PA Sports Betting: Full Guide to Legal Gambling in Pennsylvania

PA sports betting is now legal, in both retail and online form.

Best Legal Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania became the seventh state to introduce legalized sports betting following the landmark US Supreme Court decision of 2018 we’ll get into in more detail later in this guide.

There are currently 10 land-based sportsbooks where you can place a bet in person in Pennsylvania, 6 of which are located in Philadelphia.

Online sports betting is also legal in Pennsylvania, and most of the land-based sportsbooks accepting bets in the state are in the process of developing apps and mobile sites to allow betting on computers and mobile devices.

The launch of the first online sportsbook in the state of Pennsylvania happened in May 2019.

This page has everything you need to know about sports betting in Pennsylvania. We give a thorough overview of the current situation of sports betting in the state, including:

  • Where residents of the Keystone State can go to place their sports bets.
  • A rundown of the current sports betting laws in Pennsylvania.
  • A look at the history of gambling and sports betting for some context on the current situation.
  • The best online sportsbooks and betting sites available in Pennsylvania.
  • A look at what the future holds for legal online sports betting in the Keystone State.

If you’re wondering whether sports betting is legal where you live, we’ve got legal sports betting guides for every US state in the country.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting News

Pennsylvania Casino Closures Due to Coronavirus Fears
Pennsylvania Casino Closures Due to Coronavirus Fears
With the spread of the coronavirus more and more public spaces are beginning to close their doors, the same is true for Pennsylvania casinos. Read more here! …
News iconMarch 16
Author iconEvan Henningsen
Pennsylvania Gaming Board Chief Excited by State’s Betting Expansion
Pennsylvania Gaming Board Chief Excited by State’s Betting Expansion
Kevin O’ Toole, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Board, recently gave the media an overview of the state’s successful betting expansion. Read more he …
News iconFebruary 25
Author iconDerek Blake
Why Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) Have Boosted Pennsylvania Betting
Why Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) Have Boosted Pennsylvania Betting
The new video gaming terminals in Pennsylvania have boosted the state’s bottom line, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. Read more here! …
News iconFebruary 21
Author iconDerek Blake
Indiana and Pennsylvania Post Strong October Revenue Figures
Indiana and Pennsylvania Post Strong October Revenue Figures
Enjoying another month of revenue from professional and college football betting, Indiana and Pennsylvania sportsbooks report surging October figures.
News iconNovember 21
Author iconDerek Blake
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Slams Pennsylvania Sports Betting
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Slams Pennsylvania Sports Betting
Speaking at a gaming conference in Las Vegas, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie slammed the problems with Pennsylvania’s launch of sports betting.
News iconOctober 21
Author iconDerek Blake
FanDuel Rules the Pennsylvania Betting Market in September
FanDuel Rules the Pennsylvania Betting Market in September
Fueled by the first month of the NFL season, FanDuel Sportsbook PA topped the competition with close to $89 million in betting handle for September.
News iconOctober 21
Author iconDerek Blake

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Quick Facts about Online Sports Betting in PA
Population:12,807,060
Median household income:$59,195
Online sports betting legal since:2017
Licensed sportsbooks:DraftKings, FanDuel, SugarHouse, Caesars, William Hill Sportsbook, Unibet, Rush Street, BetRivers, Parx

The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Pennsylvania

Sports betting officially became legal in Pennsylvania in November 2018 when the Hollywood Casino in Grantville booked the first sports bet in the state. The Hollywood is joined by six other casinos in Pennsylvania who have applied to operate a sportsbook, all of which are expected to be operational by the end of January 2019.

Like we mentioned before, Pennsylvania was given the opportunity to determine its own sports betting laws in May 2018, when the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA had been in place since 1992 and acted as a federal ban on sports betting across the US, with the exception of Nevada.

Some states, like Pennsylvania, had been preparing for this in advance. The current sports betting situation in the Keystone state is dictated by a sports betting bill that was passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2017. Once PASPA was repealed, the bill came into effect immediately.

