Sports betting in Pennsylvania

According to a 2022 survey by Statista, over 13 million people reside in Pennsylvania, making it one of the most populous states in the US. As the gambling industry grows within the country, one would expect PA to be one of the front runners in the US. Indeed, PA accounts for one of the largest online sports betting markets in the US and there are no signs of slowing down.

Aside from the revenue the state generates from the PA sports betting tax, it also provides numerous employment opportunities which improve the state’s economy at large. While Pennsylvania sports betting was sanctioned in 2017, there wasn’t so much going on until the pioneering retail sports betting sportsbook launched in November 2018.

The online version followed shortly after in May 2019 which paved way for other sportsbooks to establish themselves in PA. In this article, we will dig deep into PA online sports betting history. We’ll also discuss the betting options in Pennsylvania, the various payment options available to bettors, some of the reputable PA sportsbooks, and more. Let’s dive right in!

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📖 Published on: June 8th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 3 months ago

⏳ 19 mins read

BEST OFFERS IN Pennsylvania AS OF February 2024

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Free Bets
Up to $1500 Paid Back if You Don't Win
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Pennsylvania sports betting bonuses and how they work

Bonuses are incentives provided by sportsbooks to their customers to encourage them to place wagers. Typically, a bonus will help you mitigate the risks associated with wagering and also position you to win bigger. For instance, instead of having to wager real money on PA bets, you can use a free bet to wager and still profit from it.

Some of these bonuses may require promo codes to redeem. All you need to do is to enter the code as required.

There are various promo offers you may find on a PA sportsbook. This includes welcome bonus(or sign-up bonus), deposit bonus, odds booster, and more. Some of the common promo offers are:


Welcome bonus

As the name suggests, a welcome bonus is awarded to a new customer that registers an account with a sportsbook. This bonus is usually redeemable once unless as specified by the sportsbook. It is noteworthy that there may be certain wagering conditions that need to be met before you can withdraw any profit made.


Deposit bonus

To encourage new bettors, some PA sports books also offer new customers a deposit bonus(typically on the first deposit). For instance, you may be awarded a $20 bonus when you fund your betting account with $150 or more. This deposit bonus may also have wagering conditions that players are required to follow.


Odds booster

Odds are multipliers for your bet. When you bet on an event, there’s a probability of your prediction being true or false. The higher the probability of your predicted outcome, the lower the odds. Likewise, the lower the probability of your predicted outcome, the higher the odds.

An odd booster will improve the potential winnings from your bet. For instance, if you bet $100 on a sporting event with 1.20 odds, your winnings will normally amount to $120. However, with an odd booster applied to the bet, you can win $135. You don’t need to bother yourself so much about the calculation as the sportsbook will usually display it.


No deposit bonus

Sportsbooks understand that when a new customer registers an account, such a customer may be initially reluctant to place a bet. This is where the no-deposit bonus comes to play. It’s usually awarded to new players or returning players whose accounts have been dormant for a long period.

Customers can use the bonus to test their readiness in gambling at no risk. The bonus could be a small credit of maybe $15, however, it differs with sportsbooks.


Note: Remember that these bonuses may not be available on all sportsbooks so be sure to check the offers on a sportsbook before settling for it. Also, promotions only last for a while. Ensure you use the offer within the specified period otherwise, you’d automatically forfeit it.

How to wager

While you may think online wagering in PA is pretty straightforward, it may be quite tricky if you don’t know your way around it. Bettors can engage in Pennsylvania sports betting in two ways–online or at retail sportsbooks

To take part in PA sports betting at retail sportsbooks, follow these steps:

  1. Locate and visit a retail sportsbook around you.
  2. Approach the counter and request to place a bet. If you already have a bet in mind, request it. Otherwise, you can ask the staff for the Pennsylvania betting options.
  3. Place your bet.


Most players however find retail gambling stressful especially if your preferred sportsbook isn’t close to your location. You don’t have to subject yourself to stress as you can wager from the comfort of your home. Several bookmakers allow players to wager online, all you need to get started is an account with the bookmaker.


To get started with PA sports betting online, follow these steps:


Choose a sports betting app

While there are several sportsbook PA offers, one common error new bettors make is choosing the wrong one. Before choosing a bookmaker, verify if the bookmaker offers your desired features. Don’t just settle for a sportsbook based on surface recommendations or reviews. Some of the criteria to consider include:

  • General customer service
  • Promo offer and bonuses
  • Online betting PA options and markets
  • Ease of withdrawal and deposit


Register an account

Once you find a PA sports betting app that suits you, the next step is to register an account with such an app. The process is usually instant but may vary with bookmakers. Typically, you’d need to provide a few pieces of information including legal name, address, email, phone number, bank information for deposits and withdrawals, and more.

You may be required to answer some extra questions as required by the bookmaker but you need not worry. Once you’re of legal age and have no other restrictions, you’re all set.


