Legal Pennsylvania Sports Betting

Legal Pennsylvania Sports BettingPennsylvania has been one of the biggest legal sports betting markets in the country since launching in November 2018. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reports upwards of $500 million-plus in monthly betting handles. In the single fiscal year of 2020-2019, sports betting saw more than $5 billion wagered on sports. The market is strong thanks to the wide variety of options available for betting fans with popular mobile sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM active in the market. Pennsylvania is also aided by its large local sports fan base being home to teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Eagles. PA has truly thrived in the post PASPA market.​

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Bovada Sportsbook

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With sports betting legal in Pennsylvania, it would only make sense that Bovada be the top legal sports betting site to use. They offer some of the best betting lines when it comes to betting on sports in the state such as the Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. They even offer odds on all smaller market sports as well. In addition to the many odds that they offer, new sports bettors will feel comfortable with their interactive betting slip that lets bettors know their possible winnings depending on the amount wagered and the odds.

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Pennsylvania Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

Pennsylvania sports gambling laws can be read in PA Act No. 42. Essentially this act puts the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in charge of overseeing the sports betting industry in the state. The law states that any establishment with a “slot machine license” can apply for a “sports wagering certificate.” This means that only casinos and racinos can apply to offer sports betting to their patrons. However, any one of these establishments can also apply to have their own app. This would allow residents to place their wagers online or on their mobile device anywhere within the state’s borders.

PA Code 185.61 of Pennsylvania state statutes details horse racing and associated activities like pari-mutuel betting – which is one form of legal Pennsylvania sports betting that is expressly permitted by state sports betting laws​. Title 18 also lists out any penalties for alternate types of gaming and various sports and amusement rules.

What Pennsylvania Teams Are Worth Betting On?

Pennsylvania is the home state of eight teams spread across all five of America’s major professional sports leagues. That means PA bettors have got plenty of choices when it comes to trying out legal Pennsylvania sports betting websites as we’ve already discussed. Not only can sports enthusiasts wager on teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but other prominent teams are also featured on every odds board.

In addition, PA is home to 14 NCAA Division 1 sports programs. Most prominent among them are Penn State in the Big Ten Conference, Villanova in the Big East, the University of Pittsburgh in the ACC and the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, founded by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Whether you prefer major leagues or collegiate sports, Pennsylvania sportsbooks permit wagering on all of your favorite teams.

Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL)
Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL) Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB) Philadelphia Union (MLS) Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions (NCAA)
University of Pittsburgh (NCAA) Villanova University (NCAA)  

Legal NFL Betting In Pennsylvania

There are plenty of opportunities to bet on NFL games while you are in Pennsylvania. After all, there are two different NFL teams that are based in the state. Whether you are a Philadelphia Eagles fan or a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, there are sportsbooks who are waiting to take your NFL bets. You can do this at sportsbooks in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, King of Prussia, Grantville, or Bensalem. Mobile sports betting is available through the state as well. Those online sportsbooks have some limits, so we recommend you use online offshore sportsbooks. There you will not have weighted odds on Pennsylvania based teams because everyone in the state will more likely bet on the Steelers or Eagles. If you want fair odds on NFL teams in Pennsylvania, online offshore sportsbooks are the way to go.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue

Pennsylvania joined Nevada and New Jersey in 2019 as one of the only three states to total over a billion dollars in total sports betting handle. Final tallies for Pennsylvania in 2019 saw the state handling $1.49 billion in wagers, earning $103.1 million in revenue, and collecting $37.1 million in state and city taxes. Despite the total handle being several times smaller than both New Jersey and Nevada, the $37.1 million in tax collections is the highest of any state. In other words, on paper, Pennsylvania is seeing more benefit from sports betting than any other state.

