Pennsylvania Sports Betting

Pennsylvania sports betting is now legal and regulated, with a growing and robust industry that first launched in 2018 and expanded online in 2019.

With a variety of companies operating platforms for legal sports betting in PA, bettors continue to benefit from competition to acquire customers in the form of introductory promo offers. Read on for more information about the PA sports betting market:

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Legal sports betting in Pennsylvania

RESTRICTIONS & LICENSES

Legal, licensed and regulated

Pennsylvania legalized sports betting as part of a comprehensive gaming expansion in 2017. That law contained an activation clause which was recently met.

The US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban known as PASPA, clearing the way for state-based legislation. Prior to the ruling, Nevada held what amounted to a legal monopoly on single-game wagering in the US.

States are now permitted to set their own laws, and PA is poised to take full advantage of the opportunity to offer sports betting.

The law permits wagering on both professional and collegiate events. Bets can be placed in person, online, or on a mobile device. Bettors must be at least 21 years old.

License applicants are required to pay a one-time fee of $10 million for sports betting. Once granted, the licensee’s revenue is taxed at a rate of 36 percent.

PA sports betting falls under the regulation of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The PGCB is responsible for licensing, and the rigorous testing for online sportsbooks before they go live. Compliance and responsible gambling enforcement are also handled by the PGCB.

Official Seal

What is legal to bet on in PA?

You can now bet on all pro sports, college games, and international sporting events. The only legal requirements are that you are over 21, inside state lines, and not on a self-exclusion list; this applies to both live and online bets. There is no requirement to be a permanent resident of Pennsylvania.

There are some restrictions for betting:

  • Bets can only be taken on sports, not on things like the NFL draft, elections, and the Oscars.
  • No bets on esports.
  • Personnel involved in sports leagues (officials, coaches, etc.) can’t bet on their own sports

Horse racing is also available, though these are licensed separately. There are three legal online horse betting sites available in PA – along with actual racetracks and OTB facilities.

Best PA sports betting apps in 2021

Mobile PA sports betting launched in May 2019, with SugarHouse Sportsbook first to test its product and go fully live. By 2021, there were more than 10 PA sports betting apps on the market.

The launch was not without its hiccups. For the first two months, it was not possible to access a PA online sportsbook from any iOS device (iPhones and iPads). Some operators now do offer iOS functionality, but it is still a stumbling block for some. It’s always possible to bet from an Android device or desktop/laptop computer.

Below is a list of the top sports betting apps for iOS and Android.

Bonuses

First deposit receives up to $50 free bet, plus up to $1,000 in deposit bonuses

Features

Unique betting carousel, wide variety of markets including niche leagues

DraftKings Sportsbook App

The leading brand in daily fantasy sports is rapidly expanding into sports betting, and that includes PA. Using the sports betting license of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, DraftKings entered PA at the tail end of 2019 and is competing for the top spot in market share with FanDuel.

Read our full review of DraftKings

Bonuses

Get $40 free, plus up to $600 risk-free bet

Features

Offers in-play betting on major leagues, golf, soccer and tennis

Unibet Sportsbook App

A heavyweight in online gambling in Europe, Unibet is quickly getting serious about its aspirations in the US. Partnered with Mohegan Sun Pocono, the Unibet brand is not as well-known around the country or in Pennsylvania, but that could change in a hurry with a marketing push.

Read our full review of Unibet

Bonuses

Get up to $500 risk-free bet with deposit

Features

Offers early cash-out and excellent live betting features

Fox Bet Sportsbook App

BetStars became Fox Bet after being acquired by media giant Flutter in 2019, creating one of the more interesting tie-ups between an iGaming company and a media operation. Flutter plans to operate both the FanDuel and Fox Bet brands for the foreseeable future.

Read our full review of FOX Bet

Bonuses

Offering up to $1,000 risk-free bet for new players

Features

Built in live streaming for NHL, NHL, NBA and MLB

FanDuel Sportsbook App

FanDuel Sportsbook PA operates through the license of Valley Forge Casino Resort. The early market leader in New Jersey brings the same app with it to Pennsylvania, with geolocation technology used to determine where the bettor is located. FanDuel offers a risk-free bet up to $1,000 for new signups. FanDuel Sportsbook owns top market share in PA.

