Over the years, Pennsylvania has remained quite an ideal destination when it comes to sporting activities. Sports betting has seen the state live up to its reputation, with its numerous online wagering sites and retail sports books leaving bettors spoilt for choice on betting options. With the recent launch of online sports books here, the PA Sports-Betting market boasts an array of choices including specials, promotions and live betting.
In our read today, we’ll focus on providing you with useful information regarding Pennsylvania Sports-Betting. We’ll provide insight on everything you need to know including the state’s top betting sites, the newest sports books innovations, bonus offers, PA gambling laws and regulations, games you can wager on, payment options, frequently asked questions and so much more. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
Sports-Betting Regulations and Laws in PA
Pennsylvania Sports-Wagering legislation is filled with nuances, and the rules governing betting here are just but some of them. Here are the core elements surrounding these regulations:
- All casinos in category 1 to 3 qualify to apply for a PA sports betting license
- A license will cost operators a $10 Million one-time fee
- PA sports betting, both retail and online, is highly diverse, incorporating a wide range of sports, provided they are PGCB approved.
- Each license issued comes with one online Sports-Wagering skin
- Each of the betting sites in PA needs to feature its operating casino’s name.
- With a license, operators can launch supplementary retail sports books at PA land-based casinos and other off track betting entities run by the specific license holder
- Sports wagering, whether retail or online, is taxed at a total of 36%, which includes a 2% charge for local-share assessment.
Revenue Generated from PA Sports wagering
In PA, the potential gambling market is not so easy to gauge. During the first month after its legalization, sports betting generated approximately $32 M in bets, most of which came from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. However, with the new changes in Federal law and the lift of the ban, the state could experience stiff competition, especially from states such as New York and New Jersey, potentially capping this impressive revenue. At the moment, it is still early to estimate just how many more operators will come on board. As such, getting a clear picture on the expected revenue is not so easy.
The History of Sports Wagering in PA
In August 2018, a Hollywood based casino owner submitted the relevant paper work aimed at applying for PA sports betting licensing. That same month, Parx owner submitted 2 applications; one seeking approval for the casino to offer bettors with sports betting opportunities and the other as a petition seeking for the South Philadelphia Turf Club to take on sport wagers too.
Following this, the Valley Forge Turf Club and the South Philadelphia Turf Club started offering sports wagering. This would be huge for the off track wagering entity seeing as the Turf Club is found in the Stadium District, in close proximity to all the main sports venues in Philadelphia.
Approximately one month after the Parx application, Harrah’s Philadelphia sent in their application. Less than a week later, SugarHouse Casino and their Pittsburgh based sisters, Rivers Casino, threw in their hats to the ring. The three applications were successful and the entities were all set to launch their sports books at the 2018 PGCB (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board) meeting.
Next in line was Village Forge, an operator who sent in their application one month later. This casino has an existing partnership with FanDuel, whose paper work for the PA sports betting licensing is ready. Presque Isle Downs, yet another casino made an application as well, bringing about an interesting scenario where casinos offered sports betting more than ever before. Pocono and Mohegan Sun’s applications saw the total number of casinos grow to 9 by March 2019.
PA online Sports-Betting has raised more than $1.1 B in bets in a period spanning one year. Additionally, the industry has raised close to $75M as revenue for the various operators and more than $26 M as the state’s tax revenue.
Online Sports Betting-PA
2019 spring started in style in Pennsylvania as the 1st ever online Sports Wagering sites started rolling out in the state. PlaySugar kicked it off when their App became the first to debut. Parx followed shortly afterwards and then BetRivers, PlaySugar’s sister site. iPhone options had remained locked out, but FanDuel changed the status quo, bringing in some gold-standard style in its betting App as at July 2019.
FanDuel not only launched a brilliant App that worked in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but also the first of its kind to offer iPhone options to PA’s bettors. FOX Bet was not to be left behind; as soon as the football season (2019) started, they brought in their brand in Pennsylvania. By the time 2019 was coming to an end, BetAmerica, Unibet and Draft Kings were ready with their PA online betting Apps.
PlaySugarHouse Sports Book
To get ahead of the competition, PlaySugarHouse played smart; they leveraged their NJ experience! Bettors in Pennsylvania agree that this app brings about some sort of social vibe that enhances gaming. Coupled with this is numerous incentives, lucrative bonuses, tons of betting options and amazing payouts.
DraftKigs has a great reputation as a leading brand when it comes to the world of fantasy sports betting. It has rapidly penetrated emerging markets, including PA. DraftKigs operates with the Meadows Racetrack and Casino license and it got into PA’s market towards the end of 2019.
FanDuel operates under the Valley Forge Casino Resort License and it is undoubtedly a market giant. It brings a one of a kind App that caters for bettors both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, making use of geo-location technology to determine a bettor’s exact location. As a cutting edge above the rest, the operator offers a $1000 risk free bet for any new sign ups. Its main competitor is DraftKings, but it does a great job in maintaining its top position.
What are some restrictions for Pennsylvania online Sports betting?
Pennsylvania based bettors can enjoy wagering on international sports, college games as well as pro sports. Betting in PA does not require you to be a PA permanent resident. The legal requirement here is that any player should be at least 21 years of age, not be on any self-exclusion list and be within the state’s borders.
Players can only place their wagers on sports, and not on events such as elections, Oscar Awards and NFL Draft. The law in this state prohibits e-sports betting. Additionally, personnel that are involved directly in sports, including referees, officials, players and coaches cannot wager on their own sports. When it comes to horse racing, operators need to acquire different licensing. Currently, there are only 3 lawful online horserace betting sites in PA, including OTB entities and racetracks.