Pennsylvania became just the third state to surpass $600 million in sports betting handle in a single month, hitting $615.3 million in January 2021. The Keystone State now joins New Jersey and Nevada as the only states to reach that mark. In total, Pennsylvania has seen $3,174,153,171 wagered on sports in the fiscal year 2020/2021. This makes the Keystone State the fifth largest sports betting market with more than 90% of wagers coming from online sportsbooks in January.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Apps

  • BetRivers – Rivers now has casino properties around the country and has expanded its online sports betting platform greatly as well. Rivers runs full casinos in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
  • DraftKings Sportsbook – DraftKings is one of the top brands for daily fantasy sports and leveraged that brand recognition to become one of America’s top online sports betting providers as well. DraftKings is partnered with The Meadows Casino in Washington County.
  • FanDuel Sportsbook – The FanDuel Sportsbook in Pennsylvania is integrated with its New Jersey product, and this cohesiveness has helped it become one of the most successful brands in the state.
  • FOX Bet – FOX Bet debuted just before the 2019 NFL season. With a naming rights deal with the national media giant, FOX Bet could potentially become a major player in the Pennsylvania market.
  • Sugarhouse – Sugarhouse was bought out by Rivers in 2019 but continues to operate its own separate online sports betting platform from BetRivers. Sugarhouse is one of the biggest and most trusted casino brands in the state.
  • Unibet – Unibet is partnered with the Mohegan Sun Casino to offer both retail and online sports betting. The Unibet app is only available for Android users for now, but iPhone users can still bet through their browser.

Where’s The Closest Sportsbook in PA For Me To Bet?

If you’re from Pennsylvania and you want to bet on sports legally in-person, you may have to head out of town. The only cities that offer sportsbooks are located in Grantville, Bensalem, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. This could prove to be a hassle for folks living more so in the central part of the state. Though most bettors heading to the metropolitan areas are not just there for the gambling, legal Pennsylvania sports betting websites are going to be the best bet in terms of travel costs and time.

List Of Cities with Sportsbooks

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Sportsbooks

Harrah’s Philly Sportsbook

The Book at Harrah’s features betting on a wide array of college and professional sports. It also features over 45 TVs, lounge and bar seating, and numerous food and drink options.

South Philadelphia Turf Club

Located right next to Citizens Bank Field, the South Philadelphia Turf Club recently underwent over $1 million in renovations. The Turf Club features a wide range of betting options on both horse and greyhound racing and traditional sports.

Sugarhouse Sportsbook Philadelphia

With over 45,000 square-feet of gambling space, the Sugarhouse Casino is one of the most impressive gambling facilities in America. Its sportsbook features the most expansive selection of online and in-person betting options in the state.

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Sportsbooks

Rivers Casino Sportsbook

A newly renovated space of over 5,500 square feet featuring reclining leather seats with built-in charging ports, dozens of high-definition video screens, and private booths. the sportsbook at Rivers Pittsburgh has 33 self-service kiosks and six different betting windows, with live betting and other state-of-the-art gambling options.

King of Prussia Pennsylvania Sportsbooks

FanDuel Sportsbook At Valley Forge Casino Resort

Valley Forge is the only full-amenity casino in Pennsylvania, with over 100,000 total square feet of gaming and business space available. The FanDuel sportsbook in Pennsylvania is smaller than you would expect, but it offers a wide range of trusted betting options.

Oaks Race & Sportsbook

Originally an off-track betting parlor for the Valley Forge Casino Resort, Oaks Race has evolved into its own full sportsbook. It features upscale décor and a relaxed betting atmosphere.

Grantville Pennsylvania Sportsbooks

The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino

Located just outside Harrisburg, the Hollywood Casino is located roughly halfway between Philadephia and Pittsburgh. The Hollywood Sportsbook is currently adding viewing stations and lounge seating, and already features dozens of TVs and odds tickers.

Bensalem Pennsylvania Sportsbooks

Parx Sportsbook Bensalem

The Parx Casino at Bensalem sportsbook features a luxurious sports lounge with a high-end bar, viewing stations, lounge and booth seating, and dozens of TVs to watch your favorite games. Parx offers betting options for all your favorite college and professional sports. Additionally, you can play through the official Parx online sports betting app.

