Pennsylvania has always been at the forefront of the legal sports betting boom that is rippling across the country. New Jersey might get most of the credit for bursting the dam on how to bet legally in America, but Pennsylvania was right in the mix too. In fact, the state was preparing for eventual legalization long before it happened.
That's one of the main reasons why PA sports betting took off so quickly. If you are looking for a robust PA online sports betting market with a wide variety of sports coverage and wagering options, you can’t do much better than the Keystone State.
Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania? It is now, but that hasn't always been the case. The legalization debate regarding sports betting in PA went on for years and began in earnest in the early 2000s when slot machines were first legalized. But the real movement toward the actual legalization of PA sports betting came in 2017 when the state was creating an expansion to its existing legalized casino games. (Head this way for PA free bets and bonus codes).
Lawmakers saw the writing on the wall at the Supreme Court, so in preparation for SCOTUS returning the question of sports gambling to the states, they legalized it. This is why, following that landmark decision in favor of online sports betting in Pennsylvania and other states, it took just six months for the first PA sportsbook to open. Legal sports betting in Pennsylvania has thrived ever since.
The bill at the heart of PA sports betting is H 1627. Passed and signed in October 2017, it authorized the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to offer PA online sports betting licenses to existing casino operators for both retail and online sportsbooks.
It's always good to keep on the right side of the law, so here are the main points you need to know about legal sports betting in Pennsylvania.
Other than high school sports, sports betting in PA allows you to bet on almost any sporting event taking place around the world. Along with the main team sports of football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and soccer, you can also wager on rugby, golf, tennis, darts, cycling, motorsports, table tennis, volleyball, MMA, and boxing, among many others.
The types of wagers you can place with Pennsylvania online sports betting sites are also large and diverse. They include:
A favorite market among PA online sports betting fans, the point spread allows you to take the points, or lay them. A point spread is used to determine the favorite and the underdog.
A moneyline bet is a win/loss bet that uses odds to determine the difference between the favorite and the underdog. Simply bet on your chosen team with your preferred PA online sports betting operator and if the team wins, so will your bet.
Also known as a totals bet at some PA sports betting sites, this bet is on the total combined points scored, and if the number will go over or under the posted line.
A Pennsylvania online sports betting parlay gives you the chance to win big from a small stake. Small bets combined into one large parlay bet. If it wins, the parlay pays off big. But to win, every one of the small bets must also win.
Round Robins are popular with many who enjoy sports betting in PA. Pick some teams and bet them as parlays in every possible combination. Each winning combo is a win for the player.
These are individual or team bets inside an event. Prop bets may include the winner of a coin toss, the first team to score, or which starting running back finishes with the most yards. There are scores of prop bets markets available to those who enjoy Pennsylvania online sports betting.
These are bets on events that have yet to take place, such as the winner of the World Series or Stanley Cup Finals. They are great for anyone who wants to take a long-term view when online sports betting in Pennsylvania.
Live betting allows bets to be placed on sporting events that have already started. Also called in-play betting, live betting markets have buyout options, updated odds and points spreads, and quarter and halftime lines.
A teaser is a type of parlay. It allows you to bet on two or more games in sports such as football or basketball, and also to adjust the point spread on those games. As with a regular parlay, all games must result as you predict (including covering the spread) in order for the teaser bet to succeed.
The PA sports betting market is huge, and it is being served by some of the biggest and most experienced operators in the industry. All Pennsylvania sports betting sites are reputable and reliable, but there are some that stand just a little taller than the rest.
Not every online PA sports betting site is equal. The fact is that different Pennsylvania sports betting sites have different strengths, and that's why many bettors choose to sign up with two or three so that they can have the best of all worlds. All of the sportsbooks featured here at How To Bet are well worth using, but they do vary in a number of ways. Here are just some of the areas that we look at when choosing the best PA sportsbooks to highlight.
First, we should stress that all of the PA sportsbooks featured here at How To Bet are completely legal, licensed and regulated for bettors in the state of Pennsylvania. Any site that doesn't tick all of the essential legality boxes for this state is immediately discarded.
The only reason to use a PA sportsbook is to bet on sports, so the next aspects we look at are the sports and markets that are available. All of our best PA sportsbooks offer a variety of betting markets for all popular US sports as well as many international sporting events.
All PA sportsbooks are keen to welcome you on board as a bettor, so they compete fiercely for your business. One way in which they seek to attract new bettors is by offering bonuses such as risk-free bets and deposit match bonuses. The more impressive the bonuses are at PA online sportsbooks, the better!
