After close to a decade of efforts by pro-gaming lawmakers, Pennsylvania online sports betting became a reality after a major gambling expansion.
Governor Tom Wolf signed off on Pennsylvania House Bill 271, which cleared the way for several new legalized gambling verticals in the state. HB 271 legalized sports betting, online casinos, and online poker.
HB 271 legalized both land-based and online sports betting. The actual launch of these products, however, was dependent on the overturn of the US federal ban on sports betting.
Pennsylvania and a handful of other US states took this proactive approach to sports betting legislation. They proactively enacted laws at the state level before the federal ban was lifted.
The approach paid off when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018.
With PASPA struck down by the Supreme Court, Pennsylvania’s legal retail sportsbooks began to open for business in late 2018. The first of Pennsylvania’s legal online sportsbooks launched in May 2019. Throughout 2020, more online sportsbooks continued to launch.
Pennsylvania’s Online Sports Betting: The Run Down
Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks At A Glance
|Online Sportsbook||Launch Date||License Partner|
|SugarHouse Sportsbook||May 2019||Rivers Philadelphia|
|Parx Sportsbook||June 2019||Parx Casino|
|BetRivers Sportsbook||June 2019||Rivers Pittsburgh|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||July 2019||Valley Forge Casino Resort|
|FOX Bet||September 2019||Mount Airy Casino Resort|
|Unibet Sportsbook||November 2019||Mohegan Sun Pocono|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||November 2019||The Meadows|
|BetAmerica||December 2019||Presque Isle Downs|
|Caesars Sportsbook||March 2020||Harrah’s Philadelphia|
|Barstool Sportsbook||September 2020||Hollywood Casino|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||Launch Pending||Independent license|
SugarHouse Sportsbook won the race to be the first legal online sportsbook launched in Pennsylvania. Licensed to Rivers Philadelphia, the platform went live in May 2019.
The platform offers one of the most generous deposit bonuses in the US online gambling industry. New players can get a 100% match up to $250, with just a 1x playthrough requirement.
Pennsylvania’s most popular retail casino introduced its online sportsbook in June 2019. Licensed to its parent land-based casino, Parx Sportsbook operates as part of the integrated Parx Online Casino/Parx Sportsbook platform.
A product of the highest-earning land-based casino in Pennsylvania, Parx Sportsbook is a popular choice for online sports bettors in the Keystone State. The platform consistently holds a position as one of the top five online sportsbooks in betting handle and revenue earned in the state.
BetRivers Online Sportsbook went live in Pennsylvania in June 2019. The platform operates under the license of Rivers Pittsburgh.
The platform is one of two online sports betting platforms licensed to the Rivers Casino properties in Pennsylvania. Much like its sister site, SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetRivers is one of the more popular mobile sports betting platforms in the state.
BetRivers also offers the same player-friendly deposit bonus for new players. The first deposit at BetRivers yields a 100% match up to $250, with only 1x playthrough required.
FanDuel Sportsbook immediately emerged as the number one choice for online sports betting in Pennsylvania after going live in July 2019. The platform holds the top spot in betting handle and revenue among the state’s legal online sportsbooks by a wide margin.
Valley Forge Casino Resort licenses FanDuel Sportsbook. The popularity of the platform in Pennsylvania comes as no surprise, as FanDuel SportsBook and DraftKings Sportsbook lead the US market in legal online sports betting.
The Fox Bet brand came forth as a partnership between big names in the sports media and gambling industries. Fox Sports and the Stars Group (the parent company to PokerStars) joined forces to rebrand the platform formerly known as BetStars.
Fox Bet operates as an integrated mobile platform. It offers online sports betting, casino gaming, and poker all on one site. Fox Bet is offered under the license of Mount Airy Casino Resort.
Unibet’s reputation as one of the top worldwide online gambling brands is well earned. In business since 1997, Unibet operates as an industry leader in online sports betting, casinos, and poker.
With platforms available in more than 100 countries, Unibet expanded into the US in 2019. Licensed to Mohegan Sun Pocono, Unibet Sportsbook launched in Pennsylvania in November 2019.
DraftKings Sportsbook went live in Pennsylvania in November 2019. It comes as no surprise that the platform immediately took a place among the most popular of Pennsylvania’s legal online sportsbooks.
Since launching, DraftKings Sportsbook trails only FanDuel Sportsbook in monthly betting handle and revenue among regulated mobile sports betting platforms. Licensed to Meadows Casino, DraftKings Sportsbook looks poised to be a major player in the Pennsylvania online gambling market.