Horse Racing Betting In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s horse racing and breeding programs are among the best in the entire United States. The Liberty Bell State is home to six dual-purpose racing and gaming facilities, commonly called “racinos.” PA’s horse racing industry encompasses Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse, and harness racing. Horse racing in Pennsylvania is managed by the State Horse Racing Commission at the Department of Agriculture, which is, in turn, allotted the power to regulate pari-mutuel betting by PA Code 185.61.

Off-site pari-mutuel betting has also recently been allowed in PA, though pari-mutuel betting has long been a form of legal Pennsylvania sports wagering. Online pari-mutuel wagering is also available to Pennsylvania residents, as there is no provision in the state’s penal code to make such a practice unlawful. Some of the best horse racing betting sites are Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie, all of which also offer a variety of other sports wagering opportunities to US players.

Daily Fantasy Sports In Pennsylvania

Both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature passed a daily fantasy sports (DFS) regulatory bill in June 2017, but the bill didn’t make it to the governor’s desk at first. That’s because changes were made to House Bill 2150 that affected the way Pennsylvania would handle online gambling, including authorizing video gambling terminals to be installed in PA bars. Since the bill was amended by the House before being passed, it had to head back over to the Senate for another round of votes. The bill eventually made a full circle, and Pennsylvania became the 17th state to legalize daily fantasy sports.

The bill, sponsored by Representative George Dunbar, required DFS operators to get licenses from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and pay a tax, as well as prohibit participants less than 18 years old from entering contests. Since DFS was legalized in the state, the fantasy sports industry has increased its Pennsylvania footprint enormously, as it’s one of the most popular states in the US for DFS action.

Legal Pennsylvania Sports Betting FAQs

When Did Sports Betting Become Legal In Pennsylvania?

Sports betting laws in Pennsylvania were approved in 2017 in preparation for the repeal of PASPA in 2018. It wasn’t until May 2018 when their laws became official and the first sportsbook in Pennsylvania launched a few months later in November 2018. Legislators were able to quickly implement their gambling laws because of their anticipatory mindset believing that the only hurdle (PASPA) would be removed.

How Many Sportsbooks Are In Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has 12 retail sportsbooks operating in the state right now. The sportsbooks are located all around the state but you can find a majority of them in or around the city of Philadelphia. Players can enjoy the sports betting experience in the live sportsbooks in the state or use the online sportsbooks that are operating in the state. There are multiple online sportsbook options that don’t require you to go to the retail sportsbook to register your account.

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Pennsylvania?

It is possible to put up – and win – real money via legal Pennsylvania sports betting establishments and from online offshore sportsbooks. While some casinos only accept cash, online offshore sports wagering sites allow you to use Bitcoin as well. This has become a very popular method in recent years and provides a safe and faster alternative method for users of these sites.

Promotional offers are the par for the course with the offshore sports betting sites discussed elsewhere on this page, and each one offers something a little different from the others. What is consistent, however, is that all of them serve US players and do so with a wide variety of popular sports in the American market. That makes them the best choice for those who want to get in on legal Pennsylvania sports betting.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Pennsylvania?

Because Pennsylvania state law doesn’t prohibit online gambling, players can rest assured they won’t be under any kind of government scrutiny –even if they use offshore gambling websites like Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline and 5Dimes. That’s because these websites, while completely legal and subject to all the regulations of their own home countries, usually in Europe or the Caribbean, exist and operate outside the reach of US law. Fortunately for PA players, these websites can and do accept American players all the time, and they do so legally and reliably.

Will Legal Sports Betting In Pennsylvania Ever Happen?

Thankfully, it already has. It’s just a matter of how far it’s going to expand. Right now, most of the physical sports gambling action is handled on the borders of the state in either Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. But many believe that it will eventually make its way to the more central part of the state. Legal Pennsylvania sports betting is also expected to be offered online by multiple casinos as soon as they create and test their platforms (ideally by summer 2019). Offshore online sports betting sites like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes have been used by PA residents for a long time, too, and these will most likely continue to be the most popular sports wagering platforms for the near-term future.

Will I Get Arrested If I Try Legal Sports Betting In Pennsylvania?