Read our full FanDuel review

Bonuses

Get up to $600 risk-free bet with a new account

Features

MGM provides regular odds boosts and wide range of betting markets

BetMGM Sportsbook App

BetMGM Sportsbook PA operates through the license of Hollywood Casino Morgantown, which is expected to open a mini-casino in 2021. The sports betting app offers a variety of markets and regular promotions, including odds boosts. BetMGM is offering up to $600 risk-free bet for new signups.

Read our full review of BetMGM

This brand is associated with the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh; it is also run by Rush Street Interactive and Kambi. You’ll get a matched bonus up to $250 based on your first deposit at the site. BetRivers and SugarHouse are sister sites, looking very similar and offering the same bonus deals.

Read our full BetRivers Sportsbook review

It took far longer than expected but gaming heavyweight Caesars launched its sportsbook app in Pennsylvania in March 2020. Caesars starts behind its rivals but carries a brand name that could help to close the gap quickly in an online-heavy market.

Read our full Caesars Sportsbook review

Barstool Sports, the controversial online sports media company, is expected to launch in PA in late summer 2020. Penn National Gaming bought a large stake in Barstool and will roll out the brand throughout its large footprint as a regional casino operator.

This brand leveraged its New Jersey experience to get a head start on the competition. SugarHouse’s sportsbook has a social feel, with contests, progress bars for bonuses, and lists of recent winners. You can bet on a huge range of sports on their platform. This was created by Rush Street Interactive and Kambi.

Parx — the biggest casino in PA in terms of revenue — has partnered with international giants GAN and Kambi for sports betting. You’ll get a $10 free bet to wager with and check out the site for signing up.

Latest PA sports betting news

Top PA sportsbooks at casinos

So far, these casinos have applied to offer sports betting or are live with wagering:

PropertySupplier/PartnerOpening date
Hollywood William 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
Presque Isle DownsCDIJuly 26, 2019
Mount AiryFox BetSeptember 12, 2019
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibetSeptember 24, 2019
Meadows Racetrack and CasinoDraftKingsOctober 30, 2019

Here is more information on the physical sportsbooks in the state:

1001 N Delaware Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(877) 477-3715

1160 1st Ave
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 354-8118

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

1780 Airport Road
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 266-6559

Monday-Thursday: Noon – 11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11:30 a.m. – Midnight

1280 PA-315
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
(570) 831-2100

Sunday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – Midnight

777 Harrah’s Blvd.
Chester, PA 19013
(484) 490-1800

Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. – close
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – close

777 Hollywood Blvd.
Grantville, PA 17028
(717) 469-2211

Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.

210 Racetrack Road
Washington, PA 15301
(724) 503-1200

777 Casino Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(412) 231-7777

Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 12 a.m.

312 Woodland Rd
Mt Pocono, PA 18344
(877) 682-4791

Monday-Friday: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m. – Midnight

2999 Street Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
1-888-LUV-PARX

24 hours a day

8199 Perry Highway
Erie, PA 16509
(866) ERIE – FUN

24 hours a day

How to start betting in Pennsylvania

Unless you have traveled to live sportsbooks in Nevada or (more recently) bet online or live in New Jersey – many of the options for sports betting will be new.

Here are the key steps for placing a bet online in Pennsylvania:

Get Started

PA sports betting basics

Registration: Once you have decided on a book, you’ll need to register. Only basic information is needed at this stage. This includes your name, email address, the last four digits of your Social Security number and location. Keep in mind that ID checks are needed following a deposit.

Depositing: Next you’ll need to fund your account. Some books offer free bets for new registrations. There are a lot of simple deposit methods.

Finding your bets: PA sportsbook apps organize their offering by sport. If you know what sport you want to bet on, it’s easy to navigate there via the launch screen. From there, just scroll till you find the game you want to bet on.

Placing your bets: You can add several bets to your bet slip. This is located on the right at most books. You can join bets together into parlays, or place single bets here. Add in the amount to bet, confirm that everything is ready, and place your bet.

Payment Methods

Depositing at PA online sportsbooks

A big advantage of regulated PA sportsbooks is that you can deposit with confidence. Not all of these options are available at all PA online sportsbooks. Withdrawals are usually handled using the same option as your deposit.