Understand how wagers work

After signing up for an account, the next thing is to think about wagering. However, you can’t do that without first understanding how bets work otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for big losses.


Place your bet

Once you have an understanding of how bets work, the final step is to place your wagers. To place your wager:

  • Select the sport and event you wish to bet on
  • Enter your staken
  • Confirm your bet and await the outcome.

Pennsylvania sport betting

Betting Options In Pennsylvania

The good thing about PA sports betting is that bettors have a wide range of betting options to play around with. Players can wager on the following sports:

  • NBA Basketball
  • Soccer
  • NBA Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Major League Basketball
  • Boxing
  • National Football League
  • Golf
  • College Football
  • National Hockey League
  • Car racing
  • Canadian Football League


Let’s take a look at the common types of bets Pennsylvania sportsbooks offer:


Point spread

This is one of the common PA betting markets. A point spread is the predicted margin of victory for the favorite or the margin of loss for the underdog. If one is betting on the favorite, such a team must cover the spread.

For instance, if a bookmaker offers a +3.5 point spread for Detroit Lions in an NFL game, it means Detroit Lions are the underdogs in such a game(- sign is for the favorite). If a bettor wagers on this game, Detroit Lions must not lose by 4 points or more. If they can achieve this, the bet is won. Otherwise, it’s lost. A draw can’t occur because of the decimal difference.

Likewise, if the point spread offered is -3.5, this means that Detroit Lions are regarded as the favorites for the game. If a bettor wagers on the favorites, Detroit Lions must win by at least 4 points to cover the spread and win the bet.



Over/Under bets are also fairly straightforward. Bettors only need to predict the minimum or the maximum number of times an event will occur. For instance, let’s consider a soccer match between LA Galaxy and Nashville SC. An over 9.5 corner wager means a bettor is backing both teams to play at least 10 corners in total throughout 90 mins of regular play.

Also, an under 4.5 goals wager means the bettor expects the total goals by both teams to be less than five. If this outcome occurs, the wager is won. The available over/under betting options depend on the sports you’re betting on. In soccer, gamblers can wager on shots, goals, corners, bookings, and more. In NBA basketball, you can wager on points, goals, or runs.

To profit off over/under bets, you should be knowledgeable about the teams or players you want to wager on. In soccer, if the fixture is between two attacking teams, you’d usually expect a high number of goals, shots, and corners which makes over bets the wiser option. For a defensive fixture, under bet is better as you’d expect lesser penetration between both teams.



Unline point spread, moneyline is simpler and direct. In most sports, there are three outcomes–a win, a draw, or a loss. Hence, a player can bet on any of these outcomes. This kind of gambling is beginner friendly as you just need to pick an outcome. Keep in mind that in some PA sports like NBA basketball, a draw is not possible.

Other bets include live betting, prop bets, futures, and more.


Pennsylvania sport betting 2


College sports betting in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the US states where college PA sports betting is legal. The move is reasonable as many people have a strong fondness for their college teams just as they do for regular pro teams. Two sports that attract the most interest in college PA sports are football and basketball.

Of course, when one thinks of college football in Pennsylvania, the ever-gallant Penn State is one of the first names that comes to mind. This is largely attributed to the fact that it’s the largest school in PA. Pro footballers who were former Penn State Football team players also give the college a healthy PR.

Depositing and withdrawing at sportsbook sites

Sportsbooks offer customers a wide range of payment options which makes Pennsylvania sports betting smooth. While the payment options may vary with bookmakers, there are usually multiple options worth considering.

The common payment platforms include:

  • PayNearMe
  • Play+ Prepaid Card
  • Online Banking
  • Gift Card

Usually, sportsbooks make use of deposit options for withdrawals. Also, note that online sports betting Pennsylvania bookmakers have different payment limits. This is why it’s important to assess your choices before settling for a sportsbook.

Pros of setting online in Pennsylvania


Ease of accessibility

Thanks to technology, you don’t have to be physically present at Pennsylvania sports betting outlets to wager. This provides players with the desired convenience and flexibility–nothing beats that really.


Promotional offers and bonus

Online sports betting PA bookmakers offer very good promos and bonuses which players can use to their advantage.


Multiple payment methods

One of the highlights of online PA sports betting is the payment ease. Unline retail betting where you might have limited options, you can easily choose from a myriad of payment options when you wager online.


Best odds

When you wager on PA sports online, you can easily explore different bookmakers and check the ones that offer the best odds.


Betting options

Players that engage in Pennsylvania sports betting online have a variety of betting options. You can bet on sports like basketball, hockey, soccer, car racing, baseball, and more.


Track bets

One of the things you want to be able to do as a bettor is to track the progress of your bets. When you wager on PA sports online, you can easily monitor your bets from your app.

Trustworthy sports betting apps

After you decide to engage in PA sports betting, it is crucial to make your research and only wager on a reputable bookmaker. As mentioned earlier, ensure that your choice of bookmaker satisfies your needs before wagering. If you choose the wrong bookmaker, your bet is as good as gone.

