Pennsylvania is an all-inclusive site when it comes to sports betting. The first retail sportsbooks started accepting wagers back in 2018, and in 2019, the world of PA online sports betting started to truly take off. This means that placing sports bets in Pennsylvania has been fully legal for more than two years now, and during this time, over 10 sportsbooks have made their way online. All of them have launched with a mobile app too, meaning that both desktop and mobile avenues are covered. This serves as the perfect complement to physical sportsbooks accepting sports wagers too.
In terms of what brands have come to Pennsylvania, you can place bets on platforms such as Unibet, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, BetRivers, and many others. Each of the platforms mentioned here, and below, are fully licensed to provide online betting services in PA. But in order to make wagers on these sites, you have to be a PA resident and be over the age of 21. This is in line with sports betting regulations in other states in North America.
Pennsylvania is also quite flexible concerning what your betting options are. Standard pre-match markets like handicaps, spreads, and moneylines are always available, as are futures options too! You can even bet on NCAA events, which is different from other states. In fact, the only things you can’t bet on include eSports, high-school events, and events that aren’t technically viewed as sports such as the Oscars.
Best Pennsylvania online sports betting sites for
- Caesars Sportsbook
Latest PA sports betting news
In all honesty, since the first PA online sports betting platforms went live in 2019, there haven’t been any significant changes in regulations. In fact, there haven’t really been any changes! Currently, retail sportsbooks, desktop sites, and mobile apps are all channels you can use to make wagers in Pennsylvania, which makes things convenient for residents of this state. With that said, there has been some significant data published in recent times which is definitely worth talking about.
In January 2022, the total handle for sports betting in Pennsylvania ran over $793 million. This number has swelled from $761 million in November 2021, so the continued growth is an excellent sign of what is possible in a state with over 12 million residents.
When you consider that Pennsylvania doesn’t have half as many online sportsbooks as other states, this is quite something. But at the same time, Pennsylvania does have a large population, which has no doubt helped such numbers to be posted.
It’s also worth noting that since physical casinos are not restricted in terms of how many online brands they partner with, there are rumors that some major players have put in applications for Pennsylvania. Of course, whether these brands become approved and launch in 2022 is something we will just have to wait and watch out for.
Is sports betting legal in PA for online wagers?
It is 100% legal to place online sports wagers in Pennsylvania. This has been the case ever since the sports betting laws were changed back in 2018, although the first sportsbooks didn’t actually emerge until 2019. There aren’t any real restrictions concerning what you bet on either. All mainstream leagues such as the MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA are all supported, and even NCAA events are permitted. And you can bet on the entire scope of standard markets for these sports too, including futures, moneyline, as well as in-play betting.
So as you can see, the current landscape for placing wagers through Pennsylvania sports betting platforms is incredibly accessible and favorable. Residents have Gov. Tom Wolf to thank for this, as he is the man that ultimately signed off on the current laws. But with that said, we cannot forget about the enormous efforts from Kotik and Matzie as well. Without these guys, the current sports betting setup would not exist.
Where to bet on sports in Pennsylvania?
Deciding where you make your wagers is arguably just as important as what you choose to bet on in general. On that note, the good thing about Pennsylvania is that you have several options to consider:
- Race tracks
Pennsylvania is one of the few states that have live race tracks located around the state. Of course, these are the venues in which horse and greyhound races take place. These venues are legally allowed to accept bets on the races that they are hosting, which is a great option if you are a big fan of betting on the races! Key examples here include the Meadows Racetrack as well as Valley Forge.
- Retail sportsbooks
One of the standout things about Pennsylvania compared with other states is that most of their casinos have jumped on board with in-person sports betting. Of course, it helps that the laws and regulations are favorable to allow this to happen. But at the same time, these casinos still have to put the measures in place and establish sportsbooks. Currently, there are well over 10 physical casinos that are accepting sports bets.
As you’ve probably guessed, the first two options for PA sports betting require you to visit those locations and physically make your bets. This might be exciting, but it’s not the most convenient choice for most people. Instead, it’s worth investigating any of the 10 live sportsbooks that Pennsylvania currently boasts. These sites let you sign up within minutes, and wagers can easily be made with a few taps of the screen.
