Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting Guide 2024

You may be interested in learning more about sports betting in Pennsylvania, but the first question that needs to be answered is: can you legally wager in PA?

Naturally, this predicament forms the heart of this Pennsylvania sports betting guide, as we take a look at the laws around betting in retail properties and online in the Keystone State.

Depending on the outcome, we can then begin to examine the key questions of sports wagering in PA – how and where, being the most important of them!

So, let’s get started by examining the relevant Pennsylvania sports betting laws.

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Discover if sports betting is live and legal in Pennsylvania.
  • Learn how to improve your sports betting.
  • See if, how and when you have to pay tax on your gambling winnings.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Pennsylvania? 

It was in May 2018 that the US Supreme Court repealed the old PASPA legislation that prohibited sports betting in the vast majority of the US.

A small handful of states were watching with interest – not the least Pennsylvania, which had already changed state law so that if sports betting were ever legalized, sportsbooks could be welcomed to its soil immediately.

Therefore, Pennsylvania sports betting is live and legal – indeed, PA was one of the first states in the entire country to begin accepting wagers. Our page dedicated to the US states with legal sports betting shows how the Keystone State joins Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, and New Mexico on the list of early adopters. 

  • October 2017: Governor Tom Wolf passes House Bill 271, the law that subsequently legalized sports betting in PA.
  • May 2018: The PASPA Act was struck down by the US Supreme Court, handing each state the discretion to legalize sports betting as it wishes.
  • July 2018: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board began accepting applications from interested sportsbooks.
  • November 2018: The first retail sports bet in Pennsylvania was placed at the Hollywood Casino (Penn National).
  • May 2019: The first licensed online sportsbooks were launched.

Fun fact: A local man, Kenneth Sweeney, was the first person to place a legal sports bet in Pennsylvania. He backed the Steelers to win Super Bowl LIII.

10 Quick Facts About Pennsylvania’s Sports Betting Law

  1. Pennsylvania law: Lawmakers passed HB 271 in October 2017, a full eight months before the ban on sports betting was lifted in the Supreme Court. The first land-based sportsbooks launched in November 2018, with online betting platforms following in May 2019.
  2. Legal age: The minimum age to bet legally on sports in Pennsylvania is 21. This applies to both retail and online wagering, with your identity checked (where applicable) to confirm your date of birth.
  3. State borders: Pennsylvania is bordered by six other states: Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and New Jersey. All surrounding states also welcome sports betting, both online and retail.
  4. Retail bookmakers: At the time of writing, there are 13 active retail sportsbooks in PA. Those Pennsylvania sports betting locations include:
    • Rivers Casino
    • BetRivers, FanDuel at Valley Forge
    • Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Philadelphia
  5. Taxes: Bettors in Pennsylvania must report their gambling winnings as part of their tax return. There’s a federal tax rate of 24% to be paid on top of the standard income tax deductions of 3.07%.
  6. Regulator: Sports betting in PA is overseen by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Its job is to issue licenses, ensure that existing license holders are operating with integrity, and make sure that sports betting law in the state is upheld.
  7. College betting: Bettors in Pennsylvania are allowed to wager on college sports – even those games involving local schools. However, college prop bets are prohibited.
  8. Mobile betting: As Pennsylvania sports betting online is legal, you can access PA sportsbooks using your mobile device. 
  9. Betting markets: All the key betting markets are delivered by Pennsylvania sportsbooks. These include moneyline, spreads, totals, props (non-college sports), and futures lines for those wanting to place season-long wagers. You’ll also find live odds available for games that have already started.
  10. Responsible gambling: Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania offer their bettors a number of responsible gambling tools to help with their wagering. These include temporary timeouts and permanent exclusions, as well as account time limits and marketing preferences.

How to Bet on Sports in Pennsylvania? 

Like me, you probably thought that registering for a Pennsylvania sports betting account would be a time-consuming process. However, I found that if you just take a moment to get some details to hand before starting the sign-up process, it can be completed in just a minute or two.

Make sure that you have an active email address, a memorable (but secure) password, a form of ID, and your Social Security Number.

  1. Choose your sportsbook: For assistance, we’ve listed the best Pennsylvania online sports betting apps and sites in the next section of this guide.
  2. Click the signup/register button on the website or app.
  3. Enter your personal details: Don’t worry, as these are kept perfectly safe and private.
  4. Make a deposit: Once your account has been verified and approved, head to the cashier section to make a deposit – many payment methods are accepted, including debit/credit cards and e-wallets.
  5. Claim your bonus: The vast majority of PA sportsbooks offer a welcome bonus of some kind. You may have to enter Pennsylvania sports betting promo codes to claim your bonus, or simply place a qualifying wager.
  6. Place a bet: Use the sportsbook’s A-Z of sports to find your favorite, navigate to your game and betting market of choice, and then click on the odds to add them to your bet slip. 

One tip I can recommend is to always double-check the stake amount you enter on your bet slip – a rogue extra ‘0’ here can be frustrating to say the least, turning a $5 wager into a $50 bet accidentally!

Personally, my own first bet was backing the Eagles to beat Washington on the first day of the 2020 NFL season. I was feeling positive about it – until they lost 17-27!

