Pennsylvania Online Horse Betting

Pennsylvania has a thriving horse race betting scene. The state allows both in-person and online wagering on horse races. When it comes to PA online horse betting, players have a number of options to choose from in the state.

While many states offer horse race wagering on their sports betting sites, Pennsylvania is slightly different.  The Keystone State requires players to use separate sites for online horse race betting. Players within Pennsylvania borders won’t find any available racing bets on sportsbook sites. 

For players who prefer the thrill of an in-person race, Pennsylvania offers six racetracks with in-person wagering. 

In short, Pennsylvania provides a safe and fun environment for horse race enthusiasts. Whether you prefer on-property betting on online wagering, the state has something to offer. 

PA Online Horse Betting Sites

SiteBonus OffersLaunchedOther States
Television Games Network (TVG)Risk-free first bet1999Available in 30 US states
BetAmericaRewards program2007Available in 40 US states
TwinSpiresRefer a friend for free bets, $100 sign-up bonus1996Available in 30 US states
XpressbetUp to $500 wager bonus2002Available in 38 US states

TVG

TVG is owned by FanDuel, who is in turn owned by Paddy Power. They operate under the PABest brand in Pennsylvania.

Since it opened in 1999, TVG has grown to become a full-fledged horse race betting destination. TVG offers bettors simulcast video so you can watch your horse live during the race and track your bet. 

The TVG site offers a variety of offers and promotions, so you can maximize your value when you sign up and bet on a regular basis. 

TVG is partnered with the American Quarter Horse Association so the company provides a lot of bets and coverage for harness racing

TVG has an iOS app available to Pennsylvania players. Be sure to download PABets–that is the Pennsylvania-approved version of TVG. Google Play does not allow regulated gambling apps, so Android users should use mobile browsers to access TVG. 

BetAmerica

In 2017, Churchill Downs bought BetAmerica, which until then operated independently since launching in 2007. Now, the site offers horse race betting alongside daily fantasy sports and greyhound racing. 

BetAmerica offers live streams and replays, which provides full access to coverage of 400+ worldwide races. Beyond betting itself, BetAmerica provides constant coverage of the racing scene, including podcasts and video content. It’s a great starting point for anyone looking to get up to speed with horse racing. 

Bettors looking for a Kentucky Derby hub should look no further. Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby annually. BetAmerica offers plenty of bets and coverage of the event. 

BetAmerica has an iOS app on the App Store and an Android app available for download at its website. 

TwinSpires

TwinSpires also falls under the Churchill Downs umbrella. The company launched TwinSpires in 2007.

TwinSpires features a number of racing types, including thoroughbred, standard, and quarter horse races. If you sign up with TwinSpires, you’ll have access to hundreds of global races. 

TwinSpires, like its competitors, allows you to view live streams of races–up to five simultaneously. 

The TwinSpires app is available on the iOS App Store. The Android app is downloadable on the company’s webpage; simply click the download link and follow the prompts to install it on your Android device. 

Xpressbet

The Stronach Group owns Xpressbet. The company has deep roots in the horse race betting arena. They own multiple racetracks, including Gulfstream Park in Florida, three tracks in Maryland, and Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park in California.

Xpressbet offers a number of promotions for new and frequent bettors. To place a wager, either visit the desktop site or download the app to your device. Xpressbet has apps for iOS (in the App Store) and Android devices. For Android, you’ll need to download the app from your mobile browser.

Xpressbet’s headquarters is in Washington, Pennsylvania, making it an excellent option for bettors who want to use an in-state operator. 

Want to learn more about horse racing in the US, check out our Guide To Online Horse Betting.

Pennsylvania Online Horse Betting Bonuses

When you first sign up and as you continue to wager on a regular basis, you’ll encounter a large number of bonuses and offers on PA online horse betting sites. Here are a few common ones to keep an eye out for:

No Deposit Bonus

This is a simple bonus that can best be described as an operator thank-you for signing up with their platform. Simply sign up, and you’ll receive a small dollar amount you can place toward your bet. Usually, these are fairly small bonuses ranging from $10 to $25. 

Betting Bonuses

Betting bonuses reward players for placing frequent bets on a single site. They offer rewards such as a $10 bonus on every $100 you bet within a specific time period (usually 30 days). There’s a cap on the amount you can make, often around $500. 

TwinSpires puts a different spin on betting bonuses. They’ll offer  $100 as a bonus if you bet a total of $500 within your first 30 days on the site. 

Betting bonuses take many forms and there’s always fine print, so read the terms carefully before diving in. 

Betting bonuses, if you use them properly, can be some of the most rewarding in online horse race betting. 

Deposit Match

Deposit matches appear most often on sports betting sites, but you may find them on horse racing apps as well. The operator will match your first deposit up to a specific amount (often capped anywhere between $200 and $500). You may not find deposit match bonuses on many sites right now, but offers constantly change. 

