The Supreme Court gave each state the power to legalize sports betting in May of 2018 when they overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Pennsylvania became an early-adopter In November of 2018 when the state accepted its first bet.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Locations
Pennsylvania sports betting is currently offered at the following retail locations:
- Harrah's Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino
- Parx Casino
- Rivers Casino
- South Philadelphia Turf Club
- SugarHouse Casino
- Valley Forge
- Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook
Can I Bet on Sports Online in Pennsylvania?
Yes, online sports betting in Pennsylvania is legal. SugarHouse was the first sportsbook to launch in Pennslyvania, with a soft launch of May 28, 2019. Both Parx and Rivers will also be rolling out online apps in 2019.
Are there any prohibited bets in Pennsylvania?
Currently, Pennsylvania residents are prohibited from betting on any high school sporting events.
Who can bet on sports in Pennsylvania?
Anybody who is 21 years or older can bet on sports in Pennsylvania. Tourists can also wager on sports, as you do not have to be a resident to bet. People prohibited from betting on sports include athletes, coaches, refs, and related personnel.
Pennsylvania Gambling FAQ
Pennsylvania has quite the selection of online gaming products to choose from. Here's what forms of gambling are legal in Pennsylvania:
- Online Sports Betting - Legal (launch - May of 2019)
- Online Horse Betting - Legal
- Daily Fantasy Sports - Legal
- iGaming (online slots) - Legal (launch - July of 2019)
- Online Poker - Legal (launch - July of 2019)
- Offshore Sportsbooks - Not Legal
For those unfamiliar, Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS, is a cross between fantasy football and legalized gambling. On a broad level, DFS contests are a subsection of fantasy sports. Players compete against their friends, or more often complete strangers to build a team of professional athletes under a given salary cap, and try and to outscore their opponents. Daily fantasy sports differ from traditional fantasy sports by having contests that last for an evening or the weekend, as opposed to having the same team for months.
Yes, online poker and other online casino games are currently legal in Pennsylvania. These products will launch in July of 2019!
Offshore betting is betting on sports online through an offshore sportsbook operated overseas. Offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada, BetOnline, MyBookie, and 5Dimes are illegal in all 50 states. While offshore sportsbooks accept U.S. citizens as clients, they can be unsafe and untrustworthy. Because offshore sportsbooks are often unregulated, they have the power to rip off customers who win lots of money. With legal betting available in Pennsylvania, there is no need to bet with an offshore sportsbook.
Does Pennsylvania offer an online lottery system?
Yes, Pennsylvania offers an online lottery with dozens of games. The games resemble slot machines in both appearance and style of play.
Where does the Pennsylvania lottery money go?
Each lottery dollar is distributed as follows, and can also be seen here: 65¢ to prizes for players, 26¢ to benefit programs, 7¢ to retailers & vendors, and 2¢ for the Lottery’s ongoing operations and administrative costs. Since 1972, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed $29 billion to benefit programs.
About the Pennsylvania Bill Structure
Obtaning a license to offer sports betting in Pennsylvania costs $10,000,000. In addition, the tax rate on sports betting is a whopping 36%. This is the largest fee of all states with legal sports betting. The only state that comes close is Tennessee, which charges a 20% tax rate and an annual fee of $750,000.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is in charge of regulating sports wagering, and can only permit one "skin" to each casino. This means each casino can only have one mobile partner. For comparison, New Jersey has three skins per casino.
So far in 2019, Pennsylvania has amassed $14.25 million in revenue through April. It will be interesting to see how revenue grows with the addition of mobile betting. For reference, online betting in New Jersey currently accounts for 70-80% of all bets.