Online Sports Betting In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania officially became a sports betting state when the Commonwealth’s first retail sportsbook launched in 2018.

Since then, eight more retail sportsbooks have started taking bets on a variety of sports. The first PA sports betting site went live in 2019, ushering in a new era of online and mobile sports betting in the Keystone State.

Three more PA sports betting apps have launched since then, and more are on the way. Below, you will find the essential details regarding the four currently operational online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania.

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PlaySugarHouse Online Sportsbook

Sugarhouse Pennsylvania SportsbookThe SugarHouse Sportsbook became the first PA online sports betting app to go live on May 31, 2019.

The online and mobile sportsbook takes its name from SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. It is run by Rush Street Interactive, the online arm of SugarHouse Casino owner and operator Rush Street Gaming. Although, PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook leans on global sports betting services partner, Kambi, for the odds it posts.

SugarHouse offers anyone making a first deposit using the promo code 250MATCH a 100% match bonus of up to $250. This bonus has a wagering requirement, but it is just 1x, making it easy to clear.

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Downloading the Sugarhouse app

  • Android: Players can download the PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook sports betting app to any Android device. First, they must navigate to the PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook PA website using a mobile browser and then click the “Download Now” button. The download will begin automatically.
  • iOS: iPhone and other Apple device users can sign up using a mobile browser to access the PlaySugarHouse website. While there is not an actual iPhone app, iOS users can download the GeoGuard app from GeoComply in the Apple App Store. Once enabled, users can place bets on their phone’s browser.

In July 2019, Rush Street Gaming announced it would be rebranding SugarHouse Casino as Rivers Casino Philadelphia later in the year.

FanDuel Sportsbook PA (Valley Forge)

Fanduel Sportsbook PAThe FanDuel Sportsbook was the first online sportsbook in PA to offer an iPhone app when it went live on July 22, 2019.

The PA sports betting app comes out of Valley Forge Casino Resort and its partnership with FanDuel. The sportsbook software and odds come from FanDuel and a software partnership with GAN and IGT.

Of course, FanDuel Sportsbook has run an online sportsbook under the same brand in New Jersey. The app is the same in both states, so users only need one account and one app to bet in both PA and NJ.

FanDuel Sportsbook offers new sign-ups a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. If players win their first bet, they keep the money. However, if they lose it, FanDuel will offer a site credit for the amount of the wager of up to $1,000. Promo code None - Use Links

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Downloading the Fanduel app

  • Android: Also, there’s an Android app that users can download directly from the FanDuel PA website.
  • iOS: There’s an iOS app that iPhone and iPad users can download for free in the Apple App Store.

BetRivers Online Sportsbook

BetRivers Online SportsbookThe BetRivers Online Sportsbook went live on June 27, 2019. It became Rush Street Gaming’s second online and mobile sports betting product in Pennsylvania.

The significant difference is this one takes its name from the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. It is also a completely separate site from PlaySugarHouse with completely separate and different accounts for users.

It is also run by Rush Street Interactive and uses odds provided by global sports betting services company Kambi.

New depositors at BetRivers Sportsbook, who use the promo code 250MATCH, are also eligible for a 100% match bonus of up to $250. This bonus also comes with just a one-time wagering requirement, which makes it easy to clear.

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Downloading the BetRivers app

  • Android: Android device users can download the app from the BetRivers website and wager on their mobile devices.
  • iOS: Unfortunately, there isn’t an iOS version of the app for iPhones, but like PlaySugarHouse, iPhone users can access the browser version in tandem with the GeoGuard app.

Parx Online Sportsbook

Parx Sportsbook PAParx Sportsbook went live on June 27, 2019.

Even though it is run by Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA, with software from global online gambling software developer, GAN, the Parx online sportsbook still offers odds from global sports betting services provider Kambi.

New players on the Parx Sportsbook app can take advantage of two bonuses. The first is a $10 no-deposit bonus. The second is a risk-free bet of up to $250, which offers a refund to users who lose their first bet. No promo code is necessary for either bonus.

Downloading the Parx app

  • Android: Parx Sportsbook offers an app for Android devices that users can directly download from the Parx site.
  • iOS: Parx also offers an iOS version on the Apple App Store.

PA online sports betting expansion

As of August 2019, there are nine Pennsylvania retail sportsbooks in operation that have spawned four PA sports betting apps.

Pennsylvania online sports betting is going to expand to include at least another five retail sportsbooks. Plus, as many as another seven sports betting apps are in the works.

Mount Airy and its partner Fox Bet should have retail and online sports betting up and running  before the start of the NFL season, per PGCB.

Harrah’s Philadelphia and partner, Scientific Games, is expected to launch a online sports betting app in Pennsylvania before the end of summer in 2019. Hollywood Casino at Penn National and Presque Isle Downs and its BetAmerica-branded sportsbook have plans to do the same in the fall of 2019.

Plus, the following PA casinos and their listed partners have announced plans to launch retail and online and mobile sports betting operations sometime soon:

  • The Meadows Racetrack & Casino/DraftKings (2019)
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono/Unibet (2019)
  • Live! Philadelphia Hotel & Casino (2021)

Online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania

The four sports betting sites on the market all offer mobile wagering via apps and online wagering through each one’s website.

