Pennsylvania sports betting law permits customers 21 or older to bet online from anywhere within state lines via licensed sportsbook websites and mobile apps.

Bettors may also visit retail sportsbooks at licensed casinos, racetracks, and off-track betting facilities (OTBs) to place wagers in person.

Sports Betting and Online Gambling:

Rank
Betting Site
Bonus
Rating
Visit
1
$500 Deposit Bonus + $500 Risk-Free Bet21+ to Play, T&Cs Apply
4
$30 in Free Bets + $600 Risk-Free Wager21+ to Play, T&Cs Apply

Horse and Greyhound Betting:

Rank
Betting Site
Bonus
Rating
Visit

Online Lottery:

Rank
Betting Site
Bonus
Rating
Visit
1
$5 Free + 100% up to $25018+ to Play, T&Cs Apply

The Keystone State also regulates online horse racing betting, daily fantasy sports, online casinos, and poker sites. Today, PA gamblers have access to a full spectrum of online gambling options that are licensed, regulated, and safe.

Other gambling options in Pennsylvania include land-based casinos, parimutuel horse racing betting at racetracks, video gaming terminals at truck stops, and the state lottery. Interactive tablet gambling at airports is also legal but not yet operational.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting

Pennsylvania began the process of legalizing sports betting in 2017 with the passage of a large gaming expansion bill titled HB 271.

The bill, signed into law as 2017 Act 42, greatly expanded Pennsylvania’s legal gambling options. Act 42 authorizes retail sportsbooks, mobile sports betting, daily fantasy sports, online gambling, online lottery games, and expands other in-person gambling options.

Sports betting provisions included in the bill were written to become effective contingent upon a change in federal law permitting states to regulate sports betting. After the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) as unconstitutional in May 2018, the portion of Pennsylvania’s new gambling law related to sports betting took effect.

The first Pennsylvania sportsbooks opened near the end of 2018 and the first mobile betting apps launched in mid-2019.

Key things to know about PA sports betting law:

  • Minimum age of 21 to participate
  • Licensed casinos, racetracks, and off-track betting locations (OTBs) may operate retail sportsbooks on-premises
  • Licensed casinos and racetracks may each operate one online and mobile sports betting platform
  • Customers may wager on professional and college sports
  • Sports betting is regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)

Mobile Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

The first Pennsylvania betting sites and mobile apps launched in May 2019 and more have followed suit since.

Early on, there was some speculation that the $10 million licensing fees and 36% tax rate would dissuade operators from entering the PA sports betting market, but most casinos have applied for licenses and bettors now have a variety of mobile sportsbooks at their disposal.

Bettors can verify the licensing status of any online sportsbook at the PGCB website here.

BetRivers PA launched in June 2019 as the state’s first online sportsbook and operates on a license held by Rivers Casino Pittsburgh.

BetRivers is operated by Rush Street Interactive, the online gaming division of Chicago’s Rush Street Gaming, the parent company of several casinos in the region. As such, BetRivers is the one PA betting site that most closely fits the phrase “locally owned and operated.”

Visit BetRivers: pa.betrivers.com

DraftKings Sportsbook came to Pennsylvania in November 2019 in partnership with the Meadows Racetrack and Casino.

With a large customer database stemming from its previous fantasy sports operations and a recognizable brand name, DraftKings quickly established itself as one of the state’s largest operators in terms of betting handle.

Visit DraftKings: www.draftkings.com

FanDuel Sportsbook is partnered with Valley Forge Casino, where it launched a retail sportsbook in March 2019 followed by mobile betting that July.

Today, FanDuel operates as the most successful mobile sportsbook in Pennsylvania by betting volume. A busy in-play betting calendar, frequent promotions, and a trusted name combine to make FanDuel a popular choice among bettors.

Visit FanDuel: pa.sportsbook.fanduel.com

Famed sports media company Barstool Sports entered the sports betting game in 2020 with the launch of Barstool Sportsbook in Pennsylvania. Barstool Sportsbook is partnered with Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse to offer statewide mobile betting.

Barstool Sportsbook brings with it an unconventional approach to the business, as expected for anyone familiar with the Barstool brand. With integrated content from the Barstool team and promos tailored to PA sports fans, Barstool Sportsbook provides an experience that is more intimate that what bettors typically find at other betting sites.

Visit Barstool Sportsbook: www.barstoolsportsbook.com

In May 2019, SugarHouse Sportsbook launched as Pennsylvania’s first legal online betting platform. SugarHouse is operated by Rush Street Gaming, parent company of its land-based partner, Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Visit SugarHouse Sportsbook: pa.playsugarhouse.com

Caesars Sportsbook is partnered with Harrah’s Philadelphia and launched its mobile betting app in March 2020.

