Pennsylvania horse racing betting sites and ADW apps offer parimutuel wagering to customers across the commonwealth in a legal and regulated environment. Users must be 18 or older and physically located in the state of PA to bet on horse races online.
PA Horse Racing Betting Sites
In-person watching and wagering options consist of six permanent racetracks, races at county fairs, and a small number of off-track betting facilities (OTBs).
In all, Pennsylvania maintains a healthy horse racing industry with numerous parimutuel wagering options and a busy live racing calendar.
The State Horse Racing Commission oversees Pennsylvania horse racing and describes its mission as follows:
“to direct, regulate, secure, and promote the horse racing and breeding industry in the commonwealth”
Best Pennsylvania Racebook Apps
Mobile horse racing betting is regulated in Pennsylvania by the State Horse Racing Commission. All PA racebooks must acquire licenses from the Commission and adhere to numerous consumer protection regulations.
What this means for readers is mobile horse racing betting is safe and legal in PA. Customers in the state can bet online with licensed ADWs to ensure they are treated fairly and paid promptly.
The best Pennsylvania horse racing betting apps also provide advanced handicapping tools, free past performance programs, and live video from races held around the world.
TwinSpires offers mobile betting in Pennsylvania and is owned by one of the biggest names in horse racing: Churchill Downs Inc, the parent company of the Kentucky Derby. TwinSpires offers a well-rounded online wagering experience:
- Mobile wagering apps for iOS and Android plus desktop wagering at TwinSpires.com
- Official betting site of the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup
- Live streaming horse races and instant replays
- Free Brisnet handicapping tools
- New customer welcome bonus plus ongoing rewards program
Visit now: www.twinspires.com
TVG operates in Pennsylvania under the brand name PABets and is a quality place to bet on horse races in general. However, PABets is subject to numerous restrictions on track availability and cannot offer its wager rewards loyalty program to PA residents.
- Look for PABets in the App Store to downloads the mobile app
- Visit online at PABets.TVG.com
- Free past performances when you wager at least $10 on that track’s card
- Frequent promotions related to the week’s major racing events – cashback offers, free picks contests with cash prizes, cashback insurance on select wagers, and more
- Cash sign up bonus for new customers
Visit now: pabets.tvg.com
Pennsylvania’s Live Racetracks
Live horse racing takes place in Pennsylvania at three standardbred racetracks, three thoroughbred tracks, and many county fairs that host harness racing.
Each of Pennsylvania’s permanent racetracks is a major gaming destination with casinos, sportsbooks, on-site entertainment, and more on offer. Meanwhile, county fairs host harness races across the commonwealth every Summer and Fall.
777 Harrah’s Boulevard
Chester, PA 19013
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino Racetrack hosts live standardbred harness racing from March through December and year-round simulcasting seven days a week. Harrah’s describes its 5/8 mile track, which extends partially over the Delaware River, as one of the fastest in the country.
Other amenities at the Harrah’s Philadelphia casino racetrack include a full-service casino, William Hill Sportsbook, four dining options, and three bars/lounges.
210 Racetrack Road
Washington, PA 15301
The Meadows racetrack offers live standardbred harness races from January through December and simulcasts races from around the country 365 days a year. In most weeks, live racing runs from Wednesday through Friday, starting at 12:40 PM. Visitors can find the latest live racing schedule, simulcasting calendar, entries and results, stats, and condition sheets here.
In addition to racing, The Meadows racetrack features a casino, poker room, sportsbook, bowling alley, seven restaurants and bars, and an on-site hotel with a covered walkway into the racetrack and casino.
1280 Highway 315
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono features a 5/8-mile harness racetrack and hosts live racing from February or March through November most years. The track at Mohegan Sun Cocono also provides year-round simulcast wagering starting at 11:00 AM daily.
Mohegan Sun Pocono guests can bet on horse races in the simulcast room, on the apron and patio, and via self-serve betting kiosks. Admission and parking are free.
The property also hosts an 82,000-square foot casino, 18-table poker room, Unibet Sportsbook, 17 dining options, six bars and lounges, and a 238-room hotel.
3001 Street Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
Parx casino racetrack hosts live thoroughbred racing from January through December each year, with post times alternating between 12:25 and 12:55 PM. The main track at Parx East measures 1 mile, while the turf course measures 7 furlongs with a 1 1/8-mile chute.
The racebook at Parx casino also offers daily simulcast wagering year-round and holds special viewing events for major races, including the Pennsylvania Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup.
The casino attached to Parx Racing is massive, with more than 3,300 slots, 188 table games, a 48-table poker room, a sportsbook, eight dining and drinking options, and live entertainment such as comedy shows and concerts. Parx Casino also offers online sports betting and casino games to customers across the commonwealth.
777 Hollywood Boulevard
Grantville, PA 17028
Penn National Race Course hosts live thoroughbred racing every year from January through March and June through December with a post time of 6:00 PM every day.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National also offers simulcast racing seven days a week, beginning at 12:05 or 12:25 every morning with live racing streams and instant replays from tracks across the country.
The casino at Penn National boasts more than 2,300 slots, 56 table games, a poker room, and a sportsbook. Guests of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National will also find two dining options and a Topgolf Swing Suite.
8199 Perry Highway
Erie, PA 16509
The Presque Isle Downs thoroughbred racing season runs from May through October, with races generally held from Monday through Thursday each week. Guests can also visit Presque Isle Downs year-round for simulcast wagering seven days a week, starting between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM each day.
The Presque Isle Downs casino features 1,500+ slots, 32 table games, a seven-table poker room, and 50 self-serve sports betting kiosks.
Major Horse Racing Events in Pennsylvania
Horse racing is a strong industry in Pennsylvania, with six major racetracks that host dozens of stakes races every year for standardbreds and thoroughbreds.
- Cotillion Stakes: $1,000,000 purse, open to 3yo fillies, held each September/early October at Parx Racing
- Pennsylvania Derby: $1,000,000 purse, open to 3yo thoroughbreds, held each September at Parx Racing
- Penn Mile Stakes: $500,000 purse, open to 3yo thoroughbreds, held each June at Penn
- ADIOS Pace: $400,000 est. purse, open to 3yo standardbreds, held each August at The Meadows
- Presque Isle Downs Masters: $400,000 purse, open to 3yo+ fillies and mares, held each September at Presque Isle Downs
- Presque Isle Mile: $250,000 purse, open to 3yo+ thoroughbreds, held each September at Presque Isle Downs
- Penn Oaks: $200,000 purse, open to 3yo fillies, held each May/June at Penn National
- Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup: $200,000 purse, open to 3yo+ thoroughbreds, held each June at Penn National
- 7 Forty 3 Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ fillies and mares, held each May at Penn National
- Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 2yo fillies, held each November at Penn National
- Fabulous Strike Stakes: $200,000 purse, open to 3yo+ thoroughbreds, held each November at Penn National
- Swatara Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ thoroughbreds, held each November at Penn National
- Bobby’s Kitchen Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ thoroughbreds, held each June at Penn National
- Susquehanna Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ fillies and mares, held each June at Penn National
- Penn Ladies Dash: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ fillies and mares, held each June at Penn National
- Chocolate Town Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ thoroughbreds, held each June at Penn National
- Fred Lipkin Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo thoroughbreds, held each June at Penn National
- Lyphard Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ fillies and mares, held each May at Penn National
- Robellino Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo+ thoroughbreds, held each May at Penn National
- New Start Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo fillies, held each may at Penn National
- Danzig Stakes: $100,000 purse, open to 3yo thoroughbreds, held each May at Penn National
Pennsylvania OTBs and Off-Track Wagering
Six off-track betting facilities (OTBs) operated in Pennsylvania until recently, but most have closed permanently due to government-mandated shutdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pennsylvania Online Horse Racing Betting Law
Advance deposit wagering (online horse racing betting) is legal in Pennsylvania and regulated by the State Horse Racing Commission. Under state law, advance deposit wagering operators (ADWs) must apply for licenses from the Commission to offer online betting to customers located in the commonwealth.
The most important things customers need to know about online horse racing betting in PA include the following:
- Minimum age of 18 to bet on horse races online, at tracks, and OTBs
- Customers must be residents of Pennsylvania and physically located within the commonwealth to place wagers online
- State law requires customers to provide their name, address, phone number, Social Security number, and date of birth when signing up for online betting accounts
In 2016, lawmakers passed legislation to significantly reform Pennsylvania horse racing laws. Among many other things, Act 7 of 2016 restructured the State Horse Racing Commission and instituted a licensing regime for ADW providers.
The law also replaced the unpopular 10% ADW tax with a 1.5% tax on win/place/show wagers and a 2.5% tax on exotic bets.
State law holds online betting operators to high standards, which is why bettors should always stick with licensed racebooks and betting sites (see our recommendations near the top of this page). In Pennsylvania, licensed operators in the state’s racing industry must:
- Demonstrate financial fitness
- Ensure all key employees hold appropriate horse racing licenses
- Must provide means and information for customers to self-exclude or place limits on their wagering activity at every facility
- Submit to an annual independent audit
- Meet general industry standards for the security of customer records, business records, and physical computing systems
- Employ a real-time independent monitoring system to detect suspicious betting patterns
Readers can find additional information on advance deposit wagering regulations here: 7 Pa. Code § 197
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum age to bet on horse races in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law enforces a minimum age of 18 to bet on horse races online and in-person at the track.
Where can I watch and bet on horse races in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia residents have multiple available options to watch and bet on horse racing.
The most prominent racetracks in Philly are Harrah’s Philadelphia about 30 minutes south of downtown, and Parx Racing track about 30 minutes north.
Nearby OTBs include South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook just north of Citizens Bank Park and Favorites at Gloucester Township about half an hour southeast in New Jersey.
Where can I watch and bet on horse races in Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh horse racing betting options are a bit sparse, with The Meadows Racetrack the only track within driving distance. By car, The Meadows is about half-an-hour southwest of downtown Pittsburgh.
Can I bet on the Kentucky Derby in Pennsylvania?
Yes. PA racetracks and OTBs simulcast the Kentucky Derby and other major events.
Most locations also host special events for the Kentucky Derby to recreate the atmosphere here in PA. Fans can also check local media in the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby for large watch parties hosted across the commonwealth.
Can I bet on the Breeders’ Cup in Pennsylvania?
Yes. The Breeders’ Cup is one of the most significant events of the year and Pennsylvania parimutuel wagering facilities of all types cover the race. The same also applies to other major races such as the Kentucky Oaks and Preakness Stakes.