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Sports betting in Pennsylvania
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 operators currently face the steepest barriers to entry of any state that currently allows sports wagering.
Top 3 Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania
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 age for online sports betting 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.
Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the sports betting industry is moving faster than expected. A few sportsbooks are already up and running and more to come in the near future.
Which Sports Betting sites are Legitimate in Pennsylvania?
Any operators approved by the state of Pennsylvania can offer sports betting. Below is the current list of online sports betting operators in Pennsylvania. 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 sportsbooks such as Unibet, 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 Online Sports Bet in Pennsylvania?
- 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 in Pennsylvania
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 Gambling in Pennsylvania
The future is somewhat murky for Pennsylvania for sports gambling. 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 sports wagering revenue. This is currently by far the strictest tax rate levied on operators in any state to pass sports betting legislation. Since the PA market is still in its nascent stages, it is so far unseen how this will ultimately affect te 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 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 US gambling 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