SugarHouse already has a New Jersey sports betting app and was one of the first entrants into the US market.
Powered by Kambi, with significant market share already in NJ, and a presence in Philadelphia, it’s primed to do well as an early mover.
May 28, 2019, was a significant day for sports betting in Pennsylvania. Almost 18 months after House Bill 271 was passed, the first online sportsbook opened for business.
The SugarHouse Sportsbook betting app allows anyone of legal age within the borders of Pennsylvania to place a bet. Pro leagues, college sports and international sporting events are all covered.
With three more PA sports betting sites live as of July, and many more expected to come online soon, bettors in Pennsylvania will have a lot of options. The sportsbooks have marketing budgets to compete with each other. You can benefit with free (no-deposit) bets, matched bonuses and plenty of promos.
Live sportsbooks are now open in locations around the Keystone State. There are more in the pipeline. This complete PA sports betting guide will cover those locations, as well as the online options.
Additionally, the guide includes instructions for new bettors on how to place a bet. You’ll also find information on the apps, depositing and withdrawing, types of bet you can place — and the many sports covered.
There are four online sportsbooks already live in Pennsylvania. Expect to see many more coming online over the next few months. Each book is a partnership between a technology provider and a PA licensed casino. The current sportsbooks have taken the local branding. In other regulated states, new brands like Fox Bet and global brands like 888 have also launched.
Here are the current live sportsbooks in PA:
SugarHouse was the first to open a retail sportsbook back in November 2018. On May 28, 2019, the casino opened the first online betting site for PA residents. This shares a brand name with the live Philadelphia-based casino. The platform and technology are provided by Rush Street Interactive — a subsidiary of Rush Street Gaming, owners of the SugarHouse and Rivers casinos. International sports betting supplier Kambi handles the betting lines.
This sportsbook has huge coverage of the major leagues, plus soccer, golf, tennis and MMA. You’ll be able to bet on matches as they unfold with the live betting option. SugarHouse sites have a social element, with alerts for big wins, gamified bonus clearing and plenty of enjoyable promotions.
New bettors will get a $250 bonus matched at 100% to their first deposit. This bonus is easy to clear; you only need to wager it once. The site also provides enhanced odds offers, parlay insurance and picks contests.
An industry leader in nearby New Jersey, FanDuel Sportsbook PA went live with online sports betting on July 22.
Partnered with Valley Forge Casino Resort, FanDuel introduced to Pennsylvania quite the unique betting app.
Though not the first to go live, FanDuel did set the trend in one area: The operator integrated its PA sportsbook with its existing New Jersey online sportsbook. All users need, whether in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, is one app. Geolocation will determine which odds users will see.
Additionally, as it was integrated with the existing NJ betting app, both Android and Apple customers have access to the online sportsbook. While SugarHouse and BetRivers are using a workaround to have their betting apps available to iOS users, FanDuel becomes the first to have Pennsylvania’s first true betting app for iPhone.
FanDuel also features a desktop version of its offerings.
Bettors will see a wide array of sports and markets via FanDuel, which appears to offer the same odds in both PA and NJ. Players in New Jersey who already have a FanDuel account do not need to re-register. Existing credentials will allow them to log into FanDuel and wager in Pennsylvania. With this integration, users appear to have shared funds between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. One shared wallet for two states.
It is no surprise to see the sportsbook associated with the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh join SugarHouse in being early movers. The same company (Rush Street) operates these casinos and also provides the platform for both sportsbooks. Rush Street Interactive gained experience with online sportsbooks in New Jersey, allowing it to hit the ground running in Pennsylvania.
You’ll get excellent coverage of national and international sports. An advantage of the Rush Street Interactive / Kambi platform at BetRivers PA Sportsbook is that you’ll have a single wallet and account covering both sports betting and casinos. Expect casinos to follow the sportsbooks soon — going online over the coming weeks.
The new player bonus at BetRivers matches the one at sister-site SugarHouse. This is a 100% matched bonus of up to $250. You only need to wager your bonus once before it is considered cleared.