Caesars customers will find standard pre-game wagers plus in-play betting on a full menu of sports. With a large land-based presence, Caesars Sportsbook offers customers the advantage of linking their online betting accounts to their Caesars Rewards accounts to earn rewards credits whether betting online or in-person at any Caesars property.

Visit Caesars Online Sportsbook: pa.caesarsonline.com

Unibet Sportsbook is owned and operated by the Kindred Group, which is a major international online gaming provider that has served millions of customers in other parts of the world. As a result, Unibet debuted in Pennsylvania from day one with a polished product that includes a quality mobile app and a wide selection of wagers.

In Pennsylvania, Unibet is partnered with Mohegan Sun Pocono and launched in November 2019.

Visit Unibet Sportsbook: pa.unibet.com

Parx Casino launched its self-branded betting site and mobile app in June 2019 as one of Pennsylvania’s early entrants. Parx Sportsbook is noteworthy for covering many events each day and for providing a large number of wagering options for each event.

Visit Parx Sportsbook: pa.parxcasino.com

FOX Sports and international gaming operator Flutter Entertainment are partnered to bring FOX Bet to bettors in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. FOX Bet launched for Pennsylvania customers in September 2019 and operates off the sports betting license held by Mount Airy Casino.

The FOX Bet app features branding regular viewers will recognize from FOX Sports broadcasts, promotions introduced by FOX Sports personalities, and access to exclusive content – all geared to make the FOX Bet experience feel like a big-budget broadcasting event.

Visit FOX Bet: mtairycasino.foxbet.com

BetAmerica Sportsbook is owned and operated by Churchill Downs Inc., the parent company of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs racetrack. BetAmerica has struggled to gain much market share in Pennsylvania to date and often ranks near the bottom of the pack in terms of betting handle.

Visit BetAmerica: pa.betamerica.com

PA Retail Sportsbook Locations

Pennsylvania law permits casinos and racetracks to operate retail sportsbooks. Licensed racetracks may also construct sportsbooks at licensed off-track betting locations (OTBs).

Most casinos and racetracks host active sportsbooks today. Two notable exceptions are Wind Creek Bethlehem and Live! Casino, which both hold sports betting licenses but have not yet opened retail sportsbooks.

Harrah’s Sportsbook began taking wagers in January 2019 following the construction of a 4,300 square feet sportsbook featuring 19 lounge seats, more than 40 flat-screen TVs, six teller windows, and 16 self-serve betting kiosks.

Unibet Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun Pocono launched in late September with two tellers, six self-serve kiosks, and a 28-foot HD video wall all inside a little over 1,100 square feet of space. The video wall can be converted to two extra-large screens or play up to 16 games at a time while a ticker above provides scrolling scoring information.

The sportsbook also features a bar and seating for about 40 customers. The sports betting terminals accept cash and tickets but not credit cards.

Mohegan Sun opened a sportsbook at its Lehigh Valley OTB in March 2020 in partnership with Unibet. The sports lounge features HD TVs, comfortable seating, self-serve betting terminals, and a full bar for guests.

The sportsbook at Parx Casino opened in a temporary location in January 2019 as construction continued on a permanent location. The permanent sportsbook debuted later that year in an improved 7,400-square-foot location. Guests will find nearly 200 seats, VIP seating areas, six live teller windows, 18 betting kiosks, a 156-foot video wall, and a full food/drink menu.

Located across the street from Citizens Bank Park and just a short walk from Lincoln Financial Field and Wells Fargo Center, the sportsbook at the South Philly Turf Club is ideally situated for sports fans on game day.

The South Philly Turf Club underwent about a million dollars’ worth of renovations before launching sports wagering and now accepts bets through a bank of staffed betting windows plus nine self-serve kiosks.

BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh opened in a temporary location in December 2018 but has since moved to its permanent location. Guests can find BetRivers Sportsbook in the center of the casino where Levels used to be.

The 5,500-square-foot sportsbook features to large video walls, two dozen 86” HD TVs, and supports in-play betting. Guests can place wagers a six live teller windows or at any of the facility’s 33 self-serve betting kiosks.

The Sports Book at Mount Airy Casino opened in September 2019 and works in partnership with FOX Bet for branding, betting odds, and promotions. The sportsbook features 40 HD TVs, comfortable lounge seating, and a 12-table poker room. Guests can place wagers at three staffed teller windows, four kiosks inside the sportsbook, or at four kiosks spread throughout the casino.