Here are the main deposit methods welcomed at online sportsbooks:

  • Credit / Debit Cards
  • Prepaid Cards
  • eCheck / ACH Transfer
  • PayPal or Skrill
  • PayNearMe
  • Casino Cage Payments
  • Wires / Money Orders
Bonus Types

Sportsbook bonuses in PA

When you first get started at a PA sportsbook, you will be confronted with a variety of offers as they vie for bettors’ attention. The size and competitive nature of the market make it a place where we will continue to see aggressive marketing efforts.

Some of the offers that PA sportsbooks feature:

  • Odds Boost

Improved odds on certain events that benefit the better.

  • Risk-free bet

Often tied to a deposit, a bettor will get site credit up to the amount of their bet if they lose. Usually tied to a first deposit.

  • Deposit bonus

Bonus match funds are added to your account to wager upon deposit. The bonus will usually match the deposit amount and require a playthrough before withdrawal.

  • No deposit bonus

Money to wager with that’s not tied to a deposit.

In-Game Wagering Available on Apps

Live betting options at PA sportsbooks

Innovations in online sports betting mean you can now place wagers on games as they occur. This is known as either in-play or live betting.

It works on mobile devices, and certainly adds interest while you are watching a match. The odds will update in real-time as the action unfolds – and you place bets in the usual way.

Some sportsbooks will offer early bet redemption, also known as cash-out betting.

Play Now

I'm ready. Where do I sign up?

Click play now on one of the sportsbooks below:

Claim Your Free $40 At Unibet Sportsbook
Claim $500 at Fox Bet

How Pennsylvania sports betting compares to other states

Pennsylvania was one of the early adopters of legal sports betting, passing a law in 2017 before rolling out retail betting in 2018 and online betting in 2019.

As such, Pennsylvania has in many ways charted its own course in how it handles online sports betting, although it shares characteristics with other states as well.

Tax rates, licenses and size of market

PA compared to NY and NJ

Here is a look at how PA compares to of its neighbors, New York and New Jersey, for online betting:

  • Online betting options in PA: Pennsylvania has online sports betting, poker and casino, just like New Jersey. New York only has retail sportsbooks, and no legal online gambling options. The presence of online casino and poker provides for a more robust online gambling industry in both NJ and PA.
  • Who gets sports betting licenses: Existing gaming licensees are the ones who have the green light to conduct sports betting. In Pennsylvania, that is the companies who operate casinos around the state. In New York, both commercial and tribal casinos can offer sports betting. In New Jersey, the state’s casinos and racetracks are eligible for sports betting licenses, and can allow multiple online brands or skins to operate under that license.
  • Number of online sportsbooks: Even though sports betting is tethered to casinos and tracks, both NJ and PA have a fairly robust industry with multiple operators. New Jersey has more than 20 operators and is still growing well after launch; Pennsylvania has more than ten. New York, with only physical betting at retail locations, lags behind here.
  • Size of the industry: In the early days of US sports betting, New Jersey has been the largest state in terms of sports betting handle and revenue. NJ had roughly a year head start on PA for launching online sports betting, so the Garden State still leads the way here as the two markets mature. New York, with retail betting only, is a minuscule market until it legalizes online wagering.
  • Tax rates and fees: Pennsylvania features the most aggressive tax schedule for gambling of anywhere in the US, and that holds true for sports betting as well, with an effective rate of 36% on gross revenue and $10 million licensing fees. That’s much smaller in New Jersey, which features a tax rate of between 8.5% and 13% on gross revenue. NY taxes gross revenue at 10%.
PA betting options

Most popular sports to bet on in PA

There are a lot of pro sports teams in PA – along with golf and horse racing. If you prefer motorsports, soccer or tennis, there are plenty of betting options for those too.

Betting on pro sports teams in Pennsylvania

With Pittsburgh and Philadelphia having sports teams in different leagues, there is surprisingly little direct rivalry in the Keystone state. For hockey fans, that rivalry is fierce – with both teams in the same conference.

Here are the PA pro sports teams, with some notes on unique bets you can place on them at the newly regulated sportsbooks.

  • NFL betting in PA

The Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers pro football teams play in different conferences and play each other every four years in the regular season. There are a lot of prop bets available for the NFL, including yards-based wagers, first player (or team) to score and totals for both individual matches and all the day’s action.

  • MLB betting in PA

Again, the two pro teams — the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies — don’t meet too often, thanks to playing in different divisions. Run line and moneyline bets are popular for baseball. Popular prop bets for MLB include strikeouts, hits and the combination ‘runs, hits and errors’ score.

