Pennsylvania expanded its gaming laws in 2017 to authorize online gambling in the state, including online sports betting. Provisions for the latter became active when the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018.
The first legal sports bet in PA was placed on Nov. 16, 2018 inside the sportsbook at Hollywood Casino. The windows officially opened to the public the next day after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) gave its approval.
The first PA online sports betting app, SugarHouse Sportsbook, rolled out on May 28, 2019.
There are currently nine retail sportsbooks and four online sportsbooks open for business.
PA online sports betting launched several months after the opening of the state’s first retail sportsbooks.
The delay gave the PGCB time to make sure that the appropriate regulations and consumer protections were in place. The revised DOJ opinion on the Wire Act also created a delay while the PGCB received updates as to each licensee would ensure compliance with federal law.
All is now in order, and the first PA sports betting apps are rolling out into the marketplace.
Each licensed casino is only allowed to launch one sports betting skin. The total market will, therefore, have fewer brands than it otherwise would, which should make things simpler for consumers. It also means competition for PA sports betting revenue will be fierce.
Eleven PA casinos are licensed to offer sports betting, with a rolling launch underway since late 2018.
|Property||Supplier/Partner||Online Sportsbook||Retail Sportsbook|
|Hollywood||William Hill||TBA||Nov. 16, 2018|
|SugarHouse||Kambi||May 31, 2019||Dec. 13, 2018|
|Rivers||Kambi||June 27, 2019||Dec. 13, 2018|
|Parx||Kambi||June 27, 2019||Jan. 10, 2019|
|South Philadelphia Turf Club||Kambi||TBA||Jan. 16, 2019|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Scientific Games||TBA||Jan. 24, 2019|
|Valley Forge||FanDuel||July 22, 2019||March 12, 2019|
|Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook||Kambi||TBA||March 13, 2019|
|Presque Isle Downs||CDI||TBA||July 26, 2019|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Unibet||TBA||TBA|
|Mount Airy||The Stars Group||TBA||TBA|
These are the places where you can legally bet on sports in Pennsylvania:
SugarHouse is located near Philadelphia and serves as the sister casino to Rivers. Sports betting began on property in December 2018, and the SugarHouse Sportsbook app was the first to launch in the PA market in May 2019.
Parent company Rush Street Gaming created the software on its own via an in-house team of developers. While the platform comes from Rush Street Interactive, the group does use Kambi to manage its sports betting risk.
SugarHouse Sportsbook is available for Android and desktop devices for now, but an iOS version will be released soon. Per a bit of recent corporate news, Rush Street will soon abandon the SugarHouse brand to unify its digital operation under the Rivers banner.
Rivers was among the first casinos to open a PA sportsbook in December 2018.
The property is owned by Rush Street Gaming and occupies a site along the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. Sister property SugarHouse is also licensed for PA online gambling, but Rush Street is preparing to ditch that digital brand in favor of Rivers statewide.
The Bet Rivers online sportsbook rolled out in June 2019.
Parx launched sports betting on Jan. 10 and is already recording revenues up among the leaders.
Like Harrah’s, Parx draws heavily on the Philadelphia market for its customers. It uses Kambi to operate its current combination of self-service kiosks and teller windows at a temporary facility inside the casino.
Parx began the testing period for its online sportsbook on June 24, 2019.
Harrah’s Philadelphia is one of many properties owned by Caesars Entertainment. It opened its PA sportsbook on Jan. 24.
Caesars has a multi-state deal with Scientific Games to operate its PA sportsbook. Caesars is also partnered with 888 for its online casino and poker games, which are expected to launch around July 15. Online sports betting should come first, though, likely this summer.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course opened its sportsbook to the public on Nov. 17, 2018. The first legal sportsbook in Pennsylvania is powered by William Hill, which has extensive experience in other markets.
Hollywood’s online/mobile sports betting app is unlikely to hit the market first, but it should be up and running this summer.
Mohegan Sun Pocono is tribally owned but fully regulated by the PGCB. It initially looked like the Mohegan may ignore PA sports betting entirely, but they finally submitted an application on May 3.
Mohegan Sun is partnered with the Kindred Group, owner of the Unibet brand. Kindred may be a new name to the US market, but it has a close relationship with its former subsidiary, Kambi.
Kambi provides the technology that powers about one-third of all PA sports betting platforms. The company has parallel deals with Parx, Rivers and SugarHouse.
There is no projected timeline for Mohegan Sun to roll out live or online sports betting in PA.
Mount Airy kept its powder dry for a long time before applying for a PA sports betting license. Its application went to the PGCB at the beginning of May, so its launch is unlikely until at least late summer.
Mount Airy has the biggest name in poker as its online partner, PokerStars. We’ll have more details when the company presents its sports betting petition to the PGCB, but BetStars (soon to be Fox Bet) will almost certainly be its PA sports betting brand.