Using a Pennsylvania sports betting site should be a pleasure, not a pain. That's why we also look at the design and intuitiveness of the sportsbook interface. What we want to see is an interface that allows you to find the betting market you want quickly so that you can place your bet with the greatest of ease.
Getting money to and from your accounts with PA online sportsbooks safely and securely is another thing that should be as simple and straightforward as possible. The best PA sports betting sites will accommodate a good range of the most popular banking methods, and withdrawing money will be just as easy as making a deposit.
Many PA sports betting fans will never need customer support, but those that do should be able to get friendly and polite assistance with a minimum of delay. We therefore rate good customer support to be just as important as any of the other aspects we have mentioned here.
Now that you know just some of the areas we explore when we set about choosing the best sportsbooks, you should understand why the PA sports betting sites featured here at How To Bet really are the cream of the crop. On that basis, our top picks are as follows:
The DraftKings PA sports betting app is fast and easy to use, and the options for sports and markets seem endless. Currently, the bonuses that are available at this PA online sportsbook add up to an impressive $1000 in free money and risk-free bets. Unsurprisingly, the DraftKings sportsbook is at the top of the heap.
One of the newer kids on the PA sports betting block, Fox Bet is already standing out because of its $500 risk-free bet, $500 deposit bonus, and first-rate PA sports betting app. The live betting options are also top of the line.
A true innovator in the industry, FanDuel has a great app, the perfect platform for live wagering, and a $500 risk-free bet. Their PA online sportsbook also integrates with their online casino and daily fantasy sports site.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Presque Isle Downs and Casino
Technology Partner: SBTech
Affiliated with the racecourse in Erie, BetAmerica has struggled with branding and brand recognition. The parent company of the racecourse and retail sportsbook is Churchill Downs, which means that horse racing is prominently featured. The online sports betting PA site is also integrated with their online casino.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Rivers Sportsbook Pittsburgh
Technology Partner: Kambi
Kambi’s vast experience in running sportsbook technology is really evident here. The online and mobile apps are fast and smooth and perfect for in-play wagering. You also get a deposit match of up to $250 as a new customer.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Harrah’s Philadelphia
Technology Partner: Scientific Games
It took more than a year to happen, but 14 months after Harrah’s in Philadelphia began taking sports bets, their online sportsbook - bearing the Caesars brand - also opened.
Few brands mean as much in the world of gambling as Caesars and Harrah’s. And while the offerings may be limited at the moment, both the sportsbook and casino are expected to grow.
As of now, the options may be small, but the initial risk-free bet of $300 and access to Caesars Rewards are very nice incentives.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: The Meadows Sportsbook
Technology Partner: Kambi
Featuring carousels, in-play betting, live ticketing, and an easy connection between sportsbook, casino, and daily fantasy sports, DraftKings is our choice as Pennsylvania’s best online sportsbook.
The sign-up and deposit bonuses at this online sports betting PA site are big, and the sports and wagering options are even bigger. They also have one of the best customer service departments in the industry. Immediate withdrawals via bank transfer are also a very nice feature.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Valley Forge Casino and Sportsbook
Technology Partner: IGT
Another one of our top picks for an online sportsbook, FanDuel has moved from daily fantasy sports into an entire one-stop shop for all things real-money gaming.
FanDuel’s online sportsbook offers a $500 risk-free bet and connects to both its online casino and daily fantasy sports site. They also have one of the best mobile apps in the industry.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Mount Airy Casino
Technology Partner: The Stars Group
You know the name Fox Sports, and you know PokerStars. Fox Bet is the result of both entities coming together to create both an online casino and sportsbook, with the sports wagering connecting itself to the sports programming that gives Fox its national credibility.
Not only does Fox Bet offer all of the options you would expect from a seasoned sportsbook, but they also have game and betting analysis from the many Fox personalities that you'll know from watching sports.
The online sports betting PA mobile app is great, and the $1,000 in sign-up and deposit incentives are even better.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Parx Casino and Resort
Technology Partner: Kambi/GAN
Another product of Kambi, the Parx Sportsbook website is easy to use, easy on the eyes and does everything you wish it would do. The homepage for the app isn’t quite as clean as we'd like, but once you get into it, the experience is solid.
Also solid is a $500 risk-free bet, daily odds boosts, and one-click connection to the Parx online casino.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Rivers Casino Philadelphia
Technology Partner: Kambi
Eventually, SugarHouse is going to rebrand itself to Rivers Sportsbook, separating it from its sister sportsbook BetRivers. But both are part of the Rush Street Interactive family of entertainment properties, and both have the advantage of being powered by Kambi.