The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino was the first in Pennsylvania to open and booked the state’s first legal sports wager in November 2018. Hollywood Casino is also authorized to offer mobile betting in Pennsylvania and does so under the Barstool Sportsbook brand.

The Presque Isle Downs sportsbook opened in July 2019 and is powered by BetAmerica. Guests can place wagers through any of 25 kiosks inside the sportsbook area, 25 additional kiosks located throughout the casino, or with a teller at the cashier’s cage.

Churchill Downs Inc acquired Presque Isle Downs in early 2019 and also launched mobile betting in Pennsylvania under the BetAmerica brand (also owned by Churchill Downs).

Rivers Casino Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse Casino) launched BetRivers Sportsbook in December 2018. The original, temporary sportsbook was replaced with a permanent sportsbook in December 2019 that is three times larger than the original.

The permanent sportsbook is 5,700-square feet with lounge and table seating for 115 guests, a massive 56-foot LED video wall, and additional HD TVs throughout. Patrons can place wagers in-person at six betting windows or through nearly two dozen self-serve betting kiosks.

The 1,800-square-foot FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino features 27 viewing screens, seven betting windows, and self-serve betting kiosks. It’s not the biggest sportsbook in the state, but the layout maximizes ease of viewing from any seat.

The Sportsbook at the Meadows opened in October 2019 with 86” HD TVs, five staffed teller windows, 18 self-serve betting kiosks, and a bar with a full menu.

The Meadows entered online sports betting in November 2019 in partnership with DraftKings. Under the deal, The Meadows offers mobile betting using the DraftKings brand name.

Meadows parent company Penn National Gaming is also partnered with Barstool Sportsbook, which is advertised heavily on Meadows social media accounts.

Wind Creek Bethlehem is partnered with Betfred to operate a retail sportsbook at the casino plus statewide mobile betting. Betfred is not a high-profile name in the US, but it is well-known on the international stage as one of the UK’s oldest online bookmakers (Betfred was founded in 1967) and an operator of more than 1600 retail sportsbooks.

Wind Creek and Betfred announced a partnership in January 2020 and have since offered more detailed plans to Pennsylvania regulators. According to recent documents filed with the PGCB, Betfred and Wind Creek plan to open a retail sportsbook in November 2020 and launch online betting sometime before that.

Live! Casino Philadelphia was scheduled to open in 2020 but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Casino representatives have not announced a new anticipated launch date. Live! Casino holds a Pennsylvania sports betting license and is partnered with FanDuel to operate a retail sportsbook.

Horse Racing Betting in Pennsylvania

Trackside and online horse racing betting are legal in Pennsylvania. The State Horse Racing Commission oversees the conduct of all horse racing and parimutuel betting in the Commonwealth, including oversight of advance deposit wagering providers (ADWs).

In 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed HB 941 into law, establishing Act 7 to modernize the Pennsylvania horse racing industry. Among other changes improving the way horse racing is funded, Act 7 established two bureaus to oversee thoroughbred and standardbred racing, and ended the 10% tax on ADW handle.

Online Horse Racing Betting

Pennsylvania law requires all ADWs to acquire licenses before offering online horse racing betting to residents. Most major horse racing betting sites today offer their services in Pennsylvania to customers who are 18 or older.

The largest ADWs active in PA include:

Pennsylvania is home to three thoroughbred racetracks and six harness racetracks.

Thoroughbred Tracks:

Harness Tracks:

Pennsylvania racetracks also operate a handful of off-track wagering (OTW) facilities across the state.

Pennsylvania Fantasy Sports

Pennsylvania legalized fantasy sports in 2017 as a part of the same gaming bill that authorized sports betting, online gambling, and online poker.

Major fantasy sites had already been operating in Pennsylvania for years when the law was passed, but its enactment granted them official legal status and established a licensing process for operators.

Under state law, PA fantasy sites must ensure all customers are 18 or older and are subject to a 15% tax on adjusted revenues. The law also includes standard consumer protection regulations such as requiring operators to keep customers’ funds in segregated accounts separate from each site’s operating funds and requiring operators to submit to annual third-party audits.

Online Gambling in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf legalized online gambling in Pennsylvania after signing HB 271 in 2017. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) then got busy drawing up additional regulations and reviewing licensing applications.

