Pennsylvania Sports Betting Guide

 pennsylvania sports betting guide

With each state possessing the autonomy to impart laws within the sports betting field, keeping abreast of developments across America can be a tricky process as legislations change from state to state.

Back in 2018, Pennsylvania took the punt to become one of the first states across America to legalise online and in-store sports betting and three years on – many other states are following suit.

Situated on the East Coast, Pennsylvania was quick to embrace the sports betting revolution gripping Europe and its residents have responded in number – with Pennsylvania becoming one of the biggest sports betting markets in America.

Having enjoyed a presence on the sports betting scene since 2018, Pennsylvania has no less than 12 in-store betting venues where sportsbooks can operate from. The main cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh house the majority of the in-person betting venues whilst racetracks at South Philly, Parx and Meadows also have licensed sportsbooks.

With retail betting launching in 2018 and the online sphere following suit in 2019, Pennsylvania has been ahead of the curve in terms of the sports betting product(s) they offer out to punters and the industry has grown substantially in the past three years.

Both online and in-person sports betting has become part of the fabric for sports fans in Pennsylvania and with innovations launching all the time, sports betting in the state is developing continually.

Legality of Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has always been a relatively forward-thinking state and its location on the East Coast of America has seen a multitude of influences from Europe and beyond impact upon the state.

Back in the 1990’s Pennsylvania was one of the only states in America which legalised slot machines and sports betting in casinos, as it looked to keep up with neighbouring New Jersey and the infamous Atlantic City.

State legislature passed bill HB 271 in 2017, granting permission to sportsbooks to offer sports betting services, both online and in-person and Governor Tom Wolf was responsible for pushing the bill through in Pennsylvania.

It took until May 2018 for the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act to be ratified by federal court, which enabled Pennsylvania to allow sports betting within the state immediately.

Online betting soon followed at the start of 2019 and sports gambling in the state has developed markedly, with the Keystone State consistently in the top 10 when it comes to revenue developed by sports betting in American states.

Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting

Having launched in 2019, the online sports betting boom has gripped Pennsylvania and whilst there are restrictions placed on punters, gamblers do still have plenty of freedom in the Keystone State.

Inevitably, there are some restrictions placed on online gamblers and Pennsylvania operates under the following online betting rules:

  • Remote Registration Allowed – Since sanctioning online betting in early 2019, Pennsylvania have always allowed punters to register with betting companies remotely – breaking the mould across America somewhat. Punters in Pennsylvania don’t need to register in-person at a betting institution and can set up all of their details online. Age and personal verification will have to be completed in order to begin betting but it is a hugely convenient function that Pennsylvania gamblers can utilise.
  • Geolocation Required – Placing a bet within the state lines is essential to governments, as it gives both punters and sportsbooks security that they are protected by each state’s laws. Pennsylvania uses geolocation technology to track the whereabouts of all online betting account holders to ensure they are operating within the restrictions of their constituency, The geolocation ruling applies to everybody, meaning that non Pennsylvania residents can bet from within the state lines – ideal for those visiting the Keystone State.

The burgeoning sports betting scene in Pennsylvania has come alive since the bill was passed legalising sports betting back in 2018. Existing in-store casinos initially benefitted, as online betting was only made legal in 2019.

In order to ensure that in-person sportsbooks don’t miss out on any potential income streams, Pennsylvania governors have passed a law requiring all online sports betting platforms to affiliate with a local, Pennsylvania based casino in order to be able to operate as a sportsbook.

Consequently, all major national bookmakers must partner with a local Pennsylvania casino in order to launch branded sportsbooks and online betting apps in the state.

Who can bet on sports in Pennsylvania?

Whilst staples of American law such as legal betting age rarely change between states, the relatively young sports betting industry in America is still grappling with the autonomy each state possesses.

The absence of national rulings allows state governors to legislate in their constituency and whilst they generally act in the best interests of their residents, it can be tricky for punters to keep up with the developing trends.

Pennsylvania were a trend setter back in 2018 by legalising sports betting and as such have forged somewhat of a betting blueprint that other states are looking to follow.

Punters must be at least 21 years of age to legally place a sports bet in Pennsylvania and all of the major in-store and online sports betting companies require verification and identification before a new customer can start betting with their company.

As with most states, Pennsylvania are the most stringent on the state boundary line rule, where punters outside of the state cannot bet with a Pennsylvania based account. With neighbouring New York and New Jersey also on the sports betting scene, it does not make too much of an issue to sports punters in Pennsylvania but it something all levels of gambler should look out for.

Bettors do not however need to be a resident of Pennsylvania in order to bet there, the regulations work on the physical location of the gambler at the time a bet was placed.

Pennsylvania Online Betting Sites

In comparison to some states across America, Pennsylvania do charge betting providers a rather hefty sum in order to offer their sports betting platform to punters.

That said, the extortionate fees and tax breaks have done nothing to deter some of the biggest bookmakers in the world from setting up shop in Pennsylvania and the betting revenue in the Keystone State continues to expand.

All of the below sites are national operations but must affiliate with local sportsbooks in order to be able to offer services in Pennsylvania:

  • Points Bet
  • FOX Bet
  • Bet MGM
  • Caesars
  • Draft Kings

What sports can you bet on in Pennsylvania?

Sandwiched in between New York and New Jersey and stretching out as far as Ohio, Pennsylvania has one of the broadest landscapes in America for sports fans.

The cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are well represented within college sport in Pennsylvania, a state well known for excelling in higher education sport.

Professionally, few states can compete with Pennsylvania for the variety within the marketplace for sports fans, ideal for sports punters of all interests. Baseball is well represented in Pennsylvania with both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates amongst two of the MLB’s most consistent performers.

In the world of basketball, the Philadelphia 76ers are one of the teams to watch in the NBA whilst the NHL is also very well represented by both the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. Soccer has also become big business with the Keystone State and Philadelphia Union are one of the emerging sides in the MLS.

Perhaps the biggest sport in the Keystone State however is football, with the Pittsburgh Steelers an absolute pillar of the NFL whilst the Philadelphia Eagles are also a huge deal in the National Football League.

Outside of the principal sports played in the state, betting staples such as tennis, golf and horse racing can all be accessed through online and in-person sports betting operations in Pennsylvania, as the state looks to cater for the gambling needs of every sports betting enthusiast.

Motor sport and combat sport betting options are also offered to punters in Pennsylvania, as the state looks to cater for every bettor’s need but as yet, Esports betting is currently prohibited.

What types of sports bet can you place in Pennsylvania?

Since launching the sports betting industry in Pennsylvania back in 2018, gambling institutions have always looked to offer the most diverse selection of sports betting markets available to punters.

In-person betting remains hugely popular in Pennsylvania, particularly in the big cities in the state and sportsbook floors are often awash with punters transfixed to the action.

Straight win bets continue to be the most popular gambling medium in the state, with a packed fixture list ideal for punters – whilst the influx of accumulator betting on football/soccer/basketball has also become hugely popular.

Online betting has also changed the landscape massively for punters in Pennsylvania, with a range of Moneyline, spread and in-play betting now instantly available to gamblers, at their convenience.

College sport betting is prohibited, as is entertainment and political betting but the majority of sports can be accessed through the multitude of national and international sportsbooks now operating online sports betting platforms in Pennsylvania.

In-play betting has also become hugely popular in the Keystone State, as the online betting revolution takes hold and sports betting in Pennsylvania looks to be very much here to stay.