Pennsylvania, with its prime East Coast location and a sports-mad population of 12.783million (2020 data) was always going to be a huge player in the sports betting Gold Rush.
And judging by the handle for December 2020, those predictions are coming true. PA ranked only third behind New Jersey and Nevada with $548million. That took the overall figure wagered since legalization to more than $5billion.
Everything was set up for Pennsylvania to success, including as we said a sports-mad population.
At its heart is Philadelphia, one of the most rabid sports markets in the United States.
Leading the way for Philly is the Philadelphia Eagles, NFL powerhouse and Super Bowl champion for the first time in 2018. In the same city is the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, MLB”s Philadelphia Phillies and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Pittsburgh is the other major sports hub in PA, with the perennial NFL powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers the main attraction. The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins are also a national force while MLB has the Pittsburgh Pirates.
College sports fans are also well catered for in Pennsylvania. The state plays host to the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Vilanova Wildcats.
Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes, sports betting is very much legal in the state of Pennsylvania.
PA was quick to start taking bets in 2018 soon after the Supreme Court made the decision to strike down PASPA and allow states to make their own decisions on sports betting.
Mobile betting followed in 2019, and that really opened the floodgates to huge handles and revenues.
The one big barrier to growth for the PA betting market, and success for sportsbooks, is the cost of entry. Namely a $10million license fee and taxes of 36%.
Where can I bet in Pennsylvania?
There are a ton of options for PA bettors, with most big players active in the market.
Barstool Sportsbook: The betting product of the controversial sports media brand Barstool Sports – fronted by the equally controversial Dave Portnoy. A massive hit in sports betting though with an incredibly loyal user based. Well worth checking out the app.
BetAmerica: The sportsbook of Churchill Downs. Steeped in betting history. One to trust.
BetMGM: Massive player which is aggressively looking to grow market share. Again has a very trusted brand behind it.
BetRivers: From Rush Street Interactive, and a strong brand in the U.S. market.
Caesars: A big player, exactly as the name suggests. Another trusted and credible brand.
DraftKings: Huge player in the U.S. market and should be on the shortlist for all bettors looking to register for accounts. Good promotional offers too.
FanDuel: Right now ranks #1 in the amount of betting revenue it drives. Started in daily fantasy but now a sports betting behemoth. Legit force which is well trusted.
FOX Bet: Partnership between Fox Sports and The Stars Group. As well as a nice app and great offers, also has a terrific free-to-play football picks game called Super 6. Great fun way to add interest to an NFL weekend and potentially win huge prizes.
Parx: Big casino player in PA but will find it tougher to make a real dent in the sports betting market. Sign-up offers could be a little more generous.
SugarHouse: Really good range of events and bets, and a very social feel. Interesting.
Unibet: Originally from Europe but now looking to make a big impression Stateside.
Wind Creek: Launched an online sportsbook in late 2020 alongside major UK player Betfred. Another one well worth investigation.
NB: Remember, you can sign up with multiple sports betting apps in Pennsylvania – you don’t just have to stick to one. This gives you the chance to shop for the best odds, and get all those great sign-up offers. Check out our offers page for the latest and best deals.
In-person at retail sportsbooks
You can bet in person at the following retail sportsbooks in PA:
- Harrah’s Philadephia, Chester, PA 19013
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Grantville, PA 17028
- Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Washington, PA 15301
- Mohegan Sun Pocono at Lehigh Valley, Allentown, PA 18109
- Mount Airy Casino Resort, Mt Pocono, PA 18344
- Parx Racing, Bensalem, PA 19020
- Presque Isle Downs, Erie, PA 16509
- Rivers Casino Philadephia, Philadelphia, PA 19125
- Rivers Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
- South Philadephia Turf Club, Philadelphia, PA 19148
- Valley Forge Casino Resort, King of Prussia, PA 19406
- Wind Creek Bethlhem, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Do you need to be resident in Pennsylvania to bet there?
You do not need to be a resident of Pennsylvania to bet there. You just need to be of legal age and physically in the state to place a bet.
What is the legal sports betting age in Pennsylvania?
You need to be aged 21 or older to bet legally in the state of Pennsylvania.
How do I place a sports bet online in Pennsylvania?
A pretty straightforward for would-be sports bettors:
- Be in the state of Pennsylvania and of legal age
- Visit a sportsbook website or download its app to your smartphone
- Register for a sportsbook account on the website or app
- Deposit funds into your new sportsbook account
- Search the website or app for the sports and events you want to bet on
- Choose the event you want to bet on, and how much you want to bet
- You can now place your first bet in Pennsylvania
What type of sports bets can I place in Pennsylvania?
Point Spread: Yes
Round Robin: Yes
What sports can I bet on in Pennsylvania?
You can bet on all major sports in Pennsylvania, including:
- NFL Football
- NBA Basketball
- MLB Baseball
- College Football
- College Basketball
- NHL Hockey
NB: You can only bet on sports. This means you cannot wager on events like the NFL Draft or The Oscars.
Legal sports betting near Pennsylvania
Even though sports betting is very much now live in Pennsylvania, it pays to know what the deal is in neighboring states.
If you need to travel out of state and still want to bet, you need the intel to do so. The best options close to PA are as follows:
New Jersey: The biggest sports betting market of all right now, pulling in a handle of just shy of $1billion in December 2020 alone. Retail hot spots (Atlantic City for example) plus a ton of mobile options. You’ll need to be in-state and aged 21 or older to play.
New York: For now just limited to a few upstate casinos. No mobile options as yet (though we do expect that to change eventually). Again the legal age to bet is 21 or older.
Delaware: One of the first states to move after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. But for now still only land-based sites, no mobile betting at all. The legal age is 21.
West Virginia: Another early mover, and has both land-based and mobile betting. There are limited options in both areas though. Check out our state guide. The legal age is 21.
NB: Maryland voters have approved the introduction of legal sports betting but it still has to be rolled out. Expect updates soon, we will keep you posted.
Are offshore sportsbooks legal in Pennsylvania?
No, offshore sportsbooks are definitely not legal in the state of Pennsylvania. They have no license to offer bets in any U.S. jurisdiction.
This means if you sign up with them and deposit your dollars, you have no consumer protection. Really not worth the risk – what happens if you want to withdraw funds and you can’t?
So our advice always is to look for legal options, like right here in PA.