This could be quite daunting especially if you are new to Pennsylvania sports betting. However, we’ve got good advice that’ll help you whenever you want to make a decision. Let’s dissect the major criteria to consider when choosing betting apps.


Customer service

You should select a bookmaker with great customer service. If lots of players have negative experiences with a particular app, then you might as well avoid such an app.


Betting options

As a Pennsylvania sports betting player, you’d desire some level of flexibility. A bookmaker that offers various betting options is more suitable than one with limited options.


Promo and bonus offers

One common feature with Pennsylvania sports betting bookmakers is the use of promotional offers to entice players. It’s a good sign when a sportsbook delivers bonuses to its customers frequently. However, don’t be totally swayed by bonuses, quality first.


Payment speed

When you wager and win, the next step is to request a withdrawal. You don’t want to choose an app that takes so much time to settle your winnings. Most Pennsylvania sports betting apps are usually fast with payments but hey! you can never tell.


Competitiveness of odds

Before you choose a Pennsylvania sports betting app, compare the odds offered to other apps. Are the odds competitive or are they significantly lower than the competitors?


As a bettor, you’d want to go for the app that offers reasonable odds when compared to others. But remember not to fixate on high odds. The rule remains the same–quality first.

Sports betting history

The 1971 Act 9 put the Pennsylvania state lottery in place which would be the start of a would-be milestone. After the bill passed, several entities pushed the motion for casinos to be established in the 1980s and 1990s but it didn’t quite work out as planned. The people of Pocono Mountains Resort Area defiantly dismissed the motion as gambling was regarded as a negative vice(mostly because of the situation of Nevada at the time).

However, there was going to be another effort made soon. Pro-gambling entities believed they were going to have their way with riverboat casinos in 1993 but again, the opposition against gambling was too strong. This eventually led to the failure to establish riverboat casinos in the area. It wasn’t any different in 1999 but it would signify the turnaround of events.

Significant progress to legalize gambling was made in 2004. PA passed the Pennsylvania Racehorse Development and Gaming Act which made casinos and racetracks in PA legal. Racetracks quickly flourished which created thousands of employment opportunities. Also, tax revenues were put to work in the state and these positives changed people’s pessimistic views on gambling.

This success momentum was carried on as the PA legislature passed a bill that legalized casino gambling in October 2017. Shortly after, the US supreme court abolished the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PAPSA) – the law that allowed only four US states to offer sports betting. This abolishment meant that PA casinos could finally provide sports betting services.

The main factor that led to the legalization of Pennsylvania sports betting was to improve the state’s economy. PA collects a one-time $10 million license fee and 36% of bookmakers’ profits as tax. This money goes a long way in improving the state’s financial state and creating jobs for PA residents.



You may ask “is sports betting legal in Pennsylvania?” Yes, bettors are legally allowed to participate in online sports gambling in PA. Due to the stringent laws and different policies in US states, it is necessary to know the state’s ruling on Pennsylvania online sports betting. Otherwise, one may get himself into tough situations.

The attempt to legalize sports betting in Pennsylvania was initiated in 2015 however, the process was a meticulous one and there wasn’t any real compromise till two years later. In 2017, sports betting became legal after PA’s 47th Governor, Tom Wolf, signed the gambling expansion which included Pennsylvania sports betting. Before this development, sports betting was only legal in Nevada.

The authority responsible for regulating sports betting in PA is the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board(PCGA). There are some conditions associated with PA sports gambling online which include:

  • Bettors must be older than 21 years as it’s the legal gambling age in the state. Any bettor younger than this age is deemed to be involved in illegal gambling.
  • Players can register a betting account online from any location without restrictions. However, bettors must be within PA state lines to legally place bets.
  • Individuals with direct involvement with teams or leagues are prohibited from gambling on events associated with them.
  • To operate in PA, online sportsbooks must partner a sportsbook with a physical location in the state.


These laws were created not only to protect bettors from fraudulent sportsbooks but also to block money laundering.


Can I bet on sports in PA?

Yes, you can wager on sports in PA - either through retail outlets or online. Bettors have the freedom to wager on any sport of their choosing including football, soccer, basketball, hockey, racing, and more.

Where can I place a sports bet in Pennsylvania?

You can place your bets on a retail sportsbook or online using your device.

Is sports betting legal in PA?

Yes, sports betting is totally legal in PA. Players can wager on several sports online or at retail sportsbooks. However, you have to be at least 21 years old to participate in online PA sports betting. Also, wagering on esports and sports played by underaged individuals is illegal.

When did sports betting become legal in PA?

Sports betting was legalized in 2017 after Gov Tom Wolf signed a gambling expansion bill. However, there wasn't much progress till 2018.

Katarina Oakshore
Editor | Casinos and Gambling