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Betting in some parts of the United States can be a tricky old game. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with our look at the legal sites where you can get your Pennsylvania online sports betting fix.
What are the legal sportsbook sites in PA?
You’re not limited to just one or two bookies
The below table is by no means a comprehensive overview of all the bookmakers operating in Pennsylvania, however, it will give you a sample of the sort of companies who you can bet with along with a look at some of the more generous sign up offers available to punters.
|Bookmaker||Bonus 1||Bonus 2|
|Unibet||$40 in free bets – no deposit||Money back up to $500|
|Draftkings||up to $50 matched deposit||Get up to a $1,000 bonus|
|BetMGM||Risk free up to $600||$10 free bet every week|
|FanDuel||Up to $1,000 risk free||–|
Our top recommendation goes to Fanduel.
- 1 What are the legal sportsbook sites in PA?
- 1.1 You’re not limited to just one or two bookies
- 1.2 It’s not as simple as just setting up a website though
- 1.3 Pennsylvania online sports betting has only been legal since 2019
- 1.4 There are some tight restrictions in place around Pennsylvania online sports betting
- 1.5 What else is there to know?
- 1.6 The questions you’ll have when it comes to sports betting in Pennsylvania
The emergence of PA bookmakers has developed extremely quickly
Given that online sports betting is a fairly new concept in Pennsylvania it might surprise you to learn that there are several companies offering their services for such demands. The first bookmaker to the punch was the then named SugarHouse – a big player in the PA casino world. They’ve since been rebranded as Rivers Casino but the point remains. On top of that we have seen the emergence of the likes of Draftkings and FanDuel who are mentioned above with global names like Unibet and William Hill also joining the party. Why? Well, it’s fully expected that Pennsylvania becomes one of the dominant US states for sports betting.
Are there any planned launches?
At this moment in time, there is little noise to suggest any imminent companies launching in the state of Pennsylvania. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any though with most people believing the potential of sports betting in PA is far from at its maximum; it simply means there are no known specifics in the public domain.
The most recent launch of note came from the Betfred and Wind Creek team up based out of Bethlehem. This came in late December 2020. Do not expect it to be the last.
It’s not as simple as just setting up a website though
Whilst technology puts sports betting at our fingertips nowadays there is still a large demand for on-site gambling in Pennsylvania and, in fact, the state laws only permit online sports betting where the company in question operates a physical locationthat facilitates gambling. As such, all of the bookies mentioned throughout this article will also have casinos either under their ownership or as part of a partnership.
We’ve already touched on Rivers Casino, which was the first casinoto take the online plunge, who fit the category of operating their own casino alongside their web based offering. Where you come across bigger names like Unibet, for example, you won’t find a ‘Unibet casino’ but they are connected to Mohegan Sun Pocono hence they’re able to operate an online betting platform; William Hill have a similar set up with their relationship held with Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. The overall number of operators are well into double digits and continuing to grow.
Pennsylvania online sports betting has only been legal since 2019
Rewind to 2016 and you couldn’t have a wager on sports anywhere in Pennsylvania. The prospect of that changing had been muted in 2015 with talk that licensed casinos may be able to offer sports betting but it wasn’t until 2017 that the tide truly began to turn. This was the year when new regulations came into place and by the latter part of 2018 the state were allowing single game bets to be placed. It was huge. Now, just a short three years after the first sports bet was placed in PA the movement has already transitioned online. The ability to bet online was approved in 2019 and, as you’ve seen, there are now multiple providers authorised and regulated.
There are some tight restrictions in place around Pennsylvania online sports betting
We’ve already touched on the fact that online sports betting in Pennsylvania is still somewhat in its infancy; a large part of that is down to the US having strict gambling laws in place. Now, obviously, they’ve been relaxed in Pennsylvania over the past few years but there is still a very tight net around the sports betting market, particularly when compared to other countries such as the United Kingdom.
The first things to note relate to the fact operators need a bricks and mortar location alongside their web operations; this makes things much easier to regulate for thePennsylvania Gaming Control Board and also means customers can have more trust in the bookmakers they’re using. Beyond that, there are some more general laws as to who can bet and what can be bet on. Other than the more obvious statement of the legal gambling age being 21, the major thing to note is that you have to be physically located inside state borders even if you’re betting online; even if you’re a Pennsylvania resident you shouldn’t be placing sports bets online when outside of PA.
Market depth is pretty decent in terms of the sports you’re allowed to bet on but there are a few notable exclusions. The main one that probably would attract a lot of attention is High School sports of any kind. Bets are also not allowed to be placed on Esports, which is a rapidly growing market on the global stage, whilst the common overflow markets that surround sports betting like draft picks and trade moves cannot be wagered on either.
What else is there to know?
So, you now know what criteria you need to meet as an individual to place bets and have a flavour of what cannot be bet on. The next crucial pieces of information relate to what you can bet on and how you go about doing so. Of course, if you’re wanting to place bets in person then you’ll be heading to one of the physical locations we’ve spoken about; this probably means you’ll end up in Pittsburgh, which is where Rivers Casino is based, or Philadelphia where you’ll have numerous options. Other locations are available but those two places do cover the vast majority.
Nowadays, it is more desirable to bet online. It gives you better research resources, a deeper choice of odds and it means you can place bets at more preferential time intervals e.g. after the rostering for a match has been announced. If you go down that route you’ll need to decide on a platform to use (you can use more than one). From here you’ll need to complete the registration process before settling on either betting via their website or on their mobile app. Now the world is your oyster.
You’ll find betting options covering a range of sports both on home soil and overseas. You have all the major US sports covered in brilliant depth with a range of bet types underneath them. Take the NBA for example, you can choose from any fixture due to take place and make selections based on match winner, point spreads, winning margin and all the way through to predicting how many steals a specific player might register in a game. This array of options remains in place across most sports. You might expect coverage of the major US sports but sports like cricket and table tennis certainly aren’t.
The questions you’ll have when it comes to sports betting in Pennsylvania
Is betting online in PA safe?
Pennsylvania online sports betting might be a fairly new concept but it’s completely legal practice now. Just make sure you check the bookmaker you’re using is regulated.
How long has Pennsylvania online sports betting been legal?
The first online sports betting operate launched in PA in 2019.
What are the key markets not available to bet on in Pennsylvania?
The major exclusions are Esports, High School sports and non-game events, for example, draft picks.
What’s the legal age for placing bets?
If you’re planning on wagering sports bets in Pennsylvania then you’ll need to be 21-years-old or over.
If online sports betting is now legal, can I bet from my phone?
Yes, you’re legally entitled to bet from your mobile device. You should be located within the state boundaries though rather than purely being resident there.
Can I use an offshore sports book?
Is it physically possible? Yes. Is it legal? No, so don’t do it. The bookmakers authorised to offer sports betting services in Pennsylvania should display the PGCB logo.
Who are PGCB?
PGCB stands for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board; they oversee sports betting in the state and hold powers in respect of regulation.
How big is sports betting in Pennsylvania?
It’s widely predicted that the sports betting market in Pennsylvania is still someway off its peak but early figures for 2021 show that around $600m is being wagered each month.