Presque Isle Downs finally opened its retail sportsbook in July 2019, lagging a bit behind eight other properties. The tech comes from IGT and SBTech, both of which have online gambling experience in Nevada and New Jersey.
Valley Forge holds a Category 3 license, which means that the casino is more of a resort amenity rather than a destination itself. Casino patrons must be residents of the resort, purchase a membership or spend more than $10 on amenities.
Valley Forge has captured one of the biggest brands to power its PA sports betting platform — FanDuel Sportsbook. FanDuel currently leads the NJ online sports betting market, and Valley Forge hopes it can replicate that success.
The Valley Forge sportsbook opened on March 12 with prominent FanDuel branding, and the FanDuel Sportsbook app opened to PA bettors in July.
Greenwood Gaming operates the South Philadelphia Turf Club along with Parx and Valley Forge Turf Club. All are powered by Kambi.
The South Philly Turf Club opened its sports betting doors on Jan. 17, exactly one week after Parx. The launch was planned to be simultaneous, but the PGCB imposed a short delay to make sure the primary services at Parx worked correctly.
Parx will probably lead Greenwood’s online branding, so don’t expect a PA sports betting app from the Turf Club.
The Valley Forge Turf Club opened for sports betting on March 12, one day before the Valley Forge Casino. The two establishments are entirely unrelated.
The Valley Forge Turf Club offers a sports betting area with six teller windows and 14 kiosks — all powered by Kambi.
As a Greenwood Gaming property, it is unlikely to offer online sports betting. Customers are likely to be steered toward the Parx app, which should launch in the next few weeks.
Pennsylvania has set its gambling taxes and fees at the absolute top end of the scale. Casinos have to pay $10 million for a sports betting license and pay back 36% of their revenue in taxes — 34% to the state and another 2% to their local jurisdiction.
It is easy to place sports bets over the internet in Pennsylvania. The combination of software operators provide and the diligent regulatory system don’t add any real burden to playing.
All you need to do is download the PA sports betting app you want to try. The simple sign-up procedure involves confirming your identity and age and choosing a screen name. After that, you can either deposit online or fund your account in person at the casino cage.
Online payment methods are in their early stages and will get better as time goes by. In New Jersey, the following are common deposit options:
You can begin placing bets as soon as you have money in your account. The software is easy to use and you can configure it to show your favorite betting options. Don’t forget to take advantage of any bonuses the sportsbook offers, ranging from deposit matches to free bets.
The most popular betting sports available in Pennsylvania are:
If you are a tennis fan, or love golf or even cricket, you will also find the opportunity to bet on major competitions in those sports.
PA sports betting includes all of the most-common markets for professional and collegiate sports. Operators may offer:
Yes. In-play (or in-game) betting is authorized in Pennsylvania.
Live betting includes all wagers on a match after it has started. In the old days, betting closed the moment a match started. New, however, technology and real-time data feeds mean that this is no longer true.
In-play betting has become a popular form of betting in countries where it is legal.
Available in-game bets include straightforward things such as who will win and what the final score will be to propositional bets such as who will score next and whether or not the game will run into extra time.
Playing or betting at state-regulated sites is a much wiser option than patronizing offshore operators. A few of the most important benefits are:
Pennsylvania legalized daily fantasy sports when the legislature passed the gambling expansion package in October 2017.
The regulated DFS market began operating in May 2018 and there are now multiple operators authorized in the state. The top two are also active participants in sports betting — FanDuel and DraftKings.
Yes. In addition to in-person wagering at race tracks and OTBs, Pennsylvania law also permits online horse betting statewide.
Here are some common questions and answers about sports betting in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulates all gambling in the state including PA sports betting, both in-person and online.
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
PO Box 69060
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060
Email: [email protected]
Yes. The first PA online sports betting apps are live as of May 2019.
No. You can sign up for an online sportsbook account at the corresponding casino, but the law also allows you to create an account online. There is no requirement for in-person registration, but you will be required to verify your identity before you begin betting online.
Bettors must be at least 21 years old and located within the borders of Pennsylvania to place a legal wager. Residency is not a requirement.
Yes, you can. The new laws explicitly authorizes payment processors and banks to allow PA online gambling transactions.
After debating the issue for years, Pennsylvania legislators finally got their act together in 2017 and passed a major gambling expansion bill. The legal change came in Act 42 of 2017, an amendment to the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act.
Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law on Oct. 30, 2017.
The new law authorized online casinos (including online poker), established a licensing procedure for new mini-casinos, and legalized sports betting subject to a change in federal law. In May 2018, SCOTUS struck down PASPA to trigger the PA sports betting provisions.
The PGCB took its time to get the regulations and procedures in place, so the first legal sports bet wasn’t placed in PA until Nov. 17 — some five months after launch in New Jersey. The board has since streamlined its procedures, and the delay between license application and launch is now much shorter.