How does sports betting in PA work?
Estimated time needed to register, deposit and place a bet: 3 minutes.
In order to get wagering in PA, you only need to follow some easy and pretty much straight forward steps as listed below:
Once you have picked your preferred sports book, the first thing you need to do is sign up for an account with them. Here, you will be required to provide some basic information including your name, some digits from your social security number (usually the last 4), location and email address.
- Make the initial deposit
Funding your account is the next step. Some sports books offer a first-time bonus for all new sign ups, so be sure to look for a sports book that has this promotion. There are many options to make the deposit and all you need to do is choose the method that is most convenient for you. Upon making the deposit, ID verification is required.
- Choose your preferred bets
Most sports books in PA will organize their wagers based on specific sports. Browse through the array of betting options from the launch screen. Scroll through until you get to the particular game you are in search of. PA online Sports betting is wide and diverse in scope. As such, you can be sure to find your favorite game to wager on.
- Start betting
This is the most exciting step of the process. Here, you can add as many bets as you wish on your bet sip. For most operators, this option is usually located on the right hand side of the screen. Feel free to do you; add a single bet, or string them together into a parlay. As soon as all that is set, add the bet amount and wager! Once the game is over, your bonuses and winnings will be made available to your account.
Live sports betting in PA
Innovations in the online Sports betting scene mean that players can now place their bets on games as they happen. This is popularly known as in-play Wagering. This is a new and engaging way of adding onto the game’s overall thrill, with odds being updated real time! With some operators, you will find the cash out betting option, which is basically an early-bet redemption option. Be sure to try it out.
Mobile sports betting in PA
Most sports books in Pennsylvania offer game play on mobile. This is the beauty of the digital world in which we live. You do not have to take yourself to a physical land based sports betting entity. All you need is a smart phone and good internet connection and you are good to go!
Popular sports to wager on in Pennsylvania
PA boasts an impressive array of pro-sports teams, alongside horse racing and golf. If you are more inclined towards soccer, tennis or even motorsports, there are tons of options for you as well. Let us have an in-depth insight into PA’s main teams as well as the specific types of bets that you can place while here.
Both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have teams in differing leagues. However it is surprising that there is little to nil rivalry among them. However, when it comes to hockey, things take an interesting twist as competition blows off the ceiling given the fact that both teams belong to the same conference. Below is a list of some of the Pro-Sport teams in PA that you can wager on, including insights on some unique wagers that you can look out for.
PA NFL Betting
Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles pro-football teams usually play in differing conferences, and they go head to head against each other once every 4 years in a regular season. The NFL brings along tons of prop wagers including first player bets, yards-based bets, first team to score bets as well as totals for all matches or individual games.
PA MLB betting
Here, it is a head to head competition between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Thankfully, the two don’t meet on many occasions given that they both play for different divisions. In PA baseball, the common betting options are money lines and run lines. The most common prop bets here are hits, strikeouts and the popular ‘runs, hits & errors’ scores.
PA NBA betting
The only pro-basketball team in Pennsylvania is the Philadelphia 76ers. After years of being in the league’s basement, Philadelphia 76ers has constantly been the rise. The NBA bets available for pay here include money lines, spreads, totals and more. Players can also enjoy wagering on each quarter of the game.
PA NHL betting
The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins both happen to be in the same division; the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. In the recent years, the Penguins have had a lot more success as compared to the Flyers, making the rivalry somewhat lopsided. The spreads here, going by the name ‘puck line’ are the most common wagers. Other special bets include the first goal scorer, correct scores and period betting.
PA horse betting
In the state of PA, there are 6 racetracks. Three of them handle harness racing while the other 3 host thorough-bred races. Bettors can wager on races from across the entire country at these venues through simulcast. They can also wager at off track betting (OTB), most of which currently offer full time sports betting options alongside the horse races.
While horse race sports betting in Pennsylvania has been happening for a while now, these specific wagers are not considered as part of the regulated sports books. Betting at TVG, BetAmerica or TwinSpires will see you enter the pari-mutuel pools, in the same way you would enter the racetracks.
The state of Pennsylvania plays host to an array of graded-races every single year. The grandest of them all is the Pennsylvania Derby, which is a grade one race gesturing a $1 M purse. Other notable races are the Penn Mile Stakes, the Greenwood Cup and the Governor’s Cup.
What does PA’s sports betting future look like?
It is highly likely that about a dozen additional sports betting brands will launch in PA, giving players more choices to pick from. The stiff competition that will exist will be a plus to the gambling industry in the state. As an add on to this trend, poker rooms and real cash casinos will join the bandwagon, launching sports books too. There is a lot of political support surrounding Pennsylvania online Sports betting, thanks to the huge revenue this scene gathers.
As such, players remain on the lookout for more online sites, in a bid to see whether or not they will match up to meet 2015 projections from a previously done study. The fact the PA has a bigger population (which means more in tax revenue), as compared to states such as New Jersey means that these projections can easily be met.
Yes! The state of Pennsylvania authorized sports betting back in 2017! Through the repeal of the PASPA, this law became active.
Not really. Anybody who is within the PA state lines is welcome to wager on sports at any online betting operator or retail sports book of their choice.
The minimum age for bettors in the state is 21 years
No. Not all sports are allowed. The only legal ones to bet on are those regulated at licensed casinos. Betting on offshore sites remains an illegal activity as it has always been the case before the Supreme Court placed a ruling on PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act).
You only need to provide some basic information including your physical address, name, email address, date of birth and social security number (the last few digits, usually four). This is to verify that you are indeed 21 and above.
Yes, mobile betting on apps and mobile site versions are available, provided you are within the state lines