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Sports betting in Pennsylvania
Here is a short history lesson – don’t worry it won’t take long! The battle to make PA online sports betting legal and in the other States did not happen overnight. It took a while to sort out.
The ban on sports betting in the USA was officially lifted on May 18, 2018, after the Supreme Court of the United States lifted the suspension that was imposed after the major leagues of NBA, NFL, NCAA, NHL, and MLB fought for sports betting to be illegal by citing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) to prohibit state-regulated sports betting.
The Supreme Court of the United States decided in favor of the state of New Jersey with a 6-3 majority decision. This allowed States are now allowed to decide whether or not to make sports betting legal in their State.
Pennsylvania was one of the first States to pass a law that authorized sports betting. They also now allow online sports betting since the bill was passed. They launched online sports betting in Pennsylvania on May 31 2019.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes, online sports gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania in May 2019.
When did Online Gambling become legal in Pennsylvania?
May 2019. SugarHouse was the first online sportsbook in PA.
How much did PA sports betting produce in handle in June 2019?
Pennsylvania sports betting produced $27M in handle in June 2019.
How will option for mobile betting affect Pennsylvania sports betting handle?
It is anticipated that the addition of mobile betting will cause a dramatic surge in gambling popularity as the NFL season approaches in September.
What is the legal gambling age in PA?
To gamble in Pennsylvania you have to be at least 21 years of age.
Where can I gamble online on sports in Pennsylvania?
There are a few legal and licensed online sportsbook to choose between in Pennsylvania.
The first question you need to ask is: “Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?”
The answer to that is very simple. Yes, it is.
It’s hard to imagine that up until recently, sports betting in the United States of America was illegal. It’s important to note that not all States have made sports betting legal. At this moment in time, 11 States have officially legalized sports betting. Seven States have also had the law passed but will make it legal at a later date. Another 24 states have pending legislation, while eight States have no intention of legalizing betting.
How to Find the Best PA Online Sports Betting Sites?
Pennsylvania Sports betting is now all legal and official. There are around seven major Pennsylvania online sports betting sites up and running for you to gamble with.
Choosing a sports betting site is a bit like everything in life. Use trial and error to determine which one suits you best. With new online sports betting PA sportsbooks entering the state you as a customer will get a wider selection to choose between.
Sports betting in PA will see companies fighting it out against each other to entice you in with special welcome bonuses and enhanced odds. Be careful, don’t just select the first one that looks to give you more bonuses. Have a look around, you could sign up to the first one you see and then discover they do not take bets on your chosen sport or competition.
There is so much more than just picking a sports betting site. Check out the remainder of this article to discover what would suit your betting needs.
Best PA Sports Betting Bonuses
We’ve already mentioned about being careful when selecting which sportsbook to use for PA online sports betting. All sites will have some sort of sign-in/welcome bonus to try and get you involved. These could be as follows:
Tripe Boost Bet
This form of bet allows you to collect 3x your bet price when you sign-up. One sportsbook in Pennsylvania entices you in with a 3x Birds Boost and bet match. This means you sign-up and bet up to $50 on the Philadelphia Eagles to win. If they win, you collect 3x your original winning stake.
No Deposit Offers
These kinds of offers are seen as the easiest and more risk-free options out there. It allows punters to get involved in the excitement of betting without parting with any money.
No deposit bets are more often than not a one-time only offer. You will have to sign-up with a special promotion code and then star your betting experience immediately.
You will need to adhere to the wagering requirement with bets like these. Some sportsbooks will have stipulations on how to collect your bonus. So again, be careful and do your research on which sportsbook you want to use.
Free bets for sports betting in Pennsylvania are understandably very popular. There are many different versions of free bets, so be vigilant and choose the one that is best for you.
Free Second Bets – This offer allows the customer to place their first bet as normal. They are then rewarded with another bet for a free value at a set percentage.
Deposit Match Free Bets – Some sportsbooks will give you a free bet that is the same value as your original wager. Sign up and then wager a bet of $20 and the sportsbook will award you with a one-time free bet of $20 to use on any sports you wish.
Risk-Free Bets – These bets may not seem as lucrative as others on the market, but they are still very popular. Risk-free bets allow bettors to receive a full refund if their initial bet does not win. If you are lucky enough to win your bet, then you will not receive the bonus. Win-win as they say.
Once you have made your deposit, the sportsbook will then match that stake up to a certain percentage. A lot of sportsbooks will match it up to 100%, while others may lower the bar to 50%.
