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.
Legal Pennsylvania Betting Sites
Sports Betting and Online Gambling:
Horse and Greyhound Betting:
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.
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.
Horse Racing Betting in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania boasts a healthy horse racing industry that provides numerous options to watch and bet on races. Six major racetrack-casinos and their accompanying off-track betting facilities (OTBs) provide ample opportunity to bet on horse races in-person, while licensed advance deposit wagering providers (ADWs) allow customers to bet online from anywhere in the commonwealth.
The State Horse Racing Commission oversees all horse racing and parimutuel betting in Pennsylvania, and it does commendable work in ensuring the integrity of the sport. In summary, Pennsylvania is a good place to be for horse racing fans.
BettingUSA maintains a detailed guide to Pennsylvania horse racing betting at the link below. There, readers will find a complete list of racetracks and mobile racebooks, an introduction to parimutuel wagering law, and more.
- Read more: Pennsylvania Horse Racing Betting
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 Casino||Online Gambling Website|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Caesars Casino: pa.caesarsonline.com|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Unibet Casino: pa.unibet.com|
|Parx Casino||Parx Online Casino: pa.parxcasino.com|
|Mount Airy Casino Resort||PokerStars Casino: starsmtairycasino.com|
|Hollywood Casino||Hollywood Online Casino: pa.hollywoodcasino.com|
|Hollywood Casino Second Skin||DraftKings Casino: www.draftkings.com|
|Hollywood Casino Third Skin||BetMGM Casino: casino.pa.betmgm.com|
|Presque Isle Downs Casino||BetAmerica Casino: pa.betamerica.com|
|Rivers Casino Philadelphia||SugarHouse Casino: pa.playsugarhouse.com|
|Rivers Casino Philadelphia Second Skin||BetRivers Casino: pa.betrivers.com|
|Rivers Casino Philadelphia Third Skin||Borgata Casino: casino.borgataonline.com|
|Valley Forge Casino Resort||FanDuel Casino: www.fanduel.com|
|Wind Creek Bethlehem||Not live; partnered with Pala Interactive for online casino|
|Live! Casino Philadelphia|
|Approved QGEs (Qualified Gaming Entities)|
|Borgata Hotel Casino Spa||Approved, but Borgata Online Casino ended up launching in PA through a market access deal with Rivers Casino Philadelphia|
|Golden Nugget||Not 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.
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 the 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:
- 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)
- 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: