order drinks from the Sportsbook bar and food from Jack’s Bar & Grill, which serves elevated bar fare and classics like crab cakes and steaks (head into the restaurant for great views of the river).
It’s the food that elevates Rivers above some of the competition. Martorano’s Prime is a new addition destination restaurant that focuses on Italian American cuisine. Don’t miss the meatballs here. For something as tasty but much quicker, check out Martorano’s Sicilian Slice for some of the best Sicilian pizza around.
Expect ID checks and security screening when you visit.
Wind Creek Bethlehem
One of the best casino resorts in Pennsylvania, Wind Creek Casino in Bethlehem is ideal for people looking for a good casino and entertainment combined with an excellent hotel. About halfway between New York and Philadelphia, Wind Creek draws people in search of a getaway.
We’ve been visiting this property since its early days when the Sands Casino was built on the grounds of the old Bethlehem Steel plant; it changed hands and became Wind Creek in 2019. Today, its gaming zone boasts over 3,000 slots and 200 table games. The 20-table poker room, which has been recently redone, is a popular destination for poker lovers.
Because of its location between two major cities, the casino draws lots of high profile acts year-round. Everyone from John Legend to Penn & Teller and Jerry Seinfeld make appearances here, so it’s worth checking their entertainment calendar.
If you go to a show, it’s also convenient to stay over because of the 500+ hotel rooms. The property underwent a $160 million renovation last year, which included room upgrades, a pool, and lots of bells and whistles that make it the nicest place to stay in the area. The massive Spa at Wind Creek has views of the old Bethlehem Steel Stacks (which, incidentally, is also another entertainment venue, if you’re looking for even more to do).
While the on-site outlet mall isn’t as strong as it once was (let’s be honest—few malls are), it still has shops like Coach, Michael Kors, and Tommy Hilfiger. Restaurants like Carlo’s Bakery of Cake Boss fame and Chop House are also worth a visit. Reservations are recommended at the latter.
Valley Forge Casino Resort
A little smaller than some of the other casinos near Philadelphia, Valley Forge Casino Resort has been a reliable option for over 10 years. It’s made that much more attractive because it’s close both to the city and to the King of Prussia Mall, which is a regional destination for high-end shopping. It’s also near Valley Forge Park, if you need a dose of history or the outdoors.
Dining options are limited at Valley Forge with the most popular restaurant, Revolution Chop House, open for dinner on Wednesday through Sunday. Copper Whisk is good for breakfast or lunch but is only open on weekends.
We have not stayed in the hotel on-site, but reviews are somewhat mixed depending on the age of the room. On the plus side, an outdoor pool is open seasonally, and there is even a tiki bar.
In the casino itself, there are over 850 slot machines and 50 live tables with blackjack, craps, Pai Gow poker, and more. There is also a FanDuel Sportsbook with dozens of TVs, if sports betting is your thing. It’s a good option, but other than location, there’s nothing extremely special that sets Valley Forge apart from other casinos in the area.
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack
Harrah’s has standard options, including over 1500 slot machines waiting to part you from your money. Table games include blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps, and Caesars Sportsbook is the place for sports betting.
The main selling point here is harness racing (think: chariots in Ben-Hur). The season spans 130 days of racing from April through December. We haven’t had the chance to see it in person yet, which may be why the atmosphere at Harrah’s felt pretty dead during our visit, but the photos we’ve seen of the sport are intriguing. If you’re south of the city, don’t hesitate to check it out.