PA Online Sports Betting
It is all Change for Sports Betting in Pennsylvania – This Comprehensive Guide Explains All
PA online sports betting sites are open and taking bets. These betting sites allow you to bet on major sports, international games and to bet while matches are running with live betting.
Pennsylvania online sports betting is legal thanks to the challenge of the PAPSA laws in the Supreme Court. This challenge resolved years of prohibition – giving the states the authority to regulate their own gambling activity. PA had legislation already in place for regulated sports betting. When PASPA was repealed, a clause was triggered, and licensing of live sportsbooks began.
This page focuses on online sports betting in PA. With 8 sites expected to debut in 2019 (one already live), you’ll be able to place a bet remotely from anywhere within the state borders.
What are the Best Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania?
Many of the major casinos have partnered with betting technology companies to bring betting online. Here is a list of the Pennsylvania online betting sites:
- SugarHouse Casino Sportsbook: Philadelphia’s SugarHouse will partner Kambi and their own ‘Rush Street Interactive’ to bring their sportsbook online. Sugarhouse Sportsbook is open
- Hollywood Casino / Penn National Online Sportsbook: Located at the Penn National racecourse in central PA this book will be a partnership with William Hill.
- Bet Rivers: This online sportsbook is a joint venture between Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Kambi (who provide lines) and Rush Street Interactive.
- Harrah’s PA Sportsbook: Caesars Entertainment owned Harrah’s in Chester, just outside Philadelphia. This online site will be a partnership with Scientific Games.
- Parx Casino Sportsbook: Another famous casino located just outside of Philly. Parx will partner with Kambi to bring their sports betting online.
- South Philadelphia Turf Club: Another PA book which is partnering with Kambi for online betting.
- FanDuel / Valley Forge Sportsbook: This casino has already launched a live FanDuel sportsbook. The online version will also partner with FanDuel, who are in turn owned by Paddy Power Betfair.
- Valley Forge Turf Club: This separately located Valley Forge property located in Oaks, PA will launch an online sportsbook with Kambi.
PA Sports Betting FAQ
There are currently 8 live sportsbooks in PA. These are at the Parx Casino, SugarHouse Casino, Hollywood Casino, Rivers Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, South Philadelphia Turf Club, Valley Forge Turf Club and Valley Forge Casino. As of May 2019, you’ll be able to bet from anywhere in the state without needing to visit a casino or racetrack via the new online sportsbook sites.
Yes. Sports betting was made legal back in 2017. This act had a clause relating to the PASPA federal ban. When this was lifted by the Supreme Court in May 2018, the PA clause was triggered, and sports betting became legal. The period since has seen licenses and regulation set up by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. See a list of PA betting sites here.
Anyone over 21 who is physically inside the PA borders is legally allowed to bet. There is no requirement to be a permanent resident.
You’ll find a huge list of sports to bet on. In fact, the only exception is horse racing, which is covered separately by the legal racebooks. All the PA online sportsbooks will have comprehensive coverage of the major sports. NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB are the main focus when you log on – depending on which leagues are in season at the time. You will also be able to bet on college and minor leagues at many books. Other sports with comprehensive coverage include Golf, Tennis, Soccer (all the major European leagues and international fixtures – as well as leagues from around the world), MMA and motor racing. The list goes on at some books, with niche / country-specific sports like Cricket and Rugby also having coverage.
Yes. The first wave of online sportsbooks launched in PA in May 2019. We expect to see FanDuel (which is owned by global betting giant Paddy Power Betfair) launch quickly. FanDuel have already announced that they will be partnering with the Valley Forge Casino. DraftKings are also owned by Paddy Power Betfair. While there is a DraftKings sportsbook in NJ, no PA partnerships have been announced at the time of writing.
A big advantage of regulated sportsbooks is that you can use mainstream payment methods to get your money on board. These include credit cards from major banks with Visa and MasterCard the main brands welcomed. You could also use bank transfers. These can be eChecks (ACH transfers) or Bill Pay type transfers. Wires are expensive, though can be used to securely send larger amounts. If you prefer to keep your bank account and the PA sportsbooks separate, there are many more options. These will include eWallets (PayPal, Skrill and Neteller are candidates) and pre-paid options like PayNearMe. If you are close to one of the live sportsbooks, then you can take cash direct to the casino cage.
In 2004, the state set up the PGCB or ‘Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’. This agency is charged with overseeing all forms of gambling within PA. This include the horse racing tracks, live casinos and now sportsbooks and online gambling sites. This agency is funded through gambling revenues. As well as licensing and oversight, the PGCB has other roles. They provide assistance for people with gambling problems and have a dedicated slot machine testing center to ensure fair play. You can find out more about the role of this agency and the commissioners on this website: https://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/
You’ll be able to enjoy a lot of different bets at PA sportsbooks. Some of these are sport-specific (puck-line in hockey for example), while others work with many sports. The primary categories include money line bets, spreads and totals. There are bets on individual matches, futures bets and even player props. If you are looking for a bigger return, then parlays (bets on multiple matches) and teasers are also available. Live betting (in-play) bets are also possible, with lines changing as the action unfolds. An alternative is to bet on parts of a match (again, sport specific), for example total goals in the first half of a soccer match.
With the sportsbooks only launching recently, it is early to say how much revenue will be generated. Tax returns from NJ are in the $11 million a month region for sports betting. With the PA population 12 million (as opposed to 8 million in NJ), it would seem that $15 million a month is in the right ballpark when sports betting gets fully established. When you take into account the higher tax rates in PA for the gambling companies, this could be even higher. On the other side of this estimate, some of the NJ revenue will currently be from bettors from PA! All PA online sportsbooks require a separate betting license. These cost several million dollars and depend on whether a casino gets a package of 3 licenses covering sports, casino and poker gaming.
No, as long as you bet from within the PA borders there is no requirement to be a permanent resident.
Location tracking technology has become very advanced over the years. There were some false-negatives when NJ first went live with online gambling – though these have since been ironed out. For PA residents, your IP address and Wi-Fi information will be cross-referenced to ensure you are physically inside the boarders. If there is any doubt as to your location, you will need to enable Wi-Fi (on your phone) or even install more accurate tracking software. Using virtual networks to mimic being inside PA will not work – as VPNs and Proxies are easy for the software to detect.