Pennsylvania Sports Betting Laws
Even though many states are just now starting to introduce bills and potential legislation to legalize sports betting, PA was years ahead of the game. Back in 2017, Representative Jason Ortitay introduced PA H 271,a House bill that would legalize gambling on sports in the event that the federal law PASPA got overturned. The bill was signed into law in October of that same year. Then, in May of 2018, PASPA was repealed and sports betting became officially legal in the state.
With the new law, now known as Act 42, the laws were set for the activity. The first being that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was in charge of setting up regulations, approving any applications, and overseeing the operations of venues offering sports gambling. In order to be approved by the state, an establishment has to already have had a slot machine license, be willing to pay an initial $10 million-dollar fee, and pay a tax rate of 36% on all revenue the establishment keeps from sports betting.
The law also includes the ability for anyone that is approved to offer online or mobile sports betting throughout the state. You won’t have to register in person, rather your device will be geo-fenced in the state’s borders by the device’s IP address. However, even though certain sportsbook operators in PA offer this technology in other state’s they have yet to introduce it in Pennsylvania. For bettors that can’t make it to physical locations in time before an upcoming matchup, they still have the option to use online offshore sportsbooks since there is nothing in the state law that specifically outlaws that.
The Legality Of Sports Betting In Pennsylvania
When it comes to who you can wager on, PA sports betting laws give you a little bit of leeway. You can place wagers on any professional or collegiate team located in-state or out of state. The wagering types available at land-based casinos are also not limited and can include futures, props, teasers, and live-betting. When state-authorized online sportsbooks come to PA they are expected to offer the same rules as their physical counterparts. However, even if you are a resident of Pennsylvania, as soon as you step outside the state’s borders you will not be able to access those online platforms.
If you use online offshore sportsbooks however, you will be able to access all the latest odds from your internet connected device no matter where you travel to. Even though Act 42 seemed to mention every possible way to bet on sports, the law failed to mention any restrictions from residents accessing these sites. There are also no federal laws affecting the legality of sports betting in Pennsylvania so bettors can feel safe when using these sites.
Where To Legally Bet On Sports In Pennsylvania
If you enjoy the physical sportsbook experience more than betting online, you will find several options in PA that will suit your needs. Each one of these sports betting venues comes with a different aesthetic and different location so you can find a gaming establishment that’s either convenient for you or as luxurious as your heart desires. Even though the number of casinos accepting sports bets in the state continues to grow, offshore sportsbook are still the most common way for players to bet on sports. Most sports enthusiasts have been using these sites for decades, and the top online sportsbooks still legally accept PA residents. As the land-based venues are starting to offer some competition, we’ve provided a short list of which ones are doing so now and the cities that they are located in.
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Legal Age To Bet On Sports In Pennsylvania
According to state law, the legal age to bet on sports in Pennsylvania is 21. This is the same age that is required for anyone that wants to gamble inside of a casino. When the casino’s offer mobile and online sports wagering options the required age to use them will still be 21. The online offshore sportsbooks that many residents use now only accept players that are 18 or older. However, even though it might be tempting to get a three-year head start using this option, it is always recommended that you stick with the gambling ages assigned by the state.
PA Sports Betting FAQ's
Are Online Sportsbooks Safe To Use If You Live Pennsylvania?
Absolutely. The Pennsylvania law allows residents to use online sportsbooks no matter where they are located in the state. There are also no penalties set for people that prefer to use online offshore sportsbooks instead of ones regulated by the state. The state also has no jurisdiction over the operations of these sites because they are housed in other countries.
What Should I Do If My Bank Didn't Process My Credit Or Debit Card Deposit?
There is no need to panic in this scenario. If you are using online offshore sports betting sites this may occur because of a federal law known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The law sounds scarier than it actually is and doesn’t truly affect PA sports bettors. The best course of action to take in this scenario is to call the sportsbook cashier and explain your dilemma. They’ll usually be able to processes your deposit in a second try and if not can accept deposits through alternate means.
What Is The Best Way To Fund Your PA Sports Betting Account?
The best way depends mainly on how you plan to bet. When it comes to online sportsbooks, each method comes with its own minimum and maximum deposit amounts. Each deposit method also varies in the amount of time it takes to reach your account. The good news is that you’ll have plenty of options which include using a Card, mailing a check, or even using cryptocurrencies. As for land-based sports betting casinos in PA, you may be more restricted as to how you can make bets. For example, Rivers Casino will only accept cash deposits and require a five dollar minimum.
Do Pennsylvania Sports Betting Sites Have Odds On Football?
Yes, of course. All of the PA sports betting sites available now have odds on both NFL and college football teams in the state. You even have the option to parlay your bets across both levels of football. This means that if you believe the Nittany Lions and the Eagles are going to win in the same weekend you can bet on it.
Do Legal PA Online Sportsbooks Have Live Betting?
Yes, all of the top legal PA online sportsbooks a live betting feature. This allows users the ability to place wagers on key stats as the game unfolds in real time. Meaning that you could be watching a 76rs game and bet on whether or not a player will score a certain number of threes before they even shoot the ball. These odds change as the game progresses so you will have to be quick and vigilant when using this method. The same goes for all of the land-based sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. Each of them offers in-game wagering, but for some of them you will have to physically place that wager at one of their betting windows. This may slow you down and cause you to miss the best possible odds.
Can I Have More Than One Online Sportsbook Account In Pennsylvania?
Not only can you have more than one sports account in PA, it’s actually encouraged. Each online sportsbook comes with their own betting lines and can vary from site to site. Being a member to multiple sites will allow you to shop lines and find odds that you’re most comfortable betting on. When comparing these lines to ones being offered at land-based PA sportsbooks you will usually find that the vig is lower for home teams, giving you a chance to win more when betting on the Eagles, Penguins, Phillies and other PA teams.
Betting On Horse Racing In PA
Betting on horse racing in Pennsylvania has been legal ever since the Race Horse Industry Reform Act was signed into law in 1959. Title 3 Subchapter B offers a comprehensive guide as to the legality of pari-mutuel wagering and the rules of the activity in the state. All the racetracks must adhere to the State Horse Racing Commission and must obtain a license from them in order to offer bets on their races. PA racetracks do have the freedom to offer interstate simulcasts so that you can bet on races that are happening outside of Pennsylvania. You also don’t necessarily have to be at the race course either because off-track pari-mutuel wagering is legal.
However, horse racing in Pennsylvania is something that you may want to see in person. The state is home to top-notch racinos such as the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Presque Isle Downs and Casino, and the Meadows Racetrack and Casino. There you will be able to watch live races but also have access to luxury simulcast areas, fine dining, and bar options as well. If you’re not able to make it to one of these racinos, the same offshore betting sites that will accept your sports bets will also have the same quality racebooks available as well. This makes horse race betting in Pennsylvania available anywhere you have an internet connection.
The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Pennsylvania
Daily fantasy sports in Pennsylvania became officially regulated in May of 2018. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) oversees the DFS industry in the state and charges operators a license fee of $50,000 for every five years and a 15% tax of all gross revenue generated by the activity. Businesses such as FanDuel and DraftKings were more than willing to pay this cost and have been legally serving PA residents ever since. However, one of the major operators in the country, Yahoo DFS, did not in apply for a license when granted the initial opportunity. When they did join the mix of legal options the very next month they ended up reporting a loss and demanded a refund from the PGCB. Even though daily fantasy sports got off to a rocky start in PA, the industry is now thriving and is a fun way to bet on sports with friends, co-workers, or family.