Online sportsbooks available now in Pennsylvania
The beauty of Pennsylvania compared with other states is that online sports betting is highly accessible. That’s partly because punters can bet through multiple channels, including Pennsylvania sports betting apps, and it’s partly because of the number of providers available. On that note, here are your current options:
DraftKings is a site that blows most punters away, which is why it ranks as one of the very best right now. DraftKings has been available in Pennsylvania since November 2019, and all new players can make the most of a $1,000 welcome bonus here. Beyond that, DraftKings also has some of the best reload offers in the business.
Unibet went live in the same month as DraftKings - November 2019. It launched with a great desktop site and mobile app at the same time, and new players can bag a $500 risk-free bet through both channels. Unibet is also a very modern site with features such as cashouts, bet builders, odds boosts, and bonuses tailored to high-profile events.
FanDuel adds to this list of major betting brands. If it's diversity you are looking for, FanDuel is certainly a site that delivers, and it’s all the more appealing that new players get a shot at a $1000 No Sweat First Bet here. And if you were in any doubt as to the popularity of this brand, FanDuel is responsible for more than 40% of sports bets placed in PA each month!
Fox is no longer just a TV network - they now have online sports betting. FoxBet actually launched earlier than many other brands mentioned here too, going live in September 2019. FoxBet currently offers a $500 risk-free bet for new players in PA, and the number of events you can bet on at this site each month is seriously impressive.
BetMGM is quite new to the PA betting space, launching back in December 2020. But with that said, BetMGM still rivals any brand on this list when it comes to quality. The site supports streaming, great bonuses, cashouts, easy parlays, and so much more.
BetRivers has been on the go in Pennsylvania since mid-2019, and these guys have built a considerable member base thanks to the $250 sign-up offer available. The BetRivers mobile app is also fantastic, serving up immediate cashouts, hundreds of monthly sporting events, and so much more. BetRivers is also particularly generous for reload offers when it comes to existing players!
If you choose to register with Caesars Sportsbook Pennsylavania, you can receive up to $1,250 on Caesars + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®! Caesars has picked up steam since launching back in March 2020 too, and today, they are truly competing with the big boys. This is also a perfect site if you prefer betting on mobile, as the app is fantastic.
The Parx Sportsbook has launched under the Parx Casino umbrella, so you may be familiar with this brand already if you live in Pennsylvania. The sports betting offerings here are pretty diverse, and the odds are surprisingly competitive for all major sports leagues. Parx is also one of the few betting sites that hand out a no deposit bonus ($10), combined with a $250 risk-free bet incentive.
While other sites tend to offer great sports betting opportunities across the board, not many of them have a clear specialization. However, with the BetAmerica Sportsbook, it’s obvious that horse racing betting has a strong focus. The site also gives you a $50 bonus after you’ve made a $50 qualifying wager too, which is the perfect way to take a risk-free swing at the various racing markets.
Last but not least, we have the Barstool Sportsbook. These guys are active in many US states right now, and they’ve entertained PA punters for more than a year, at the time of writing. New signups can take advantage of a $1,000 risk-free wager immediately after registration too, which is a nice welcome gift, and it puts Barstool on a par with some of the bigger brands listed here.
What about the legal online sports betting apps?
Pennsylvania sports betting apps are readily available for both Android and iOS operating systems. All online betting brands in this state offer mobile apps as part of their overall experience, and in fact, this is a requirement according to Pennsylvania sports betting laws. There is no need to set up a different partnership or obtain a different license for betting brands to launch a mobile app, but the initial partnerships are most certainly required.