Here are the main points of Pennsylvania’s legal sports betting bill:

  • The bill allows wagering on both professional and college events.
  • Online betting is fully legal from regulated online sportsbooks.
  • You must be 21 years old to place a bet.
  • To run a sportsbook, operators must pay for a $10,000,000 license fee and their revenue will be taxed at 36%. This makes Pennsylvania the state with the highest sports betting tax in the US.
  • Many of the state’s casinos have already applied for sports betting licenses with up to seven expected to be open in January 2019.

Online betting is completely legal under the new bill. As of the end of 2018, the majority of the new sportsbooks are scheduled to begin offering online betting within the first quarter of 2019.

Many are likely to follow the lead of the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, which has developed its own sports betting app that is already being used in New Jersey, where sports betting is also legal. Other operators are in a similar situation with apps already functional in other jurisdictions.

In May 2019, the first online sportsbooks went live in the Keystone State. The first online casinos are scheduled to go live sometime in July 2019. This is the latest information provided by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

The launch of the first online sportsbook in the state of Pennsylvania happened in May 2019.

If you’re wondering whether sports betting is legal where you live, we’ve got legal sports betting guides for every US state in the country.

Let’s take a look at betting law summary in bullet form and then we’ll dig into the details:

PA Sports Betting Laws Summary

  • New laws allow sports betting at casinos and racetracks in Pennsylvania including on all pro sports, college games and international sporting events..
  • Online sports betting is allowed too but the sites must also operate a land-based venue for sports gambling.
  • Legal requirements to vote include being over 21 and being inside the state lines while placing bets.
  • No betting on esports is currently allowed.
  • Betting is not allowed on high school sports.
  • Sports betting tax rates in PA are some of the highest in the country at 36% compared to NJ’s rate of 8.5% causing some controversy whether or not sportsbooks will provide as many services as they do in other states.

In late October 2017 PA Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill into law authorizing a myriad of new gaming options for the state including legal sports betting.

Since then a lot of progress has been made to get the state up to speed when it comes to sports betting. Now many sportsbooks have partnered with brick and mortar casinos to open online sports betting. Meaning that in the Keystone State it is now legal to bet on your mobile device.

Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks

There are currently 8 PA online sports betting websites and apps that are accepting wagers legally in the Keystone State:

  1. SugarHouse Sportsbook
  2. DraftKings Sportsbook
  3. FanDuel Sportsbook
  4. Parx Sportsbook
  5. BetRivers Sportsbook
  6. Unibet Sportsbook
  7. Fox Bet
  8. BetAmerica

Four other operators are expected to join the list of legal PA sports betting apps and websites:

  1. Harrah’s Sportsbook
  2. Hollywood Casino (Penn National)
  3. Wind Creek
  4. Philly Live! Casino

Downtown Harrisburg, PA

The History of Online Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the states that has been preparing for legal sports betting for a while. The bill that they passed in 2017 prefigured the repeal of PASPA, so it did not actually come into effect until almost a year later.

Led by Rep. Rob Matzie and Rep. Rick Kotik, the history of the bill really begins in 2015 when Kotik announced his attention to convert the unregulated sports betting already happening in Pennsylvania into a legal and regulated form of entertainment, which would generate revenue for the state.

At the same time, both men began to campaign to have Congress repeal the federal ban. Over the next three years, both events came to pass.

The move wasn’t surprising as there’s been a strong tradition of gambling in the state going back many years. Casinos were made legal in 2004 and the industry has grown steadily since then, making it the second-largest casino state in the US today.

Slots, table games, and live poker tables are all legal in Pennsylvania, as well as horse racing. Pennsylvania has a state lottery which features multi-state games like the Mega Millions.

All these gambling options mean that while the push for legal sports betting has only really taken hold in the last few years, the tradition of gambling in the state has created an ultra-receptive culture.

In order for an online sportsbook to be legal in Pennsylvania, it must have a brick and mortar gambling establishment—be it casino or horse racing track. A company cannot exclusively operate an online sports betting business in Pennsylvania. For that reason, all offshore sportsbooks remain illegal in Pennsylvania and can be detected by unconventional URL endings such as .eu.

