Pennsylvania Sports Betting

Pennsylvania is a sports betting state. Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course accepted the first wager in state history on Nov. 17, 2018. Since then, Pennsylvanians have received several options to place bets on their favorite teams.

Another seven retail sportsbooks have subsequently joined Hollywood Casino in the state. They are:

Additionally, three more physical sportsbooks are set to open in the Keystone State in the coming months:

  • Mohegan Sun Pocono
  • Mount Airy
  • Presque Isle Downs
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PA online sports betting apps

Online sports betting is legal in the state. SugarHouse Sportbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, BetRivers Sportsbook and Parx Sportbook are already operating in Pennsylvania.

Several online books are expected to open for business in the spring and summer of 2019. The following PA casinos are expected to open online sportsbooks along with online partners:

  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (William Hill)
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia (powered by Caesars Sportsbook)

Placing sports bets through a mobile platform offers the customer a number of conveniences as compared to visiting a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

To begin with, there is a considerable savings of time and other expenditures related to physically transporting oneself to a sportsbook when one utilizes a sportsbook app. Bettors also have the chance to conduct their research and review betting markets and options at their convenience and in an environment free of distraction and interruptions when they utilize a mobile platform; this as opposed to attempting to do the same within the often fast-paced, hectic and noise-filled setting of a retail sportsbook location.

Sports betting apps are particularly appealing to those engaging in in-play betting. Wagering on an athletic contest while it’s occurring involves sometimes rapidly changing odds and therefore requires expedient decisions and processing. This is clearly best accomplished through a mobile platform.

Now, PA online sports betting is finally here. On May 28, 2019, SugarHouse began a mandatory three-day testing period for its mobile sports betting platform. Parx and Rivers sportsbooks initiated their respective testing periods on June 27, 2019. All three operators resumed full operations immediately after their testing periods concluded.

The trio is expected to be joined by multiple operators before the kickoff of the 2019 NFL season. These forthcoming mobile sports betting providers include:

Read on for an overview of the best Pennsylvania online sports betting apps:

SugarHouse Sportsbook app (SugarHouse Casino)

The SugarHouse sportsbook app in Pennsylvania significantly emulates the New Jersey version in look and feel. The app made its official debut May 31, 2019, although it had entered a three-day testing phase May 28.

SugarHouse has the added advantage of basically doing its sports betting in-house, as the correlated Rush Street Interactive runs online gaming operations. European company Kambi Group helps to power the NJ and PA sportsbooks.

SugarHouse’s online sportsbook is available both as a desktop/browser version and as an app for Android-based devices. As of July 17, 2019, the desktop/browser version is also accessible through iOS devices, although the app remains restricted to those users due to Apple’s new policies requiring that gambling-based apps require native iOS programming instead of HTML5 coding.

SugarHouse is in the midst of a gradual rebranding to “Rivers Philadelphia”. This new name will place it in synergy with in-state sister property, Rivers Casino, located in Pittsburgh. Both companies are owned by Rush Street Gaming.

SugarHouse offers customers a full array of wagering options on both North American and international sports. These include:

  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • MLS
  • NASCAR
  • MMA
  • TENNIS
  • GOLF
  • SOCCER
  • CYCLING
  • RUGBY
  • AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL

SugarHouse Casino customers will find a full selection of bet types on the operator’s online sports betting app. Some wagers are dependent on the particulars of each sport. Betting options offered by SugarHouse include:

  • Point spread/Run Line/Puck Line Bets
  • Over/Under Totals Bets
  • Moneyline Bets
  • Parlays
  • Prop Bets
  • Teasers
  • In-game Prop Bets

SugarHouse Deposit Bonuses and Promotions

New SugarHouse customers receive a deposit match of up to $250 on their first deposit. The offer is only valid for new customers. Minimum $10 deposit required.

FanDuel Sportsbook app

FanDuel Sportsbook PA is available both as a desktop/browser version and as an app for Android and iOS devices. This gives FanDuel an immediate advantage over other online sports betting apps in PA that are restricted on iOS due to Apple’s new policies regarding gambling apps.

FanDuel Sportsbook app experience offers a wide range of betting options including point spreads, moneylines, totals, parlays, teasers, prop bets, round robins and an extensive list of live in-game wagers that will make every sporting event even more exciting.

FanDuel offers customers a full array of wagering options on both North American and international sports. These include:

  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • MLS
  • NASCAR
  • MMA
  • TENNIS
  • GOLF
  • SOCCER
  • CYCLING
  • RUGBY
  • CRICKET
  • HANDBALL
  • DARTS
  • SNOOKER
  • AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL

FanDuel Sportsbook Bonuses and Promotions

New FanDuel Sportsbook customers receive a risk-free bet of up to $500 on their first wager. The amount of the risk-free wager with match the amount of the first deposit. The offer is only valid for new customers. Minimum $10 deposit required to participate.