Risk-Free Bets

TVG currently offers a risk-free bet bonus. Usually, these limit bettors to one type of bet. In TVG’s case, it’s a single horse win bet. You place a bet up to a certain amount (TVG’s max right now is $200), and if you lose, they’ll refund the amount you lost so you can get right back to betting. 

If your bet wins, however, the risk-free bonus expires and your future bets are left up to chance. 

Refer-A-Friend

Word-of-mouth (or word-of-social media) is a powerful marketing tool, and horse betting sites use this to their advantage through refer-a-friend programs. 

These bonuses have you share links to betting sites with friends on social networks or via email. Usually, you’ll get a betting credit for every friend who signs up and bets a certain amount. For example, Xpressbet offers $50 for every friend you refer who signs up and places at least $100 in wagers. 

If you have friends interested in horse races who don’t know where to start with online betting in Pennsylvania, this can be a great way to introduce them and add some extra funds to your account. 

Pennsylvania Racetracks

In addition to a variety of options for PA online horse betting, the state hosts a number of racetracks:

RacetrackLocationYear Opened
Presque Isle Downs & CasinoErie2007
The Meadows Racetrack & CasinoWashington2009
The Downs at Mohegan Sun PoconoWilkes-Barre1965
Parx Racing at Parx CasinoBensalem1974
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race CourseGrantville1972
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & RacetrackChester2007

Presque Isle Downs & Casino

Presque Isle Downs in Erie boasts a casino on top of its racetrack. The track offers racing Sundays through Thursdays from May to the end of October

Because it’s also a casino property, players must be 21 or older to enter Presque Isle Downs.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino 

Opened in 2009, The Meadows brought racing and casino gaming to Washington, PA. The Washington Trotting Association originally operated the property, which opened in 1963. Now, Penn National Gaming operates the track and has done so since its 2018 acquisition of Pinnacle. 

The Meadows Racetrack is home to harness and standardbred racing, which provides bettors a variety of betting options. 

One of The Meadows’ notable distinctions is that it offers racing year-round, with nearly 200 days of racing on an annual basis. The Meadows holds races on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday afternoons. 

The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono

The March through November season finds live harness racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut owns the property, which also features a casino.

Penn National Gaming sold the Pocono Downs to Mohegan Sun in 2005. The tribe has owned and operated the property ever since. The complex has been in Wilkes-Barre since 1965 and now serves as a gaming and racing hub for Pennsylvania bettors. 

Parx Racing

Parx is the single largest gaming complex in Pennsylvania, thanks to a massive casino floor and a racetrack featuring thoroughbred races. 

The racecourse opened in 1974 as the Keystone Racetrack. It changed hands in 1990 to the ownership of Greenwood Entertainment and Gaming Inc., who renamed it to Parx in 2010. 

Smarty Jones, the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, made Parx famous as his original home racetrack. 

The state’s primary thoroughbred races call Parx home: the Pennsylvania Derby and the Fitz Eugene Dixon Cotillion Handicap. Both races have a $1 million dollar prize.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course

Located in Grantville, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course hosts thoroughbred races. Opened in 1972, the track is somewhat of an oddball (joining The Meadows) in that it offers races year-round. 

Currently, the property (including the casino) falls under Gaming and Leisure Properties ownership. Penn National Gaming operates the property. 

Penn National Race Course hosts the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap with a $200,000 prize pool.

Is Online Horse Race Betting Legal In Pennsylvania?

Yes, it’s completely legal and safe to participate in horse race wagering in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania notably allows most forms of online gaming and is considered a pioneer in the industry. On top of online casinos, sports betting, and iLottery, Pennsylvania offers a variety of options for internet horse racing enthusiasts.  

Who Regulates PA Online Horse Betting?

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees every aspect of Pennsylvania’s horse race betting industry. This includes off-track betting, racetracks, online betting, and even betting over the phone. 

The PGCB also regulates casinos in the state, a crucial point considering most of Pennsylvania’s racetracks also host casino floors with thousands of slots and table games.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s website features a variety of resources for players. These include regulatory documents, public hearing recordings, and reports on the Pennsylvania gaming industry. 

How Safe Is Online Horse Race Betting In Pennsylvania?

Betting on regulated sites like TVG, Xpressbet, or the others outlined on this page is safe and secure for Pennsylvania bettors. 

Online betting providers use high-level encryption on par with practices employed by banking institutions and online retailers, so your money and information are safe. 

Offshore or grey market sites, by comparison, feature no such security measures. These sites are beholden only to the laws of the country where they operate, and cannot be trusted to keep your money or information safe.

Always double-check the “about” pages on any site you’re considering for horse race betting. Offshore sites will have limited information about safety and payments while trusted sites will offer you a variety of options for safe deposits and withdrawals. 

