Pennsylvania was one of the first states to legalize online sports betting. It also has legal online casino games. These are operated through partnerships with the state’s casinos. Bettors must be at least 21 years of age and within the state line at the time of action. There are no restrictions on college betting in Pennsylvania.
History Behind Legal PA Sports Betting
Pennsylvania sports betting is big and getting bigger. The state is one of over 30 that has legalized sports betting. It is one of the most successful states when it comes to the sports betting industry.
Sports betting was illegal in the United States until the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was unconstitutional in 2018. This act was passed by the federal government in 1992. The bill outlawed sports betting throughout the country.
Some states were able to proceed with controlled sports betting, but Pennsylvania wasn’t on this list. When the Supreme Court decision came in 2018, the Pennsylvania legislature had already put a law into place to legalize sports betting.
The country knew that sooner or later, sports betting was going to be legal. This is why a law was passed in 2017 that relied on the Supreme Court decision a year later to legalize Pennsylvania sports betting.
The Pennsylvania legislature was frustrated that the state was losing so much revenue from citizens engaging in offshore illegal sports betting. Proponents of the bill began discussing the details in 2015.
Pennsylvania has always been very pro-gambling. It’s the second-largest casino state in the country. Its gambling rate has grown steadily since it legalized casinos back in 2004. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates gambling, including sports betting.
This has created a great response to sports betting, which has been seen in the state’s revenue. Pennsylvania is putting up massive numbers when it comes to its legal betting business.
Pennsylvania sports betting is legal in retail locations as well as on mobile devices. Many of the retail locations have apps as well that players can use when they aren’t physically at the book.
Pennsylvania currently has 12 retail sportsbooks and 11 different mobile books for residents or state visitors to choose from for their sports betting. This is more than most states that have legalized sports betting. The industry is so lucrative that this number is still expected to grow in the future.
Financial History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania legislature began working on legalizing sports betting in 2015 because it knew it would be a massive industry. It wasn’t wrong.
Pennsylvania has hit record heights in the state’s short legal sports betting history. Pennsylvania’s first full year with legal sports betting was in 2019. In the first year, people put down just under $1.5 billion in bets.
This created approximately $112 million in collective revenue for all the sportsbooks. Pennsylvania taxed 8.34% of that amount, which gave it over $30 million to put toward the economy.
The numbers in 2020 exceeded the astronomical 2019 margins. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and the riots that were ensuing throughout Pennsylvania, the state has still made more in tax revenue as of November.
The handle is over $2 billion, which is a $500 million increase from 2019. This has created $128 million in revenue. With a 6.95% tax on sportsbooks, the state has generated close to $45 million that it wouldn’t have made if it didn’t legalize sports betting.
Pennsylvania sports betting is shattering records every month in terms of betting figures. Handles slowed during the height of COVID-19, but it didn’t end up being permanent as the state saw record numbers at the end of the 2020 fiscal year.
In September 2020, the state joined New Jersey and Nevada as the only states to have over a $500 million handle. Pennsylvania surpassed Nevada in sports betting revenue and is currently second nationally to its border state, New Jersey. This was thanks to the number of apps that the state offers.
Sportsbook Apps in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has many legal apps for players to utilize. This has helped the state grow its sports betting at an extremely rapid pace. In states like Oregon, there is only one app, so players don’t have any choice. This lowers demand in the betting economy.
Pennsylvania offers 14 mobile sportsbooks to players.
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- ESPN Bet
- FanDuel Sportsbook
All the Pennsylvania sports betting apps are similar in their layouts and designs. Most of these apps also have an in-person book, so bettors can wager the same lines anywhere with the mobile book.
The highest-rated sportsbooks, in order, are DraftKings, FanDuel, Unibet, and FOX Bet. This is no surprise because they have the most well-known names in the sports betting world. These also were some of the earliest books to launch in the state and advertised aggressively to drive attention to their apps.
Retail Locations to Bet on Sports in Pennsylvania
Even though bettors can place the same wagers on a mobile book, retail sportsbooks provide a whole different atmosphere for Pennsylvania sports betting. Being in the company of other gamblers in crunch time has benefits that a mobile app can’t offer.