Here is the full list of PA online sportsbooks and when they launched or are planning to:

PA sportsbook locations, partners, licensees

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) oversees all sports betting in the state, both retail and online.

Only PA casinos (and racinos) can get a license to do this. However, none have done it alone. Many choose to partner with software and sports betting services suppliers from around the world to launch retail and online sports betting operations in Pennsylvania.

Here’s a look at which operators have partnered with which on the launch of sports betting in Pennsylvania:

CasinoPartnerOnline SportsbookRetail Sportsbook
SugarHouse Casino KambiLive as of May 31, 2019 Launched Dec. 15, 2018
Valley Forge Casino Resort FanDuel/IGT/GANLive as of July 22, 2019 Launched March 13, 2019
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh KambiLive as of June 27, 2019 Launched Dec. 15, 2018
Parx Casino KambiLive as of June 27, 2019 Launched Jan. 10, 2019
Harrah's Philadelphia Scientific GamesSummer 2019Launched Jan. 24, 2019
The Meadows DraftKings2019Coming Soon
Hollywood Casino at Penn National William HillFall 2019Launched Nov. 17, 2018
Presque Isle Downs BetAmericaFall 2019Launched July 26, 2019
Mohegan Sun Pocono Unibet2019Coming Soon
Mount Airy Casino Resort FoxBetAug./Sept. 2019Coming Soon
Live! Philadelphia Hotel & Casino N/AEst. 2021Coming Soon

Here is a look at where each of the sportsbooks is located:

Benefits of legal online sports betting

Once you accept that Americans are already betting billions of dollars on sports every year, and that most of it is through illegal bookies and offshore online sportsbooks, it’s easy to see that there are several benefits to legalized sports betting.

For those who bet sports, legal sports betting offers a safer environment with increased consumer protections. The launch of legal sports betting in a state like Pennsylvania also means a boost to the local economy, new jobs, and a brand-new tax revenue stream for the state.

Legal sports betting should also help put illegal sports betting operators out of business. Since it’s all above board and public, legal sports betting also means the integrity of sports across the country is better protected than ever before.

Top sports betting events, sports teams in PA

Pennsylvania doesn’t differ much from the rest of the country when it comes to major sports betting events.

The most-bet-on event in the country and in PA is the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament. March Madness may get even more attention in PA because a local-Philadelphia team, the Villanova Wildcats, have become perennial contenders, winning the tourney in 2016 and 2018.

The Super Bowl is the second-biggest betting event in the US and PA. Of course, the Super Bowl’s popularity in Pennsylvania was at an all-time high in 2018 when the Philadelphia Eagles won it. However, the NFL is also wildly popular in Pittsburgh where locals bleed the black and gold colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Other local teams that draw a lot of betting interest in PA include:

  • Penn State Nittany Lions (NCAA football)
  • Pittsburgh Panthers (NCAA football)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
  • Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
  • Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)

Other significant sporting events that draw a ton of betting action in PA include:

  • World Series (MLB)
  • NBA Finals
  • Stanley Cup Playoffs (NHL)
  • The Masters (PGA)
  • Wimbledon 
  • College football playoffs
  • Kentucky Derby/Triple Crown

Unfortunately, PA sportsbooks cannot accept wagers on non-sporting events like the NFL Draft or the Academy Awards. For a PA sportsbook to take action on something, it must be directly tied to a sporting event.

PA sports betting FAQ

Are legal sports betting options live in Pennsylvania?

Yes, they are. Pennsylvania law allows for regulated sports betting at licensed PA casinos or on licensed sports betting apps run by PA casinos. Betting with offshore online sportsbooks and illegal bookies is still against the law, but there are now several legal sports betting options in Pennsylvania.

Who is eligible for a sports betting license?

The PGCB only grants licenses to run retail sportsbooks to existing PA casino license holders. That includes racetracks with casinos, otherwise known as racinos.

Is there legal online sports betting in Pennsylvania?

Yes, there is. Online sports betting launched in Pennsylvania when the first sports betting site went live on May 31, 2019. Since then, three others offer sports betting through various mobile apps and websites. Plus, several more are preparing to launch before the end of 2019.

What about mobile sports betting apps?

Like we just said, online sports betting through various mobile apps and websites launched in Pennsylvania when the first PA sports betting app went live in 2019. Three others have launched since.

All four PA sports betting apps are available for download on Android devices through each sportsbook’s website. There are also iOS apps  available for some sportsbooks through the Apple App Store. Others require iPhone and iPad users to employ a third-party geolocation app to allow browser access to sportsbook sites.

What sports can I legally bet on?

You can bet on almost all US college and pro sports in PA. That means the big four US pro sports leagues: NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Plus, most major NCAA-sanctioned college sports. There are even betting markets in PA for overseas sports action like European football, cricket, and rugby.

What colleges are excluded?

You can bet on all US college teams in PA. New Jersey restricts college sports betting to schools and games outside the state only. PA does not have such restrictions.

Are there other PA sports betting restrictions?