As the biggest casino in Pennsylvania, Parx has been offering live sports betting since January 2019. In June 2019, The Parx online sportsbook went live. As one of the three early movers in PA, Parx will be hoping its online betting site will match the huge size of its live venue.
Technology is provided by specialists GAN and Kambi, which already runs the DraftKings online sportsbook in New Jersey — as well as many online books outside of the US. Using Kambi ensures that the coverage of sports will be hard to beat. Naturally, the major leagues and college games take center stage. If you want to bet on minor leagues (including international ones) and see sports outside of the mainstream options covered, then Parx Online sportsbook will be the place to head.
New bettors will enjoy a $10 free bet for registering at Parx. No deposit is needed to enjoy this, though some terms do apply. If you like what you find, then your first real money deposit up to $200 will be matched with bonus bets.
SugarHouse already has a New Jersey sports betting app and was one of the first entrants into the US market.
Powered by Kambi, with significant market share already in NJ, and a presence in Philadelphia, it’s primed to do well as an early mover.
Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, which is owned by the same parent company as SugarHouse, has its own app in PA, BetRivers.
It looks and feels like the SugarHouse app, just with different branding.
Thanks to a partnership with Valley Forge Casino, the FanDuel Sportsbook app is now live in PA.
It is the biggest and best app in the early days of NJ sportsbooks in terms of product and revenue. Expect a similarly strong showing in PA.
Caesars — a stalwart in Nevada and New Jersey for gaming — will bring its sports betting app to PA via Harrah’s Casino.
It was a late adopter to mobile betting in NV but has a better presence in NJ. Its Philadelphia location should also help it in the early days.
Parx makes more gaming revenue than any other casino in the state. But this will be its first foray into online gambling.
Parx should bring a strong sportsbook app to market.
With sports betting banned under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) for so many years, this area will be brand new to many people. This section covers what you need to get started with sports betting online in Pennsylvania. This includes the types of bets you can place, how to register and verify your online sports betting account and how to deposit (and withdraw your winnings).
Bets: You can place a lot of different bets at the new sportsbooks. By breaking these down into simple categories, you won’t have to remember the whole list until you get more familiar with the apps and sites.
There are sport-specific bets, and period betting is also available for many sports. If you are brand new to online sports betting, you may want to stick with the simple single bets, e.g., spread or moneyline, while you get used to the platform.
All of the current PA sportsbooks include how-to information, taking you step-by-step through how to place bets.
No sportsbook has an interest in making the registration process too difficult. At the same time, they need to protect against gambling by minors and add fraud prevention to stop multiple accounts.
Once you decide which books to play at, you’ll need to fill in some basic registration information. Your name, location and email will get things started. The sites might also ask for the last four digits of your Social Security number.
You can register an account via either the responsive websites of the sportsbooks or via the apps.
Regulation makes depositing at sportsbooks straightforward and safe. You’ll be able to use many of the regular payment options used for buying goods online. On top of these, there are some extra ways to pay at the license-holding casinos.
Here are your main options:
If it is possible to withdraw onto the same method you deposited with, that will be the default method. This serves as additional protection against money laundering. Common withdrawal methods include e-checks, PayPal (or similar), prepaid cards (branded ones) or via a paper check.
All states have a restriction for betting on high-school sports events, and Pennsylvania is no exception.
The major omission is for bets on non-sporting contests. An example of this is the NFL draft, which you can’t bet on either at live or online PA sportsbooks.
You can’t bet on esports in Pennsylvania.
If you are involved professionally in a sporting league (for example as an official or coach), then you can’t bet on your sport.
Apple recently dealt iPhone users a blow. The company decided to restrict new gambling apps from its App Store until they are re-created in Apple’s programming language.
The only exception to this is FanDuel, which does have a sportsbook app in the App Store. It uses the same app in both NJ and PA.
While Google has some restrictions, there are alternative ways of getting apps onto your Android devices. You can download these directly from sportsbook websites. While you will need to click some warning messages about “unknown sources,” the process is straightforward.
Apple devices don’t have alternative means of downloading apps. This means that until the PA sportsbooks comply with the new rules, iPhone and iPad apps are not available from most companies. You can use some of the apps via a browser with an additional geolocation app.
There are sometimes advantages to being second. When New Jersey launched its online gambling sites, there were a lot of issues with geolocation. Since the law strictly prohibits the books from allowing bets or real money deposits outside of state borders, it is important to locate app users accurately.
What happened initially in New Jersey was “false negatives.” Players close to the border had their access or deposits blocked.
Fortunately, by the time apps arrived in Pennsylvania, this issue was mostly fixed.
For desktop devices, the technology will triangulate your known location with Wi-Fi data. For mobile devices without Wi-Fi switched on, there might still be the occasional issue next to the border. If this affects you too often, you can download additional software to assess your location more accurately.
You will be able to access your accounts from outside of PA, though bets and deposits are strictly prohibited.
There are options for placing bets at casinos, racetracks, off-track betting (OTB) facilities and, of course, online betting in Pennsylvania. This section covers all of these with locations and opening hours information for each. You will also find information covering betting on horse racing below. The treatment there is different from sports betting; websites plus live betting have been around for a while.
Before getting to the venues, here are the most popular sports, with an emphasis on the local PA teams.
With representation in the major leagues in all the main sports, PA residents and visitors can now enjoy wagers on all of their favorite teams. Below are the opportunities to bet on local NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA games.
Some bets are common to all sports (moneyline, totals and spreads). You will also find many individual bet types covering each sport. You’ll find these by locating your match in a sportsbook app or website, then click the “more bets” or “all bets” link.
Major sports will also see inclusion in the live betting options, which means you’ll be able to place wagers while the match is underway.
Pennsylvania is home to two hockey teams:
With two teams in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference, there are regular rivalry matches. This fierce rivalry is known as the “Battle of Pennsylvania.” Things reached fever pitch on four occasions in recent years — when the two teams met in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
You can bet on the conference winners and Stanley Cup results at the start of the season. When it comes to individual NHL matches, you can enjoy period betting for each of the three periods, first (or next) goal scorer and correct scores. Spreads are known as the “puck line” in hockey betting.
The Keystone State is home to two major football teams. Again, these are located in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh:
With the two PA football teams in different conferences, matches between them are rare, only once every four years. Both teams have a rich history, established in 1933.
NFL betting includes many unique wagers. Under the “props” heading you’ll be able to bet the under or over for each quarterback’s yards, or the running back’s yards/carries. Bets on the first team or even player to score are also popular. The NFL is also a popular sport for teaser bets and regular parlays.
As with the football teams, the two Major League Baseball teams in PA play in separate divisions. This means that their rivalries are with out-of-state teams. As with the other major sports, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have one team each:
The large number of fixtures in the MLB season — along with teams in two different divisions — mean that there are a lot of betting opportunities.
There are several bets unique to baseball. These include the popular “run line” bets. This is a variation of point spreads, which appear in many sports. Unlike regular spreads, which try to even up the teams’ chances, run lines are always plus or minus 1.5 points.
Prop bets include the number of strikeouts per pitcher, or hits per batter. You can combine the total number of runs, hits and errors in the popular R + H + E props. Bets on the first five innings are also available.
Totals bets on the entire day’s action are the final unique MLB bet. If you can guess the under / over on the runs for all fixtures on a day, you could win the “grand salami.”
While the other major sports have two top-tier teams, basketball sees Pennsylvania represented only once in the top flight. This is the Philadelphia 76ers — usually known simply as the “Sixers.”
Dating back to 1946, the Sixers play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They play at Wells Fargo Center, which the Flyers NHL team also calls home.
The high scoring nature of games means there is plenty of scope for totals and spread bets in the NBA. These can be team totals, match totals or even prop bets on totals for individual players. Quarter betting on the game periods is also possible.
A different way of approaching wins for NBA bets is to wager on a big or little win. A big win is 10 or more points, with a little win is 1-9. A fun way to bet is to select whether the total for both teams will be odd or even.
You can bet on horse races in three ways. First, head to the tracks and place a bet there on either live action or simulcasts for other tracks. Second, there are OTBs (many known as turf clubs) dotted around the state. You can also bet online on horse races. Separate sites exist for this, including BetAmerica, TVG and TwinSpires. These sites are legal, and US-based. They give you access to the parimutuel betting pools that operate at the tracks and OTB offices.
Note that the newly regulated PA sportsbooks do not offer betting on horse races.
Below are the racetracks in Pennsylvania:
The most famous horse in PA racing history is Smarty Jones. He won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2004 and finished second in the Belmont Stakes.
Pennsylvania has its own Grade 1 stakes. This is the Pennsylvania Derby. With a purse of $1 million, this event attracts the best 3-year-olds in the country. It is run over 9 furlongs on dirt at the Parx Racetrack.
Other famous races in PA include the Penn Mile Stakes, Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Stakes and Greenwood Cup Stakes.
You can bet on horse races at tracks around the country, via off-track betting venues. Simulcast streams and access to parimutuel betting pools are available at the six horse racing tracks. In addition, there are seven “turf club” venues.
These show races and allow you to bet, and they have bar and dining options. Note that the Valley Forge Turf Club already allows sports betting in addition to horse racing bets.
You can place sports bets in person at nine locations. The original tranche of licenses was open to current live slots casinos. This leaves four locations that have not taken up their live sportsbook options as yet.
This racetrack and casino location was formerly known as Chester Downs. It is now operated by Caesars Entertainment. As well as harness racing, you’ll find a big casino (2,900 slots), event center and retail — as well as a big live sportsbook.
Located at Grantville, the Penn National is home to thoroughbred racing, including the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap and Penn Mile. Hollywood Casino has almost 2,500 slots, 54 table games and a poker room. It added a live sportsbook in November 2018.
This casino has an impressive 3,000 slots, 107 table games and a 30-table poker room. It added a sportsbook in December 2018. The name comes from its location at the point where three major rivers meet.
The first mover in PA sports betting online also opened its live sportsbook first. The casino itself became an addition to the casino landscape in Pennsylvania when it opened in 2010. In addition to the live sportsbook, the casino includes 3,000 slots as well as dining and entertainment options.
This thoroughbred racetrack is the single biggest casino in Pennsylvania. It offers 3,300+ slot machines, 180 table games, 48 poker tables — along with both a sportsbook and separate race book with simulcast betting. Parx is located northeast of Philadelphia, close to Bensalem Township.
This sportsbook is located in downtown Philadelphia. It is associated with the Parx Casino and Racetrack. South Philly Turf Club has been an off-track betting venue for many years — offering bets on the PA tracks and simulcasts of other tracks. You can now bet on sports at this location, too. Amenities don’t match the casinos, though it does have a bar and restaurant.
Another off-track betting office, run by the Parx Casino and Racetrack. This venue is located in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It has been offering simulcast betting on horse races for many years. You can now enjoy the full sports betting experience too, with plenty of major sport and college action.
You’ll find a FanDuel branded sportsbook at the Valley Forge Casino. This opened for business in March 2019. The casino is a smaller one, with only 600 slots and 50 table games. It is close to King of Prussia and has two attached hotels.
This is the entry from Churchill Downs and BetAmerica, which will eventually have an app and website as well.
Nine casinos have now applied to offer live sports betting in Pennsylvania. Of these, nine are expected to introduce online betting. Many of these are technology providers, which will have to partner with local casinos to produce their licensed betting sites. Here is the list:
Sports betting was included in the 2017 gaming expansion package, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on October 30. At that time, New Jersey was challenging a long-standing federal law known as PASPA. This challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court. The court overturned PASPA in May of 2018.
That triggered a clause in HB 271 in Pennsylvania, allowing licensing for both live and online sportsbooks. Betting is legal on both pro sports and college fixtures. The key legal requirements are that bettors have to be 21 or older and inside state lines.
Licensing and regulation are under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. At $10 million per license upfront, plus an effective tax rate of 36%, sports betting is expected to create significant revenue for the state.
