The state of Pennsylvania wasted little time in legalizing sports betting and getting things up and running. In fact, many other states looked to Pennsylvania as an example that they could use to try and get sports betting started up in their state. Pennsylvania has a terrific sports culture with some outstanding professional teams, and it is no surprise that sports betting has done extremely well in the state. The state began with retail operations being allowed to take bets on sports, but they have recently expanded into online and mobile gambling. There are still some things that need to be sorted out, but Pennsylvania has been seeing increased revenue since betting was legalized, and their numbers will continue to rise moving forward.
AT A GLANCE
Sports betting in Pennsylvania has been live since November of 2018 with retailers able to apply for licenses to accept bets. Recently, the state’s first ever mobile betting app was launched, and casinos are set to launch their own betting apps as the summer goes on.
If you are looking to place a bet on sports in the state of Pennsylvania then you will need to visit a casino or mini-casino close to you. There are currently 8 casinos that offer sports betting, with others set to join in the near future. Off-track betting locations throughout the state are also able to offer sports betting with some limitations.
Sports fans in Pennsylvania are extremely lucky and blessed to have so many great professional teams to root for. There have been several championship parades held in the state in the 21st century, and a few other franchises appear to be close to joining the party. There are some storied franchises in almost every sport that are driving betting in Pennsylvania.
Status of Sports Betting
The state of Pennsylvania was quick to get on board with the sports betting industry, and actually had plans in placed before the Supreme Court’s ruling that lifted the federal ban. Hollywood Casino, in Grantville, PA had their sports betting framework in place back in 2017, and were able to get things going shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision. Pennsylvania started off a bit slow, but things have really picked up in the last few months. Casinos were able to get the first chance to purchase licenses to offer sports betting, and several of them took advantage of the chance at increasing their revenue.
Pennsylvania also realized that making online or mobile betting legal was something that needed to happen, but it did take them some time to figure it all out. The first official sports betting app in Pennsylvania was launched in late May, but others are set to follow in the month of July 2019. Even though the state does have plenty of casinos throughout, online and mobile betting is an easier way for bettors to place bets on their favorite team. As of June 1, 2019, mobile betting was only available on Android devices, but expect that to change in the very near future.
Even though casinos are making plenty of money off of sports betting, there are several locations that have been slow to jump on board. The state is charging a $10 million licensing fee which is scaring a few casinos away, and there is a 36 percent tax rate on for these retailers. Both of these numbers are quite a bit higher than other states with similar laws, and it has slowed down the process just a little bit. The state does allow bets to be placed on college teams in Pennsylvania, and that isn’t the case with several other states with legalized sports betting.
Where to Bet Sports
The best place to bet on sports inside of the state of Pennsylvania is at their casinos that are currently licensed to take bets. There are currently eight casinos that are licensed to take bets, but more are expected to join in relatively soon. Online and mobile betting is just getting underway and there are still some kinks left to work through. Placing a bet at home might end up being the best option for most sports fans. Let’s take a quick look at some of the top casinos and places to bet in the state of Pennsylvania.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course- This casino is located in Grantville, PA and was the first one to offer sports betting in the state. The Hollywood Casino launched their sports betting operation on November 16, 2018 and are probably running the smoothest operation due to being in operation for the longest time. William Hill is the betting provider, and you can expect that this casino will wind up offering mobile betting in the near future. This casino already featured a very solid online gambling platform, and they offer several different ways to deposit and withdraw money. Bettors should feel safe with their money at Hollywood Casino.
Rivers Casino- Rivers Casino is a hotspot for Pirates and Steelers fans as it is located in the city of Pittsburgh. Rivers Casino was one of two establishments to launch their sports betting platform on December 13, 2018 and things have gone very smoothly there. This is one of three casinos that has Kambi as the betting provider, and that should make bettors feel very comfortable. The venue features over 2,900 slot games and roughly 100 table games. There is also a 30-table poker room. As sports betting continues to grow in the state of Pennsylvania, Rivers Casino will play a larger role in the sports betting market in the city of Pittsburgh.
SugarHouse Casino- SugarHouse Casino was opened the same day as Rivers Casino, but this one is located in Philadelphia. It is a part of Rush Gaming Industries, and operates in much of the same way that Rivers Casino does. Since Philadelphia is near the New Jersey state line, SugarHouse set out to create a solid online platform that should be able to add on sports betting with little ease. This casino has some of the best customer service reviews out of any in the state of Pennsylvania and their location plays a huge role in their success.
Valley Forge Casino- Valley Forge Casino is one of the most recent casinos to offer sports betting in the “Keystone State.” Valley Forge Casino is located in King of Prussia, PA and the betting provider is FanDuel. Since FanDuel is one of the biggest DFS and online gambling companies in the world, it would make sense for Valley Forge to offer the same kind of thing as well. Valley Forge launched sports betting on March 11, 2019 and is one of just two category 3 resort casinos in the state.
Morgantown, York Mini-Casinos- There are also five mini-casinos throughout the state of Pennsylvania that will likely start taking bets before too long. The Morgantown and York locations are owned and operated by Hollywood Casinos, and are just smaller versions of the bigger casinos. These mini-casinos can only have a certain number of table games and slots, but they will likely be given the chance to add sports betting. Most of these locations are located in remote parts of the state, and it might be easier for sports fans to get to these locations.