You may find that these deposit bonuses will have a wagering requirement and most likely a time limit. If these guidelines are not met, then you will lose your bonus.
The harsh reality of betting is quite simple – you don’t always win. You might think you are knowledgeable about all sports, but it’s very difficult to be successful on every single bet you place. It just doesn’t work like that.
Because you won’t win every single time, some sportsbooks throw in some special bonuses to keep you with them. Some sportsbooks will offer the customer a specified percentage of your loses in the form of a bonus. Try your luck again.
Some sports betting operators in Pennsylvania like to reward customers by handing out a small bonus if they opt to refer a friend to their site.
By referring your family member or friend, you could be expected to receive a bonus from $20-50. Some sportsbooks are more generous and could go up to $250. Again, look around for what benefits you the most.
Lowest Wagering Requirements
What does wagering requirements mean?
Wagering requirements is the amount of money needed in order to take out any winnings you have picked up from the bonus. For example, if you have been rewarded with a $10 bonus with x50 requirements, then you would have to place a total bet of $500 in order for your bonus to be transferred to your account.
You will not be able to withdraw them until you have completed their set wagering requirement.
All sites have different requirements when it comes to taking out your bonus. This could be 1X up to $250 instant bonus, deposit $50 and get $50 cash within 72 hours or 2X your initial deposit. Just make sure you understand the wagering requirements before you sign up.
Best Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting Promotions
Some online sports betting PA sites can offer up to 20 different sports markets. The most common ones in Pennsylvania are the obvious ones – NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS. You can bet on these at every single sportsbook in Pennsylvania.
Let’s break down the main sports and teams you can bet on in Pennsylvania.
The two professional Pennsylvania sports football teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Eagles play in the NFC and the Steelers play in the AFC. You don’t have to just stick to those two teams, there are another 30 teams to have a go at. There are plenty of different markets to bet on in the football season. You can try your hand at the over/under points totals, most yards, first touchdown, most passing yards – the list is endless, to be honest.
Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are the two professional Pennsylvania sports ice hockey teams. Most betting markets for the ice hockey see bettors plump for spreads, correct scores, period betting and the very popular first goalscorer.
If you are into your basketball and like sports betting in Pennsylvania, then the Philadelphia 76ers are more than likely going to be your team. They may not have won a title since the eighties, but they are still quite popular. If you are betting on the NBA, then the main bets to use include spreads, moneylines, and total points scored.
Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies are the teams to root for in Pennsylvania. These two are in separate divisions and do not meet very often. The most popular bets for baseball include run line and moneyline, while a lot of bettors like to bet on the number of strikeouts, hits, and home runs.
There are six racetracks in Pennsylvania – Harrah’s, Hollywood Casino, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, The Meadows, Parx Racing and Presque Isle Downs.
Pennsylvania hosts a number of graded races each year. These include the Pennsylvania Derby, the Governor’s Cup, Penn Mile Stakes, and the Greenwood Cup.
Most Popular Wagering Types
The sportsbooks in Pennsylvania provide multi-bet options for you all to get involved with. This allows you to make more than one betting selection. You can opt to use singles, parlays of even round robins. When selecting the round-robin option, this allows bettors the chance to put several combinations on the one betting slip.
In-play wagering is also popular when betting on sports in Pennsylvania. A lot of people prefer to place their bets before the game starts, but a lot more are interested in betting live. This allows you to wager bets while the action is taking place. Most sportsbooks offer this function on all matches and all leagues.
Here are some of the most popular types of bets used in Pennsylvania:
This is known as the simplest way to bet on sports. There is no way of beating the spread on this option – it is just about who wins the game. The favorite will have a minus sign in front of a three-digit number. The underdog will have a plus.
Let’s use the NBA as an example here. The Chicago Bulls are available at 3.60, while the Oklahoma City Thunder are available at 1.33. The Bulls are seen as the underdogs here and have higher odds. If you place a wager of $100 on them to win, then you will win $360 if it’s successful.
On the other hand, if you opt to back the favorite – Thunder – then a $100 wager will see you walk away with $133 should they win the game. Read more about Moneyline Bets…
This is seen as a long-term bet. Future odds allow you to bet on who will win the Super Bowl or MVP award at the start of the season. Other bets of this nature could include, backing Liverpool to win the Premier League, backing Andy Murray to win Wimbledon or backing Tiger Woods to win the US Masters. Most of these bets are placed before the season starts.
These are straight odds and it is focused on keeping your attention on your bet throughout the whole season.
