Pennsylvania sports betting overview
Legal Sports Report

PA Sports Betting Mobile Launches: Everything We Know Right Now

PA sports betting

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.

Which PA sports betting apps are available?

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:

App/WebsiteLaunch dateURL
SugarHouse Sportsbook PAMay 31, 2019PA.PlaySugarhouse.com
FanDuel Sportsbook PAJuly 22, 2019PA.Sportsbook.FanDuel.com
Rivers SportsbookJune 27, 2019PA.BetRivers.com
Parx SportsbookJune 27, 2019PA.ParxCasino.com

Where can I bet on sports in PA?

The 2017 law authorizes PA casinos and racinos to seek licenses for sports betting. That includes the 12 existing facilities, plus a 13th under construction in the stadium district of Philadelphia.

Here’s the current list of retail sportsbooks in PA:

PropertySupplier/PartnerOpening date
HollywoodWilliam HillNovember 16, 2018
SugarHouseKambiDecember 13, 2018
RiversKambiDecember 13, 2018
ParxKambiJanuary 10, 2019
South Philadelphia Turf ClubKambiJanuary 16, 2019
Harrah’s PhiladelphiaScientific GamesJanuary 24, 2019
Valley ForgeFanDuelMarch 12, 2019
Valley Forge Race and SportsbookKambiMarch 13, 2019
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibetTBA
Mount AiryBetStarsTBA
Presque Isle DownsCDITBA

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.

Can I bet on sports in PA?

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:

  • Athletes, coaches, officials, related personnel, etc. (on games within their league)
  • Excluded gamblers (on all games)

Is DraftKings Sportsbook legal in PA?

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.

Is FanDuel Sportsbook legal in PA?

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.

What sports can I bet on in PA?

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.

Map of PA sportsbooks

  • Green: Sportsbook open
  • Yellow: Will offer sports betting
  • Red: Has not applied
  • Purple: Satellite casino

What about PA online gambling?

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.

More PA sports betting details

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:

Eric Ramsey
- Eric is a reporter and writer covering regulated US gambling, sports betting, and DFS. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.
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