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Live testing of online PA sports betting began today with SugarHouse Sportsbook standing first in line. The platform went live for web-based and Android devices on Tuesday, with the iOS app still pending approval in Pennsylvania.
In-person PA sports betting kicked off late last year, and eight retail sportsbooks now take wagers. Lessons from neighboring New Jersey, however, underscore the importance of mobile betting to the bottom line. More than 80% action in the Garden State comes through NJ sports betting apps.
At long last, that option is now available to bookmakers and bettors alike in Pennsylvania.
What follows is a rundown of everything you need to know about PA sports betting. Scroll down for a map of retail locations and details about the financial framework.
Eligible bettors in PA don’t need to leave home to bet legally on sports anymore. The law authorizes Pennsylvania online and mobile betting statewide — including remote account registration — and the first options became available this week.
Here’s the status of the likely first wave of PA sports betting apps:
|Rank||App/Website||Launch date||Bonus offer|
|1.||DraftKings Sportsbook||November 2019||$25 free + up to $500 risk-free bet|
|2.||FanDuel Sportsbook PA||July 2019||Up to $500 risk-free bet|
|3.||Unibet||November 2019||$20 free + Up to $250 risk-free bet|
|4.||SugarHouse Sportsbook PA||May 2019||100% match up to $250|
|5.||Rivers Sportsbook||June 2019||100% match up to $250|
|6.||Fox Bet||September 2019||$20 free bet + $100 risk-free bet|
Here’s the current list of retail sportsbooks in PA:
|Hollywood||William Hill||November 16, 2018|
|SugarHouse||Kambi||December 13, 2018|
|Rivers||Kambi||December 13, 2018|
|Parx||Kambi||January 10, 2019|
|South Philadelphia Turf Club||Kambi||January 16, 2019|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Scientific Games||January 24, 2019|
|Valley Forge||FanDuel||March 12, 2019|
|Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook||Kambi||March 13, 2019|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Unibet||TBA|
|Presque Isle Downs||CDI||TBA|
Regulations also permit OTBs and satellite casinos to offer sports betting under the license of their respective parent property. Two OTBs are already booking sports wagers, and most (or all) of the mini-casinos should follow suit in due time.
The four PA casinos not on the list have not applied for licensure.
Pennsylvania sports bettors must be at least 21 years old and physically located within PA borders. Residency is not a requirement, but operators cannot accept bets that physically originate from outside state borders.
Apart from the geographical restrictions, PA sportsbooks may not take bets from:
It is, but so far DraftKings Sportsbook does not have a path into the PA sports betting market despite a market-access deal with Caesars Entertainment. The initial leader in NJ sports betting has not yet announced a Pennsylvania casino partnership.
FanDuel Sportsbook is partnered with Valley Forge and launched its retail operation in March. We expect FanDuel Sportsbook’s well-received mobile app to arrive in Pennsylvania before too long, but it’s not active just yet.
PA sportsbook operators can offer wagering on both professional and collegiate sports. This makes Pennsylvania sports betting slightly more permissive than neighboring New Jersey, where the law prohibits action on in-state universities and student-athletes.
PA sportsbooks accept bets on all popular American sports and leagues, including the NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. In fact, novelty markets and esports wagering are some of the only prohibited forms of PA sports betting.
Daily fantasy sports is also legal and regulated in PA, thanks to that 2017 law.
The same law that facilitates legal sports betting in Pennsylvania also includes provisions for full-scale PA online gambling. That includes slots and table games, along with online poker sites and a new PA online lottery.
The iGaming framework parallels sports betting in PA, with digital brands tied to land-based casino licenses. Mostly, at least.
Foreigners Golden Nugget and MGM will also participate in the market after securing approval under the Qualified Gaming Entities provision.
Unlike sportsbooks, however, regulations place no cap on the number of PA online gambling skins. According to the PGCB, the first platforms will roll out on July 15.
Our sister site, Online Poker Report, has a version of this page tailored to non-sports expansion. Here’s everything you need to know about PA online gambling.
Pennsylvania’s financial framework is on the oppressive end of the scale for sportsbook operators among the eight states with legal sports betting.
Licenses to offer PA sports betting cost $10 million apiece, the steepest fee in the country. The state taxes revenue at a rate of 34% and local jurisdictions collect another 2%, creating a total effective rate of 36%. Like all US sportsbooks, those in Pennsylvania are also subject to a federal excise tax amounting to 0.25% of the total amount wagered.
Regulations impose tight controls on advertising and branding, too. Casino licensees are limited to one online/mobile platform apiece, and it must display the parent brand prominently — even in the case of a third-party provider.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulates sports betting in PA.
Here are some useful links: