Here we go. Pennsylvania retail and online sports betting is live! Available to all eligible residents in the Keystone State. PA online sports betting will change how Pennsylvanians bet and we’re bringing you everything you need to know about betting legally online.
UniBet Online Sportsbook
On October 27th, 2017, the Governor of Pennsylvania signed into law a gambling package that paves the way for:
- PA Online Sports Betting
- PA Online Casinos
- PA Online Poker
- PA Online Lottery
The bill also authorized a number of other gambling initiatives, including Daily Fantasy Sports, tablet gaming at authorized airports, video gambling terminals, 10 mini casinos, and online lottery sales.
PA Sports Betting Legalization Timeline
It’s been a long road — and we aren’t just talking about the period of time between signing the bill into law and the launch of the first online sports betting sites in PA. State lawmakers have been floating the idea of legalized iGaming in the state since 2013 — that’s more than six years.
- April 2013 Following the successful passage of regulated online gambling in New Jersey, Pennsylvania State Representative Tina Davis introduces bill H-1235. The bill is similar to the one passed in NJ, giving hope to envious neighbors in the Keystone State.
- June 2013 Bill H-1235 is stopped in its tracks thanks to online casino skeptic Tina Picket, the House Gaming Oversight Committee Chair at the time.
- May 2014 Major study commissioned by the Pennsylvania State Senate provides evidence to help sway iGaming opponents.
- Throughout 2015 John Payne introduces online gambling legislation in February and holds dozens of hearings. Other online gambling bills pop up throughout the year. Payne tries to fit online gambling into the state budget, bringing awareness to PA legal online gambling efforts.
- Throughout 2016 With Daily Fantasy Sports being a hot topic across America, lawmakers focus their attention on including online gambling into the mix of potential regulations. Nothing comes to pass.
- October 2017 A new bill, H-271, is signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf, paving the way for legalized online gambling in Pennsylvania in 2018.
- July 15, 2019 Online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania go live.
Legal Online Sportsbooks in PA Regulated by the government
There are a number of models for legalization of online sports betting. But as expected, Pennsylvania is following the model set up in neighboring New Jersey, where online casinos and sportsbooks flourish alongside their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
In Pennsylvania, land-based casinos are eligible to hold online gaming licenses, which are issued by the state. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is responsible for regulating the market and ensuring the games are fair. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board already regulates land-based casinos in the Keystone State.
Launching in 3…2…1…
On April 17th, 2019, state regulators announced that PA legal online gambling sites will launch on July 15th, 2019. It’s been a long time coming. The Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, originally signed the gambling expansion package, which allowed for iGaming, into law in late October 2017.
While online casino and poker aren’t launching until July, state regulators hinted that online sports betting could launch soon — in a matter of weeks.
The PA casinos getting in the game
Most of the land-based casinos in Pennsylvania will offer iGaming of some sort this year. While state regulators are set to flick the switch in July 2019, it’s not 100% clear if all casinos will be ready to meet the launch date. But with competition already fierce before the first virtual bet is placed, you can expect most of the properties to be ready to serve players online as soon as humanly possible.
If you can bet it live, you can bet it online
If the already-regulated market in New Jersey is any indication, PA online sportsbooks will put maximum effort into boosting their online sportsbooks in an effort to stand out from the competition.
Retail sports betting is already up and running at several Pennsylvania land-based casinos and it won’t be long before online sportsbooks join the fray. No hard dates are set for online sports betting, but we’re looking at May, most likely.
Legal PA online sports betting slated to launch:
- Presque Isle
- Valley Forge
- Rivers Casino
Online Sports Bets offered at launch:
- Moneyline: A bet on a team or player to win the game.
- Over/Under: A bet that the result will be over or under a number set by the sportsbook.
- Totals: The combined score of the game, irrespective of who wins.
- Point Spread: A bet predicting the margin of victory between two teams.
- Futures: Bets placed on a game, event, or outcome that’s taking place at some point in the future, like the World Series.
- Parlays: Bets on two or more teams, or two or more outcomes.
- Teasers: Bets on two or more teams, but the line on each time has been adjusted in the bettor’s favor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bet online in PA?
Yes, slowly but surely PA online sportsbook are launching.
When did online gambling become legal in PA?
In 2017, the Governor of Pennsylvania signed a bill into law that expanded gambling in the state to include online sports betting and casinos.
Who is responsible for regulating PA online gambling sites?
PA online sportsbooks and casinos are licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
How do I know if PA online gambling site is legal?
You can expect to see some sort of stamp on each licensed websites, indicating that the online casino or sportsbook is licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Board. This is the practice in New Jersey — all regulated sites bear a Division of Gaming Enforcement stamp of approval.
When will PA online casinos launch?
Online casinos in Pennsylvania are expected to launch on July 15, 2019.
When will PA online sports betting launch?
It’s likely that online sports betting will launch before online casinos. In mid-April, state officials said that online sports betting could roll out in a matter of weeks, which would peg the launch at some point in early-to-mid May.
Will I be able to play casino games on my mobile device?
Definitely. You can expect the same cross-device compatibility that’s a mainstay in other state-regulated markets, like New Jersey and Delaware.
Will I be able to bet on sports on my smartphone?
Yes, if you’re a sports fan, you’ll be able to bet on sports on the go from compatible devices, like Android and iOS.
What is the legal gambling age in PA?
You must be 21 years of age or older to bet on casino games, play poker, or bet on sports in Pennsylvania.
Can I gamble online in PA if I am visiting from another state?
Yes, but you must be within Pennsylvania borders. This is enforced through what’s known as geolocation technology.