  • NBA betting in PA

There is only one pro basketball team in PA – the Philadelphia 76ers. While the team is on the rise after years in the basement of the league, the Sixers haven’t won a title since 1983. Many NBA bets involve spreads, moneylines and totals. Betting for each quarter is also popular.

  • NHL betting in PA

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are both in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. The Penguins have had a lot more success in recent years than the Flyers, so the rivalry has been a bit lopsided Spreads go under the name ‘puck line’ in Hockey. Other unique bets include correct scores, period betting and first goalscorer.

Online and off-track betting

Horse betting in Pennsylvania

There are six racetracks in Pennsylvania. Three host thoroughbred races, three are harness racing only. You can bet on races from all around the country via simulcast at these tracks. You can also bet at OTB (off track betting) offices – some of which now offer full sports betting alongside horse races.

Horse race betting has been taking place online for quite some time. These bets are not included in the newly regulated sportsbooks. If you place bets at TwinSpiresTVG or BetAmerica, you’ll be entering the pari-mutuel pools, just as you would at the racetracks.

Pennsylvania hosts several graded races each year. The biggest is the Pennsylvania Derby, a Grade 1 race with a $1 million purse. Other big races include the Governor’s CupPenn Mile Stakes and Greenwood Cup.

Revenue and handle

PA sports betting revenue

Pennsylvania sports betting revenue will continue to grow in coming years as the market approaches maturity. The size of the state should make it top five state for sports betting no matter who else legalizes it.

It should soon eclipse Nevada sportsbooks in terms of amount wagered and revenue. Someday, it should compete with or surpass the NJ sports betting industry, which is currently the largest in the country.

More on PA sports betting revenue and handle here.

Pennsylvania sports betting history

How did sports betting come to the Keystone State? Here’s a look back at the timeline leading to the start:

The future of sports betting

Pennsylvania should eventually challenge New Jersey as the biggest state for online sports betting. Both states have the added advantage of allowing other forms of online gambling (casino, poker), which has proven to boost the overall market. Pennsylvania also just has a larger population base to draw from and is also playing catch-up with NJ, which was an early adopter of online betting.

A lot of the political support for online sports betting (and other forms of gambling) came from the tax revenues that this activity could generate. All eyes are now on the sites to see if they can match the projections from a 2015 study. With a bigger population (and higher taxes) than New Jersey, there is every chance these targets can be met.

2020

2020: Pandemic slows growth before acceleration

The online PA sports betting market appeared poised to pace the nation. Nearly 90% of all legal sports betting in PA took place via mobile by March, the highest adoption rate in the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed that growth in Pennsylvania, as it did everywhere in the United States. The market continues to recover from the shutdown of US sports leagues.

But with the return of sports in late summer, PA sports betting started hitting new heights.

2020

2019

2019: Welcome to the party

SugarHouse was first to go live, completing its testing period and launching in May 2019. This sportsbook has experience in New Jersey, using a platform provided by Rush Street Interactive and odds feed from Kambi.

More sportsbook apps quickly followed, with a total of eight by the end of the year. BetRivers joined its sister property shortly after SugarHouse launched, to be followed by DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook within the year as well.

2019

2018

2018: Getting ready for launch

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board stated that the process for licensing sports betting would go slowly. Retail sportsbooks first started to open in late 2018 but app betting remained seemingly far off in the distance.

For online betting, the PGCB’s approach involves testing periods, before each website and apps are signed off. That led to operators with robust online presences in New Jersey and other states waiting for PA to clear them for launch.

2018

2017

2017: A sports betting law on the books

Rep. Rob Matzie grabbed the reins on sports betting legislation. In January, he introduced H 519 as a follow-up to Rep. Rick Kotik‘s bill on the same topic. The new bill went several steps further than its predecessor, though.

In addition to modifying constitutional language, H 519 directed the PGCB to promulgate regulations “establishing the rules and procedures for sports wagering.” It laid out the full skeleton for a legalized and regulated sports betting industry.

The bill included a $5 million licensing fee and an 18 percent tax on revenue. Any effects of the bill were to be on hold until a decision is rendered in Christie vs. NCAA.

