In 2017, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed House Bill 519 that legalized sports betting, online poker, and daily fantasy sports (DFS). However, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) had placed a federal ban on sports betting across the United States. The following year on May 14th 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional following a legal challenge by the state of New Jersey allowing Pennsylvania to launch its sports betting industry.
In November of 2018, the Hollywood Casino at Grantville became the state’s first licensed sportsbook to accept bets – with a further six retail sportsbooks joining the market by January 2019. While mobile sports betting was permitted by the 2017 legislation, it wasn’t until May 2019 that the first online sportsbooks started accepting bets.
Who regulates the Pennsylvania sports betting industry?
The Pennsylvania sports betting market is regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The PGCB is responsible for issuing licenses and ensuring that all online sportsbooks meet the state’s legal requirements before going live. The board also ensures that all compliance and responsible gambling requirements are met by the state’s retail and online sportsbooks.
Which legal sportsbooks are available in Pennsylvania?
The first retail sportsbook to launch in Pennsylvania was at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National in November 2018. The sportsbook has been joined by 13 other retail outlets throughout the state.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National — Barstool
The first retail sportsbook in the state launched at Penn National in November 2018. Initially, Penn National had agreed a deal with William Hill to operate both its retail and mobile sportsbook but this fell through with Barstool signing up as the company’s sports betting tech partner in Pennsylvania.
Rivers Pittsburgh Casino — BetRivers
The sportsbook at Rivers Pittsburgh Casino launched in December 2018 becoming the state’s second retail sportsbook. Located just a stone’s throw from PNC Park and Heinz Field, the sportsbook has proven to be quite popular with local sports fans. The original retail outlet was a temporary booth that was replaced in Sept 2019 by a $5M sportsbook. The 5,000 square-foot location features two 50-foot screens, 24 86-inch HDTVs and enough seating for 200 sports fans.
Rivers Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse) — BetRivers
Rivers Philadelphia launched on the same day as the sportsbook at Rivers Pittsburgh Casino. The sportsbook features a 60-foot screen, six betting tellers, and 20 betting kiosks.
Parx Casino — Parx
The Parx Casino is the leader in terms of land-based revenue for casino gaming and made its entry into the sports betting market in January 2019. The casino set up a temporary betting booth in the former 360 bar that has since been replaced by a $10M permanent location. The new 7,400-square-foot sportsbook features 40 HDTVs, 6 betting tellers, 18 betting kiosks, and seating for 200 sports fans.
South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook — Parx
The South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook opened on January 17th 2019 and is owned by the same parent company that operates Parx. As such, Greenwood Gaming has been allowed to use the same license to operate a second retail sportsbook in this location which was formerly the South Philadelphia Turf Club. The sportsbook is located next to The Citizen’s Bank Field and feature over 100 HDTVs and an extensive bar and dining menu.
Harrah’s Philadelphia — Caesars Sportsbook
The sportsbook at Harrah’s is operated by parent company Caesars Entertainment and began taking its first bets on January 24th 2019. The sportsbook features a giant betting matrix, 16 betting kiosks, 6 betting tellers, 45 HDTVs and comfortable lounge-style seating.
Valley Forge Casino — FanDuel
Valley Forge Casino is owned by Boyd Gaming which has a deal with FanDuel that gives the sports betting operator market access to 10 states. As a result of this deal, FanDuel launched a retail sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino on March 13th 2019. The 1,800-square-foot sportsbook features 27 HDTVs, 7 betting tellers and 2 sports tickers.
Presque Isle Downs — TwinSpires
Image credit: Nycerie / CC BY-SA 4.0
January 2019 saw Churchill Downs Inc. take control of Presque Isle Downs. The new owners were granted a sports betting license on February 6th and then went on to launch a BetAmerica retail sportsbook on July 24th 2019. When BetAmerica was officially rebranded as TwinSpires in early 2021, the retails sportsbook also rebranded as TwinSpires.
Mount Airy — FoxBet
Mount Airy Casino signed a deal with The Stars Group — the parent company of PokerStars and FoxBet — to provide the tech required for its retail sportsbook. However, the casino opted against using the FoxBet brand in its retail sportsbook instead opting for to name it The Mount Airy Sportsbook. The sportsbook launched on September 12th, 2019 and has 40 HDTVs and is located next to a 12-table poker room.
Mohegan Sun Pocono — Unibet
Mohegan Sun has partnered with Unibet for both its retail and online sports betting offerings in Pennsylvania. The retail sportsbook at Mohegan Sun opened in September 2019 and features 3 betting tellers, 6 kiosks, and a 28-foot HD screen.
Mohegan Sun Lehigh Valley — Unibet
The Mohegan Sun also added sports betting through Unibet to its OTB race parlor formerly known as The Downs. This 28,000-square-foot sportsbook features 27 HDTVs, a bar, kiosks, and betting teller service.
The Meadows Casino and Racetrack — DraftKings
DraftKings signed a deal with Penn National to operate both mobile and retail sports betting tied to its Meadows Casino and Racetrack. The retail sportsbook launched on October 10th 2019 and is located at the center of the casino. It features 15 HDTVs, 18 betting kiosks, 5 betting tellers, and a bar.
Wind Creek Casino — Betfred
Launched in November 2020, the Wind Creek Casino sportsbook is self-branded but powered by Betfred. It features a 21-panel TV wall, 8 betting kiosks, lounge seating, and a full bar and dining options.
Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia — FanDuel
The latest retail sportsbook to launch in Pennsylvania is at the Live! Casino & Hotel in Philadelphia. Located right by the city’s sports stadiums, this sportsbook launched on January 19th 2021 and features a 52-foot LED Screen along with 24 HDTVs that show live events.
Sports betting apps in Pennsylvania
Mobile sports betting launched in Pennsylvania in May 2019. The SugarHouse Sportsbook was the first mobile option to go live and since then, another 10 online sportsbooks have joined the market.
Mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania hasn’t been as smooth as ride as you’d expect. For the first two months of operation, sports fans couldn’t access any mobile sportsbooks through an iOS device. While there are now plenty of options available, there are still some operators who have yet to launch an iOS app.
The list of mobile sports betting apps in Pennsylvania and their gaming partners includes:
|Sportsbook App||Casino/Racetrack Partner|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Hollywood Casino at Penn National|
|BetMGM||Hollywood Casino Morgantown|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Rivers Pittsburgh|
|FanDuel||Valley Forge Casino|
|FoxBet||Mount Airy Casino|
|Parx Sportsbook||Parx Casino Sportsbook|
|PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook||Rivers Philadelphia|
|Sportsbook at Wind Creek/Betfred||Wind Creek Bethlehem|
|TwinSpires||Presque Isle Downs & Casino|
|Unibet||Mohegan Sun Pocono|
Pennsylvania sports betting frequently asked questions
How old do you have to be to place bets at a Pennsylvania sportsbook?
Gamblers must be 21 years of age or older to create an account with a Pennsylvania sports betting app or to place bets at a retail sportsbook anywhere within the state.
Is it legal to use a Pennsylvania sports betting app when located out of the state?
No, you must be physically located in Pennsylvania if you want to place bets using a PA sports betting app.
How do I deposit money on a Pennsylvania sports app?
The majority of Pennsylvania sportsbook apps will allow you to transfer money to your account using the following methods — credit/debit card, online banking, PayPal, Skrill, PayNearMe, Echeck/ACH Transfer, Casino Cage payments at the app's partner casino/racetrack. However, these may change from time to time so bets to check with the app itself.
How do I create an account for a PA sports betting app?
You simply need to register online through the app. You will need to provide a valid ID and social security number.
What happens to my sportsbetting account if my ID expires?
If your ID expires, the sports app will notify you and you will need to upload a valid ID. You will not lose your account or the funds in it once you provide your new ID.
Can I download PA sports betting apps on both iOS and Android devices?
Yes, however some apps are not available on iOS although this is expected to change in the near future.
What sports can you bet on in Pennsylvania?
You can place bets on all major professional sports along with collegiate sports and Olympic events.