On that note, let us give you a quick overview of the partnerships that are currently in place in the Pennsylvania sports betting market:
- Meadows Racetrack and Casino - DraftKings Sportsbook
- Mohegan Sun - Unibet Sportsbook
- Mount Airy Casino - FoxBet Sportsbook
- Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook - FanDuel Sportsbook
- Hollywood Casino - Barstool, BetMGM Sportsbook
- Rivers Casino - BetRivers Sportsbook
- Harrah’s Casino - Caesars Sportsbook
- Parx Casino - Parx Sportsbook
- Golden Nugget Casino - BetAmerica Sportsbook
As with all sports betting apps across America, you must keep in mind that geolocation software is in effect. This means that while you can sign in to your account from wherever you are, you must place your wagers while within state borders. You’ll also need to verify your account when signing up through any of these Pennsylvania sports betting apps, just like you would on the main desktop sites.
Online Sports Betting Sites that could soon come to Pennsylvania
Although certain betting brands like to keep their cards close to their chest regarding expansion moves, we do believe we’ve found some specific clues that a few brands could be coming to Pennsylvania very soon. Of course, nothing is 100% guaranteed, but we have reason to believe that the following brands may soon enter the PA market:
- PointsBet has been on quite an expansion quest across North America. They have a presence in many states already, and to be perfectly honest, we are surprised that PointsBet is not already an established PA sports betting brand. The unique spread betting experience that PointsBet provides is sure to deliver plenty of excitement as and when they do launch in PA too.
- PointsBet PA have been awarded two betting licenses for Sports and iGaming!
- Date: January 21st, 2022
To understand why Betfred will launch in Pennsylvania, we have to look through a chain of connections. Recently, Betfred announced a partnership with Scientific Games to operate their online sites in Pennsylvania. That’s connection number one. Connection number two is that Scientific Games has an established partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia, paving the way for an easy launch for Betfred in this state.
The final brand we think will launch is a little more speculative, but there are some strong indicators based on 888’s activity in other states. The 888 Sportsbook has popped up in several new states over the last 12 months, and this brand is owned and operated by a bit of a powerhouse in the betting world. For that reason, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if an 888 Sportsbook went live in PA in the near future.
Other things you should know about online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania
Opening a new sports betting account in Pennsylvania
As long as you are a resident of Pennsylvania and you are over the legal betting age of 21, you can easily establish a new sports betting account. All PA online sports betting platforms have a pretty straightforward process these days. When registering, you’ll need to create a new username and password. And after this, the site will ask for a few details relating to your address, age, name, and a couple of other things. Don’t worry - this is purely to ensure that you meet the sports betting laws outlined in this state.
It’s also perfectly normal for the site to ask for proof of the information provided. For example, you should be able to send through proof of ID by emailing the team with a driving license or passport. In addition to this, you can prove your address by emailing them with a utility bill. That’s pretty much it to be honest, and it’s worth noting that this is just a one-time thing. Once you’ve verified your details, you will then enjoy unrestricted betting access.
What kind of welcome bonus can you get with a Pennsylvania sports betting operator?
With a decent number of PA sports betting sites to choose from, there has to be something that sways you in favor of some of them. From the perspective of the betting sites, they aim to do this by handing out competitive sign-up bonuses for you to take advantage of. These can come in various shapes and sizes, and there are no restrictions concerning how many of these welcome bonuses you can claim. So basically, if you want to redeem all of them, you could!
Of course, it is in your best interests to claim the best bonuses in the market, however, assuming you want to get off to a quick start. On that note, we’d like to point you in the right direction. Based on the current offers, it’s a good idea to take advantage of the DraftKings Sportsbook welcome bonus. You get a $1,000 risk-free bet immediately after registering, which is fairly considerable.
But while these offers work as a risk-free incentive, there are other forms of welcome deals that also exist:
Bet x receive y
This kind of offer isn’t overly common in the US, but it does exist. A prime example would be the BetAmerica Sportsbook offer, where you can get $50 following a $50 qualifying wager. These offers are usually a little less restrictive compared to some of the others.
In contrast to the sign-up offer mentioned above, deposit matches are far more common. These often give you anywhere from a 50%-100% boost or even more on your initial transaction. The good thing about these is that you can then use the bonus funds to wager on whatever you like.