The only way a person can be arrested for betting on sports in Pennsylvania is if they do it at an unauthorized location or engage in the practice with an illegal bookmaker. Casinos and horse racing tracks are allowed by law to offer sports betting to players, but unauthorized bookmaking is strictly prohibited by state statute. However, since the laws focus on penalizing and prosecuting unauthorized gambling operators rather than players, individuals have nothing to worry about if they want to wager on sports using offshore gambling websites.

What Is the Sports Betting Age In Pennsylvania?

The age at which it is permissible for individuals to bet at Pennsylvania’s casinos is 21, so it is generally advisable for players to wait until they reach that age before using offshore websites for legal Pennsylvania sports betting. Even though sites like Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline or 5Dimes will take deposits from any user 18 years old and up, it’s definitely safer to wait the extra three years before placing any bets. A suggestion for players under the age of 21 would be to try out Daily Fantasy Sports, which is classified as a game of skill rather than gambling.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In Pennsylvania?

Yes, there are many sports betting app in Pennsylvania. The best ones are operated by the Big 4 but offshore betting sites also exist as well. These won’t have apps per se, but they do have mobile-optimized webpages that act as an app. While many may be quick to throw these offshore sites aside, they can be perfect for shopping lines on the local teams, especially when it comes to the NFL season. While every bettor will be placing their money heavily on the Eagles and Steelers, the books will have to adjust, causing unfavorable betting lines. Offshore sites rarely see a “local” team be affected.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Pennsylvania?

The best place for legal Pennsylvania sports betting isn’t even in Pennsylvania. It isn’t even in Las Vegas, which has legalized every form and flavor of sports betting since the 1940s. The best place to make legal sports bets is online using reputable licensed offshore sports betting websites. These sites cater to American tastes in sports, offering betting lines on basketball, football, baseball, and hockey, just to name a few of their wide variety of sports. They even provide competitive sign-up bonuses. It really becomes a question of which promotional offers work best for the individual player.

These websites are completely legal, and because they are simultaneously outside the reach of US jurisdiction and regulated by gaming authorities in their own home countries, they are both safe and reliable. Pennsylvania sports bettors should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to bet at these websites.

Should I Use A Local Bookie In Pennsylvania?

The only place you should go to in order to place in-person wagers is at an authorized casino. If someone asks to be your bookie you should deny them immediately as this form of sports betting is still prohibited. Even with the updated gaming laws, state officials do not want individuals to accept sports bets because they can be susceptible to corruption or mishandling of other people’s money.

It’s much safer and smarter to use a legal offshore sports betting website to make your wagers. Not only will you get a bonus or credit for signing up, but you also won’t be making a trip to the courthouse if you get caught laying a few dollars on the Phillies or the Pirates.

Do Any Casinos In Pennsylvania Have Sports Betting?

There are currently 11 out of the 13 casino operations in Pennsylvania that offer legal sports betting. Pennsylvania’s sports betting market is one of the biggest ones available, and sports bettors in Pennsylvania will not struggle to find a land-based operation that accepts wagers. Some casinos, like the Presque Isle Downs, offer horse racing betting as well, going by the term racino. You can bet on sports, horse races, or play table games all in one area at the casinos in Pennsylvania. It is also online and mobile sports betting through the casinos as well. Several betting options are available for residents and tourists alike.

Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In Pennsylvania?

The legal status of betting on sports with friends, or really any kind of social gambling, is unclear under Pennsylvania state law. Gambling on sports as part of a business venture without state authorization is, of course, against the law. But, there is nothing on the books, even in 18 PA C.S.A.§ 5514, that makes pool-selling and bookmaking a misdemeanor offense, that gives any specific prohibitions or protection for social gambling.

A good rule of thumb is to assume that you’re in the clear if any betting that takes place is between friends and is not done for business reasons and that no “house” is banking the stakes. In order to make sure no laws are being broken, simply to head over to a legal offshore sports betting site. The limits will be higher, you will always be guaranteed to be paid for winning, and you’ll have access to a practically unlimited number of potential bets.