Pennsylvania sports betting is legal and regulated, with over a dozen online betting apps currently operational. An even greater number of retail sportsbooks at casinos and race tracks have also opened throughout the Keystone State.

Despite a contentious tax rate and a hard cap on the number of sports betting apps allowed, Pennsylvania has grown into one of the most prosperous online sports betting markets in the U.S., rivaling neighboring New Jersey.

Pennsylvania sports betting law permits customers 21 or older to bet online from anywhere within state lines via licensed online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps. Bettors may also visit retail sportsbooks at licensed casinos, race tracks, and off-track betting facilities (OTBs) to place wagers in person.

The first Pennsylvania sports betting apps launched in May 2019, and more have followed suit since. Play Sugarhouse PA was first to market, followed shortly by sister brand BetRivers PA and BetParx Sportsbook in June 2019.

Early on, there was speculation that the $10 million licensing fee and 36% tax rate would dissuade operators from entering the Pennsylvania sports betting market. However, most casinos have applied for licenses, and bettors now have access to a variety of online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania.

State of Pennsylvania Sports Betting Overview

Sports betting received the green light in Pennsylvania in 2017, pending federal law changes. The first legal retail sportsbook opened in November 2018. Legal online sports betting launched in May 2019. Sportsbooks in the state recorded their first month of $100 million in handle in August 2019. The state’s record so far is October 2022 at more than $797 million in handle.

To legally bet on sports in Pennsylvania, you must be 21 or older. Betting is available on college sports, including in-state teams. The state does not allow player props on college athletes. Betting on high school sports or entertainment-related events is not legal. You don’t need to be a resident to sign up or play, but you must be within state lines when placing bets. Those with a close affiliation to leagues or teams cannot wager on their sports.

Pennsylvania sports bettors have legal and safe options for wagering, and they can do so at their convenience. The state itself benefits from increased tax revenues that it wouldn’t see otherwise, as well as via additional jobs in the sports betting industry.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees sports betting in the state. Protections are in place for consumers to ensure fair treatment and safe handling of funds at all legal sportsbooks. Pennsylvania also allows online casino gambling and poker. Many sportsbook apps include an integrated PA online casino or poker app.

Pennsylvania sports betting bonuses offer incentives for prospective customers to sign up for accounts and make deposits.

Some welcome promotions allow customers to place their first bet and receive a refund if they lose. Others issue wagering credits to customers who make their first deposit. Yet another type offers new customers a bonus bet or “second chance bet” match equal to the size of their first wager. In short, the PA online sports betting market is rife with high-value bonuses, promotions, and special offers.

In all cases, the general idea is to give new customers a good reason to sign up and bet online for real money.

State of Pennsylvania Sports Betting Timeline

Jan. 3, 2024 – Several PA casinos reportedly filed an appeal with the PA Supreme Court to have the court reverse its decision to rule skill games as legal.

Dec. 28, 2023 – PENN Entertainment (ESPN Bet) had the third-highest handle share in PA in November and was the highest for the company in the state since January 2022.

Dec. 20, 2023 – PA sports betting handle rose to $934.1 million in November, a new record for the state. That total was a 12.6% increase from the previous record in October.

Dec. 18, 2023 – Fanatics is reportedly planning to launch its online sports betting and casino app in PA sometime in early 2024.

Dec. 13, 2023 – PA is the fastest-growing online casino market in the US, increasing revenue by 28% year-over-year.

Dec. 7, 2023 – Betway announced that it will temporarily shut down Pennsylvania sports betting and casino operations while it moves to a new platform. The company did not announce when the shutdown will occur or how long it will last.

Dec. 6, 2023 — According to the American Gaming Association, the Parx Casino in Bensalem and Wind Creek Casino both ranked in the top ten nationwide in revenue among casinos not located in Nevada in Q3.