Parx Northeast Turf Club OTB- There are eight Off-Track Betting sites throughout the state of Pennsylvania, and they all are going to have the ability to take best on sports. One of the biggest and best sites is the Parx Northeast Turf Club which is associated with other large casinos in the state. Parx has included their OTB locations in their application for a sports betting license, and they have made it clear that they want to be able to take bets on all sports at this location. Currently, Off-track betting establishments are only able to take bets on racing bets that are simulcast at the track.
SugarHouse Sportsbook App- For sports fans who aren’t looking to travel, the SugarHouse Sportsbook App might be the perfect solution. SugarHouse is a very reputable casino and they already have a similar sports betting app in the state of New Jersey. They began live testing this app on May 28, 2019 and things appear to be going well. As of the beginning of June, this app is only available on Android devices, but is expected to be out on iOS before long. Online and mobile betting has become extremely popular throughout the country, and could wind up being the best betting location in PA as well.
PlaySugarHouse.com is launched in late May as the first official online sportsbook in the state of Pennsylvania. The new website is offering no-vig bets for game three of the NBA Finals as a celebration of their new status. SugarHouse has the same type of online sportsbook in the state of New Jersey and has proven to be a tremendous leader in this field. The mobile app is only available on Android devices, but should be available on iOS before the end of the summer. Anyone looking to place a bet will have to create an account, and the site will match any new deposit up to $250.
Two new casinos filed paperwork on May 8, 2019 to become licensed to offer sports betting at their establishments. The Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy Casino Resort are hoping to get their applications approved in the early summer. This would open up a new portion of the state to sports betting as both casinos are located in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania. These two casinos became the first to apply for a license since the 8th casino opened up in March 2019.
April 22, 2019: It took longer than most people wanted, but the state of Pennsylvania has announced a plan to legalize mobile sports betting. SugarHouse will be the first company to obtain a license and hopes to begin a testing period before the NBA Finals begin in June. Almost all of the casinos currently in operation in the state have a mobile platform, the transition to online sports betting should be smooth.
Sports Teams That Drive Betting
The state of Pennsylvania has no shortage of professional sports teams that are no doubt driving sports betting. Professional franchises are located in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and several of them are some of the most storied franchises in all of sports. Both cities will claim to have the best teams and the best fans, but they are both bringing in a ton of money for the state.
The NBA is the only professional league that has just one team located in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia 76ers have had their fair share of tough times in recent years, but they appear to be on the rise. As the Sixers continue to improve and challenge for NBA Championships, betting on them will become even more popular as well.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles have both won a Super Bowl title in the last decade, and they have some of the most dedicated fans in the world. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are both blue-collar towns, and their teams represent that mentality. The NFL has no problem aligning itself with sports betting, and the Steelers and Eagles are major players in the state.
The Philadelphia Phillies had to feel like they won the lottery this summer when Bryce Harper chose to sign with them. The Pittsburgh Pirates are a proud franchise as well, and have had some recent success. Betting on baseball has always been a touchy subject for obvious reasons, but there is plenty of action on the Phillies and Pirates by baseball fans.
Hockey isn’t popular in every state across the country, but that isn’t the case in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Flyers are extremely popular on the East Coast, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have had plenty of recent success in the NHL. Betting on hockey isn’t always easy, but the Penguins and Flyers are getting people betting in PA.
Since betting on collegiate sporting events in legal in Pennsylvania, the two major in-state universities will likely help drive betting as well. Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh are two of the biggest universities in the state, but Temple and Villanova also call the “Keystone State” home. Villanova has recently has tremendous success on the basketball court.
Even though all of the major sports teams are located in just two cities, they are followed closely by everyone in the state. There is a reason that sports betting has been so successful in Pennsylvania since it was legalized, and the list of teams above is a big reason why. Pennsylvania natives love their sports, and they apparently love betting on their favorite teams.
The state of Pennsylvania is full of casinos and mini-casinos that offer slot machines and table games. These locations can provide sports betting if they apply for a license and are approved.
Sports betting has really become the state’s fastest growing industry, and that is going to continue to rise with the addition of online and mobile gambling set to fully launch this summer.
Horse race betting was made legal in the state of Pennsylvania in the 1960’s and more and more off track betting sites are popping up across the state. There are at least six live horse racing tracks in the state of PA.
Poker is 100 percent legal in the state of Pennsylvania and online gambling and poker has been legal since October 2017. Current online gambling operations and casinos will have the first shots at getting a sports betting license.
Daily Fantasy Sports is fully legal in the state of Pennsylvania, and is taxed at a rate of 15 percent. DraftKings and FanDuel both have a presence in the state, and will continue to grow with mobile and online betting.
Pennsylvania established a state lottery in 1971, and are a part of the multi-state Mega Millions after joining in 2010. Revenue from the PA state lottery must go to help funding social programs throughout the state.
Sports Betting Timeline
July 2019: Online casinos are set to launch their mobile betting.
May 28, 2019: SugarHouse Sportsbook launches first sports app in PA.
March 12, 2019: Valley Forge becomes the 8th casino to start taking sports bets.
December 13, 2018: Two other casinos begin to offer sports betting.
November 16, 2018: Hollywood Casino is first to take a sports bet in PA.
Fall 2017: Pennsylvania begins to set up sports betting framework.