What Races Can I Bet On In Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania plays host to a number of races, whether you prefer in-state events, national races, or international contests. 

Popular Pennsylvania Horse Races

Pennsylvania’s two biggest races take place at Parx racetrack: the Pennsylvania Derby and the Fitz Eugene Dixon Cotillion Handicap. Each race has a $1 million prize pool.

Top-Tier Horse Races

The triple crown is one of racing’s biggest accolades. The title comprises three races: The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The three events happen over six consecutive weeks. Of them, the Kentucky Derby is the most well-known among even newcomers to the racing scene. 

Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby. The company also owns TwinSpires and BetAmerica. Bettors will find a number of bets available on those operators during the premiere race. 

International races such as The Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival provide further options for fans of flagship racing events. 

Do Pennsylvania Racetracks Offer Casino Games?

Yes. Each of Pennsylvania’s six racetracks also features casino gaming in some form. 

In 2004, state lawmakers passed the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, which authorized racetracks to offer casino games. The law allows properties to have up to 5,000 gaming machines. Racinos, as racetrack-casino combinations are known, can have up to 250 table games.

All six Pennsylvania properties have casino games in some form in addition to their racing presence:

  • Presque Isle Downs & Casino
  • The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
  • The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Parx Racing at Parx Casino
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack

Outside of its racino properties, Pennsylvania has a number of other casinos:

CasinoLocation
Lady Luck Casino NemacolinFarmington
Live! Hotel and Casino PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia
Mount Airy Casino ResortMount Pocono
Rivers Casino Philadelphia Philadelphia
Rivers Casino PittsburghPittsburgh
Valley Forge Casino ResortKing of Prussia
Wind Creek BethlehemWind Creek

How To Bet On Horses In Pennsylvania

Horse race betting can be confusing at first, but like most other betting types, it becomes easier over time. Whether you’re using an automated machine at a racino or an app, the process is fairly easy to grasp on either platform. You can also bet over the phone or with a live teller (if you’re at a racetrack), but here we’ll focus on the streamlined options for online bettors. 

Step by step:

  1. Choose a track and a race.
  2. Set a betting limit/determine how much you’d like to wager.
  3. Pick a wager type. For beginners, win, place, or show tend to be the easiest bets to understand. 
  4. Choose your horse(s)

For beginners, betting on a horse to win may be the easiest way to get started. You can bet on a single horse to win the race. If the horse wins, your bet pays. If your horse comes in second place or lower, you lose. It’s a volatile bet, but you can look at the horses’ odds before your place a bet. 

If you’re unclear on betting processes or need extra guidance, online betting sites all feature incredibly helpful guides that can get you up to speed. 

PA Online Horse Betting FAQ

Do I need to be in Pennsylvania to use an online horse race betting app?

Not necessarily. Most states allow online horse race betting, so you can usually place a bet no matter where you are. However, some sites like TVG’s PABets, are specifically tailored to PA and may require you to be within state lines. 

Are there racinos in Pennsylvania?

Yes. In fact, all six of Pennsylvania’s racetracks also have casinos. Each has a variety of slots and table games in addition to horse race wagering facilities. Here are Pennsylvania’s racinos:

  • Presque Isle Downs & Casino
  • The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
  • The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Parx Racing at Parx Casino
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack 

Is TVG legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes. PA online horse betting sites include TVG, which offers a PABets app specifically for Pennsylvania racing enthusiasts. 

TVG has an iOS app and a desktop/mobile browser betting site. Android users will need to access the site via a mobile browser. TVG doesn’t yet have an Android app. 

TVG allows you to stream and simulcast races so you can track your bets as the races happen live.

Is BetAmerica legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Like other sites, BetAmerica allows online horse race betting in Pennsylvania, and state law allows you to place wagers legally. 

BetAmerica offers a wide array of horse racing events and live streams. 

Churchill Downs, the company that hosts the Kentucky Derby, owns BetAmerica and TwinSpires. If you’re looking to bet on the high-profile horse races of the Triple Crown, these sites will give you plenty to start with. 

Can I bet on Triple Crown Races in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Most online horse race betting providers will feature bets on races around the globe. This includes the three Triple Crown races: The Belmont Stakes, The Preakness Stakes, and The Kentucky Derby. 

Churchill Downs runs the Kentucky Derby, and they own both BetAmerica and TwinSpires. For a cohesive betting offer on the Triple Crown, you can look to those sites. 

How old do you have to be to place a wager on horse races in Pennsylvania?

18 is the minimum age for pari-mutuel (horse race) betting in Pennsylvania. However, some land-based racetracks require you to be 21 or older to enter the premises because they also have casinos. 

Can I live stream horse races in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Most betting sites feature live streams of horse races, and some even let you stream up to five at once. 

You can also watch races without betting on many sites. Head to racetrack webpages for more information on how to stream races. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with racing in general before you’re ready to place a bet.

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.