The first PA online casinos launched in July 2019 and more followed suit over ensuing months. Most land-based casinos now hold an online gambling license today:

Land-Based CasinoOnline Gambling Website
Harrah’s PhiladelphiaCaesars Casino: pa.caesarsonline.com
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet Casino: pa.unibet.com
Parx CasinoParx Online Casino: pa.parxcasino.com
Mount Airy Casino ResortPokerStars Casino: starsmtairycasino.com
Hollywood CasinoHollywood Online Casino: pa.hollywoodcasino.com
Hollywood Casino Second SkinDraftKings Casino: www.draftkings.com
Presque Isle Downs CasinoBetAmerica Casino: pa.betamerica.com
Rivers Casino PhiladelphiaSugarHouse Casino: pa.playsugarhouse.com
Rivers Casino Philadelphia Second SkinBetRivers Casino: pa.betrivers.com
Valley Forge Casino ResortFanDuel Casino: www.fanduel.com
Wind Creek BethlehemNot live; partnered with Pala Interactive for online casino
Live! Casino Philadelphia
Approved QGEs (Qualified Gaming Entities)
Borgata Hotel Casino SpaNot live; partnered with Roar Digital (BetMGM)
Golden NuggetNot live; operates Golden Nugget Online

PA gaming law permits land-based casinos and racetracks to offer online gambling if licensed. Additionally, other “qualified gaming entities” (QGEs) are permitted to apply for any licenses not already claimed by a local casino.

There are three types of online gambling licenses available in Pennsylvania:

  •     Non-peer-to-peer interactive games which simulates slot machines (online slots)
  •     Non-peer-to-peer games which simulates table games (online table games)
  •     Peer-to-peer interactive games which simulates poker (online poker)

Each license may be applied for individually at a cost of $4 million. Pennsylvania casinos were also given the option to purchase all three licenses in a package deal for $10 million during the first 90-day period after the law was passed.

Online gambling tax rates are relatively high in Pennsylvania, with online slots taxed at 52% plus an additional 2% local tax. Table games and poker are taxed at 14% + 2% and sports betting at 34% + 2%.

Past Efforts to Legalize Online Gambling in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania lawmakers attempted to legalize online gambling multiple times before the successful 2017 effort. Below are overviews of some of the more prominent attempts to legalize online gambling in PA over the years.

Full Text

Representative Tina Davis introduced House Bill No. 1235 a couple of times. The bill called for the legalization and regulation of online poker and casino games such as blackjack, slot machines and so on. A previous iteration of the bill included burdensome licensing fees and taxes. At one point, the bill required a licensing fee of $16,500,000 per operator and a 45% tax rate on the industry.

She reintroduced the bill in 2013 with considerably lower fees and taxes. The 2013 edition asked for a $5,000,000 license fee and a 28% tax rate. These updated rates brought Pennsylvania more in line with what we’re seeing in other states.

Overall, the bill was fairly lenient. It did not include a “bad actor” clause, which means sites such as PokerStars and Party Poker would be able to return to Pennsylvania and apply for licensing. The bill included an allowance for Pennsylvania to join interstate pacts with other states that legalize internet gaming. What this means is poker sites in Pennsylvania would be allowed to share player pools with poker sites operating in other states, thereby increasing the overall player pool for everyone.

The rest of the bill goes on to describe the measures that will be taken to ensure gambling remains fair, safe and free from the influence of crime. This bill was referred to the gaming oversight committee in April of 2013 and never came back.

Full Text

Senators Edwin Erickson and Bob Mensch introduced SB 1386 in June of 2014. Like the previous bill, this one paved the way for legalizing and regulating online casino games and poker. This bill too called for a $5 million licensing fee.

SB 1386 did contain several key differences. First, it proposed a tax rate of just 14%. Second, this one did include a bad actor clause. What that means is any gaming companies that accepted wagers from the United States after 2006 would be forever prohibited from offering their services in Pennsylvania.

Additionally, licenses would only be issued to existing brick-and-mortar operators in Pennsylvania. These operators could team up with 3rd party software providers, but all online operations would have to be promoted and marketed under the brand of the brick-and-mortar establishment.

HB 460: Full Text

SB 900: Full Text

HB 649 was first introduced in February of 2015 and hung around throughout part of 2016. This law wanted to direct the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to create regulations, license operators and monitor licensees.

HB 649 would allow brick-and-mortar casinos to apply for licensees for an $8 million fee and give them the ability to partner with existing online gaming providers who can provide the technology and expertise to take brick-and-mortar casinos to the digital realm.

State Representative John Payne, chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, told Trib Live in January of 2016 that he believes the state will find the potential income from legal online casino games too irresistible to pass on.

