Pennsylvania Sports Betting – Where To Play, Online Sportsbooks And Bonuses

Pennsylvania sports betting is now legal and live at casinos, racetracks and satellite locations spread throughout the state — and the list continues to grow. Mobile betting first arrived via SugarHouse the last day of May in 2019 and has since grown to nearly a dozen options for betting in the Keystone State.

Sports wagering was made possible in the state by two key events. The first was the inclusion of sports betting in as part of an omnibus gambling expansion package passed by PA legislators in October 2017. The second was the May 2018 Supreme Court decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which for over 25 years limited sports betting largely to Nevada.

Below you’ll find a complete guide to Pennsylvania’s retail and online sportsbooks, including where to play, a casino-by-casino market breakdown and answers to frequently asked questions.

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Pennsylvania sportsbooks

The first retail sportsbook to begin accepting wagers was Hollywood Casino at Penn National back in November 2018. They have since been joined by nearly a dozen other retail sports betting locations spread throughout the state.

List of licensed PA retail sportsbooks

Online BrandGet BonusPartner CasinoRetail LaunchOnline/Mobile Launch
Unibet Sportsbook PAGet BonusMohegan Sun Pocono9/24/201911/13/2019
DraftKings Sportsbook PAGet BonusThe Meadows10/10/201911/4/2019
BetMGM Sportsbook PAGet BonusHollywood Casino Morgantown-12/17/2020
FOX Bet Sportsbook PAGet BonusMount Airy Casino9/12/20199/4/2019
BetRivers Sportsbook PAGet BonusRivers Pittsburgh12/15/20186/27/2019
FanDuel Sportsbook PAGet BonusValley Forge Casino3/13/20197/22/2019
PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook PAGet BonusRivers Philadelphia12/15/20185/31/2019
BetAmerica Sportsbook PAPresque Isle Downs7/24/201912/16/2019
Parx Sportsbook PAParx Casino Sportsbook1/10/20196/27/19
Caesars Sportsbook PAHarrah's Philadelphia1/24/201903/10/2020
Barstool Sportsbook Hollywood Casino at Penn National11/17/20189/15/2020
N/ASouth Philly Race & Sportsbook1/17/2019N/A
N/AValley Forge Race & Sportsbook3/12/2019N/A

Who’s still on the way

That said, applications have steadily trickled in, with only four eligible land-based properties so far deciding not to bite the bullet and get into the game. This will likely change, with at least a few more coming on board. The casinos remaining without sports betting licenses include:

  • Wind Creek Casino: Wind Creek Casino, (formerly Sands Bethlehem) announced a partnership with UK-based BetFred who has been providing sports betting services in the UK for over 50 years.
  • Lady Luck Nemacolin: Operations at Lady Luck have been taken over by Churchill Downs, which has already procured a sports betting license for its other PA property, Presque Isle Downs (PID). It’s possible that it would pony up another $10 million for sports betting at Lady Luck, but might also be content with marketing mobile betting through PID, as a retail Lady Luck book is not likely to draw big crowds
  • Live! Hotel & Casino: The on again, off again project being built right in the middle of all the South Philly sports stadiums seems to be full steam ahead and has announced a deal with FanDuel to be the second casino in the state to use the software and online betting could possibly beat out the retail casino to launch.

The latest PA news

Market breakdown

Here’s a quick look at each of PA’s live and upcoming sportsbooks, for both retail and online betting.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National

  • Retail sportsbook: The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino
  • Retail launch date: November 17, 2018
  • Tech partners: Barstool
  • Mobile app: Not yet

Penn National was the first PA property to splurge for an eight-figure sports betting license, and the first casino to take a legal sports bet in the state when its book opened in November 2018.

Initially it was expected that Hollywood would be one of the first to launch an online sportsbook, since they were first to go live retail and among the first to launch an online casino and had garnered a deal with bookmaker William Hill. As time went on, the deal with William Hill disappeared and a deal with Barstool emerged. Hollywood is looking to be the first to go live in the US with the much anticipated Barstool branded book.

Penn National also scooped up two satellite casino permits, including Meadows Casino who went live with sports betting in October 2019.

