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pennsylvania sports betting overview

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Overview

Legal online sports betting officially arrived in the state of Pennsylvania in May of 2019 with the launch of the BetRivers (SugarHouse) sportsbook. As of June 2021, there are 11 different online sports betting options in PA, with another two books expected to enter this year.

This article will walk you through everything you need to know prior to opening an account with a PA sportsbook and placing your first wager.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Laws and Restrictions

The sports betting laws in place in Pennsylvania are fairly straightforward with a few items of note that bettors should be aware of:

  • The minimum age requirement to open a sports betting account in Pennsylvania is 21.
  • Bets may only be placed on live sporting events. This means no betting on NFL/NBA Drafts, Presidential Elections, or award shows like the Grammys.
  • Wagering on esports is not allowed in Pennsylvania.
  • While you do not have to be a permanent resident of PA, you do need to be located within state lines when placing a wager. Sports betting apps will verify this by using geolocation technology.

While the legal age to bet on sports is currently set to 21 (as it is in every new betting market), there are still options for PA residents between the ages of 18 and 21. The PA Lottery is online and has an age limit of 18+. Additionally, the minimum age for betting on horses in Pennsylvania is also set to 18.

It is quite expensive for operators to enter the Pennsylvania sports betting market. They have one of the highest licensing fees and revenue tax rates in the United States. The currently licensing fee is set to $5 million with an 18% tax on revenue. We have seen other states, such as Indiana, offer licensing fees as low as $100,000 with a mere 8.5% tax rate.

While many of the big-name operators here in the US have paid the price to enter the market, several well-known sportsbooks are missing from this space. This list includes 888 Sport, PointsBet, and William Hill. While it appears unlikely 888 or PointsBet enter PA at this time, William Hill has stated they will begin operating in the state at some point in 2021.

PA Sportsbook/Casino Partnerships

With the majority of US states, the gaming industry is controlled by the brick-and-mortar casinos that are licensed and operating in the state. To ensure these casinos don't suffer from the influx of online sportsbooks and casinos, states require online sportsbooks to partner with one of the licensed and regulated casinos.

Below is a list of the current 11 online sportsbooks operating in Pennsylvania along with the casino they partnered with to enter the market.

Online BookCasino PartnerLaunch Date
Barstool SportsbookHollywood Casino: PennNovember 2018
BetAmerica SportsbookPresque Isle DownsJuly 2019
BetMGMHollywood Casino: MorgantownFebruary 2020
BetRiversRivers PittsburghDecember 2019
Caesars SportsbookHarrah's: PhiladelphiaJanuary 2019
DraftKings SportsbookThe MeadowsOctober 2019
FanDuel SportsbookValley Forge CasinoMarch 2019
FOX BetMounty Airy CasinoSeptember 2019
ParxParx CasinoJanuary 2019
SugarHouseRivers PhiladelphiaDecember 2018
UnibetMohegan Sun PoconoSeptember 2019

Latest Pennsylvania Sports Betting News

Pennsylvania Handle Show Substantial Year-Over-Year Growth - While the total handle in PA is considerably lower (slightly more than half) what we see in New Jersey, the growth rate is relatively similar. The total handle in PA was up 62% from December of 2019 to December of 2020.

FanDuel (Valley Forge) Dominating PA Sports Betting Market - FanDuel continued to open up its lead over the competition in Pennsylvania this past year. Their current market share sits just under 37%, accounting for roughtly $202 million of the $548 million handle in December.

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Best SportsBook Promotions Available in PA

New sports bettors in Pennsylvania have a list of new sportsbook bonus offers to review for the 2021 NBA and NHL playoffs. These offers range from cash deposit bonus offers to risk-free bet offers. In addition to our recommend promotion below, you can find reviews for every offer available in the US sports betting market in our promo code directory.

Our recommended promotion for new PA bettors this January is a $40 instant bonus, plus $500 deposit bonus offer from Unibet. The instant bonus requires no deposit, making it free to try Unibet PA this June!

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Pennsylvania SportsBook FAQs

With one of the largest betting markets in the US, Pennsylvania offers a massive variety of sportsbooks for bettors to choose from. Such competition is great for the PA sports betting industry but can make it difficult for bettors to find the right sportsbook app.

We address this and many other questions and concerns that we get regarding Pennsylvania sportsbooks and the PA sports betting market in the FAQs below.

Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes, sports betting was legalized in PA in 2018. Initially, betting was limited to brick-and-mortar sportsbooks only. The industry expanded online in 2019, and today there are six big-name sportsbooks operating in the state.

Is mobile betting legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes, when the state moved to allow online sports betting in 2019 it also opened the gates to license mobile operators as well. Anyone in PA can bet on popular sportsbook apps like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Unibet.

What sports can you bet on in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania bettors can bet on any professional or college sporting event. There are no restrictions regarding PA college teams, or prop betting on college sports. That being said, it is illegal to bet on non-sporting events in Pennsylvania. This includes elections, award shows, drafts, and even eSports.

What is the best PA sportsbook?

With a wide variety of sportsbooks to choose from it can be difficult to identify which sportsbook is the best in Pennsylvania. The majority of operators in PA use the same company to determine which sports, events, and even what odds to post. That being said, we prefer a sportsbook with a solid mobile product, industry-low juice, and solid customer support. For us, the best sportsbook in PA comes down to DraftKings, BetRivers, and Unibet.

What is the legal betting age in Pennsylvania?

The current legal betting age in Pennsylvania is 21. However, the minimum age for lottery and horse racing is currently 18. 

Is retail betting legal in PA?

Yes, there are currently 12 retail sportsbook open in Pennsylvania. This includes two near Pittsburgh, four near Philadelphia, one near Allentown, two near Scranton, and one in Erie. Operators include FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, SugarHouse, Barstool, and Unibet.
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