The BetAmerica brand is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated. BetAmerica is projected to expand its online sports betting operations throughout the US as the industry continues to grow.
BetAmerica launched an online sports betting platform in Pennsylvania in December 2019. Pennsylvania players can find online sports betting and casino games on BetAmerica’s hybrid platform. BetAmerica is licensed to Presque Isle Downs.
Caesars Entertainment became part of Pennsylvania’s online sports betting market with the launch of Caesars Sportsbook. Licensed to Caesars-owned Harrah’s Philadelphia, Caesars Sportsbook went live in Pennsylvania in March 2020.
That launch date makes Caesars Sportsbook a late arrival to the state’s legal online sports betting industry. With the Caesars name on the product, however, the platform still figures to play a role in the Pennsylvania market.
Sports media brand Barstool sports has ventured into the sportsbook world. Barstool sportsbook launched in Pennsylvania in September 2020. Barstool is partnered with Pennsylvania’s Hollywood Casino for a license.
Barstool is expected to bring a lot of players to the sports betting world thanks to its large audience.
MGM Resorts is slated to become the first non-Pennsylvania entry into the state’s mobile sports betting market. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved MGM as a qualified gaming entity (QGE), which allows out-of-state operators to purchase online gaming licenses in Pennsylvania.
The launch date for BetMGM in Pennsylvania is pending.
New Player Bonuses At Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks
Free Sign-Up Bonuses
New players can start betting on many of Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks without even making a deposit.
FOX Bet and Unibet are among the mobile sports betting platforms that start players off with free money to bet with, just for registering an account. These free sign-up bonuses usually award small amounts, in the range of $10-$25.
Risk-Free Match Bet Bonuses
Risk-free bet bonuses are another common bonus available to new players at legal online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. Risk-free bet bonuses refund a player’s first bet, if it results in a loss, up to a certain amount.
Parx Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook offer some of the biggest risk-free bet bonuses among Pennsylvania’s platforms. At Parx, new players can receive up to a $500 refund on their first bet. At FanDuel, they receive up to $1,000 in risk-free bet offers. Learn more here.
Unibet has a risk-free bet offer as well.
Deposit Match Bonuses
The most widely offered bonus among online gambling sites is the deposit match bonus. This kind of offer awards bonus money that matches a certain amount of a deposit.
For example, FOX Bet offers a 50% match bonus up to $500. This means players can deposit up to $1,000 toward the bonus. FOX Bet will then match 50% of the deposit for a max award of $500.
Deposit match bonuses usually require a certain amount of playthrough to unlock the full bonus. The playthrough generally requires a player to wager 20-30 times the amount of the deposit to get the full bonus.
SugarHouse and BetRivers both offer a 100% match bonus on deposits up to $250. On both platforms, the playthrough requirement is just 1x.
What Sports Can Be Bet On In Pennsylvania?
Betting On US Pro Sports In Pennsylvania
With numerous mobile sports betting platforms live in the state, Pennsylvania bettors can bet on just about anything from the world of domestic sports.
Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks offer a comprehensive menu of betting options for US sports leagues. The NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball are all open for betting at Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks.
Bettors in Pennsylvania can enjoy a variety of ways to bet on the four US major team sports leagues.
Ways To Bet
Moneyline, point spread, parlays, and live in-game bets are available for every game on the schedule. This includes the regular season and postseason for each league.
Futures betting markets for all major sports can easily be found as well on all of Pennsylvania’s legal sportsbooks. Futures bets give players the option of wagering on what team will win a league championship at any time of the year.
In addition to traditional and futures betting, prop bets are widely available at state-regulated online sportsbooks. These bets include ways to bet on league drafts, player statistical totals for a given season, and many others.
Boxing, MMA, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and a host of other domestic sports can all be bet with ease from Pennsylvania’s legal online sportsbooks.
College Sports Betting In Pennsylvania
As the home of big-name college athletics programs like Penn State University and Villanova University, Pennsylvania’s college sports tradition goes back decades.
Betting on all college sports is legal in Pennsylvania, including games involving Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Some states, like neighboring New Jersey, outlaw sports betting involving in-state teams. Pennsylvania bettors are in luck, however, as no such legal ban exists.
With no restrictions on college sports betting, Pennsylvania players can access the full menu of options available during college football and college basketball season.
