Pennsylvania Sports Betting

The Pennsylvania state flag waving along with the national flag of the United States of America

Is Sports Betting Legal In Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania sports bettors are in luck. The Keystone state has a wide variety of sports betting apps available. In fact, Pennsylvania is one of the leading US markets for online betting. Many states look to Pennsylvania as they’re constructing sportsbook legislation. Markets look to mature jurisdictions like Pennsylvania as a benchmark for how to do sports betting right.

Anyone who is within Pennsylvania and 21 or older can place a bet in Pennsylvania. The state only requires that you be within its borders to bet. This means you can wager at PA sportsbooks even if you’re just visiting.

Pennsylvania has numerous sportsbooks live, including some of the industry’s biggest names. BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Unibet, BetRivers, PointsBet, and others are available to Pennsylvania bettors. Most sports are available at Pennsylvania sportsbooks, including NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, PGA, and many more.

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PA Sports Betting Overview, Timeline, and Background

Pennsylvania got a headstart on sports betting. Its legislative journey began in October 2017. A suite of bills legalizing sports betting—both retail and online—was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.

The catch? The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was still in effect, prohibiting sports betting on a federal level.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, giving states the right to legalize sports betting on their own terms.

Pennsylvania moved quickly after that, launching its first retail sportsbook in November 2018 and its first online sportsbook (SugarHouse) in May 2019. Other operators followed over the course of the next few years.

Now, Pennsylvania is a bonafide gambling hub, with more than a dozen online sportsbooks. The state also has a solid retail and online casino presence.

Which Online Sportsbooks Can You Use In Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania offers 15 online sportsbooks. Below, we’ll discuss our top five recommended sportsbooks and their welcome bonuses for new players. Remember, you can sign up if you’re in Pennsylvania even if you don’t live there.

DraftKings Sportsbook

If you’ve done any sports betting or even talked with someone who does, chances are the DraftKings name has come up. That’s for good reason. The DraftKings sportsbook is amazing from top to bottom. DraftKings offers competitive odds, great promotions, and a seamless app for iOS and Android.

New users at DraftKings get a 20% deposit match up to $1,000. If you deposited a full $5,000, you’d get the entire bonus. But it scales, so if you deposit $100 you’ll still get $20 in bonus bets.

BetMGM Sportsbook

“The King Of Sportsbooks,” as BetMGM calls itself, is a top-tier choice for Pennsylvania bettors. Great market depth, lots of competitive odds and lines, and a really intuitive app interface.

The welcome bonus at BetMGM sportsbook in Pennsylvania is a risk-free first bet up to $1,000.

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel is an amazing sportsbook. It offers same-game parlays and same-game parlay+, which allows you to combine multiple same-game parlays into a mega-ticket. Prefer straight bets? It’s got those in droves, with nearly unparalleled market depth. FanDuel should always be a guaranteed stop on your odds-shopping journey. In fact, the easy-to-navigate app might make it your single favorite sportsbook.

FanDuel gives new betters a no-sweat first bet (risk-free) up to $1,000.

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers has come a long way. It started launching in new markets without an iOS app; it now has one. The app has improved over time, and BetRivers has become a huge name in sports betting.

The single best thing about BetRivers is its welcome bonus. A 100% deposit match up to $250 may seem paltry in comparison to some of the bigger numbers on this list. However, BetRivers requires only 1x playthrough, meaning you get the full bonus once you bet through your deposit amount a single time. Other sportsbooks require 5x, 10x, or even higher playthroughs. That makes BetRivers a great choice for casual or new bettors.

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet rose from its beginnings in Australia to become a dominant force in the US sports betting scene. PointsBet has everything the other major books offer and then some.

PointsBet’s bonus offer is two risk-free bets totaling $2,000. THe first bet is a fixed-odds (traditional) wager up to $500. The second is a PointsBetting wager up to $1,5000. PointsBetting is a wager type unique to PointsBet in which your margin of victory or loss determines your payout.

PA Sportsbooks

That’s not all! Pennsylvania has plenty of other sportsbooks to choose from, including:

  • FOX Bet
  • Unibet
  • Barstool
  • Betfred
  • Betway
  • Borgata
  • Caesars
  • Parx
  • SugarHouse
  • TwinSpires

Others may launch in PA in the future, though the state makes it a tough sell for new operators with a high tax rate. Still, 15 sportsbooks is a lot of variety. PA is a bettor’s market.

How To Bet On Sports In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania sportsbooks make it easy to sign up and get started. Here’s a step-by-step guide. If you have any trouble throughout this process, get in touch with the sportsbook’s customer support channels.

Step 1: Get The App Or Visit The Site

This one’s easy! Choose your preferred sportsbook(s) and download the app. You can do so directly from the iOS App Store or Google Play. If you prefer, you can head to the sportsbook’s desktop website instead.

Step 2: Sign Up

Follow the prompts in the app or on the screen to create your account. Be prepared to provide some personal details, including:

  • First and last name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Password (you will create one)
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Social Security Number

It's all right there on the screen; you just need to fill out the details and follow the instructions.

