Pennsylvania online sports betting is now available via the SugarHouse, FanDuel, Parx and BetRivers sportsbook apps. Below you’ll find all the information you need about how to bet on sports legally in PA and where to find the best betting apps and sports betting bonuses in the Keystone state.
- Harrah’s Philadelphia (Caesars Sportsbook)
- Hollywood Casino (William Hill Sportsbook)
- Presque Isle Downs Casino
Of those seven properties, we expect that FanDuel and SugarHouse will likely have the best apps. These operators have had tremendous success elsewhere, particularly in neighboring New Jersey.
Most banking methods will be available on these online sportsbooks. Players will be able to use credit cards, prepaid cards, e-checks, electronic wallets, and other online payment services.
What is the best sports betting app in PA?
Which is the best sports betting site in Pennsylvania?
Choosing the best sports betting site in Pennsylvania is a matter of preference. People will choose their favorites based upon features, the games available and the overall vibe.
So, what matters is not so much which online sportsbook is the best; instead, players should choose the sportsbook that best fits their betting needs.
PlaySugarHouse Online Sportsbook
PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook was the first online book to launch in Pennsylvania. The site opened for business on May 31, 2019.
PlaySugarHouse features a smooth, integrated design that allows players to transition between the site’s sportsbook and the online casino. The integration allows for the use of a shared wallet, which cuts out the hassle of having to fund separate accounts.
At first glance, PlaySugarHouse may seem simple in format compared with other sportsbooks in the market. However, users shouldn’t be deceived; this Kambi-designed site has plenty of sophistication behind it.
For one thing, few other sportsbooks will be able to match PlaySugarHouse for the sheer selection of betting lines it offers.
PlaySugarHouse also offers a detailed in-play betting feature. In-play bets allow players to take advantage of game action, something that traditional sports betting cannot do.
All in all, PlaySugarHouse offers the experience and expertise to create a great home for Pennsylvania sports bettors.
BetRivers Sportsbook made its debut on June 27, 2019.
BetRivers is the sister site of PlaySugarHouse. Rush Street Interactive owns and operates both sites.
As such, there is quite a bit of overlap between the two sites. Keen-eyed users will have no trouble seeing the resemblance, as both apps are products of software developer Kambi.
However, BetRivers hits all the right marks; few sites offer better speed and ease-of-use than this one. The fluidity of BetRivers is its defining feature. Even for mobile users, the app is neatly and intuitively formatted.
BetRivers has an accurate and easy search function available, which makes it easy to find desired wagers.
It may seem strange that Rush Street felt the need to debut two separate online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. However, those who play on BetRivers are thankful for it.
FanDuel is the fourth online sportsbook to launch in Pennsylvania. It joined the group on July 22, 2019.
FanDuel has established itself as a sports betting powerhouse in the last year or so. So, even though its debut may seem a bit strange to casual fans, its partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino makes quite a bit of sense.
In terms of layout, the app is a bit different from the others in the Pennsylvania market. FanDuel is the only app that makes extensive use of tabs to guide its patrons through the betting process.
So, each section and phase of betting receives a full screen, rather than relying on any sort of compression. Bettors chose the sport they want, the line they’re betting and then finalize everything on their bet slip.
It may sound a bit herky-jerky, but the experience is anything but. Players who are new to sports betting won’t have any issue with the swapping of screens.
Also, FanDuel online sportsbook features a heavy dose of in-game betting. Even though there’s a ton of app information, FanDuel makes it all work seamlessly.
Parx remains the only sportsbook with its app in the Apple App Store. Although iOS users can find other PA books through their browsers, Parx is the only dedicated sports betting app available in Pennsylvania.
Android users can download the app from the Parx Sportsbook website.
A defining feature of the Parx online sportsbook app is its use of links. It is relatively easy to determine the most prominent sports events for each day by looking at its home page.
Also, Parx features an extensive search function on the app. This feature allows players to locate their preferred events for betting quickly and easily.
Parx also has an in-game betting feature. There may not be a PA sportsbook that keeps players more up-to-date about the ebbs and flows of each game than Parx.
Should the odds associated with these bets change, Parx will notify players who are making in-game wagers. It’s quick and easy to add new bets to the bet slip.
How to download a PA sports betting app on an Android device
Android users seemed to be out of luck when online casino apps began popping up. The Google Play store has an explicit ban on “content or services that facilitate online gambling.”
Fortunately, online casinos have come up with a way for Android customers to work around this roadblock. In most cases, Android users need only to proceed to the casino’s website.
From there, they will need to download the casino’s .apk file. Then, it’s only a matter of installing the software.
The only catch is that Android users need to allow their phones to install software from other sources. This option is available in the Settings menu under Security.
After that, Android players should be good to go.
How to download a PA sports betting app on Apple devices
For a while, things were pretty easy for iPhone or iPad users. Getting a casino app on their mobile devices was a matter of proceeding to the App Store and clicking a button.
However, in June 2019, Apple radically changed its policies regarding these programs, stating that gambling apps in the store had to be created using software native to Apple.
For most developers, this change came as a shock. The vast majority of online casino apps are written in HTML5, and a conversion would require a lengthy overhaul.
Furthermore, Apple gave developers a tight window to accomplish the feat. Developers had to be in compliance by Sept. 5.
Apple users were also unable to access the browser version of the casino from their mobile devices. Yet, it was this prohibition that led a few sportsbook operators to a solution.