The below Pennsylvania sportsbooks are already taking bets 100% legally.

Click on any individual PA online sportsbook or sportsbook app to read an expert review of it and get more information, including any bonus codes/promo codes you may need to enter to benefit from potential no-deposit bonuses or a riskfree bet.

SportsbookLand-Based PartnerSports Betting PlatformLaunch Date
The Book SportsbookHarrah’s Philadelphia Casino and RacetrackOpenBet Technologies Limited01-24-2019
UnibetMohegan Sun PoconoUnibet11-01-2019
Parx Online SportsbookParx CasinoKambi01-10-2019
BetRiversRivers Casino PittsburghRush Street12-13-2018
Fox BetMount Airy Casino ResortThe Stars Group9-01-2019
William Hill USHollywood Casino at Penn National Race CourseWilliam Hill11-16-2018
BetAmericaPresque Isle Downs CasinoSBTech Malta06-01-2019
SugarHouseRivers Casino PhiladelphiaRush Street12-13-2018
FanDuelValley Forge Casino ResortFanDuel03-12-2019
DraftKingsThe Meadows Racetrack and CasinoDraftKings12/11/2018

All these betting sites are affiliated with the physical casino or racetrack in brackets and are based in Pennsylvania, ensuring a safe and secure betting experience for the public.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board maintains a list of websites with a license to operate in the state.

PA Sports Betting Websites’ Land-Based Partners

The map below shows the location of the land-based partners of each online sportsbook licensed in Pennsylvania:

Retails Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania

Below you can find more detailed information about each of the retail sportsbooks that have applied for an online gambling license in Pennsylvania:

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course

The interior of Hollywood Casino in Pennsylvania

Image source: Google Street View

SugarHouse Casino

The exterior of SugarHouse Casino in Pennsylvania

Image source: Google Street View

Rivers Casino

The exterior of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh

Image source: Google Street View

Parx Casino

The exterior of Parx Casino in Pennsylvania

Image source: Google Street View

South Philadelphia Turf Club

The exterior of the South Philadelphia Turf Club

Image source: Google Street View

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack

The exterior of the Harrah's Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack

Image source: Google Street View

Valley Forge Casino Resort

The exterior of the Valley Forge Casino Resort

Image source: Google Street View

Valley Forge Race & Sportsbook

The exterior of the Valley Forge Race & Sportsbook

Image source: Google Street View

Presque Isle Downs & Casino

The exterior of Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania

Image source: Google Street View

Mount Airy Casino Resort

Aerial view of Mount Airy Casino Resort in Pennsylvania

Image source: Google Street View

Mohegan Sun Pocono

The exterior of Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania

Image source: Google Street View

Pennsylvania Sportsbook Sponsorships

Ever since sports betting became legal in Pennsylvania, licensed sportsbooks and casinos have sought to close sponsorship deals with individuals, sports teams and leagues but as yet none have been announced.

New Jersey sports teams are already reaping the benefits of belonging to the US state with the most sophisticated legal sports betting market.

The NHL team Nw JerseyDevils alone boast 3 sponsorship deals, with William Hill, Caesars, and FanDuel. These deals include a branded lounge area and advertisement exposure.

Below you can see a full list of sponsorship deals signed by Pennsylvania sportsbooks and casinos.

There are no announced partnerships yet but that may change as the market matures.

What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Pennsylvania?

Almost all sports are available for betting in Pennsylvania, including major leagues like MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL. For the most part, college sports like NCAA are available too, but there are some exceptions. High school sports can’t be bet on at all.

To give you an idea of what’s available, check out the following sports offered by DraftKings Sportsbook, which offers spread betting, live betting, moneyline betting, futures, prop bets, and more:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NHL
  • NASCAR
  • MMA
  • Soccer
  • CFL
  • CFB
  • Tennis

The only major restrictions when it comes to sports betting in PA are restrictions on esports. Check your sportsbook to see what events are available.