Three sportsbooks are currently live. More are likely to follow over the coming months. You can access these books via their websites or Android apps. iOS (iPhone) apps are delayed due to Apples’ new rules on how they are programmed; FanDuel is in the App Store, however. In the meantime, regular websites are effective for mobile phone betting:
Several factors point to sports betting being a win-win for both the state and sports fans. First, the success of live and sports betting in New Jersey has shown that partnerships between technology providers, betting brands and local casinos are effective. Revenues have already beaten expectations in New Jersey. With a larger population, Pennsylvania revenues could be potentially even bigger.
Like any new endeavor, there are some issues to overcome. Difficulty with apps for Apple devices, the future introduction of sports betting in New York and the relatively high tax rate on bets are all factors to consider.
While offshore betting sites are legal within the jurisdiction they are based in (usually Caribbean island nations), they are not recognized or regulated by any US jurisdiction. With no safety checks, oversight or means of recourse in the event of a dispute, offshore betting sites are extremely risky.
With regulated, safe sportsbooks now in Pennsylvania, there are no advantages of offshore sites that would balance out those risks.
If you are using an Android device, you’ll be able to download this from the SugarHouse website. For a while, it looked like no Apple users were able to use the PA online casinos or sportsbooks until the brands recode their apps using Apple’s proprietary programming language. Now, only SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetRivers and SugarHouse Online Casino have a workaround for iOS. They must use their phone browsers to visit the sites they wish to play and will be prompted to download GeoGuard. This will verify the player’s location, and they can proceed to play and bet. Others, such as Hollywood Casino and Parx, must stick with Android for now.
There is an express login option on the SugarHouse PA site for bettors with NJ accounts. While there were some issues with this during testing, you can expect these to be resolved soon.
No. There are opportunities to deposit via the casino cages of Pennsylvania casinos, though not via Atlantic City casinos.
Some online sportsbooks offer the option to redeem bets early, and others do not. This feature is currently available at SugarHouse PA.
Yes, you can bet live at the FanDuel branded sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino as well as its online sportsbook. You can also enjoy daily fantasy sports contests at FanDuel.
Yes, though betting on horse racing and sports is handled separately in many instances. You’ll need different websites and apps, which have been running nationwide for many years.
Yes. PayPal is perfect for people who do not want to link their bank or credit cards directly with an online betting site.
Yes, both the live and online sportsbooks cover collegiate sporting events.
You’ll find the types of bet and sports covered on the page above. The only major restrictions are non-sporting novelty contests, esports betting and betting on games of skill (in bars and malls, for example). People directly employed in sports like coaches or officials can’t bet on their leagues.
If you have self-excluded from gambling, then it is the sportsbook’s responsibility to ensure you can’t place bets.
While it is too early to provide an accurate estimate, we can safely say that PA sportsbooks will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, based on the experiences of Nevada and NJ.
All Pennsylvania online sportsbooks will offer players the ability to bet from their smartphones. Some will offer apps, while others will use website technology that will automatically adjust to your screen size. Apple users will need to wait until apps meet the company’s new guidelines.
Yes! By virtue of a 2017 state law and the Supreme Court’s strike-down of PASPA, Pennsylvania has legalized sports betting.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National began accepting sports betting wagers on Nov. 15, 2018. On Dec. 13, 2018, Rivers Casino and SugarHouse both began a test period for taking bets. Parx Casino, South Philadelphia Turf Club and Harrah’s Philadelphia all went live with sports betting in January 2019. Valley Forge Turf Club and Valley Forge Casino followed in March 2019.
Pennsylvania law allows anyone inside the state lines to bet online or through mobile devices. Launch of online/mobile products began with SugarHouse Sportsbook on May 28, 2019. Many more are on the way
One thing to note is that state law prohibits more than one skin for each license issued. So, the mobile apps you play will be specifically branded for the land-based casinos they represent.
You will need to be 21 years or older to wager on sports in the Keystone State.
High school sporting events of any kind are not permitted for wagering. This rule will likely be universal no matter which state you visit. However, you can bet on college sports, even on PA teams playing in the state.
Olympic sports will likely be available. However, there may be some variation in availability on a case-by-case basis.