BetRivers App (Rivers Casino)

Rivers Casino offers Pennsylvania residents mobile sports betting through both its desktop site and its BetRivers app. The BetRivers app is essentially an identical match to that of SugarHouse Casino’s PlaySugarHouse, as both operators fall under the Rush Street Gaming umbrella.

BetRivers is available both in a desktop/browser version and as an app for Android-based devices. As of July 17, 2019, like PlaySugarHouse, the desktop/browser version is also accessible through iOS devices, although the app remains restricted to those users due to Apple’s new policies requiring that gambling-based apps require native iOS programming instead of HTML5 coding.

Rivers Casino offers customers a full array of wagering options on both North American and international sports. These include:

  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • MLS
  • NASCAR
  • MMA
  • TENNIS
  • GOLF
  • SOCCER
  • CYCLING
  • RUGBY
  • AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL

Rivers Casino customers will find a full selection of bet types on the operator’s online sports betting app. Some wagers dependent on the particulars of each sport. Betting options offered by Rivers include:

  • Point spread/Run Line/Puck Line Bets
  • Over/Under Totals Bets
  • Moneyline Bets
  • Parlays
  • Prop Bets
  • Teasers
  • In-game Prop Bets

Rivers Casino Deposit Bonuses and Promotions

New Rivers customers receive a deposit match of up to $250 on their first deposit. The offer is only valid for new customers. Minimum $10 deposit required.

Live betting in Pennsylvania

Live betting, or in-play betting, is available at Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks. Bettors can place wagers on a wide variety of in-game wagers while a sporting event is unfolding. This type of bet, which requires both prompt decision- making and processing, is ideal for a mobile sports betting platform.

In-play betting enables customers who wish to adapt and potentially exploit the direction of a game the ability to do so. It’s also designed to enable those who were unable to place an end-of-game wager (such as a point-spread or over/under bet) prior to the start of the contest the ability to do so after the game begins. Typically, in-play bet types include those two types of wagers, along with alternative point spreads and moneyline bets.

There are also in-play betting proposition bets available at Pennsylvania sportsbooks. An example of an in-play betting prop for a Major League Baseball game would be one where the bettor places a wager on whether a specific hitter in a certain inning will either get a hit or draw a walk. In an NFL came, an in-play prop example might be based on whether a team’s next possession in the game will end in a punt, field goal or touchdown.

In-play betting is sometimes conflated with “in-game betting”, which is significantly less granular in nature. In-play betting offers bettors the chance to place wagers throughout the course of an athletic event and features constantly changing odds as a result. In-game betting also allows for wagers to be placed after a game has started. However, odds typically only change during a timeout or commercial break during the game.

PA free bet offers and how to clear them

A popular promotion, especially for new customers, at some sportsbooks is a free bet offer. Free bet offers are exactly what their name implies, and there is really no true “catch” to these scenarios. To qualify, customers typically must sign up for an account on the sportsbook, and, at minimum, register a payment method as well. Sometimes, an initial deposit of a minimum modest amount (often $10) may also be required.

Otherwise, utilizing a free bet of a certain amount is very much like placing one utilizing your own funds, with one notable exception – if your bet is a winner, you’ll receive the required payout, but it won’t be accompanied by the amount of the wager. That’s justifiable when considering that you did not actually risk that amount to begin with.

More about PA online sports betting

Here is some more information on how to bet online in PA:

How to bet on PA sports betting apps and sites

Getting started at a sports betting site or app will involve a few steps:

  • If you want to bet on an app, you’ll first need to download the app for the corresponding sportsbook
  • Then you need to create your account, either via the app or the site. You’ll need to provide some personal information about yourself, including things like your name and address.
  • Once you go through that process, you’re almost ready to bet! If the sportsbook offered you a free bet with no-deposit, you can get started right away. If not, you’ll need to deposit. See a list of likely options below.

Banking on PA sportsbook apps

There should be many options for people who want to put money on sportsbook apps in PA. Some of the popular choices will include

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • E-checks
  • PayPal
  • NETELLER
  • Skrill
  • PayNearMe (via 7-Eleven)
  • Cash at a casino
  • Wire transfer

PA sportsbooks

Nine sportsbooks have opened for business in Pennsylvania so far. They are:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • Rivers Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • South Philadelphia Turf Club 
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Valley Forge Casino
  • Valley Forge Turf Club
  • Presque Isle Downs Casino

Hollywood Casino

Hollywood Casino‘s sportsbook opened for business on Nov. 17. It was the first location to open in Pennsylvania.

