Legal online sports betting in Pennsylvania
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Legal Online Sports Betting In Pennsylvania

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.

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Legal sports betting in Pennsylvania

There are currently nine retail sportsbooks and four online sportsbooks open for business.

Map of PA sportsbooks

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

Pennsylvania online sports betting

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.

PA sports betting partnerships

Eleven PA casinos are licensed to offer sports betting, with a rolling launch underway since late 2018.

PropertySupplier/PartnerOnline SportsbookRetail Sportsbook
Hollywood William HillTBANov. 16, 2018
SugarHouseKambiMay 2019Dec. 13, 2018
RiversKambiJune 2019Dec. 13, 2018
ParxKambiJune 2019Jan. 10, 2019
Oaks Race and SportsbookKambiTBAJan. 16, 2019
Harrah’s PhiladelphiaScientific GamesTBAJan. 24, 2019
Valley ForgeFanDuelJuly 2019March 12, 2019
Valley Forge Race and SportsbookKambiTBAMarch 13, 2019
Presque Isle DownsCDITBAJuly 26, 2019
Mount AiryThe Stars GroupOctober 2019September 9, 2019
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibetNovember 2019September 22, 2019
MeadowsDraftKingsNovember 2019October 8, 2019

Legal Pennsylvania sportsbooks

These are the places where you can legally bet on sports in Pennsylvania (and their associated casino licensee):

SugarHouse (Rivers Philadelphia)

The artist formerly known as SugarHouse is now Rivers Philadelphia, serving as the sister property to Rivers in Pittsburgh. 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 uses 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.

BetRivers (Rivers Casino)

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 (Parx Casino)

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.

Caesars Sportsbook (Harrah’s Philadelphia)

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.

Caesars has also recently partnered with DraftKings Sportsbook, but the deal does not apply to PA.

Hollywood Casino

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.

Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)

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.

The property began offering retail sports betting in October 2019, and the Unibet PA app rolled out the following month.

Fox Bet (Mount Airy Casino)

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 uses PokerStars as its online gaming partner, and it has adopted Fox Bet as its PA sports betting brand.

Presque Isle Downs

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.

FanDuel Sportsbook (Valley Forge)

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.

Oaks Race and Sportsbook

Greenwood Gaming operates Oaks Race and Sportsbook along with Parx and Valley Forge Turf Club. All are powered by Kambi.

The Oaks sportsbook 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.

Valley Forge 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.

PA sports betting taxes

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.

These burdens will inevitably reduce the generosity of some of the marketing offers and may mean that the odds available in PA are less competitive than those in Nevada or New Jersey.

How does online sports betting work in PA?

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:

  • Credit/debit cards
  • Online bank transfer
  • Casino prepaid cards
  • PayPal
  • NETELLER
  • ACH eCheck
  • PayNearMe

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.

Which sports can I bet on in PA?

The most popular betting sports available in Pennsylvania are:

  • NFL football
  • NBA basketball
  • NHL hockey
  • Soccer
  • MLB baseball
  • Boxing/MMA

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.

What types of bets are available in PA?

PA sports betting includes all of the most-common markets for professional and collegiate sports. Operators may offer:

  • Moneyline
  • Futures
  • Spreads
  • Over/Under
  • Parlays
  • Round robins
  • In-game betting

Does PA have in-play betting?

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.

What are the benefits of legal PA sports betting?

Playing or betting at state-regulated sites is a much wiser option than patronizing offshore operators. A few of the most important benefits are:

  • You have legal recourse if anything goes wrong.
  • Your money is segregated and safe from fraudsters.
  • The games you are betting on are not rigged and subject to game integrity analysis and investigation.
  • Transactions with regulated sites can be almost instantaneous.
  • Legal sites are not run by terrorists or organized crime.
  • Regulated sites are expected to notice behavior associated with problem gambling and offer to help.

Is DFS legal in PA?

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.

Is horse betting legal in PA?

Yes. In addition to in-person wagering at race tracks and OTBs, Pennsylvania law also permits online horse betting statewide.

PA sports betting FAQ

Here are some common questions and answers about sports betting in Pennsylvania.

Who regulates PA sports betting?

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

Phone: 717-346-8300
Email: [email protected]

Can I bet on sports online in Pennsylvania?

Yes. The first PA online sports betting apps are live as of May 2019.

Do I have to go to a casino to sign up for PA online sports betting?

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.  

Who can legally bet on sports in Pennsylvania?

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.

Can I make deposits and cash out online?

Yes, you can. The new laws explicitly authorizes payment processors and banks to allow PA online gambling transactions.

How did Pennsylvania get legal sports betting?

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.

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