This is probably the most common bet for any team game in America. The sportsbooks will make their predictions public about who they think will win and by how many points.
An example would be, Philadelphia Eagles to be backed at -8 over the New York Giants +8. The Eagles are the favorites for this so will have eight points taken off them for the purpose of the bet. The odds for that to happen are -110. By backing the Eagles, your bet will be successful if they win by eight or more points. You would lose if the Eagles lost or won by less than eight. Read more about Point Spread Bets…
Totals – Over/Unders
Another term for totals would be over/under. Punters can look at the games and predict how many points will be scored by going over/under. It is basically a 50/50 shot, so the odds on this market will be virtually the same. Read more about Over/Under Bets…
Prop bets are short for proposition bets. These kinds of bets are seen as a bit of fun, rather than a serious gamble.
You can bet on things like what color the Gatorade will be that gets poured over the winning coach in the Super Bowl, the opening coin toss to land on tails or what celebration will be used for the first touchdown or even sack of the game.
Other bets of this nature include the time of the first touchdown/basket/goal, will a player score two touchdowns or will the team that scores first go on and win. It’s all guesswork but is fun to do. Read more about Prop bets…
Parlays or accumulators allow bettors to bet on multiple games at one time. If you opt to back five teams to win, then this will be classed as a parlay.
Point spreads, totals, and moneylines can be included in the parlay and they are called legs. For your parlay to be deemed successful, then all of your legs have to come in. If not, you will lose. Read more about Parlay bets…
This is a special parlay that is more frequent in ice hockey and baseball. This involves picking the over/under totals in all the games played on a certain day.
This is a baseball wager and to put it in simple terms, it’s a point spread bet. The spread on this market will always be 1.5.
You will have already worked out that this is an ice hockey wager. It’s ice hockey’s version of a run line, again the point spread will be set at 1.5 points.
What can I not Bet on?
We’ve just focused on the types of sports you can bet on in Pennsylvania, but what can’t you bet on?
All States in the United States of America have a restriction for betting on high school events and Pennsylvania is no exception to that rule.
You cannot bet on non-sporting contests. So, for example, you would not be able to wager any bets on the NFL draft.
There is no e-sports betting allowed in Pennsylvania, while you are prohibited to place any wagers if you are involved in a professional manner for any sporting league.
Best Odds value
When it comes to odds in sports betting in Pennsylvania, sportsbooks seem to follow the same guidelines. Odds will be posted with a minus and plus against the name of each team. The minus will indicate the favorite to win the game, while the plus shows you who the underdog is.
Most Secure and Fair PA Spors Betting sites.
What do you want from a sportsbook? It’s a simple question really.
Whenever money is involved, you want to have the assurance that you are not being conned and that any deposit is safe and above board.
Sports betting online in Pennsylvania is a relatively new thing, so make sure you know what you are doing and that they have a decent reputation.
Licensing and regulations in Pennsylvania are currently under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Sites with the Best Customer Support
Learning about customer support might not be high on your agenda when looking for a sportsbook. But, trust me, you’ll want to have a good one if you stumble upon a problem or query.
Customer service is crucial in terms of sports betting. The reluctance to answer or question, or to take weeks to reply, could be the difference in keeping hold of a customer or losing them forever.
It’s simple really – keep your customers happy and up-to-speed and they will remain with you for years to come. Treat them bad and you will never see them again.
The most popular form of communication to have a question answered is by email, telephone or a live chat platform. Most PA online sports betting sites will have at least one form of that communication. Other forms could see you respond through a postal address. If it’s an urgent matter, then it’s highly unlikely you will resort to that measure. The other three should see you receive a response as soon as possible.
The most common questions asked are as follows:
- Is my money safe?
- How long after I make a withdrawal will I get my money?
- Can I cancel my bet if I make a mistake?
If you get a response in the space of 60 minutes, then you are probably going to trust them again.
How do I find out about their Customer Support?
Finding customer support advice is not always that simple. They don’t have it at the top of the screen in neon lights.
If you are having trouble locating the information, use Google. Type in the sportsbook you require with ‘customer support’ or ‘help’. This will find the information you need instantly.
If you don’t want to do that, then your main option is to scroll to the bottom of the sportsbook website and it should be at the bottom along with other information about the company.
Best Banking Options for PA Sports Betting
One of the first things you want to know when placing a bet is – ‘how can I get my money?’
Below are the following ways that you can deposit and withdraw your money to make your sports betting in PA experience a lot more enjoyable.