Retail sportsbooks in Pennsylvania understand this and have done great things with their books to provide a superior experience to players.
There are currently 12 retail sportsbooks for players to test their luck at in Pennsylvania.
- BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino Philadelphia (BetRivers)
- Rivers Pittsburgh Sportsbook at Rivers Pittsburgh (BetRivers Sportsbook App)
- FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino (FanDuel)
- Harrah’s Philadelphia (Caesars)
- Hollywood Casino Sportsbook (ESPN Bet)
- Parx Sportsbook (BetParx)
- Bet America Sportsbook at Presque Isle Downs & Casino (TwinSpires)
- Bet Stars Sportsbook at Mount Airy Casino (FOX Bet)
- The Meadows Sportsbook (DraftKings)
- Unibet Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)
- Unibet Sportsbook at The Downs at Lehigh Valley (Unibet)
- South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook (BetParx)
Not all of these sportsbooks were created equal, but they all have betting kiosks that operate 24 hours a day. Most have teller windows. This shows how much betting culture is valued in the state. Some of the highest-rated retail books are Rivers Sportsbook and Parx Sportsbook.
Rivers Sportsbook has six live betting windows and 27 kiosks to support close to 200 guests at a time. It has a full-service bar and restaurant with 24 86-inch LED televisions.
Parx Sportsbook cost the company $10 million, and this is evident when you walk into the location. It has six live betting windows and 18 kiosks. The coolest part about the book is its 156-foot HD media wall that can show up to 36 games at once. Each book has its benefits, but it’s tough to go wrong with either the Rivers or Parx Sportsbook.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is loaded with teams for players to wager throughout the year. The first thing that makes Pennsylvania sports betting unique is its ruling on betting local colleges. While most states restrict betting on local colleges and/or collegiate athletic contests, Pennsylvania doesn’t do either of those things.
The big athletic schools in Pennsylvania are Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, Villanova, Lehigh, Lafayette, Duquesne, and Robert Morris. You’re able to bet on all these teams straight up, ATS, and on the over/under. Depending on the book, you’ll be able to find some very exciting props for college contests.
Professional Sports Teams
In addition to college sports, Pennsylvania is also home to eight major professional sports franchises. It has at least one team in all leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS. This puts Pennsylvania in fifth place for professional sports franchises among the 50 states.
In the NFL, Pennsylvania is home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Eagles play in the NFC East and are coached by Doug Pederson. The team won one Super Bowl, in 2017. It went to the Super Bowl five years later but was defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Steelers play in the AFC North and are coached by Mike Tomlin. Under Tomlin, the team has won two Super Bowls in 2005 and 2008. In addition to these two championships, the Steelers won another four Super Bowls dating back to 1974.
Pennsylvania is also the location of two MLB teams. These teams are the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both teams play in the National League.
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh also have NHL franchises in their cities. The Philadelphia Flyers are one of the league’s most prestigious franchises. They have won two Stanley Cups.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a member of the Eastern Conference in the NHL, and they have had more success than the Flyers since 1990. They have won five Stanley Cups since that season, with their most recent coming in 2017.
The only NBA franchise in Pennsylvania is in Philadelphia. The 76ers call the city home and are beloved by residents of the state.
The team plays in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division at the Wells Fargo Center, where the Flyers play as well. Each franchise gives bettors a ton of opportunities to win big throughout the year.
FAQ for Pennsylvania Sports Betting
Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes, sports betting is legal throughout the state. It has been legal since 2018 when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA. You’re able to bet on your mobile device through one of the state’s 11 apps or in person at 12 locations.
What’s the legal age requirement for sports betting in Pennsylvania?
A person needs to be 21 years of age to participate in Pennsylvania sports betting.
Do I need to be a resident to use a Pennsylvania sports betting app?
No, anyone can download the apps throughout the country. You’re able to make an account and look at the odds without being in the state.
Despite this, you must be located in Pennsylvania to place a bet. The apps utilize your device’s GPS software to ensure that you’re inside Pennsylvania borders.
Can I bet on college sports legally in Pennsylvania?
Yes, all college sports are fair game when it comes to sports betting, including in-state colleges and props.