Step 3: Make A Deposit

Choose your desired payment method—sportsbook operators offer several—and deposit into your account. If you get a bonus such as a deposit match, be sure you take that into account. Most bonuses only match your first deposit.

Step 4: Find And Place Your Bet

Find the bet you’d like to make. Perhaps it’s a wager on your favorite NFL team to win or cover the spread. Or maybe it’s a three-game parlay for week one of the NFL season. Whatever your choice, click on it and add it to your betslip.

When you’re ready to place your bet or bets, go to your betslip, type in the amount of your wager(s), and select “place bet.” Wait a second for the sportsbook to process and confirm your bet.

Step 5: Watch The Game

Catch the match you bet on and hope for the best! You can repeat the process starting with step 4 as much as you’d like. Remember to bet responsibly.

Pennsylvania Sports Teams

Pennsylvania allows betting on college and professional sports with very few restrictions. This means fans of almost any team can place a bet. If you’re a New York expat, you can bet on the Giants, Jets, Mets…any New York team. But if you’re a tried-and-true PA sports fan, you’re also covered with all of your home teams.

NFL: Steelers And Eagles

Pennsylvania has two NFL teams. Great news for bettors! PA sportsbooks have heaps of lines and markets for NFL bettors. You’ll find all sorts of available bets on the Eagles or Steelers, including the standard moneyline, totals, and points spreads. You’ll also get a veritable smorgasbord of prop bets and alternate lines.

The NFL is one of the biggest betting leagues in all of sports, so you’ll always find the perfect bet for you if you’re a PA football fan.

NHL: Penguins And Flyers

The NHL has two Pennsylvania-based teams: The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. You can bet on both teams, or any other team in the NHL for that matter.

Hockey is a fun betting sport because it’s unpredictable. A mismatched contest can lead to a surprising game. Live betting is popular among hockey fans because it’s a low-scoring sport that lends itself well to the format.

MLB: Phillies And Pirates

Baseball is in season as of this writing, and any Pennsylvania sportsbook worth its salt has a ton of MLB lines. Whether you’re a Pirates fan, a Phillies fanatic, or just a casual fan of America’ spastime, you can find plenty to bet on when it comes to baseball.

Baseball has moneylines, totals, and spreads like any other sport, but it’s incredibly deep with regard to props. Pennsylvania sportsbooks will offer seemingly countless prop bets on any given game, including those containing the Pirates or the Phillies.

NBA: 76ers

Basketball is the only big four sport for which Pennsylvania doesn’t have two teams. The 76ers are all PA’s got in terms of NBA teams, and sportsbooks have bets on the 76ers in droves.

You can place all sorts of bets on the 76ers, including moneyline, totals, spreads, and tons of props. Basketball is a stats-heavy sport, so it’s ideal for same-game parlays and similar bets.

NCAA: Penn State And Others

Unlike its neighbour and biggest competitor, New Jersey, Pennsylvania doesn’t restrict college sports betting. This means you can bet on the Penn State Nittany Lions or any other college team in the state as you wish. When March Madness rolls around, you can place bets on the tournament and hope for a PA school to take the trophy.

MLS: Philadelphia Union

Soccer is incredibly popular with overseas bettors, but there’s plenty on offer for US bettors, too. Philadelphia Union fans can place bets on the team at Pennsylvania sportsbooks.

Benefits Of Legal Sports Betting In Pennsylvania

If you’re sports betting in Pennsylvania, you’re likely using legal, regulated sportsbooks. That’s a good thing. Gray market and offshore books are still available, though, and you should avoid them. Here’s why.

Helping Your Home State

Okay, okay…“taxes” might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the benefits of sports betting. However, when you use an in-state book authorized by the state, that operator is paying taxes to the jurisdiction where it operates. Ostensibly, that money goes back to helping the state with various initiatives. It’s better than funneling your money to an offshore operator based somewhere far from your home community.

Better Customer Service

Legal and regulated books want you to get any issues resolved quickly so you can get back to betting. This means they have solid customer service channels and many different options, such as live chat, phone, or email./

Offshore books will have limited and slow customer service, so it’s hard to stay in the game.

Competitive Lines And Odds

Pennsylvania sportsbooks want to earn your betting money. They compete to offer the best lines and odds on any given game or match. No single sportsbook has the best lines or odds. Instead, some will win out on a certain bet while another might take the day for a different wager. This makes it a bettor’s market, as long as you’re willing to check multiple sportsbooks for advantageous odds.

Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In Pennsylvania

You can bet on mobile at any Pennsylvania sportsbook. Most of the legal sports betting sites in PA have dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android. You can download the apps from the iOS App Store or Google Play as you would with any other application.

Desktop betting is available, and it has its palace, but mobile betting has very specific benefits.

First, mobile betting is great if you’re on the go. This is especially true if you’re live betting, because every second and every minuscule odds change makes a big impact.

Also, if you think about it, chances are you watch games outside of your home a fair amount. You can use your mobile device to place bets at a friend’s house, a sports bar, or even in a stadium.

Many of Pennsylvania’s sportsbook apps are amazing. FanDuel and Draftkings stand out thanks to their ease of use. However, you can’t go wrong with betMGM, Caesars, or PointsBet either.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. Choose the app that best fits your style and run with it.

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