Depositing money and withdrawing funds is quite often a quick and easy process at New Jersey sportsbooks. The best ways to look after your money are as follows.
PayPal is an electronic wallet company (eWallet) and it’s a quickfire way to deposit and withdraw your funds. Not all sportsbooks are using PayPal in Pennsylvania, so make sure you know which ones they are if this is your preferred mode of payment.
Skrill, like PayPal, is an electronic way of depositing and withdrawing any available funds. This is the more popular electronic way of doing this as PayPal is not being used everywhere.
Credit and Debit Cards
If you are using an online sportsbook in Pennsylvania, then it’s a safe assumption that you will have your own bank account and debit card.
The likes of VISA, American Express, Mastercard and Maestro are the preferred cards of choice at most sportsbooks in Pennsylvania.
You can wire funds directly from your bank to the sportsbook. This method of depositing funds is normally done with larger amounts.
Branded prepaid cards are an alternative way to keep money stored on. The holder of the card can store money on the card whenever they feel like it and use it wherever these cards are accepted. Play+ is the most common brand used for people using sportsbooks in Pennsylvania.
E-check or ACH
ACH or Automated Clearing House allows you to transfer any funds electronically. You can transfer funds from your bank account to the site you are using.
It is very similar to the way you transfer money via a check, but this is done electronically and a lot quicker.
PayNearMe is a bill pay app that makes it easy to make necessary payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is popular for people who like to deal with cash.
The app generates a unique barcode for their preferred account. Then a straightforward scan and payment completes the transaction at their nearest PayNearMe location. The cashier will scan the code and the customer hands the money to the cashier to complete the transaction.
Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting Apps for iOS and Android
You would think it would be straightforward to just download an app in this day and age. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple when it comes to terms with online sports betting in PA.
Apple recently informed users that they will be restricting new gambling apps from their App Store until they are recreated and designed in Apple’s own programming language.
FanDuel somehow have got around this problem. They do have an app in the App Store and it is the same one that can be used in New Jersey, as well as Pennsylvania.
Downloading Apps from Android
If you are an Android user, you will only be able to download a Pennsylvania sportsbook app from the actual bookmaker website. Google Play does not allow the installation of gambling apps from there store.
Go to your selected operator and follow the instructions to download the app. You may have to allow Unknown Sources for the download to start successfully.
Advantages with Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting
Hopefully, we have covered all the relevant topics regarding sports betting in PA. Now we are going to focus on the main reasons we believe you should gamble responsibly in Pennsylvania.
Everyone loves a free gift, don’t they? People who like to bet on sports in Pennsylvania are certainly no different. Sign-up with the right PA sportsbook and you could be rewarded financially. It’s quite easy really, the better the offer the more likely you are to join.
Plenty of sports to choose from
You don’t have to just focus on the likes of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA or NHL when betting in Pennsylvania. There are a lot more sports to bet on. You can bet on soccer, golf, tennis, racing, cycling, boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. The betting world is your oyster.
Bettors have the tools to be able to place wagers at any time of day. Mobile betting is perfect for those lazy Sunday’s when all you have to do is watch some football matches. The opportunity to make a bet whenever you want is now available.
Safe and Secure
Transferring and withdrawing funds is very easy to do – and more importantly – it’s safe. You can use a bank transfer to send funds to and from your account, while the popularity of electronically transferring your cash is getting stronger. You can monitor any winnings on a regular basis and stay in control at all times.
Ease of Use
This could fall under the terms of 24/7 betting, but you understand what we mean. Having the ability to place at bet in under a second with your finger appeals to almost everyone with an interest in gambling. It’s so easy to do a child could do it – although that is not recommended as you have to be over 21 to bet on sports in Pennsylvania.
Which PA Sports Betting Sites are Legitimate?
Any operators approved by the state of Pennsylvania can offer sports betting. Below is the current list of PA online sports betting operators. Most of these operators have both an Android and iOS app.
|Sportsbook||Sports Betting Partner(s)||Android app||iOS app||Launch Date|
|FanDuel||FanDuel||Yes||Yes||22 July 2019|
|PlaySugarHouse||Kambi||Yes||Coming soon…||31 May 2019|
|Parx||Kambi||Yes||Yes||27 June 2019|
|Unibet||Kambi||Yes||Yes||11 November 2019|
|BetRivers||Kambi||Yes||Coming soon…||27 June 2019|
|FoxBet||Stars Group||Yes||Yes||3 Sept 2019|
Additional PA sports betting sites such as William Hill, Caesars Sportsbook, FoxBet, DraftKings Sportsbook, and Hollywood Sportsbook are anticipated to open up shop in Pennsylvania soon.