“Look, we need revenue,” he said. “They’re not going to find votes for taxes in an election year. So I would think gaming will be a component.”

One bill introduced in 2015 even proposed a 54% tax rate for online gaming revenue. The tax rates specified in SB 900 were seen as unrealistic at the time, but that bill did set the stage for high tax rates in the 2017 bill that was later approved by the House and Senate.

A pair of identical bills were introduced in the House and Senate in 2017. Those bills called for poker sites and online casinos to apply for licenses at a cost of $8 million up front and $250,000 per year thereafter. Technology providers would likewise be subject to hefty taxes and fees: $2 million up front and $100,000 per year thereafter.

These two bills also called for a tax rate of 16%, which was much lower than what some other proposals have called for. Neither bill made it into law, but they did set the stage for what would come later.

Shortly after those two bills were proposed, a third bill came out of nowhere courtesy of state Senator Jay Costa. His massive bill consisted of 200+ pages of regulations that would ultimately legalize gambling as well as formally legalize fantasy sports. This one called for a $10 million licensing fee for gambling sites, $5 million for software providers, and a tax rate of 25%.

Pennsylvania Online Poker

Legal online poker came to Pennsylvania in 2019 with the launch of PokerStars PA in partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Pennsylvania is a promising online poker market with a population of nearly 13 million, but just one poker site has launched to date. A slow approval process and high licensing fees may be contributing to the state’s slow rollout of licensed online poker operators.

However, Partypoker and 888/WSOP are expected to join the market in coming months once the PGCB gives the go-ahead. In September 2020, 888 Holdings received an interactive gaming manufacturer’s license in preparation to launch the state’s second poker site.

With a population of nearly 13 million, Pennsylvania is the largest state to legalize online poker to date. As a result, Pennsylvania could have a large positive impact on the US online poker market as a whole by joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) to share tables with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

Pennsylvania alone would double the potential player pool of the MSIGA to significantly increase liquidity across the network. Pennsylvania officials have not committed to joining the MSIGA as lingering questions regarding the Wire Act are resolved, but state law includes provisions that permit officials to enter “interactive gaming reciprocal agreements” provided such agreements are compatible with state and federal law.

PA Online Lottery

The 2017 gambling expansion bill also included reforms for the state lottery. Most notably, the law granted the PA Lottery permission to take its games online. Some of the types of games authorized to be taken online include lottery tickets, instant win scratch card games, and keno.

The Pennsylvania Lottery launched PAiLottery.com in June 2018 with a small selection of games that has grown significantly since. PA residents 18 or older can visit PaiLottery.com to play dozens of instant win games that boast top prizes as high as $600,000 or to buy entries to the following draw games:

  • Cash4Life
  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions
  • Treasure Hunt

Not long after the PA legislature sent that bill to Governor Wolf, he announced that he would be authorizing the Pennsylvania Lottery to operate virtual sports betting terminals in authorized locations such as bars and taverns. The state lottery predicted that the change would result in up to $75 million in additional revenue over the next five years.

More About PAiLottery.com

The Pennsylvania online lottery is open to anyone 18 or older. Players can try demo games from anywhere in the country, but real money play is limited to customers within state lines.

New customers can fund their PA iLottery accounts via several methods:

  • ACH / eCheck
  • Credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover)
  • PayPal
  • PayNearMe
  • Play+ Card
  • WebCash voucher purchased at any PA Lottery retailer

PAiLottery also offers a generous welcome bonus for new customers plus regular ongoing promos.

The Pennsylvania Lottery also provides multiple responsible gambling tools for online users. Players can log in to set daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits to keep spending under control. Players may also set time limits, loss limits, or self-exclude entirely for periods of one to five years.

Sign up for an account at PAiLottery below and claim a 100% deposit bonus worth up to $500 extra:

www.pailottery.com

1959

Horse Racing

Pennsylvania legalized horse racing in 1959. The first racetrack to open was Meadows in 1963.

1959
1971

Lottery

The Pennsylvania Lottery is established.

1971
2004

Slot Machines

After several failed attempts to legalize casino gambling, Pennsylvania passed the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. The law legalized slot machines at up to seven racetracks, five stand-alone casinos, and two resort casinos.

2004
2010

Table Games

In 2010, Pennsylvania updated the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act to include table games.

2010
2017

Online Gambling, Sports Betting, DFS, and More

Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive gaming expansion law in 2017. The highlights of the bill were the legalization of online casino games, online poker, online lottery, retail and online sports betting, daily fantasy sports, mini-casinos, and VGTs.

2017