Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania gambling law is motoring full-power in transition from a strict-to-liberal state. The major reason for Pennsylvania’s efforts to reform gaming is being able to compete with new games, gambling formats and gaming venues with neighboring states like New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and Ohio.

State politicians saw the money flowing out of Pennsylvania and into neighboring state budgets and acted to keep that money in-state. A huge part of the reforms has been the legalization of sports betting and online casinos, and the state’s first sports bets were placed in November 2018.

Online sports betting and casinos are still a work in progress as the Pennsylvanian Gaming Control Board (PGCB) iron out the legal details and review applications from the state’s casinos to also operate online sportsbooks, but they are both coming, and fast.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

Pennsylvania offers gamblers a healthy casino industry, legalized sports betting (land-based, online to come), legal DFS competitions, live poker, horse racing betting (at the track, off-track and online), a state lottery (online and land-based) and charitable gambling.

Sports & Gambling Type
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
Yes
Yes (Awaiting Implementation)
Casinos
Yes
Yes (Awaiting Implementation)
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
Yes
eSports
Yes
Yes (Awaiting Implementation)
Poker
Yes
Yes (Awaiting Implementation)
Horse Racing
Yes
Yes
Lottery
Yes
Yes
Charitable Gambling
Yes
Yes (Awaiting Implementation)

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Tax Rates

Pennsylvania applies an 3.07 % state Personal Income tax, including winnings on gambling and the state lottery.

Gambling wins over a $600 amount in the state of Pennsylvania may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax.

We recommend contacting your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in Pennsylvania.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Casinos apply a minimum 21-years-of-age limit, and therefore, sports betting’s limit is also 21 as the practice is only available in casinos at this stage. All other forms of legal gaming apply an age limit of 18.

Sports & Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting
21
DFS
18
Casinos
21
Horse Racing
18
Lottery
18
Charitable Gambling
18

Top Online Sports Betting Site Reviews

Currently none of Pennsylvania’s licensed online sports betting sites have launched, so we are unable to offer any sportsbook or casino reviews at this time, but as many as 5 online sportsbooks are expected to open in the Summer of 2019. Once the sites are live and accepting real money players we will be able to offer you our reviews on legal online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania

Betting on Sports in Pennsylvania

Okay, let’s clear up your first question:

Is Sports Betting legal in PA?
A resounding ‘Yes’ is the answer.

On October 26, 2017, Pennsylvanian state legislators passed bill ‘HB 271’, legalizing online casinos, poker sites and daily fantasy sports in Pennsylvania.

Under the brand new State law HB 271 legalizing sports betting in Pennsylvania, in November 2018, the first two of Pennsylvania’s casinos began to offer legal sports betting and another two began operation in December 2018.

The great news is that the way the law in the Pennsylvanian State Code is written permits wagering “by any system or method,” including in person, on the internet and mobile.

For the time being, only a handful of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos have been approved to offer legal sports betting, however, that should alter relatively quickly over the next few months.

PA’s 12 Legal land-based Casinos are allowed to use a temporary betting facility for up to 18 months from the date of their license being granted, during which time it is anticipated that they will each construct a more permanent sportsbook.

Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting Laws

As for mobile and online bettors, Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting is already legal, however, yet to be implemented while lawmakers iron out the details. (although expected soon).

Online Sports Bettors location will need to be verified via IP address and/or mobile geolocation to ensure that they are inside the state’s borders when sports betting in Pennsylvania. This was part of the new range of online sports betting regulations announced by the Pennsylvanian Gaming Control Board recently;

  • Customers can bet on professional and collegiate sports.
  • Minimum age of 21 to bet online
  • Casinos must verify the identity and location of all customers before allowing them to place bets online (by using geolocators).

Online sports betting will only be offered through sites attached to the state’s 12 casinos to begin with and its thought that once all the casinos have successfully launched their land-based sports books, that legal online sports betting will begin in earnest in the Key Stone State.

Online Fantasy Sports in Pennsylvania

Fantasy sports betting has always been exempted from all US federal legislation because it is widely considered to be a contest of skill. A few of the states prohibit fantasy sports, however, Pennsylvania never moved to put an end to the activity. Quite the opposite in fact, as Pennsylvania has passed state legislation in 2018 to formally legalize and regulate fantasy sports.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites must be licensed to operate in Pennsylvania and are subject to numerous consumer protection regulations. Requirements include;

  • That all sites be licensed
  • That they only accept customers over 18
  • That they be subject to independent audits
  • That they keep players’ funds in a separate account from operator funds (in order to protect customers’ deposits)

Online Players have been able to play DFS online in Pennsylvania for years prior to the 2018 bill and little has changed now for the players. The biggest DFS sites applied for licenses immediately and all are currently authorized to continue holding real money contests in Pennsylvania.

eSports Online Betting Laws

As a comprehensive sports gambling expansion package has been given the thumbs up by Pennsylvania state lawmakers in October 2017 and the Federal Supreme Court in May 2018, Pennsylvania is among the first states to have legal eSports gambling included as a part of the package.

Several of Pennsylvania’s casinos are already offering eSports gaming. The fully legal rollout of eSports gambling in the Key Stone State’s Casino (with online options to complement the in-house versions) is anticipated to continue throughout 2019.

What are eSports?

eSports basically turns video game playing at the very highest level into a professional sport. In some scenarios, it’s on an individual level, however, mostly it’s played through teams and across different leagues and tournaments.

The electronic games themselves are like different sports types, in some ways. For example, in eSports, League of Legends and Call of Duty are equivalent to, say, hockey and baseball. eSports is the broad overarching concept, while the different game types are the individual types of sports.

Betting on eSports is growing and continues to gain in popularity year-on-year, with an increasing number of sportsbooks now offering a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments.

The global gaming market will hit more than $100 billion in revenues in 2018, and eSports represents the highest-level competition in gaming today including the best and most professional players in the world today.

Look for betting on eSports at your favorite legal PA sports book today.

Horse Racing in Pennsylvania

Horse Racing Betting is legal (both on course/track side) for all residents of the state of Pennsylvania. Federal laws allow each state to determine the legality of horse racing betting and most states allow their residents to wager on horse races both Track side, Off Track Betting and online. All of the nation’s largest horse betting websites have a presence in the state of Pennsylvania.

Trackside Betting

Pennsylvania is home to six live racing venues that accept wagers on horse races. Horse racing in the state is regulated by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission and administered under the Department of Agriculture.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Pennsylvania

Off-track wagering and simulcasts are offered at 17 OTB locations across the state of Pennsylvania. Wagering on races in Pennsylvania and around the world are all available.

Online Horse Racing in Pennsylvania

Major horse racing betting sites accept customers from Pennsylvania. Each of the major horse racing betting sites headquartered in the United States all hold licenses to offer real money bets on horses and greyhounds in PA.

Visit our Pennsylvania online casino gambling page for more information on the states most popular online casinos.

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