Pennsylvania Sports Betting: How to Bet in PA

The sports betting industry in the United States continues to grow. Read to find out how Pennsylvania helped to grow the industry and what might lie ahead for the state.

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In the aftermath of PASPA’s fall, Pennsylvania quickly took action to legalize sports betting through a bill passed in 2017. With approval from the United States Supreme Court, this industry was able to bloom in the state.

Due to its abundance of popular and successful teams, Pennsylvania emerged as a leader in the sports betting industry, attracting top operators.By the end of 2023, it is projected that total sports betting handled in the United States since 2018 will exceed $300 million. Despite some slowdowns in certain states, the industry continues to experience growth.

Pennsylvania has been able to reap significant tax revenue from its higher-than-normal tax on sports betting earnings. Though it may no longer be at the forefront, Pennsylvania remains a highly favorable state for sports bettors. 

Pennsylvania’s Rich History of Betting

Known for its wide range of gambling options, Pennsylvania has always been at the forefront when it comes to offering diverse forms of entertainment. It comes as no surprise that sports betting was on the radar for lawmakers in this state even before its federal legalization.

While many other states faced significant challenges in legalizing sports betting, Pennsylvania had a smoother journey. In 2017, the state passed a law to legalize sports betting and waited for federal approval.

Though not the initial state to launch sports betting, Pennsylvania was part of the first wave. Its early implementation served as an example for other states when crafting their own sports betting laws.

Pennsylvania’s Path to Legalizing Betting

Unlike most states that began the process of legalizing sports betting after the federal ban was lifted, Pennsylvania had already taken steps towards legalization in 2017. A bill was passed and quickly led to the launch of sportsbooks.

Although Bill H 519 was responsible for legalizing sports betting in Pennsylvania, it was part of a larger package aimed at increasing tax revenue. After being signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in December 2017, the state awaited approval from the US Supreme Court.

The first retail sportsbooks opened in November 2018, followed by the launch of online sportsbooks in May 2019. Despite the delay, there were already numerous options available for bettors to choose from.

Where to Place Your Bets in Pennsylvania 

One of the key factors contributing to Pennsylvania’s successful sports betting industry is the availability of options for bettors. With both retail and online sports betting options, operators were eager to launch in this state.

Online sports betting has consistently been the preferred method of wagering in Pennsylvania, with 13 online sportsbooks currently offering their services. And with potential for more to come, the trend is likely to continue.

Here are the current online sportsbooks available in Pennsylvania, featuring some well-known names in the industry:

  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • BetAmerica Sportsbook
  • Betfred Sportsbook
  • BetMGM Sportsbook
  • BetPARX Sportsbook
  • BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook
  • Betway Sportsbook
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • FOX Bet
  • PointsBet Sportsbook
  • Unibet Sportsbook

While online sportsbooks are the preferred choice for most bettors, there are also excellent retail options available. Retail betting can be found at casinos and racetracks throughout Pennsylvania.

One advantage for sports bettors in Pennsylvania is the presence of popular casinos within the state. In addition to sports betting, these casinos also offer traditional casino games:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National
  • Live! Casino & Hotel
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Mount Airy Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • Presque Isle Downs
  • Rivers Philadelphia
  • Rivers Pittsburgh
  • South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook
  • The Meadows Casino and Racetrack
  • Valley Forge Casino
  • Wind Creek Casino

Key Regulations and Rules 

To participate in Pennsylvania sports betting, individuals must be physically located within the state and at least 21 years old. Account creation is necessary before placing a bet, and bettors must remain within state borders while wagering.

The governing body responsible for regulating this industry is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which enacts laws to oversee operations. These laws are designed to benefit both bettors and sportsbooks, resulting in a wide variety of betting options.

One advantage for Pennsylvania bettors is the ability to wager on in-state college teams, which is not allowed in all states. This expands the range of betting possibilities and increases revenue for the state.

In addition, sportsbooks operating in Pennsylvania must pay a 36% tax to the state, significantly higher than the national average for the U.S. industry.