Top Pennsylvania Sports Betting Sites and Apps 

By my count, there are more than a dozen sportsbooks currently available legally in PA. However, discerning bettors want the best, so those are the sites/apps that we’re focusing on in this Pennsylvania sports betting guide.

Here are three of the finest options available to help you get started.


  • Welcome Offer: Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Credits If It Wins
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Wagering Requirement: Wager $5 on any bet, and if you win, $150 in Bonus Bets will be awarded to your account.

FanDuel Sportsbook, one of the most prominent sports betting brands in America, was also one of the first to launch in Pennsylvania.

Its bonus, at the time of writing, is as follows: place a $5 (or more) opening bet, and if it wins, you’ll receive $150 in bonus bet credits. The good news is that there’s no minimum odds requirement, so you can strike your initial wager on anything you like.

With a huge A-Z of sports and comprehensive market coverage, you can enjoy the full betting experience at FanDuel. There’s also live streaming, boosted odds specials, and one of the highest-rated Pennsylvania sports betting apps available today.


  • Welcome Offer: Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Credits Win or Lose
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Wagering Requirement: Wager $5 on any market and receive $150 in Bonus Bets – but you only get seven days to use the bonus bets.

DraftKings Sportsbook delivers the pick of the Pennsylvania sports betting bonuses for one good reason: it doesn’t matter whether your qualifying bet wins or loses – you’ll get $150 in bonus bet funds either way.

I’ve found the DraftKings website and app to be the most usable in PA – they’re easy to navigate around while placing multiple bets and Same Game Parlays can be achieved with just a few taps. 

Its slate of promotions and odds boosts is as generous as it gets, while the availability of live streaming adds a new dimension to betting in play.


  • Welcome Offer: Bonus Bets Up to $1,500 if Your First Wager Loses
  • Minimum Deposit: $10
  • Wagering Requirement: Wager a bet on any market, and if you lose, you will receive your bet back (up to $1,500) automatically credited to your account.

While FanDuel is handing out bonus funds to winning bettors, BetMGM is taking the opposite stance: if your opening wager loses, you’ll receive the same amount back in bonus credits (up to $1,500).

Having a ‘no sweat’ first bet is certainly a great way to get started with BetMGM Sportsbook in PA, and its array of promotions also includes parlay insurance, and bonus bet credits when you wager specified amounts (or on particular games) each week.

BetMGM is a classic sportsbook in that it does everything well: it has a comprehensive A-Z of sports, all the betting lines and markets you’d expect, a user-friendly website and app, and even a rewards program that offers loyalty bonuses for both online use and in its land-based casinos.

Popular Sports and Teams in the Pennsylvania Betting Scene 

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Pennsylvanian sports and their respective teams and players.

Popular Sports

Pennsylvanian teams have accumulated many wins in the Super Bowl, World Series and Stanley Cup.

  • Football: The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most successful teams in NFL history, amassing six Super Bowl wins between 1974 and 2008. They are joined on the roll of honor by fellow PA franchise Philadelphia Eagles, who won the big game in 2017.
  • Basketball: The Philadelphia 76ers have played in the NBA since 1949, changing from their Syracuse Nationals name in 1963. They’ve won three NBA Championships – albeit the most recent came in 1983 – and have helped to create many Hall of Famers, including Wilt Chamberlain, Chet Walker and Charles Barkley.
  • Baseball: Pennsylvania can lay claim to being a leading baseball state, with two teams – the Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies – combining for seven World Series triumphs. 

Fun fact: The Phillies were founded way back in 1883.

  • Hockey: Philadelphia Flyers fans need a long memory to recall the last time they won the Stanley Cup in 1975. However, this is not the case for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have lifted the trophy five times, most recently in 2017.
  • Soccer: The other ‘major’ sports team in Pennsylvania is the Philadelphia Union, who play in Major League Soccer. They reached the MLS Cup final in 2022 and clinched the Supporters’ Shield in 2020. However, the Union are yet to clinch the MLS Cup outright – surely it’s just a matter of time?
  • College Sports: Villanova University, Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh are just three of the most successful colleges for sports in PA. Penn State has won 50 national championships alone, with particular success for its gymnastics, wrestling and fencing programs, while the Villanova Wildcats have claimed 21 national championships.

Popular Teams

A number of elite sportsmen and women have been born and raised in Pennsylvania, or at least made their names in the state:

  • One important figure is golf legend Arnold Palmer – he won seven majors and 62 PGA TOUR events in all.
  • The state also has a fine history of producing stellar quarterbacks, including Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Johnny Unitas.

If you were in any doubt about the popularity of sports in Pennsylvania, you just have to combine the average home attendance of the 76ers, Steelers, Eagles, Flyers, Penguins, Phillies and the Pirates in 2023-24. You would have over 250,000 fans watching their local team!

Fun fact: The 76ers were the third most-watched NBA team of 2024, attracting an average of 20,041 fans to the Wells Fargo Center.

