Pennsylvania Sports Betting

Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?
Can I bet on sports right now in Pennslvania?
Yes, at the physical sportsbooks that have launched in the state.
Can I bet online legally in PA?Not yet. Expect that to happen in 2019.

Pennsylvania is quickly becoming a frontier for gambling in the US. 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.

PA sports betting news 2019

Pennsylvania was already ahead of the curve in that regard, having legalized sports gambling in October 2017. A gamble by state officials paid off in 2018 as Pennsylvania joined Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia as states offering legalized sports betting in the mold of Nevada.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course began offering sports wagering inside its casino in November 2018, and SugarHouse Casino and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh launched legal sportsbooks in mid-December 2018.

Parx Casino, located in the Philadelphia suburbs, opened the doors of its sportsbook in early January 2019, followed a week later by South Philadelphia Turf Club. The latest sportsbook, at Harrah’s Philadelphia, opened its doors in late January.

Three other properties have filed paperwork to acquire a license to offer sports betting or have received conditional approval to offer sports betting:

  • Valley Forge Casino
  • Presque Isle Downs
  • Valley Forge Turf Club

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.

Hollywood Casino sportsbook

The first property to apply for a sports wagering certificate, Hollywood also became the state’s first sportsbook to open when it went live Nov. 17.

Powered by William Hill, the sportsbook at Hollywood resides on the second level of its existing racebook, encompassing 5,000 square feet.

Features include:

  • Six betting windows
  • Odds boards behind the counter and the viewing area
  • A 110-inch video wall
  • 36 televisions
  • Subscriptions to sports packages like:
    • NFL Sunday Ticket
    • MLB Extra Innings
    • NHL Center Ice
    • NBA League Pass

Rivers Casino sportsbook

One of four activated sportsbooks powered by Kambi Group, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh entered the market Dec. 15, the same day as its sister property in Philadelphia.

3,000-square-foot temporary sportsbook includes full-service cashiers as well as self-service kiosks.

In addition, the sportsbook features 15 high-definition televisions, and a 14-by-7-foot video wall to display odds.

All the while, Rivers has continued construction on its permanent sportsbook in the center of the casino. The property is renovating its Levels Lounge into a hall for wagering.

SugarHouse Casino sportsbook

Launched in unison with Rivers, SugarHouse became the first property in Philadelphia to open a sportsbook.

Also powered by Kambi, SugarHouse’s temporary sportsbook takes up roughly 1,800 square feet and includes 12 high-definition televisions, a 14-by-7-foot video wall to display odds and seating for 70 people.

The casino’s permanent sportsbook will be about the same size and likely will offer comparable amenities as the temporary space.

Inhabiting the Lucky Red bar, the permanent sportsbook will sit mere steps from the casino floor and is expected to have construction completed by Spring 2019.

Parx Casino sportsbook

Yet another partner of Kambi, Parx debuted its temporary sportsbook Jan. 10.

The space sits in the property’s 360 Lounge on the gaming floor, and the casino’s permanent sportsbook expects to open in the second quarter.

The temporary facility encompasses 3,000 square feet and features seven betting windows for over-the-counter wagers.

Other amenities include:

  • 12 kiosks for self-service betting
  • Two 16-by-9-foot HD televisions
  • 20 75-inch HD televisions
  • 30 self-service kiosks distributed throughout the casino floor

South Philadelphia Turf Club sportsbook

Like Parx, South Philadelphia Turf Club is owned by Greenwood Gaming and powered by Kambi. The off-track-betting facility received approval to offer sports betting, but only after Parx opened.

On Jan. 17, a week after Parx introduced its sportsbook, South Philly did the same.

Located within 1 mile of three major sports stadiums, South Philadelphia TC underwent a $1 million renovation to incorporate sports betting. The 27,000-square-foot property installed additional televisions for live sports, modern digital signageseven teller windows and nine sports betting kiosks.

Harrah’s Philadelphia sportsbook

Caesars Entertainment property, Harrah’s joined the sports betting industry Jan. 22 by opening its temporary sportsbook.

The temporary space includes 19 “better-than-stadium” lounge seats11 high-top tables and bar seating. Additionally, 45 large-screen televisions grace the SG Digital-powered sportsbook as well as food and beverage offerings “tailored specifically for game day.”

This is all in anticipation of the Harrah’s permanent sportsbook, which will take the place of the property’s renovated racebook.

The 4,300-square-foot permanent space, adjacent to one of the casino’s table games areas, expects to offer a number of amenities:

  • 40 flat-screen televisions
  • Large odds display board
  • Six live teller windows
  • Several self-service kiosks located throughout the entire casino floor as well as the sportsbook
  • Two horseracing terminals
  • Stadium seating
  • Television packages for all major American sports leagues
  • Television packages for college and international athletics

Can I bet sports on my mobile device?

Not yet. But Pennsylvania’s sports betting law does allow for mobile betting via smartphone platforms anywhere inside state lines. PA sports betting apps should be up and running at some point in early 2019.

To date, five of the six activated sportsbooks plan to roll out online sports betting platforms, including anticipated launch dates:

  • Hollywood Casino: Q1 2019
  • Parx Casino: Q1 2019
  • Rivers Casino: Q1 2019
  • SugarHouse Casino: Q1 2019
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia: Q1 2019

In addition, of the three other properties waiting to open retail sportsbooks, only Valley Forge Casino expects to green-light a mobile product. The property targets a March or April activation.

PA Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes. Pennsylvania passed a law legalizing sports gambling that immediately went into effect on May 14 when the SCOTUS overturned PASPA. The first casino to launch a legal sportsbook was Hollywood Casino in Grantville, Pennsylvania. Other casinos followed in late 2018 and early 2019.

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

Who oversees 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.