Penn State, Villanova, And Temple University
For football season, bettors can wager on Penn State football throughout the fall, as well as every other game on the schedule. With more than 100 teams in Division I FBS (college football’s major division), the weekly selection of major college football games is robust and available to bettors with ease.
College basketball season brings in the traditions of Pennsylvania’s rich history in the sport. Major programs like Villanova, Temple, and Penn State can all be legally wagered on in the regular season, as well as during March Madness.
College sports betting offers all of the same betting options as the pro sports leagues. This includes money line, point spread, parlay, and live in-game betting. Futures markets and prop bets are also widely available for college sports year-round.
International Sports Betting At Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks
Betting markets for US sports leagues offer players an extensive lineup of ways to bet on numerous sports throughout the year. The availability of international sports betting at Pennsylvania’s legal online sports wagering platforms expands that menu to include almost endless options.
Major international soccer leagues like the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga are on the betting menus at Pennsylvania’s legal online sportsbooks. Pennsylvania bettors can wager on powerhouse clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Barcelona, and Real Madrid throughout the seasons in those teams’ respective leagues.
Big-name soccer leagues are just the beginning of the international sports betting options available to Pennsylvania players.
International basketball and baseball leagues are also available to Pennsylvania bettors. Major events like the Rugby World Cup, and the centerpiece of cycling, the Tour de France, are open to bet on from Pennsylvania’s legal online sportsbooks as well.
Tennis majors like Wimbledon, the Australian Open. and the French Open, as well as international golf events, add even more ways to play for bettors in the Keystone State.
Other international betting markets include cricket, darts, and table tennis. Taking a closer look at the platforms like SugarHouse Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbooks reveals a huge selection of international options for Pennsylvania bettors.
Esports Betting In Pennsylvania
The rise in the popularity of esports has led to the emergence of offshore esports betting markets. Esports betting is also, at times, on the board at legal sportsbooks in Nevada and New Jersey.
Games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Dota 2, and Starcraft 2 have all developed into their own major esports leagues. With the expanding popularity of esports, betting markets around these games have exploded as well.
Betting on esports is illegal in Pennsylvania, however, and isn’t currently offered on any state-regulated platforms.
The future of esports betting in the state is uncertain. Residents could see changes in the future as esports’ place in the legal sports betting industry becomes more clearly defined.
What Else Can Be Bet On In Pennsylvania?
Markets for non-sports events are not currently available at any of Pennsylvania’s legal online sportsbooks.
Luckily, Pennsylvania bettors do have access to plenty of sports-centric markets on the state’s legal online sports betting platforms.
Ways To Deposit At Pennsylvania’s Online Sportsbooks
The most widely accepted and reliable way to deposit on a legal online sportsbook in Pennsylvania is via ACH/eCheck.
Electronic checks (eChecks) function just like a traditional check. They go through an automated clearing house (ACH) during processing. This process is almost instantaneous when depositing on one of Pennsylvania’s legal online gambling platforms.
ACH/eCheck is accepted at all of the state’s regulated mobile sportsbooks. The funds instantly become available on a player’s balance once the transaction is approved.
This deposit method is successful more than 80 percent of the time. It makes it one of the best ways to get funds onto an account at a Pennsylvania online sportsbook.
Prepaid cards are another reliable way to fund an online sportsbook account. These cards function similarly to gift cards. They are issued by the sportsbook itself.
The prepaid card option can be found at some of Pennsylvania’s legal mobile sports betting platforms. The process involves loading the card with funds from a bank account and then using the card to fund the sportsbook account balance.
Debit card deposits draw directly from bank account funds. They use the debit card’s purchasing power to purchase funds for use at an online sportsbook.
Debit card deposit can be one of the fastest methods of deposit when it works. But this deposit method faces a relatively high rejection rate from the issuing bank.
The PayNearMe method allows players to access a barcode from the PayNearMe service. Players take that barcode to a participating 7-Eleven or CVS Pharmacy location.
A cashier at a participating location then scans the barcode, and the player gives the cashier the selected deposit amount, in cash.
Casino Cage Deposit
In-person deposits for Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks are available at the land-based casino that licenses a given online sportsbook.
Biggest Online Sportsbook In Pennsylvania
FanDuel Sportsbook, by far, takes the top spot among Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks in both betting handle and revenue. FanDuel Casino went live in July 2019. It is licensed to Valley Forge Casino Resort.
Since the launch, FanDuel Sportsbook has set the standard as Pennsylvania’s most popular sportsbook. The platform offers betting markets for all major US sports leagues. They also offer options to bet on international leagues in soccer, rugby, and many other sports.