How much money does Pennsylvania sports betting generate in tax revenue?
This varies every month, but in 2019, Pennsylvania made $30 million in sports betting tax revenue. As of September 2020, it had already increased this number to $45 million.
Is legal sports betting safe in Pennsylvania?
Since sports betting is state-sanctioned, safety has been flawless since Pennsylvania legalized it back in 2017. Numerous options are available for deposit and withdrawal methods.
Can I make the same bets from my mobile device that I’d be able to make in a land-locked sportsbook?
Yes, all the sportsbooks partner with a mobile app. Therefore, you have the same betting options on the mobile book as you would in person.
Best Legal Pennsylvania Online Casinos
In conjunction with legal Pennsylvania sports betting, PA plays host to many online casinos too. A lot of the time, the sportsbooks you use for betting also boast an online casino component. Though every legal Pennsylvania online casino is created differently, you will find that the games available identically replicate those you will encounter in a real, brick-and-mortar casino.
Whether it be slots like 88 Fortunes, or more traditional casino games such as roulette and blackjack, casinos like FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings all deliver. Below, we will touch a bit more closely upon what each of these three top PA online casinos has to offer.
One great feature of Pennsylvania online casinos is that the video poker pay tables are much better than the ones in the state’s casinos. Many machines return over 99% with perfect play and five coins wagered. Most of the video poker in casinos returns 96 to 97 percent.
FanDuel Pennsylvania Online Casino
FanDuel is a name most long associated with daily fantasy sports (DFS) competitions and, subsequently, online sports betting. More recently, however, FanDuel has made a name for itself in the online casino space as well. When it comes down to it, they have everything you could ask for in an online casino and then some.
As far as game selection goes, slots dominate the landscape as you might expect. The expanse of slot titles is vast, but you can rest assured knowing that most titles are the same as those on the floor of real casinos. Slots like Cleopatra, Double Diamond, and Cats are all available at FanDuel Pennsylvania.
You will find plenty of table games, but what we like most of all are the live dealer games. At any given point in time, you will find live dealer blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, as well as Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Three Card Poker. The number of tables and minimum (and maximum) bets change depending on the day of the week and time of day, but there is something for you at any time of the day or night.
Finally, for new bettors who have just created an account at FanDuel’s online casino in Pennsylvania, there is an attractive welcome bonus that allows you to receive a loss rebate of up to $1,000 for the first 24 hours after you begin playing in the online casino. This is one of the best sign-up offers you will find in Pennsylvania.
BetMGM Pennsylvania Online Casino
Even if you aren’t (or weren’t) the biggest gambler, there is a strong likelihood that you are at least aware of the MGM brand. This global casino brand has been around since the late 1980s and has established itself as a mainstay of gambling hubs like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Macau.
With such a large audience and reach, it should come as no surprise that BetMGM Pennsylvania online casino is one of our favorites. If you are looking for a site that has it all and more, look no further. What makes BetMGM Pennsylvania online casino’s organization of slots better than most others is that they group games by maker, whether it is a jackpot slot or not, and a few other metrics. What’s more, there is a search function that simplifies finding your favorite games by another degree.
Live dealer games are also a feature at BetMGM online casino, and at any given time you can play baccarat, roulette, blackjack, and casino poker like Three Card and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
BetMGM online casino in Pennsylvania has an attractive welcome bonus for bettors who have just created an account. This bonus functions as a 100% deposit match worth up to $1,000.
DraftKings Pennsylvania Online Casino
Like FanDuel, DraftKings was long known only for their DFS competitions. Nowadays, however, DraftKings is just as involved in both the online sportsbook and casino industries in Pennsylvania. Something that stands out about DraftKings is how well their Pennsylvania online casino is organized. On the left-hand side of the casino page, you will find options for slots, live dealer games, classic table games, and video poker.
The live dealer section of DraftKings is nothing overly robust, but it has more than everything you would expect. You will find live dealer versions of blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.
If you are a new bettor who has just created an account at DraftKings Pennsylvania online casino, you can take advantage of a 100% matching bonus worth up to $1,000. This means that if you make an additional deposit of $300, your deposit will be doubled such that you can begin playing with a total of $600.