SugarHouse, the very first sportsbook in Pennsylvania, will give you a deposit bonus of up to $250 and a full slate of banking options.
Retail Sportsbook Partner: Mohegan Sun Pocono
Technology Partner: Kindred Group
Unibet and Kindred Group aren’t well-known names in the United States. However, as European betting entities, they are regarded as some of the best in the business.
Using the license owned by Mohegan Sun Pocono, a tribally-owned casino, Unibet offers $20 as a sign-up bonus in free bets and another $250 in a deposit bonus for a risk-free bet. They also have both their sportsbook and online casino connected online and through their mobile app, and the functionality of both is very good.
In addition to the online and mobile sportsbook options just discussed, PA sports betting fans can also place wagers with a variety of land-based sportsbooks. Pennsylvania sports betting locations are as follows:
Part of the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino, The Downs at Lehigh Valley is an off-track betting parlor that is now taking sports wagers.
Located in the back of the main casino floor, the sportsbook at Harrah’s Philadelphia boasts more than 4,000 square feet and features a half-dozen live betting windows.
Originally paired with William Hill to run its retail sportsbook, Penn National now owns a stake in Barstool Sports and is expected to launch a rebranded version of its PA sports betting offerings soon. The sportsbook itself has live windows, betting kiosks, and more than 50 feet of television wall space.
Located 30 minutes south of Pittsburgh, The Meadows sportsbook is inside the racetrack and on the casino floor. There are five live betting windows, 18 betting kiosks, and a series of 86-inch 4k ultra HD TVs to watch your bets play out.
Open since September 2019, the Mohegan Sun Pocono partnered with Unibet to build and brand their retail sportsbook. Bar service, a 28-foot video screen, and six betting kiosks are highlights at the Unibet Sportsbook.
Mt. Pocono, PA
Live tellers, eight betting kiosks, and sharing a space with the poker room are what you’ll find at the sportsbook at Mount Airy. The Stars Group, the force behind PokerStars, are the builders and operators of the FOXBet branded PA sports betting products.
Associated with Parx Casino and Racing, this off-track betting parlor has taken live sports bets since March 2019. It has more than 100 televisions and features betting through both live windows and kiosks.
The largest gaming complex in Pennsylvania, Parx has a casino, racetrack, and brand new 10,000 square foot PA sportsbook. Open 24 hours a day, with staffed tellers for 16 of those hours, the Parx Sportsbook features an incredible 156-foot wall of televisions that can broadcast a total of 36 different sporting events.
Right next to the racebook, the Presque Isle PA sportsbook has more than 50 self-service betting kiosks and another 50 large screen televisions.
The only casino in Pittsburgh is home to the only sportsbook in the Steel City. There are two dozen 86-inch TVs, a pair of 50-foot LED video walls, six betting windows, and more than 30 self-service betting kiosks. The 5,500 square feet of the sportsbook can accommodate up to 200 customers.
Part of the Parx family, this off-track betting parlor has been operating as a PA sportsbook since January 2019. Formerly known as the South Philly Turf Club, the sportsbook has both live betting windows and self-service kiosks.
Still branded as SugarHouse online, the newly branded Rivers Casino Philadelphia launched its sportsbook in December 2018. The sportsbook has a bar, electronic poker, live windows, express kiosks, and the ability to pre-build your betting slips for faster check out at the counter.
King of Prussia, PA
FanDuel runs the PA sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino, which features betting windows, self-service kiosks, and a pair of sports tickers. There are 27 televisions here on which you can watch your wagers play out.
You aren’t likely to find online sports betting PA bonuses when visiting one of the state’s retail sportsbooks because they only compete locally. PA online sports betting sites compete across the entire state, so they offer a variety of bonuses and promotions to attract bettors.
One of the easiest ways a PA sports betting site can attract new business is by offering a welcome bonus to those getting involves in PA sports betting online. Just sign up, and they’ll give you money. This is often this is in the form of an initial risk-free bet that only triggers in the event that it loses, but even that has value.
The bigger sums come when PA online sports betting operators offer deposit bonuses. Generally speaking, these are for first-time deposits, and they can match up to 100% of your own cash. A limit of up to $500 is common, but some will match even more.
Because online sports betting PA terms vary, always make sure you know exactly what the bonus is before you make your PA sports betting online deposit. If you can get an extra $100 to bet with, depositing only $50 might be a costly big mistake.
Even considering playthrough requirements (the amount you must wager before making withdrawals) sports betting Pennsylvania deposit bonuses are great for bettors.