People directly employed by leagues (such as coaches and players) are also banned from sports betting on their own leagues.

If you’re only just starting out and would like to learn more about sports betting, we encourage you to read our sports betting guide.

The state of sports in the Keystone State

Football

Pennsylvania has got a pretty strong claim to being the home of modern NFL football and a lot of that is thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the all-time Super Bowl record holders with six titles since 1974. They also have the best Super Bowl winning-percentage, having appeared in eight Super Bowl games.

Throw in the Philadelphia Eagles who claimed their first Super Bowl title in 2017 by beating the New England Patriots in one of the all-time great NFL games, and you can see why NFL is such a big deal in the Keystone state.

College sports are perfectly legal to be on in Pennsylvania too, and that is just as well because the state has some of the oldest and juiciest rivalries in all of American sports.

Derby games between the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh have literally been going on for hundreds of years. Given the sheer number of world-class universities in the state, it is no wonder that there are 14 NCAA Division 1 programs.

Even local high school football games regularly get crowds in five figures so there’s no doubt Pennsylvanians will learn how to bet on football and start placing NFL bets online as well.

Basketball

The Philadelphia 76ers, proud owners of three NBA championships, represent the state in the NBA. The 76ers are one of the most iconic teams in the game.

There are a couple of other professional teams found in the state playing in the minor leagues. Huge names like Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain hail from the Keystone state.

Baseball

An impressive seven World Series titles can be found in Pennsylvania. Five of these are possessed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, although the second of the Philadelphia Phillies’ titles has come more recently, in 2008.

Both teams were formed in the 1800s and their rivalry has been a big part of life in the state since then. You can also find a number of minor league baseball teams to bet on.

Hockey

Hockey is another major sport with a big in-state rivalry. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the most successful NHL team in the state, with five Stanley Cups on the record books.

They were formed as an expansion team at the same time as their great rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have two Stanley Cups of their own, although their last win came in 1975. A further five professional Hockey teams find their home in Pennsylvania.

Other Sports

Philadelphia has an MLS team, the Philadelphia Union, who were formed in 2008 and are still awaiting their first championship win.

College programs from the state’s many universities have scores of NCAA National titles in a variety of sports.

The state plays host to motorsport and bicycle racing events, and PGA tournament golf courses.

Pennsylvania is a state steeped in sporting tradition. It is not hard to see why sports betting has been so widely accepted. Of course, if residents don’t want to bet local, sportsbooks in the Keystone state will be booking bets on sports from across the US and around the world.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue

The total PA sports betting handle for 2019 stood at $1.49 billion.

The total sports betting revenue in 2019 amounted to $92.1 million.

While the numbers are impressive, it should be noted that Pennsylvania enforces a 36% effective tax rate on operators.

Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in Pennsylvania?

Yep. Provisions for Fantasy Sports were included in the 2017 sports betting bill.

Fantasy sports are now fully legal and regulated in Pennsylvania, and there are currently ten licensed operators including DraftKings and FanDuel. The minimum age to bet on fantasy sports is 18.

How to Bet on Sports Legally in PA

If you’re a resident of Pennsylvania or visiting the state, there are a few main ways to place bets on your favorite sports and they’re all really convenient.

The easiest and most convenient way is to use one of the online sports betting sites we covered earlier. There are lots to choose from and with the level of competition, attractive bonuses and promotions are often available to new customers, so make sure you are taking advantage of them.

Take a look at our full PA sports betting bonus guide for a full and up-to-date list of sportsbook offers in Pennsylvania.

If you’re in Pennsylvania now, check out our list of recommended sites to easily compare what they offer in terms of sports, bets, odds and bonuses.

The signup process is really simple. After you choose a site you’ll have to provide some personal information, choose a username and password and confirm that you’re 21 years or older.

If you’re a sports betting beginner, make sure to check out our guides to betting for tons of valuable information.

The second way to place bets is to physically go to a casino or sportsbook. There are lots of different options including the ones we listed above that are an affiliate with the online betting sites.

