The Top Sports Betting Sites in Pennsylvania
Sports betting in Pennsylvania is completely legal, with both online and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in operation. If you’d like to try online sports betting in the state, check out one of our top picks today!
How Online Sports Betting in The Keystone State Became Legal
The comprehensive 2017 gaming expansion bill in Pennsylvania included sports betting and was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf. However, legal sports betting in the state couldn’t begin immediately.
It wasn’t until the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018 that Pennsylvania sportsbooks could get started. The first retail sportsbook opened at the Hollywood Casino in November 2018.
Online sports betting in PA soon followed. The first mobile sites were launched in May 2019, helping the state quickly grow into a powerhouse. Each one is attached to a brick-and-mortar casino, although outside operators can partner with them to run the live and online sports betting sites. There are several betting apps in the Keystone State, but it’s worth noting Android users will have an easier time accessing these programs as Apple has taken a stance against gambling & casino apps until they agree to adapt to Apple’s unique programming language.
PA sports betting allows for a full range of single game, parlay, and proposition betting. Esports and non-sports betting is not allowed in the state, but unlike in several other states, you can bet on college teams and events located within Pennsylvania.
Online casino sites are fully legal in Pennsylvania, with many casinos now featuring online play options. If you want to play at one of the top gambling sites in PA, you can sign up for one of our recommended online casinos right now!
How Did the Keystone State Legalize Online Casinos?
The expansion of online casinos was a major aspect of the 2017 Pennsylvania gambling bill that greatly broadened all aspects of gaming in the state. The bill allowed licensed casinos to apply to operate online gambling sites that would offer casino-style table games and slots.
Like sports betting, however, it took some time for regulators to set the rules for these sites. The first online casinos didn’t go live in the state until July 2019. Today, several local brick-and-mortar casinos run online counterparts, as do some foreign operators who have earned licenses in Pennsylvania.
The Top Poker Sites in Pennsylvania
Online poker is the latest addition to the internet gambling scene in PA and is now fully legal and available, with players able to enjoy both cash game and tournament play. You can start playing at a Pennsylvania online poker site by signing up at one of our top-rated sites today!
The Legalization of Online Poker in PA
Like casinos, poker was included as a part of the omnibus Pennsylvania online gambling bill that was signed into law in 2017. However, it took a bit longer for the state’s sites to get up and running when compared to their casino counterparts.
After numerous delays – and a relative lack of interest from operators when compared to other casino games – the first online poker site in Pennsylvania launched in November 2019. That site immediately proved popular, quickly surpassing neighboring New Jersey in terms of cash game and tournament traffic.
The one downside to playing online poker in the Keystone State is that you cannot play against opponents from other states. While PA would be an attractive partner for interstate compacts, the uncertain future of the Wire Act which was passed in the 1960s to prohibit sports betting across state lines, has stalled efforts on those agreements for the time being.
The Top Daily Fantasy Sports Sites in Pennsylvania
Like most forms of gambling, daily fantasy sports sites are fully legal and regulated in the state. That means you can choose from a variety of legal DFS websites, including some of the most popular brands in the industry like these:
How Daily Fantasy Sports Sites Triumphed in PA
Like in many parts of the United States, online daily fantasy sports were a bit of a gray area in the state for several years. That meant that you could play on major DFS sites in the state, but there was no actual regulation of the industry.
Like many other things related to online gambling in the Keystone State, that changed in 2017 with the passage of a bill that approved comprehensive gaming expansion. The dramatic changes included taking daily fantasy sports sites and turning them into a taxed and regulated industry.
Today, you can play at around 10 legal and licensed daily fantasy sports sites in Pennsylvania. These sites offer contests in which players can compete against users from across the United States, meaning you can participate in all the big-money contests in football, baseball, basketball, and other sports.
The Keystone State’s Online Lottery
Online lottery sales were a major part of the 2017 gambling expansion bill in the state that we’ve already mentioned. As a part of that legislation, the Pennsylvania Lottery could offer instant scratch-off tickets, traditional lotto games, and keno online. This was done to ensure that new online gambling sites in the state wouldn’t cannibalize revenue from the Pennsylvania Lottery.
As a part of that expansion, however, the Pennsylvania Lotto was not allowed to offer any sort of casino-style games through its online portal, such as slot machines, blackjack, or poker. That rule was the subject of a lawsuit in 2019, in which the state’s casinos were unsuccessful in getting an injunction that would stop the PA Lotto from offering games that had features and graphics similar to slots.
Interestingly, this expansion made Pennsylvania the first state to allow both online casinos and online lottery play. That perhaps gives online gambling in Pennsylvania the most diverse mobile gaming selection of any state in the USA.
Other Important Gambling Facts About Pennsylvania
It’s worth noting that the 2017 law that legalized just about everything mentioned on this page also further expanded Pennsylvania’s land-based gaming industry. They allowed several new forms of gambling as part of that expansion, giving the state one of the broadest gaming industries in the country.
For instance, the 10 Pennsylvania commercial casinos could bid on the right to build smaller, satellite casinos in locations that were at least 25 miles from other casinos, provided that the local municipalities allowed them to do so. Limited forms of gambling were also approved for airports and truck stops throughout the state.
While most online gambling regulations in PA are like those in other states, one area of concern was the unusually high tax rate placed on the new sites. Not only did sports betting operators have to pay a $10 million licensing fee to get started, but they also were subjected to a 36 percent tax rate. Meanwhile, online slots had a 54 percent tax rate, the same as live slot machines. However, those high tax rates have done nothing to slow down the online gambling industry in Pennsylvania.
What Does the Future Hold for Online Gambling in the Keystone State?
The legalization of sports betting, online poker and online lottery gambling in PA makes it a state with one of the widest gaming industries in the land. With the new legislation, we can expect to see more gambling spots open throughout the state, and the appearance of many new regulated online casinos for the state’s residents to place their bets.