Such welcome bonuses are advertised in this way because you are shielded against net losses. If you make a wager and it loses, PA online sports betting sites will credit the full amount back to your account. At the same time, if you win your bet, you will keep the profits.
When odds are given a boost, your potential returns from the bet are also given a boost. For example, if you made a $20 wager at 2.00 odds, your return would be $40 if the bet pulled through. If the odds were boosted to 4.00, your return would jump to $60, and you haven’t needed to increase your stake.
Brick-and-Mortar Casinos where you can place sports bets
A great thing about the PA sports betting market is that all physical casinos have retail sportsbooks, well, the ones that have taken on the right license! And with around one dozen casinos with sportsbooks currently operational, your options are fantastic compared with other states. Most of these physical casinos have launched partnerships with online betting brands too, adding another degree of authenticity to what they offer.
In terms of the major players for this category, you’ve got Rivers Casino, Parx Casino, Harrah’s, Mohegan Sun, Hollywood Casino, and several others. Most of the sportsbooks at these locations have live screens where you can watch all of the action too. This adds a bit of excitement to your bets, although you do need to visit these casinos to get the full experience. This makes them less convenient when compared with online betting.
Betting on the most popular Pennsylvania sports
Pennsylvania really is spoiled for choice concerning professional NFL teams. They have two of them - the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. This alone leads to considerable interest in both these teams and the NFL as a whole, which is why this is such a popular league for sports betting. After signing up at any approved betting sites, you can bet on games from these teams, make futures bets, and even create your own parlays.
When the NFL season is in full flow, it’s fairly common to see bonuses in the form of free bets or enhanced markets too.
When it comes to NBA interests in Pennsylvania, there is just one team to speak of. Of course, this team is the Philadelphia 76ers, and they play in the Eastern Conference of the NBA. These guys play a bunch of matches throughout the season, and basketball by nature opens up all kinds of exciting bets you can make. This includes options for spread betting, futures, individual point scorers, handicaps, and so much more. It’s also worth noting that some awesome bonuses tend to be whipped up for the post-season playoffs, so make sure you tune in for these when you can!
The MLB is a mirror image of the NFL in terms of Pennsylvania having two professional teams. These two teams are the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates, both decent teams that have a lot of games each and every season. Although it’s not overly common for a ton of bonuses to be offered for games involving these two teams, there’s still plenty of markets you can explore. In fact, it’s normal to see 100+ betting options for mainstream MLB games, and since it’s a slower paced game than others, live betting is also a viable option.
To top off the trend of professional sports teams in these leagues, the NHL also has two Pennsylvania-based teams. These two teams are the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers, and much like the other leagues, you have many betting options here. You can bet on individual games throughout the season, or you can bet on futures markets for the Stanley Cup - always a fun way of wagering. And thanks to the way in which NHL games are determined, you can wager on some pretty unique markets regarding the spread, player performances, and exact scores for the end result.
The NHL might be a bit of an aggressive sport, but it’s not a patch on MMA bouts. Of course, MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts, and thanks to the growth of leagues such as the UFC, this sport is booming in Pennsylvania. Premium fights take place at least once a month, and few sports are able to top the excitement that a major MMA fight brings to the table. You can also bet on both male and female fights with MMA, showing a greater appeal to punters of all backgrounds.
Pennsylvania is one of the few sites in the US that doesn’t have a restriction on in-state NCAA betting. So if you are a fan of any local college teams, whether for basketball, football, or any other sport, you can add a little spice to your viewing! At the same time, you can bet on NCAA competitions all over the USA, with very few restrictions concerning teams, markets, or bonuses. This is great news for punters who love to wager on things like March Madness, which is always a fun time in the NCAA world!
One of the main reasons that the MLS has gained traction in Pennsylvania is because the state has some home interest. The Philadelphia Union is the professional team that competes in this league, and yes, you can bet on as many of their matches as you like. All Pennsylvania sports betting platforms cover the MLS these days, and soccer provides some of the most extensive betting options of any other sport. So even if you have never wagered on soccer before, it’s worth checking the MLS options out at your chosen site.