A loyalty or rewards program is usually a casino promotion. That said, some PA sportsbooks, like BetRivers, do offer the same rewards to both casino and PA sports betting customers.
Again, do your homework, because having access to an excellent rewards program when PA online sports betting can really pay off in free bets and gifts.
A good number of Pennsylvania sportsbooks will offer free bets of up to $50 for referring friends as new customers. There will also be promotional bets tied in with specific sports, teams, or days of the week. It’s common to find insurance on certain plays - such as cashback on NBA bets that lose even when your team scores 100 points.
Any good sportsbook - and most PA sports betting sites deserve that label - has a good mix of odds boosters and special sports plays.
Whether you are accessing a PA online sports betting operator through its website or a mobile app, signing up for your new Pennsylvania sportsbook account is easy and straightforward. The information required for sportsbook PA registration is:
You will choose your sportsbook PA username and password at the time of registration. If there are any problems confirming your identification through your address and social security number, you may be asked to submit additional documentation, such as a utility bill in your name.
You will not usually need to provide photo ID unless the operator has trouble verifying your identity using the other information provided.
One of the most important aspects of a PA online sportsbook platform is how it deals with banking. Not only do you want deposits and withdrawals to be fast, but you will also benefit from having several options to choose from.
There are numerous ways to fund your sports betting online PA account. Some of the most popular and common online sports betting PA deposit methods are:
Not all PA online sportsbook sites will offer a prepaid card, so be sure to check which sportsbooks do. Additionally, even though all of the electronic wallet options are available at sites offering sports betting online PA - PayPal, Skrill, etc. - not all sportsbooks accept every one of them.
Ideally, you will have used a method of deposit that can be reversed for easy withdrawal. If that isn’t the case, most PA sportsbooks will allow you to use another means of account withdrawal, such as:
Having a personal check sent to you in the mail will result in a delay of several days to accommodate additional processing and transit. Withdrawing sports betting Pennsylvania profits via PayPal, on the other hand, or in cash from the operator's land-based sportsbook, would keep delays to a minimum.
From a broad perspective, PA sports betting is much the same as that in other states. You can bet on a wide range of sports in the US and abroad, the betting markets available work in the same way as anywhere else and the act of placing a bet is also very straightforward. However, look a little closer and you'll see that PA sports betting does differ in a few areas. We thought that it would be a good idea to highlight those differences so that you can more fully appreciate what a great thing Pennsylvania sports betting fans have going for them.
The legality of something doesn't automatically make it completely harmless. The fact is that there are plenty of things that are legal that can cause quite a bit of harm when they are engaged in irresponsibly. Driving a car without due care is one example, and drinking alcohol to excess is a second.
PA sports betting could also be cited as a third example of something that is legal yet potentially harmful. If you bet carefully, sensibly and well within your means then legal sports betting can be a hugely enjoyable pastime that causes no harm. However, if you let your betting get out of control, it can have dire consequences for both you and your loved ones.
We here at How To Bet are strong advocates of responsible PA sports betting. That's why we always advise that you only bet with money you can comfortably afford to lose, no matter how much you think your selection is a "sure thing". In betting, there is no such thing as a sure thing, and some of the worst losses come suddenly, straight out of left field.
PA sports betting sites have measures in place to help you keep your betting under control. These may include the ability to set deposit limits, wager limits, and to request self-exclusion from a Pennsylvania sportsbook on a temporary or permanent basis.
There are also several organizations in the state of Pennsylvania that exist to help individuals who want help getting their betting under control. If that sounds like you at any point, we would strongly urge you to approach them directly. A few of the most useful organizations are:
Yes, sports betting in Pennsylvania is legal. This applies to land-based sportsbooks and also to online sportsbooks. However, it is only legal to bet with a sportsbook that is regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
If you are 21 years old and inside the state lines, you can place legal sports wagers.
Being a PA resident is not required, but you do need to be physically located within the state when you place bets with PA sportsbooks.
Sports betting is now legal, but only if it’s regulated and licensed by Pennsylvania officials. Legal sports betting does not mean that everyone can make and take sports bets.
Only land-based casinos or their online partners who have applied for and been granted a license can legally offer sports betting.
This doesn’t mean your office NFL survivor pool is going to become the target of a sting operation, but it’s not protected by the law either.
Yes, and you must declare your sports winnings to the IRS when filling out your yearly tax return.
That said, sports gambling specific taxes are paid by the sportsbook operator. The 36% tax rate that was levied on sports betting is not the customer’s responsibility.
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