Rivers Pittsburgh Casino

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: December 15, 2018
  • Tech partners: Rush Street, Kambi
  • Mobile app: Android only (workaround for iOS)

Just a short walk from both Heinz Field and PNC Park, Rivers Casino has a strangle hold on the Pittsburgh sports betting market. After operating out of a temporary facility since December 2018, the BetRivers $5 million, 5500 square foot permanent sportsbook opened its doors in September 2019. The sportsbook is home to two monstrous 50 foot monitors, two dozen 86 inch HDTVs and seating for almost 200 guests.

BetRivers online sportsbook is operated by Rush Street Interactive with an assist by Kambi for pricing and risk. The online sportsbook is a mirror image of sister site SugarHouse and made its debut a little over a month after SugarHouse on June 27, 2019.

Rivers Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse)

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: December 15, 2018
  • Tech partners: Rush Street, Kambi
  • Mobile app: Android only (workaround for iOS)

SugarHouse online sportsbook was the first to go live in Pennsylvania on the last day in May 2019. Having already operated in New Jersey since 2018, SugarHouse drew from its experience and took advantage of its first-mover advantage to become one of the top sportsbooks in the PA market.

SugarHouse retail sportsbook operated out of a temporary location for almost a year, SugarHouse unveiled their permanent $5 million BetRivers Sportsbook in October 2019. Around the same time, SugarHouse transitioned to Rivers Philadelphia. The new state-of-the-art sportsbook features a nearly 60 foot long screen, six betting windows and over 20 self-service kiosks.

Parx Casino

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: January 10, 2019
  • Tech partners: GAN, Kambi
  • Mobile app: Yes

Already the leading casino in terms of land-based revenue, Parx made its entrance into the sports betting market in January via a temporary sportsbook located on the site of its former 360 Bar but had since moved to a very impressive $10 million permanent site

Parx spared no expense on building the very impressive sportsbook that spans 7400 square feet has 200 leather recliners, roughly 40 flat screens, 6 betting windows,18 kiosks in the actual sportsbook and countless others spread through the casino. If you get hungry there is a limited food menu and a full bar to grab a few beers while sweating your bets.

Parx chose to partner with GAN for its online casino and poker operations and Kambi for pricing and risk, opting to build their sites from scratch instead of partnering with an established brand. This moved has proven to have worked out for them as Parx has out out an impressive sportsbook product.

South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: January 17, 2019
  • Tech partners: GAN, Kambi
  • Mobile app: Not yet

Previously known as the South Philadelphia Turf Club, the newly-minted Race & Sportsbook is an off-track betting (OTB) shop owned by Greenwood Gaming, the same parent company which operates Parx.

Surprisingly, PA officials have allowed Greenwood’s two OTB facilities to piggyback on their parent’s original $10 million permit and offer sports betting at no additional fee.

The property is situated in a uniquely favorable area, just blocks from the Wells Fargo Center and Citizens Bank Park. Its proximity to the state’s sports epicenter should make it a popular venue for passing bettors and curious fans.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: January 24, 2019
  • Tech partners: Scientific Games
  • Mobile app: Android only

Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook had the pleasure of placing the first sports bet at Harrah’s sportsbook, dubbed The Book, at its January ribbon cutting, just in time for the 2018-19 Super Bowl.

Harrah’s is owned by Caesars which hosts a rather average sports betting app in neighboring New Jersey and has brought that same product to the PA market in March 2020. Despite the underwhelming betting options and available markets, Caesars does have competitive pricing on standard bets, and can be used as a price shopping tool versus all the Kambi powered sites.

Valley Forge Race & Sportsbook

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: March 12, 2019
  • Tech partners: GAN, Kambi
  • Mobile app: Not yet

The Valley Forge Race & Sportsbook (VFRS) is Greenwood Gaming’s second off-track betting facility located in the Keystone State.

VFRS was the third Greenwood sportsbook to launch in PA, opening its doors in mid-March.

Unsurprisingly, the book runs on GAN and Kambi software, the same integration in use by sister properties Parx and the South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook.

Valley Forge Casino

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: March 13, 2019
  • Tech partners: FanDuel, GAN, IGT
  • Mobile app: Yes

Valley Forge is owned by Boyd Gaming, which struck a deal with FanDuel in August 2018, giving the DFS-turned sports betting giant market access in 10 different states.

FanDuel has proven the be the top dog in every state they enter, and this is true in PA as well. When they launched their mobile app on July 22, 2019, FanDuel almost instantly took the top spot and never looked back.

As a retail casino, Valley Forge likely won’t make much through sports betting, as it traditionally ranks near the bottom in terms of overall casino revenue. However, a FanDuel-branded mobile app will completely change the game for the property.

Presque Isle Downs

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: July 24, 2019
  • Tech partners: BetAmerica, SBTech
  • Mobile app: No

U.S. gambling conglomerate Churchill Downs Inc. took control of Presque Isle Downs in January 2019. Late to the club, the property received conditional approval for sports betting on February 6, 2019 and quietly launched their online sportsbook in December 2019.

Presque Isle Downs’ retail and online sportsbooks are both powered by Churchill Downs Inc’s proprietary brand, BetAmerica.

 Mount Airy

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: September 12, 2019
  • Tech partners: The Stars Group, FOX Bet
  • Mobile app: Yes

Mount Airy Casino locked up a big-name partner in The Stars Group (TSG), the parent company of poker giant PokerStars and sports betting brand FOX Bet  (formerly BetStars). We do find it surprising that Mount Airy has decided to not us the FOX Bet branding for its retail casino sportsbook, and has chosen to go with the simple name of Sportsbook Mount Airy. The relatively small sportsbook shares a space with the 12 table poker room and features 40 HDTVs that shows up to 15 games at a time.

FOX Bet launched as a mobile/online skin in Sept. 2019 and received a wave of promotion through FOX Sports’ digital properties. FOX Bet operates just over the border in New Jersey under a licensing deal with Resorts, but its market share pales in comparison to competitors like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Mohegan Sun Pocono

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: September 24, 2019
  • Tech partners: Unibet
  • Mobile app: Yes

Mohegan Sun has teamed up with international iGaming giant Unibet to power both its sportsbook and online casino/poker products. Unibet online sportsbook is another Kambi powered sportsbook that went live in November 2019 and can be accessed anywhere in the state via your computer or mobile device.

Unibet retail sportsbook at Mohegan Sun opened for business in September 2019 and offers three betting windows, six betting terminals, a 28 foot wide HD screen, and 20 recliners spread over 1130 square feet. The betting area also has a full bar with both drink and food offerings.

The Meadows Casino and Racetrack

  • Retail sportsbook: Yes
  • Retail launch date: October 10, 2019
  • Tech partners: DraftKings
  • Mobile app: Yes

We all know that DraftKings was going to find a way into the PA market, but for a while it looked like they were running out of options. DraftKings found its entry through a deal with Penn National, who owns The Meadows Casino, to operate both their online and retail sports betting. DraftKings’ much-anticipated debut happened in November 2019 and was the first real threat to FanDuels top spot in the commonwealth.

The Meadows Casino Sportsbook has been up and running since October 10, 2019. The sportsbook is located in the middle of the casino, replacing the old Vibe lounge. The retail sportsbook features 15 flat screen TVs, 18 self betting kiosks, 5 betting windows and a 26 seat bar to grab a drink while watching the game.

Sports betting revenue

Since the first bets were placed back in November 2018 at Hollywood Casino, we have seen an increase month after month topping out at $316.5 million in November 2019. The addition of online sports betting in July 2019 really got things moving where we saw the handle almost double between July and August and of course the kickoff of the NFL season saw handle nearly double again in September. Since the start of online betting, we have seen over 85% of all PA wagers placed online.  Similar numbers are expected to follow in states like VA or in Colorado.

The state’s astronomically high tax rate of 36% has not slowed down sports betting and led to nearly $40 million in tax revenue in the first year. Though this is far below the original estimates of $400 million a year, it is a solid start in a growing market that only had the addition of mobile online for four of those twelve months.