This may come as a surprise, but golf is actually an extremely popular sport to bet on in this part of the world. Why? One, because Pennsylvania has a wide range of golf courses in and around the state, so it’s a sport that people are inherently familiar with. And two, because golf is actually a great sport to bet on if you are after a fun time. It’s a slow game, so you can easily make live bets on each hole, and make futures bets until the very end of a tournament. Golf also has a bunch of top-flight PGA events, not specifically in Pennsylvania, but within North America.
In addition to these events, you’ve got the Ryder Cup, which is the competition where the USA plays against Europe. Specifically for this event, the top sites serve up a wealth of bonuses, mainly because the event is so well followed.
History of Pennsylvania Sports Betting
At this point, you should have a clear understanding relating to the question of ‘is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania’. But while the answer is a big yes these days, things weren’t always this way. In fact, much like other states, the journey towards legalizing sports betting was anything but straightforward in PA. This is detailed through the timeline below:
2015 - 2016 - the fire was started
Back in 2015, State Rep. Nick Kotik created a memo which he would share with his colleagues, and this memo demonstrated his intention to legalize sports betting in PA. In October 2014, he created the H1627 bill. He followed up by presenting this to the house, and as outlined in the bill, Kotik simply wanted the ban on sports betting to be lifted. His efforts were then backed up by Matzie with the H619 bill.
The pressure that these two bills created ultimately led to the house approving both bills, and Matzie became directly connected with the push to legalize sports betting in Pennsylvania. At the same time, Matzie and the others involved in this movement became extremely confident in a positive outcome for the future, as the bills received overwhelming votes on all fronts.
2017 - ground zero
In January 2017, Matzie took things a step further by creating another bill, named H519. Unlike the other bills, this one outlined specific measures on how sports betting could be legalized, regulated, and the entire framework was proposed to state officials. However, not much could happen due to events taking place with NJ state. An ongoing lawsuit was taking place between the NCAA and NJ state, and the outcome of this lawsuit would change the entire industry.
NJ won the lawsuit against the NCAA, and in October 2017, following more pressure from senior government officials, Pennsylvania made sports betting legal. Gov. Tom Wolf was the man that put pen to paper and actually changed the laws.
2018 - a somewhat shaky start
Following on from the huge success in 2017, many casinos and potential online brands wanted in on the action. Towards the end of 2018, a few Pennsylvania casinos actually launched their sportsbooks and started to accept wagers. This was actually pretty straightforward, as physical casinos had the easiest route towards taking wagers thanks to the terms outlined in the legislation. However, there was a problem here, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was incredibly reserved concerning the launch of online sites.
Not only did they want to assess each site before launch, but they also wanted to launch the PA online sports betting market in stages. This involved a series of ‘testing periods’, which actually hindered the growth of the market. In contrast, NJ was much more flexible, and the market in that state quickly dwarfed the market in Pennsylvania.
2019 - online betting finally goes live
Pennsylvania punters would have to wait until May 2019 for the first betting sites to go live. At the same time, things were only possible in May because the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had completed their tests and were now satisfied that the online industry could be launched effectively. SugarHouse became the first of all Pennsylvania sports betting apps to launch, but they were closely followed by the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings.
The market did heat up as the year moved forward, and at the close of 2019, there were 8 PA sports betting sites up and running.
2020 - promising signs
As more and more brands joined the market, it became substantially easier for PA residents to make online bets. And by March 2020, 90% of all sports wagers for the month were placed through mobile devices. This figure was also inflated by the fact that many retail sportsbooks had to close their doors, temporarily, due to global events. But regardless, millions and millions started to flood in from punters all over the state, and these figures justified the move that Pennsylvania had taken to legalize sports betting.
2021 - fantastic numbers and continued growth
Throughout 2021, the sports betting market continued to grow in Pennsylvania. While the state didn’t witness an explosion in online brands entering the space, the numbers concerning sports wagers remained strong. And in November 2021, the handle for sports wagers in Pennsylvania surpassed the $775 million mark. These figures actually rival some of the largest sports betting states in the nation, and we have a feeling that this is just the beginning.