If it’s a sport, you can pretty much bet on it in PA. The only restriction is that the betting market must revolve around a sporting event. That means you cannot bet on events, e.g., the Academy Awards and the NFL Draft.

Who is eligible to place a sports bet in Pennsylvania?

As long as you are 21 or older and physically inside the state of Pennsylvania, you can place a sports bet online or live at a retail sportsbook. The lone exception is if you are in any way, shape, or form involved with the team or the league you wish to bet on.

How does an online sportsbook know that I’m actually inside PA when I place a wager?

Online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania employ geolocation software to make sure anyone placing a bet is inside PA at the time. There’s no getting around this law.

What types of sports betting does Pennsylvania support?

PA law allows for single-game wagering at licensed retail and online sportsbooks. That means all kinds of traditional bets are available on a variety of sporting events, including:

  • Futures
  • Moneylines
  • Point spreads
  • Totals (over/unders)
  • Parlays
  • Round robins
  • Teasers
  • Player, team, and game props
  • Live, in-game betting

How much revenue will sports betting generate for Pennsylvania?

Through July 2019, online sports betting in Pennsylvania has generated a total of more than $8.8 million in tax revenue for the state. The numbers appear to be growing as the number of sports betting options increases. However, looking at the numbers, we can say that it seems online sports betting in PA will generate in excess of $12 million in annual tax revenue for the state.

It is also worth noting that, thanks to the $10 million fee to get a license for sports betting, the new industry has also generated $110 million in licensing fees alone so far.

What are the tax rates on PA sports betting?

Online and retail sports betting in PA are taxed at 34% plus a 2% local share assessment. That means 36% of all sports betting revenue is going to the Commonwealth.

What about esports betting?

Because esports don’t fit the definition of a traditional sporting event, bettors can’t currently bet on esports in PA. That said, PA lawmakers have discussed the possibility and could legalize esports betting sometime in the future.

What about daily fantasy sports?

PA began regulating daily fantasy sports (DFS) in May 2018. That means it’s legal to play DFS at licensed PA fantasy sports operators.

History of PA sports betting

Pennsylvania was one of several states that legalized sports betting pending a change in federal law prior to the US Supreme Court declaring the federal ban on sports betting unconstitutional in May 2018.

That was the only change in federal law PA needed to move ahead, and the PGCB was immediately tasked with producing regulations to govern sports betting in the Commonwealth.

The PGCB came up was the following plan:

  • Allowing PA casinos to apply for a sports betting license giving them the right to operate online and retail wagering on sporting events approved by the board.
  • Charging sports betting licensees a one-time fee of $10 million.
  • Allowing each licensee a single online sports betting skin prominently featuring the name of the associated casino.
  • Allowing licensees to launch supplemental retail sportsbooks at off-track betting and local satellite casino locations.

It took some time for the first to be submitted, but sports betting license applications began pouring in by August 2018.

The state’s first retail sportsbook

Hollywood Casino at Penn National was the first to apply and launched the state’s first retail sportsbook on Nov. 15, 2018.

As other locations prepared to launch, on Dec. 7, Presque Isle Downs submitted a license application. Sportsbooks began opening at casinos across the state, and by the end of March 2019, Mount Airy and Mohegan Sun applied for licenses as well.

That left Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin and Sands Bethlehem. The tiny Lady Luck operation looked to be leaving sports betting to sister site Presque Isle Downs.

As for Sands Bethlehem, it was going through a sale. That sale closed at the beginning of June 2019 with the property becoming Wind Creek Bethlehem. The new owners claimed they were moving ahead with the process of bringing sports betting to the casino.

Around the same time, the era of online PA sports betting was ushered in when SugarHouse began online app testing on May 28, 2019. By July 29, four online betting apps were up and running with more getting ready to launch.

That brings us to August 2019 with nine PA retail sportsbooks operational and four more to launch this year, and each to either run a PA sports betting app already or have plans to launch one soon.

PA sports betting law, regulations

Pennsylvania legalized sports betting, pending a change in federal law, as part of a comprehensive gambling expansion package approved in October 2017. That change in federal law came on May 14, 2018, when the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and upheld a 2014 New Jersey law aimed at allowing sports betting in casinos and racetracks in the Garden State by a vote of 6-3. PASPA is the law that made sports betting illegal everywhere except Nevada, and limited sports gambling in Delaware, Montana, and Oregon.

PASPA declared unconstitutional

In the written Supreme Court decision, Justice Samuel Alito said PASPA infringed upon state sovereignty guaranteed in the US Constitution. He also said states should be able to make their own choices when it comes to sports gambling, opening the door to legalized and regulated sports betting across the country. Of course, Pennsylvania is ahead of the curve on the issue, as one of just a handful of states that legalized sports betting pending a change in federal law prior to the release of the Supreme Court decision. Now, it’s just a matter of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) setting up the regulatory framework for legalized sports betting inside the state. After the Supreme Court decision was released, the board issued a statement claiming the next step for Pennsylvania is for gaming board staff to draft appropriate regulations and seek approval of those by the board. The statement also said the board cannot provide a timetable for the completion and approval of thee regulations or the launch of sports betting in Pennsylvania at this time.

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