Popular Sports and Events to Wager on in Pennsylvania

The sports betting industry in the United States offers a wide variety of options, including international events. However, local teams tend to be the main focus for bettors, and Pennsylvania sportsbooks prominently feature in-state teams.

Pennsylvania boasts a strong sports culture with several popular teams. In addition to professional leagues, bettors can also wager on in-state college teams, which is unique to this state.

The NFL is the most popular league for sports betting, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles holding a strong presence in Pennsylvania. The Steelers have a storied history while the Eagles have a fiercely loyal fan base.

Another popular league among bettors is the NBA, where the Philadelphia 76ers represent the state. While not as successful as fans would like, this team still garners a significant following.

For MLB fans, the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates are the teams to watch in Pennsylvania. Currently, the Phillies have a better chance at winning a World Series title, but both teams have had successful runs.

Hockey betting may not be as popular as other sports yet, but the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins have a devoted fan base in the state. With exciting games, these teams help drive interest in hockey betting.

Thanks to Pennsylvania’s regulations allowing for college team betting, schools like Penn State University and Villanova University also contribute to wagering activity. These popular teams provide more options for bettors in this state.

Tips for First-time Bettors in Pennsylvania 

Sports betting can be a lucrative endeavor, but it requires careful planning and strategy. Without a solid plan, it’s easy to get caught up and potentially lose money. To help you succeed as a first-time bettor in Pennsylvania, here are some tips to keep in mind.

First and foremost, establish a bankroll management plan before placing any bets. This should include determining how much you will deposit and how much you will use for each bet.

Additionally, seek out betting previews and predictions from various sources. It’s always helpful to gather multiple opinions before making a decision, even if you feel confident in your own research.

Lastly, discipline is crucial when it comes to sports betting. Know when to sit out on certain days and avoid chasing losses. With these tips in mind, you can increase your chances of success as a bettor in Pennsylvania.

The Future of Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

Although sports betting in Pennsylvania may have experienced a slowdown in the latter half of 2023, there is still much to be optimistic about for the future of this industry. With a multitude of online and retail options, new customers are continually signing up for accounts in the state.

While fall and winter tend to bring more betting action, this is a trend seen across all states. Additionally, there are exciting developments on the horizon, such as the launch of new online apps like Fanatics and ESPN BET.

Pennsylvania has proven to be a successful market for sports betting in terms of revenue generated for both sportsbooks and the state. This can likely be attributed to its high tax rate.

Furthermore, with popular local teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Penn State University driving interest in sports, Pennsylvania offers a diverse range of betting options. Just remember to always gamble responsibly and seek help if needed.

Paid in bonus bets if your bet wins.

21+ and present in select states. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as nonwithdrawable bonus bets that expire 7 days after receipt. See terms at sportsbook.fanduel.com. FanDuel is offering online sports wagering in Kansas under an agreement with Kansas Star Casino, LLC. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit FanDuel.com/RG (CO, IA, KY, MI, NJ, OH, PA, IL, TN, VA, VT), 1-800-NEXT-STEP or text NEXTSTEP to 53342 (AZ), 1-888-789-7777 or visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 or visit ksgamblinghelp.com (KS), 1-877-770-STOP (LA), visit www.mdgamblinghelp.org (MD), 1-800-522-4700 (WY), or visit www.1800gambler.net (WV).

Betting Ladies members get a bonus! Available in all states but NY, DC, MS, PR and NV.

Use our code BETLADY when you sign up!

Must be 21+ and present in CO, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, OH, NJ, NY, or VA. Void where prohibited. T&C Apply. If you or someone you know in CO, IL, LA, OH, or NJ has a gambling problem, Call or TEXT 1-800-GAMBLER. In IA, call 1-800-BETS-OFF. IN call 1-800-9-WITH-IT. In MI, call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Gambling Disorder Help-line at: 800-270-7117. In NY, Call (877-8-HOPENY) or text HOPENY (467369). In VA, call 1-888-532-3500.

Receive $150 as bonus bets. Deposit required. Paid in bonus bets. New customers only. Other Ts&Cs apply.

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