The House Gaming Oversight Committee signed off on the bill in April, but that was the end of the road for that particular piece of legislation. The sports betting conversation was far from over, though.

A bill becomes law

While all of that had been going on in the sports betting arena, other lawmakers had been pushing for more comprehensive gaming expansion.

The state was dealing with an enormous budget deficit, at a stalemate on how to fix it. Gaming, and specifically online gambling, was occasionally used as leverage in the discussions. Some saw it as a way to slow the financial leak, and the matter dropped in and out debate over the series of several months.

H 271 ended up being the pivotal piece of legislation.

The bill was introduced in January by Rep. Jason Ortitay. On its surface, it had the modest goal of modifying the state’s problem gambling hotline. Lawmakers indicated that it was hiding much larger ambitions, though.

Rep. George Dunbar said that the bill was intended to be a vehicle for a comprehensive gaming package. “We put in one thing, tablets in airports, and basically said, ‘You load it up with what you want in it,’” Dunbar said.

And load it up they did. The bill went through several changes over the subsequent months, touching on nearly every format of gaming and gambling. In the sixth version, the House added in Matzie’s sports betting provisions for the first time. It went through one more tweak before being passed and concurred by the full General Assembly.

On Oct. 30, Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law, officially legalizing sports betting in Pennsylvania, pending a change in federal law

2017

2016

2016: PA bides its time

The following January, the House Gaming Oversight Committee took up Rep. Matzie’s resolution. The committee passed it, and the House subsequently did so, as well.

The resolution didn’t do anything from a practical standpoint, but it put Matzie at the forefront of the state’s sports betting efforts. And the numbers by which it passed were foreshadowing.

2016

2015

2015: Setting the state for PA sports betting

In 2015, Kotik issued a memo regarding a forthcoming piece of legislation:

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will legalize sports betting in our Pennsylvania licensed casinos. Sports betting is exceptionally popular in our state and it is going unregulated. The intent of this legislation is to provide our casinos with an alternative form of entertainment, while also, regulating a popular market.

Kotik followed through on Oct. 14, introducing H 1627 into the House. The bill sought to repeal the state’s prohibition on betting on sports.

In December, Matzie spearheaded a resolution aimed at Congress. H 619 urged Congress to repeal the federal ban on sports betting, allowing Pennsylvania and other states to legalize it as they saw fit:

States that already authorize, license and regulate casino gaming are uniquely positioned to oversee sports betting, in all its forms, if they so choose. The time has come for the federal government to allow the state’s to make their own decisions on sports betting.

Matzie had co-sponsored Kotik’s bill, as well.

2015

Pennsylvania sports betting FAQ

Read on for questions and answers about PA sports betting:

Yes, Pennsylvania legalized sports betting. The law became active upon repeal of PASPA. Online sports betting went live on May 31, 2019.

The law permits any “slot machine license” to apply for a “sports wagering certificate.” That is, the state’s casinos and racinos.

There are currently 12 of them:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Grantville
  • Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, Farmington
  • The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, North Strabane Twp.
  • Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort, Mt. Pocono
  • Parx Casino and Racing, Bensalem
  • Presque Isle Downs & Casino, Erie
  • Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Bethlehem
  • SugarHouse Casino, Philadelphia
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort, King of Prussia

Anyone over the age of 21 can legally bet on sports in Pennsylvania.

Yes, the DraftKings Sportsbook app is available in PA. It’s available to place wagers to any 21 years of age who is physically located in the state.

Daily Fantasy Sports contests were regulated as part of the 2017 Gaming Expansion act, and you can legally play DFS at DraftKings.

Yes, PA has six racetracks, many OTB offices and allows bets on horse races online at existing websites too.

Yes. PA betting law allows bets on college games as well as pro sports.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has regulatory jurisdiction over the state’s sports betting operations.

Yes, as long as you’re physically located within the state’s borders.

Offshore sportsbooks that serve customers in PA violate a number of federal laws and state laws. While bettors might not get in trouble for placing a bet an offshore site, all of them do so illegally. Only sportsbooks that have a PGCB logo are legal in PA.

Yes. There is already a physical FanDuel Sportsbook at the Valley Forge Casino. A FanDuel Sportsbook app should be live in 2019.

PayPal is a deposit option at many online sportsbooks and can be used in Pennsylvania.

Click play now on one of the sportsbooks below, register, and download the app.

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