The Impact of Local Teams on Sports Betting

There’s no doubt that the people of Pennsylvania are incredibly passionate about their local sports teams. And such enthusiasm manifests itself in their wagering habits – remember when we revealed earlier that the first-ever sports bet placed in PA was on the Steelers to win Super Bowl LIII?!

Pennsylvania is in a privileged position in that it has representatives at the top level of the ‘big four’ sports – football, basketball, baseball, and hockey – even if those respective teams have experienced peaks and troughs over the years.

The 76ers were backed into +1,800 before the start of the 2023-24 season, although they haven’t won the NBA Championship in more than 40 years! However, sports fans in PA have a record of moving betting lines with their partisan support of their local teams.

Upcoming Events

With more than half a dozen professional sports teams in Pennsylvania and a stack of successful schools in college sports, it would be fair to describe the sporting calendar in PA as stacked.

There’s plenty to wager on every week, so here’s a look at the upcoming sports events in the state.

Are There More Gambling Options in Pennsylvania? 

Gamblers in Pennsylvania have no shortage of options in the pursuit of their hobby, with plenty of choices for both online and in-person action in the state:

  • Casino: Not only is casino gaming legal in Pennsylvania, but it’s also thriving! Second only to Nevada in terms of revenue, there are 17 casino properties in the state. Online casino gaming is also legal, with operators opening their virtual doors for the first time in 2019.
  • Horse racing: It’s possible to legally bet on horse racing in Pennsylvania. Legalized since 1959, you can place your wagers at one of the state’s six active racecourses, or at several other ‘off-course’ locations.
  • Poker: Online poker is legal in the Keystone State, with a number of the leading poker sites offering cash games and tournaments to local players.
  • Daily fantasy: You can draft your lineups as you please in Pennsylvania, as daily fantasy is legal in the state.

Maximizing Your Bets

So, is online sports betting legal in Pennsylvania? The answer is a resounding yes, but you’ll still want to apply some strategy and sense to the wagers you place.

Tips and Strategies for Pennsylvania Bettors 

  • Do some research: Although by no means a guarantee of success, the first tip that, I think, is relevant to bettors new and old is to research your picks before placing your bets.
    Once you’ve done the deep dive, you’ll have a level of insight that may just help you to place more informed wagers. This is certainly preferable to the gut instinct approach – if that was successful, everybody would be doing it!
  • Use advanced stats that go beyond league standings and form lines: in football, this might include team yardages, turnovers, total points for/against, and so on.
  • Keep track: I developed as a bettor when I began documenting all of my picks in a spreadsheet – nothing complicated, just headings per sport, bet type and the odds. Soon, I realized that my strength lay in totals wagering, whereas my moneyline picks were not so successful. You may find this process helpful in identifying your most successful betting weapons.
  • Proper bankroll management: It’s also vital that you understand bankroll budgeting. Only wager a fraction of your balance per bet, as this will enable you to maximize the longevity of your bankroll without having to keep making new deposits.
    Personally, I wager 5% of my bankroll each time on single picks and doubles. This protects me against losing streaks, while also allowing my balance to grow organically over time.
  • Take advantage of your bookmaker’s bonuses: Don’t forget to check all the available Pennsylvania sportsbook promos you can benefit from to boost your balance.

→ For more experts’ advice, you can check out our guide on how to become better at sports betting.

Understanding Taxes and Payouts 

I remember my first year of betting on sports in Pennsylvania – and, in particular, when the time came to fill out my tax return! It’s true that you need to pay taxes on sports betting winnings, but the good news is that Pennsylvania has one of the lowest tax rates in America: 3.07%.

PA is also one of the most liberal states, so you’ll only have to pay federal tax should your winnings exceed $600. And if your win isn’t 300x or greater than your stake, you will be exempt from paying federal tax here.

You can declare your gambling winnings to the state using the PA-40 Schedule T form.

What About Physical Sports Betting Locations? 

I do most of my wagering via sports betting apps Pennsylvania, but there may be a time when you wish to strike a bet or two in person at a retail sportsbook.

There are more than a dozen options in the state, with the majority concentrated in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. However, there are also a few out-of-city betting locations.

Here are my favorite places to bet in PA:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia: This Harrah’s property is not only a functioning casino and racetrack, but it also has a Caesars Sportsbook platform. You’ll find it on Harrah’s Boulevard in Chester.
  • Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh: One of the best places to bet on sports in Pittsburgh is the Rivers Casino, a fully integrated gambling establishment that provides sports betting lines, casino games and much more besides. It has a four-star rating on Google!
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono: For a lower-key sports betting experience, head to Allentown and the Mohegan Sun Pocono. It has a Unibet sportsbook onsite, as well as casino games, horse racing, and a full hotel and hospitality setup.

So, Will You Bet from Pennsylvania Tonight? 

After reading this Pennsylvania sports betting update, you should have at least one takeaway: you can legally bet on sports both online and in person in PA. Hopefully, you’ll take some tips and pointers revealed in this Pennsylvania sports betting guide and apply them to your own wagering.

Are you keen to learn more about upping your sports betting game in Pennsylvania? If so, use our invaluable sports betting 101 page to ensure that you keep on improving and keep up to date with Pennsylvania sports betting news.