Safe Transaction Options in Pennsylvania
There are many forms of approved payment services for sports wagering in Pennsylvania:
- Instant Check (or ACH) – direct, secure connection to a bettor’s checking account
- Online Banking Transfer
- Prepaid Cards
- Credit/Debit Cards
- Bank Wire Transfers
Who Can Exercise Sports Betting in PA?
- Age limit: 21+
- Location Requirements: You must be in the state of Pennsylvania to place any wagers. Do not have to be a resident, but physically within the State while wagering
- Payment Requirements: Depend on online sites being utilized. Standard is Amount equal to entire site credit must be wagered before winnings can be withdrawn
- Restrictions: Cannot currently wager on events such as elections or eSports.
- Taxes/Fees: 36 percent for sports betting revenue
Gambling as a Resident
It is very easy to gamble as a resident of Pennsylvania. Simply visit a brick and mortar betting location, visit a website or download one of the apps available from the many operators within the state. You must be within state lines to place wagers.
Gambling as a Non-Resident
It is also very easy to gamble as a non-resident of Pennsylvania, or at least if you live near the Keystone states’ borders. All you need to do is to cross the borders and you are good to go.
Gambling and Legal History of PA Sports Betting
Driven by the opinion in the landmark sports betting case, Murphy vs. NCAA in May of 2018, Pennsylvania has recently approved sports gambling action and more recently begun allowing online wagers. Pennsylvania does not have a reputation for being a large gambling state, but they do allow many different types of wagering. Legalization of sports betting has invigorated the gambling market in the state, with revenues already increasing rapidly in the first year of sports wagering operations, and with the NFL season right around the corner, big things are in store for Pennsylvania bettors and operators.
It is currently legal to gamble in Pennsylvania. Types of gambling currently permitted in Pennsylvania include table games, sports betting, online casino, horse racing, off-track betting, lotteries, as well as social and charity gambling. Legal, in-state online wagering was introduced in Pennsylvania in 2019. Any online gambling operators must apply within the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGBC). PA sports betting licenses cost $10 million apiece. PA online sports betting operators currently face the steepest barriers to entry of any state that currently allows sports wagering.
Gambling in Pennsylvania has roots back to the mid-1900s when horse racing was first legalized in 1959. The PA state lottery was instituted in 1971, with its purpose stated, “to provide property tax relief to the elderly for property taxes paid in 1971 and thereafter to persons 65 years of age or older.” The lottery was also implemented in order to hopefully limit illegal gambling syndicates operating within the state. Beginning in 2004, Pennsylvania has progressively pushed more and more gambling legislation through with the hope that additional gambling venues would create an abundance of new jobs and generate additional revenue for the state. This state-wise interest in gambling has gained steam recently and has come to a crescendo, with the state reporting record revenue of $3.2 billion from PA casinos in 2017.
Future of Sports Betting in PA
The future is somewhat murky for sports betting in PA. The main reason for this is the incredibly tough barriers for operators to enter their market. Operators must pay a $10 million up-front fee in order to operate, as well as pay the state 36% in taxes for all revenue from PA online sports betting. This is currently by far the strictest tax rate levied on operators in any state to pass sports betting legislation. Since the PA online sports betting market is still in its nascent stages, it is so far unseen how this will ultimately affect the consumers. However, the ultimate belief is that the digital realm is where the market will truly thrive in the near future, and PA has allowed this in their legislation. This movement is a great conduit for live/in-game wagering, which is widely believed to be the future of PA sports betting. Combining the excitement with the ability to wager on what is unfolding in front of you either while at a sporting event or on your coach, with instant payouts, is a very enticing product. Following in the European market trends, they are roughly 70% live betting, and 30% pre-game betting – the PA sport betting market is currently inversed. Pennsylvania installing legislation to allow online/mobile wagering is a large win for consumers, as other states have not been as forward-looking. Other states not including mobile wagering in their legislation is largely politically motivated, to ensure that their political contacts (who donate to their campaigns) who are owners of brick-and-mortar casinos have the time and bandwidth to get up to speed with the online providers.
Online Gambling Impact on Pennsylvania
Data for the period of May 2019 – July 2019:
- Sports wagers placed: Data not yet available
- Sports betting revenue: Data not yet available
- Tax contributions to state of Pennsylvania from sports wagering: Data not yet available