FanDuel Sportsbook also raises the bar when it comes to offering betting markets that might seem obscure to US bettors. International table tennis, darts, cricket, and some of the lesser-known soccer leagues from around the world are all available to bet with ease at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The platform offers an intuitive, visually pleasing interface for players on both the mobile app and desktop. Every kind of imaginable sports bet, from point spread and money line to live in-game betting, is available at Pennsylvania’s most popular mobile sports wagering site.
New players at FanDuel Sportsbook are eligible for a risk-free bet up to $1000 after making a deposit.
Top 3 PA Online Sportsbooks By Revenue
|Online Sportsbook||October 2020 Revenue|
|FanDuel (Valley Forge)||$17,839,243|
|Barstool Sportsbook (Hollywood)||$4,781,113|
What Do I Need To Create An Account At An Online Sportsbook In Pennsylvania?
Getting started at a Pennsylvania legal online sportsbook takes a few simple steps. For example, the following steps are required to create an account at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Download the FanDuel Sportsbook app for mobile devices, or choose to play from the desktop. Players can download the FanDuel Sportsbook app from the App Store for iOS devices. Or download it directly from the FanDuel Sportsbook homepage for Android. Make sure you get the sportsbook app and not the Daily Fantasy Sports app.
- Click “Join Now” and fill in the required fields for first and last name, date of birth, valid email address, and username.
- Upon email verification, new players can access their new FanDuel Sportsbook account.
- To make a deposit, navigate to the cashier. Players need identification to verify age and identity to complete the deposit.
Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting: Legal Versus Illegal
The state’s regulated land-based casinos own all of Pennsylvania’s legal online sports wagering sites. Betting on one of these platforms offers the same level of security as placing a bet at a physical sportsbook inside a Pennsylvania casino.
Safety With Regulated Sportsbooks
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) oversees the state’s casino industry, including online sports betting. The PGCB is a government agency that regulates all facets of the state’s legal gambling industry.
The regulation of the PGCB ensures that bettors can count on fair play, prompt payouts, and protection of personal information when playing on a state-regulated online sportsbook.
The state’s land-based casinos operate with a high-level interest in fair games and player security. Additionally, The PGCB regulates these casinos.
All legal online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania display the PGCB seal, which is the sure sign that a platform is operating legally.
Uncertainty With Offshore Casinos
Offshore casinos do not have the same regulatory protocols in place as their legal, state-regulated counterparts. An offshore sports betting site might have many of the same betting markets in place. But they don’t operate with the same level of fair play and accountability in place.
Offshore betting sites operate illegally in the US, and in some cases, players that place bets on these sites could face legal consequences.
Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting FAQ
Players can access and bet on Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks if they are at least 21, and located within state borders at the time of the bet.
The legal minimum age to gamble inside a Pennsylvania casino is 21. The 21-year requirement also applies to the state’s legal online sports wagering sites as well. Upon registration at an online sportsbook, players must be able to provide proof of age and identity.
Yes. DraftKings Sportsbook debuted a legal sports betting platform in Pennsylvania in November 2019. DraftKings Sportsbook operates under the Meadows Casino internet gaming license in Pennsylvania.
The DraftKings Sportsbook homepage allows for navigation to a page that lists all states in which it legally operates. To place a bet on DraftKings Sportsbook in Pennsylvania, bettors must be age 21 or over and located within state borders.
Yes. FanDuel Sportsbook went live in Pennsylvania in July 2019. The platform is accessible to Pennsylvania bettors age 21 and over from anywhere within state borders.
Valley Forge Casino Resort holds the license for FanDuel Sportsbook in Pennsylvania. Since debuting, the platform has emerged as far and away the most popular legal online sportsbook in Pennsylvania.
No. Pennsylvania’s legal online sportsbooks don’t offer credit lines for betting.
Bonus money offers are readily available, however, at all of the state’s mobile sportsbooks. These offers include deposit match bonuses, free sign-up bonuses, and risk-free bets. Bonus offers differ from platform to platform.
Yes. Betting on college sports is legal in Pennsylvania. Betting markets for college sports are readily available on all of the state’s legal online sportsbooks.
Pennsylvania law places no betting restrictions on contests involving in-state colleges. With that in mind, Pennsylvania bettors can legally wager on games involving Penn State, Villanova, and other Pennsylvania colleges and universities.