Frequently asked questions

Where are the major sportsbooks located?

Those in the Philadelphia area have access to the widest variety of what will become premier sportsbooks. Gamblers in the region can choose from SugarHouse Casino, Valley Forge, Harrah’s, Parx and two former off-track betting facilities. If the Live! casino project ever gets built, they’ll be able to bet on sports near the big sports stadiums as well.

At First, Rivers had a virtual monopoly on the western half of the state with its sportsbook in Pittsburgh, but with the addition of Meadows Casino sportsbook, they are starting to see some competition.

Mount Airy and Mohegan Sun sportsbooks are located in the poconos.

When can I bet online?

Online sports bets can be placed on the following sites

  • FanDuel
  • DraftKings
  • Play SugarHouse
  • BetRivers
  • Unibet
  • BetAmerica
  • Parx
  • FOX Bet
  • Caesars

Can I use my online sportsbook outside of Pennsylvania?

No, to place a bet on a Pennsylvania online sportsbook, you must be located within state lines.

There are a few exceptions such as FanDuel and DraftKings that will automatically detect if you are in another state where they are live and carry your balance over with you. For example, if you are in PA and drive over the border to New Jersey, you will be able to use your DraftKings or FanDuel account, but not if you go west to Ohio where it is not legal. For now, only DraftKings and FanDuel have this feature.

Do I have to have to wait in line to place a bet?

While all sportsbooks feature a number of teller windows, most also offer kiosks placed throughout the casino through which players can quickly place bets by themselves.

What kind of bets are offered?

You’ll find all of the standard bet types at PA sportsbooks, including but not limited to:

  • Props
  • Moneyline
  • Over/unders
  • Futures
  • Totals
  • Spread
  • Parlays

Do I have to be a PA resident to bet online?

You do not need to be a PA resident to play. All you need to do is be physically inside the borders of Pennsylvania. Geolocation software will then verify your location and allow you to place your real money bets. You could even drive into PA from out-of-state, quickly place a bet, then immediately drive back home if you wanted.

How old do I have to be to bet at a PA sportsbook?

To bet on sports in a PA book, players must be 21 years of age or older, with no exception.

What kind of deposit methods will be available for online betting?

We anticipate that PA books will offer a wide variety of banking options, which will cover those in nearly any financial situation. These may include:

  • PayPal
  • ACH (eCheck)
  • Wire transfer
  • Visa/MasterCard
  • Neteller
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Online bill pay
  • Pay at 7-Eleven
  • More

Betting on sports is confusing, will the books help me place my bet?

Since legal sports betting is brand-new in Pennsylvania, it goes without saying that many patrons would be interested in playing, but might be confused by all the options. But not to fear, sportsbook tellers have been trained to instruct novice players on all of the different bet types. You will also usually find helpful betting guides written by individual sportsbooks on their websites. Sports Handle will also provide a variety of resources for new bettors.

Can I play online casino or poker games in PA?

Yes, you can play both online casino games and poker in Pennsylvania, as long you you meet the 21+ age requirement. Both categories of games, along with table games like blackjack, were legalized by the same bill which made sports wagering legal. Head over to our sister-site, PocketFives, for even more info about PA online poker.

The path toward legal PA sports betting

The push for legalized sports betting in PA was effectively spearheaded by Rep. Rob Matzie, whose 2017 bill, H 519, eventually found its way into an omnibus gambling package which also authorized daily fantasy sports, online gambling, iLotto, satellite casinos and more.

The expanded gambling package was attractive to state lawmakers, who, at the time, were seeking additional revenue streams to plug a multibillion-dollar budget deficit. In late October of 2017, the legislation passed both chambers of the state assembly and was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf a few days later.

That, however, wasn’t enough to make sports betting legal in the state. For the sports wagering portion of the package to go into effect, the Supreme Court would need to strike down PASPA, a law which had limited sports betting largely to Nevada for over two decades.

Sports gamblers got their wish in May 2018, when the Court ruled the law unconstitutional by a vote of 6-3, giving the green light for PA to proceed with its sports betting industry.

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