The sportsbook took the place of the property’s simulcast theater. The sportsbook operates in conjunction with strategic partner William Hill.

The book is open daily, from 11 a.m. until midnight. On weekends, the venue opens at 10 a.m.

The sportsbook, which spans roughly 5,000 feet, includes the following features:

  • 110-inch video wall
  • 36 televisions, with all major sports league subscriptions
  • 6 betting windows

Rivers Casino

The Rivers Casino sportsbook debuted on Dec. 15. Its sister property, SugarHouse Casino, opened its book the same day. Both properties are using Kambi for their software and hardware needs.

The sportsbook is operating in a temporary facility for right now. At the same time, Rivers is renovating the Levels Lounge to be the permanent book.

The temporary facility, however, is 3,000 square feet of space. Within that space, there are:

  • 15 HD televisions
  • 98 sq. ft. video wall
  • Live betting windows
  • Self-service kiosks

SugarHouse Casino

SugarHouse launched its retail sportsbook on Dec. 15. Both it and its fellow Rush Street Interactive property, Rivers Casino, are using Kambi to power their operations.

Like Rivers, SugarHouse is operating its sportsbook in a converted temporary space. The permanent facility is under construction in the former Lucky Red bar, and should open sometime in Spring 2019.

SugarHouse’s sportsbook is a smaller facility, with only 1800 square feet of space. However, there are plenty of features in the venue:

  • Seating for 70
  • 12 HD televisions
  • 98 sq. ft. video wall

Parx Casino

Parx Casino opened the doors on a temporary sportsbook on Jan. 10. The book took over the property’s old 360 Lounge while a permanent facility is finished.

The temporary sportsbook is 3,000 square feet of space. It features the following amenities:

  • 20 75-inch HD televisions
  • 2 144 sq. ft. television screens
  • 7 betting windows
  • 12 self-service betting kiosks

In addition, there are 30 more kiosks distributed throughout the property. So, Parx patrons don’t even have to visit the book to place their bets.

South Philadelphia Turf Club

The South Philadelphia Turf Club is the only sportsbook property in Pennsylvania not in a casino. The venue is an off-track betting parlor only steps away from Philadelphia’s three major sports arenas.

Nevertheless, Greenwood Gaming (which also owns Parx) outfitted the 27,000 square foot facility with $1 million of renovations to bring it up to speed. Some of the new features at SPTC include:

  • Additional televisions
  • 7 teller windows
  • 9 self-service kiosks
  • Modern signs and displays

Harrah’s Philadelphia

Harrah’s Philadelphia is the latest sportsbook to open for customers. Like all but Hollywood Casino, this facility is a temporary one during construction of the permanent venue.

However, the temporary area is likely nicer than some of the permanent ones that are still to come. The interim book features 45 HD televisions and lounge seating.

The permanent area will be even more special. It will encompass 4,300 square feet and feature the following:

  • 40 flat-screen televisions with major sports packages
  • 6 live teller windows
  • 2 horseracing terminals
  • Several self-service kiosks, both inside the book and around the casino

Pennsylvania Sports Betting History

2015

Sports betting started rumbling in Pennsylvania in 2015. At the time, the state of New Jersey was three years into a legal battle with the sports leagues regarding its own sports betting desires.

Whether Pennsylvania legislators were keeping track of the case is unknown. Regardless, the ball began rolling with Rep. Rick Kotik‘s introduction of H 1627 in October.

H 1627 sought to repeal the state ban on sports betting. While it didn’t go anywhere legislatively, it set the table for Rep. Rob Matzie‘s H 619 in December.

H 619 had a different focus. It directed its attention at the US Congress, urging the federal legislature to allow states with casino gambling to make their own choices on sports betting.

2016

In January, the House Gaming Oversight Committee passed Matzie’s bill. It then passed the House itself.

However, it had no real authority to cause change – it was more a statement for the record. H 619 also acted as a measuring stick for sports betting support in Pennsylvania.

2017

Emboldened by the success of the bill, Matzie struck again the following January. He introduced H 519.

The reach of the bill far surpassed its predecessors by not only modifying the Pennsylvania constitution, but also creating a regulatory framework for sports betting. The bill also ordered the PGCB to hammer out the specifics of regulation and called for a $5 million fee /18% tax combination on sports betting revenues.

This bill died after committee. H 271 did not.

This bill, a product of Rep. Jason Ortitay, was nominally a bill to fix the state’s gambling hotline. However, a budget deficit in Pennsylvania led to the bill’s transformation into a Christmas Tree bill.

H 271 ended up with seven revisions. Legislators added sports betting on the sixth.

The bill passed the General Assembly on the seventh version. Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law Oct. 30.

And then, the waiting on the Supreme Court began. The wait lasted until May 2018.