To play on most PA online sportsbooks, Apple users need only download GeoGuard Location Validator.
The app, which verifies that the user is inside the state of Pennsylvania, is the product of GeoComply. GeoComply is the same company that performs geolocation for most of the online casino companies in the US.
Once players confirm their location, they can then access the browser version of the sportsbook. So, while it’s not a perfect solution, Apple users no longer have to miss out on any betting opportunities.
Live betting in PA
If you have tried out any of the online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania, you have no doubt seen the live betting sections. For those new to online sports betting, live or in-game betting may be a bit of a mystery.
Fortunately, the concept is fairly self-explanatory. Live, aka in-game betting, is wagering on events that are already in progress.
These wagers tend to be on smaller events in the game. For instance, a sportsbook could offer a bet on whether the Phillies will score a run in the following inning. The book will issue a moneyline based upon which Phillies players are scheduled to bat, who is pitching and other factors that play into whether a baseball team will score.
Land-based sportsbooks will occasionally offer a limited number of in-game wagers. However, online sportsbooks have a wider latitude to offer bets due to the speed at which the site’s software can process various factors.
As a result, a single game can offer dozens of opportunities to bet. Some sportsbooks even can offer action on the outcomes of individual plays. The level of granularity possible is quite impressive.
All of Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks offer live betting of various depths.
Banking on PA online sportsbooks
One obvious source of stress for online sports bettors is the process of moving money into and out of the sites. The prospect of entering one’s personal information onto an internet site can be quite daunting.
Fortunately, most sportsbooks in Pennsylvania have multiple deposit and withdrawal options available for players. The correct one to choose is the one that makes you feel most comfortable and/or safest.
Some of these methods are easier or faster than others. However, all of them are legitimate ways to move money around.
List of deposit and cashout options at PA online sportsbooks
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Withdrawal methods are notoriously skimpier than deposits.
Although this fact seems to indicate that the online sportsbooks and casinos are less willing to part with your money than take it in, the truth is that many ways of paying are not equipped to accept money flowing the opposite direction.
Sportsbooks can also find themselves stymied by rules, regulations and laws governing banking on their sites. So, in some cases, it’s just easier to accept money than it is to pay it out.
PA retail sportsbooks
At present, six of the seven casinos that have applied for a sports betting license already have retail sportsbooks in operation. They are (with retail debut in parenthesis):
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (Nov. 17)
- Rivers Casino (Dec. 15)
- SugarHouse Casino (Dec. 15)
- Parx Casino (Jan. 10)
- Harrah’s Philadelphia (Jan. 24)
- Valley Forge Casino (March 13)
- Presque Isle Downs Casino (August 1)
Additionally, Parx operates sportsbooks in two of its off-track betting facilities. So, there are six retail sportsbooks in retail casinos and sportsbooks at South Philadelphia Turf Club and Valley Forge Turf Club. Altogether, Pennsylvania is home to eight retail operations.
However, the list of licensees above is not exhaustive. There are still several operators or casinos that have either not received their approvals to offer sports betting yet, or have not even applied.
Potential operators of sportsbook apps in Pennsylvania include:
- Mount Airy Casino
- Likely – application already submitted
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
- Likely – application already submitted
- Stadium Park Casino
- Unknown – no application submitted
- Sands Bethlehem
- Unknown – no application submitted, but under new ownership
- Meadows Casino
- Unlikely – no application submitted and sister casino (Hollywood Casino) already licensed
- Lady Luck Nemacolin
- Unlikely – no application submitted and sister casino (Presque Isle Downs) already licensed
- MGM Resorts
- Unlikely – would require PGCB rule change to apply
- Golden Nugget
- Unlikely – would require PGCB rule change to apply
PA sports betting laws
Sports betting became legal in Pennsylvania almost as an afterthought.
Amid the state’s booming gambling expansion in October 2017, the language in the bill authorized the state’s casinos to offer sports betting if the federal prohibition ever dissolved.
The provision has proved prophetic and foresighted. Sports betting has been available on a state-by-state basis since May 2018. Pennsylvania’s first sportsbook launched in late 2018, and the first online book appeared in May 2019.
A few regulations are in place to govern betting on sports in Pennsylvania. They are:
- Betting on sports events only. No wagering on award shows or elections is permitted.
- Esports betting is not allowed.
- No principals in a particular sport (player, coach, official) may wager on that sport.
Otherwise, only players who are 21 years or older and located within Pennsylvania state lines can bet at their discretion.
Pennsylvania’s responsible gambling policy
The unfortunate reality of gambling is that some people cannot set reasonable limits for their activities. Gambling addiction destroys lives, and localities that expand into gambling have to take care to establish resources to help afflicted individuals.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) maintains an active site with numerous resources for problem gamblers. There are several links to organizations to give people the help they need.
Chief amongst the PGCB’s site resources is the self-exclusion form. This document, which is commonly available in areas that host gambling, allows a person to bar themselves from all casinos and gambling establishments in that locality.
Gambling establishments, including online ones, are legally required to police their rolls and property for persons who have self-excluded. Placing oneself on that list is a permanent decision, but it can be a lifesaving one for those who are struggling to stop their behavior.
We at the Lines encourage anyone who feels they are suffering from gambling addiction to get the help that they need.
Here is a list of helpful links to support responsible gaming behavior: