The sports culture in Pennsylvania is one of the richest in the country, with major sports cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh helping the Keystone State become a primary destination for athletic competition. Because of that, it is no surprise that Pennsylvania sports betting is one of the better offerings for sports bettors as well.
With a combination of in-person and mobile sports wagering options, this state is more than qualified to call itself one of the leaders in the sports betting industry in the United States. In this guide to Pennsylvania sports betting, find out what bettors can wager on and how they can place their bets in Pennsylvania.
Thanks to a diverse array of sportsbook options, the answer to the question of what sports can be wagered on is limited only by the imagination of a bettor. PA sports betting offers a host of betting options that range from the mainstream to the relatively obscure, with the most popular sports betting being on the NFL and NBA thanks to the presence of the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia 76ers in the state.
Bettors are also able to wager on more niche sports like the NHL and MLB, with the state having two professional teams in each of those leagues. They can also wager on plenty of soccer, tennis and other sporting events with international popularity. This is thanks in large part to the presence of sportsbooks like Unibet, which have a large presence globally.
Horse racing is another form of sports betting that is popular in Pennsylvania, thanks to the fact that a number of sports betting venues in Pennsylvania are also racetracks. Venues like The Meadows racetrack, Presque Isle Downs and Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs have sportsbooks and racebooks, allowing bettors to get into horse racing with live and simulcast races depending on the time of year. There are also horse racing betting sites like BetAmerica for this purpose exclusively.
College sports are also a huge priority in Pennsylvania, given all of the top tier college programs throughout the state. Penn State football and basketball are of high quality in the Big Ten, while Pittsburgh generally performs well in the ACC. And with Villanova being one of the best basketball programs of all-time, it only makes sense that there is an abundance of college sports betting markets up for grabs in PA.
In addition to the number of sports that can be wagered on, there is a nice selection of betting markets to choose from as well. There are vast quantities of both pre-game bets to be had as well as live betting choices that keep the action going after games have commenced for a full-game experience in all major sports.
Just like their counterparts to the East in New Jersey, the state of Pennsylvania offers a wide array of online sportsbook apps for bettors to choose from. These mobile app options are compatible with Apple and Android devices, making them available to the majority of mobile devices. Here is a list of the sportsbook app options that bettors can choose from in Pennsylvania.
In addition to those sportsbooks, three more PA online sports betting options hope to be added to the list in 2020. Those apps are William Hill, Caesars Sportsbook and Hollywood Casino Sportsbook.
One of the big positives to the list of options available in Pennsylvania is that all of the brands with apps are respected brands in the industry. Sugarhouse’s app, for example, was developed by Kambi, with Kambi being responsible for a number of reputable apps in nearby New Jersey. And with Fox Bet having the backing of a major sports network and industry giant Rush Street developing apps, there is no shortage of quality to be found here.
The deposit and withdrawal options for these sites are convenient as well. Bettors can use their credit cards, ACH bank transfers or methods such as PayPal to fund their accounts online. Bettors can also utilize the casinos that each book is affiliated with to make in-person deposits into their online betting accounts in some locations.
For those who do not wish to do their sports betting on an iPhone or Android device, they are in luck. There are several retail sportsbook locations available in key areas around Pennsylvania that bettors can opt to go to instead. Here is a list of the different physical sportsbook locations that exist throughout Pennsylvania.
Bettors will notice a couple of things when they look at the list of physical sports betting options available in Pennsylvania. The first thing they will notice is how many of these land-based locations are tied to racetracks in some form or fashion. Venues like South Philly Turf Club or the Oaks facility, Valley Forge, are directly linked to horse racing establishments, allowing bettors to do both of those things.
Another thing bettors will notice is the fact that the physical locations in Pennsylvania share branding with their online sportsbook options in a number of cases in PA. Books like Rivers Casino offer the Betrivers app instead of carrying an entirely different brand online than they do with their physical locations. This isn’t always the case when it comes to the branding of in-person and online betting resources, and allows bettors to know which online books are licensed by which operators more easily.
The history of sports wagering in Pennsylvania actually got started before the Supreme Court overturned PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in 2018, declaring it unconstitutional. PA sports betting legislation was introduced as early as 2015, as lawmakers sought to regulate a marketplace that was seeing vast amounts of wagers without any sort of regulation at the time.
Eventually, in 2017, the first legal sports betting laws were put into place in Pennsylvania. As a part of a move to expand several forms of gambling, the legalization of sports betting in the state was signed into law in October of 2017. That meant that as soon as federal law on sports betting changed, the ability to place bets would be there.
In 2018, that is exactly what happened, as PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court. That decision gave each state the ability to make their own rules regarding sports betting. And while Pennsylvania was excited to get its sports betting off the ground, they waited until May of 2019 to begin accepting wagers.
Every state, from newly legal states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey to experienced states like Nevada and Delaware, has their own rules related to sports betting. And it is important for the people of each state to know the rules that they will be contending with as they place their bets. When it comes to betting in PA, these rules in particular are worth being aware of.
One such rule is that bettors must be located within the state of Pennsylvania to place wagers. This is common across the sports betting industry as well as when playing slots and table games at an online casino site. But users must verify their locations either with their location services on mobile devices or through extra software on their computers. This verification provides an added layer of security compared to unregulated offshore sites.
Another important rule set forth by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is the fact that both pro and college games are available for betting, including those based in Pennsylvania. Given all of the big names in sports that are based in this state, PA online sports betting would have been a real gambling problem as a less compelling product without the ability to wager on in-state teams.