Pennsylvania is quickly becoming a frontier for gambling in the U.S. The state passed sports betting legislation in late 2017 as part of an omnibus bill that included other forms of gambling like online poker and daily fantasy sports (DFS).
Single-game sports betting was long deemed illegal in the U.S. outside of Nevada under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). However, after the ban was challenged in the US Supreme Court, the court ruled in favor of New Jersey, thereby allowing Pennsylvania and every other state to move forward with their own sports betting regulations if they so choose.
Pennsylvania sports betting status
Pennsylvania was already ahead of the curve in that regard, having legalized sports gambling in October 2017. A gamble by state officials could pay off by the end of 2018 with Pennsylvania potentially joining Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia as states offering legalized sports betting in the mold of Nevada.
The same bill also allows for online casinos and poker via any of the state’s 12 casinos. The casinos can apply for a $10 million license to run those games and begin construction on live sportsbooks.
The first license application was filled out by Penn National Gaming, owners of Hollywood Casino and The Meadows. PNG officially submitted the application on Aug. 17. If approved, Penn National would be the first casino to offer both live and online sports betting in the state. The earliest that can happen is mid-November due to regulations that stipulate a 90-day waiting period once an application is sbmitted.
Sports Betting FAQ
When will sports betting be legal in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania passed a law legalizing sports gambling that immediately went into effect on May 14 when the SCOTUS overturned PASPA. Casinos in the state have already begun applying for licenses to run sports books and the industry could be up and running by the end of 2018.
Where can I place sports bets in Pennsylvania?
As soon as the state’s 12 casinos are able to construct official sportsbooks, there will be plenty of opportunities to place live bets on sporting events. Online wagering will also become legalized anywhere in the state and casinos may use a temporary betting facility while they construct a more official and permanent sportsbook.
How old do I have to be to bet in Pennsylvania?
Patrons must be at least 21 years old to gamble in Pennsylvania.
Which Pennsylvania sports teams can I bet on?
You will be able to bet on the state’s professional and college sports teams, including:
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Philadelphia Phillies
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Penn State University football/basketball
- University of Pittsburgh basketball/football
Can I bet on my mobile device?
Yes, Pennsylvania’s sports betting law allows for mobile betting via smartphone platforms anywhere inside state lines and does not require that patrons bet from inside its 12 casinos.
Who will oversee Pennsylvania sports betting?
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) will regulate and oversee the state’s sports betting operations.
Can I get into trouble for placing bets with unregulated online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania?
Yes, in order for a sportsbook to be legal it must be sanctioned by the state and placing bets with an unregulated bookkeeper can result in fines and potential jail time.