Going to a live sportsbook is a great experience since you can watch the games with a big group of other gamblers. The atmosphere is electric and it definitely adds a different dimension to the gambling experience.

For more details about the betting process, read our guide on how to bet in Pennsylvania.

What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in the Keystone State?

Sports betting in Pennsylvania is a fresh industry that is set to only grow in the following months and years. Since PASPA was repealed in May 2018, casinos, sportsbooks and fantasy sports operators have all been scrambling to take advantage of the multi-billion dollar opportunity.

With one of the highest taxes levied on sports betting in the country, many speculated that growth in this new market would be seriously stunted. Despite the heavy tax PA now has a robust market of sportsbooks available to residents. This may be because mobile betting (betting on sports with a mobile device) was approved in the state, something that many other states that have approved sports betting have yet to do.

What Kind of Withdrawal Processes are Available in PA?

There are currently 7 sportsbooks operating in IN.

Each has a different mix of withdrawal processes and withdrawal methods to choose from and some offer a welcome bonus or deposit bonus for you betting online with them.

Check out our Fastest Payout Sportsbooks guide for everything you may want to know about the various payout processes and betting lines.

In the Footsteps of New Jersey – How We Got Here

In May 2018 the US Supreme Court overturned a long-standing federal ban on sports betting and gave each state the authority to create their own laws governing it.

The decision has opened up a multi-billion dollar opportunity in the US, and many states have wasted zero time jumping on board.

More and more states are joining Nevada in offering fully legal and regulated sports betting all the time.

Plenty more states have been debating the issue and preparing legalization bills. Indiana is currently in this latter stage of the process.

The movement towards legalized sports betting was led by the state of New Jersey after a poll conducted found that over 90% of residents approved of legalization.

However, legalization met legal troubles and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court that eventually sided with New Jersey and legalized the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)

This decision left it up to individual states to decide for themselves to allow sports betting within their territory. To learn more about New Jersey’s legal struggles to gain the right to sports betting click here.

Pennsylvania Problem Gambling Help Resources

The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs have set up a Problem Gambling helpline with a 24-hour addiction hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER as well as text or chat options.

There is also a request for voluntary self-exclusion from gambling activities option ran by the PA Gaming Control Board. Visit their site for more information.

Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting FAQs

Here are answers to the Pennsylvania sports betting questions we’re asked most frequently:

Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Since the legal groundwork was laid well before the US Supreme Court repealed the federal ban on sports betting, Pennsylvania was quick to start accepting legal sports bets in 2018.

Do you pay taxes on sports betting in Pennsylvania?

Yes. A tax rate of 36% is applied to all income from gambling making it one of the highest betting taxes in the country.

Where can I bet on sports in PA?

Legal sports wagers are now being accepted at a number of land-based sportsbooks located in existing casinos including Rivers Casino, SugarHouse Casino, Parx Casino and the South Philadelphia Turf Club.

Mobile betting is also legal in PA.

What sports can I bet on in PA online?

Fortunately, Pennsylvania’s sports betting bill clearly includes legal online sports gambling. Many casinos in the state have made partnerships with or created their own mobile sportsbooks. As long as you are within state lines mobile betting is legal.

What sports are illegal to bet on in PA?

Betting on high school sports is not allowed and neither is esports betting for the time being. All sports offered by the sportsbook of your choice can be trusted to be legal. Remember to only use reputable sportsbooks since illegal sportsbooks are dangerous and you may lose your money and also get a heavy fine from the PA Gambling Authority.

Is it illegal to bet using off-shore sports betting websites?

Yes, only regulated sports betting with licensed casinos of their affiliated apps are allowed. Offshore sites are illegal following the US Supreme Court decision on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). We recommend choosing one of the many legal and excellent options listed on this page.

What other states is sports betting legal in?

Online gambling is currently legal in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Iowa, and Indiana with more to come in the coming months and years.

New Mexico and Oregon also have some forms of legal sports betting with Native American Tribes and state lotteries getting into the action.

References

Updated: February 19, 2020

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