Sports betting was legalized in Pennsylvania in late 2018, but sportsbooks are still not up and running. It has taken quite some time for the state to devise regulations for operators and many are still in the process of betting approved applications and licenses.
Best Online Sportsbooks in PA
It took until August of 2018 for the Pennsylvania Gaming Board to approve the rules for sportsbooks and these rules will allow for residents of the state to engage in sports wagering action on professional and college sports and events. With legal betting soon available, sports fans throughout the state of PA will have some great options coming their way as some of the leading casinos in the state add sportsbooks to their venues to offer real money wagering and even in-play betting on a huge market of sports from all over the world.
It’s taking some time for operators to develop sportsbooks, especially online sportsbooks in PA. We’ll update our tables with bookmakers as they become available.
Licensed Sportsbooks in PA
The six venues that have applied for a sportsbook license to operate in PA are:
|Sportsbook||Odds & Lines Supplier||Opened|
|Hollywood Casino||William Hill||TBA|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Scientific Games||TBA|
|Valley Forge||FanDuel Sportsbook||TBA|
In early October 2018, PA awarded two casinos a license to begin operating a legal sportsbook. While these sites will not be open until November or later, bettors will miss out on World Series bets, but will still have plenty of NFL action along with NBA games and exciting NHL betting options. One of the licensed casinos is Parx Casino, which will be offering betting at the horse-racing track and will also offer off-track betting options at the South Philadelphia Turf Club. As for the Parx Casino location, temporary betting will take place in the 360 Lounge while a permanent sportsbook is still under construction and will be open in the second quarter of 2019.
The other licensed venue is Penn National Gaming, which operates sportsbooks at casinos that are located in other states. Penn National applied for a sports betting license for Hollywood Casino in PA and received that license and will soon be offering great betting options. Penn National has partnered with William Hill US to operate the sportsbook, so one can expect some great odds and for this to be one of the best betting sites in the state.
Sports Betting Regulations
Since the state decided to allow the legal operation of sportsbooks by land-based casinos, the bard has been hard at work developing the specific rules and regulations for these venues. Lawmakers initially included very high taxes on the gross gaming revenue, which is set at 34% state and 2% local. There was also a set cost of $10 million for the application fee to even apply for the sports betting license. These hefty costs were the reason many casinos did not jump right in and begin the application process. IN fact, there are still openings for available licenses because many of the current casinos feel these costs are too high and will ultimately have a negative effect on the revenue that can be generated.
As for the rules and regulations pertaining to what sports betting locations can offer, this has also been a topic of debate. The board must approve what types of sports betting will be allowed and what will be prohibited. There are also rules about the testing of all systems that are in use for sports betting and reports that all licensed sites will have to send to the board on a regular basis. The regulations cover many aspects including problem gambling issues, consumer protection, integrity monitoring, and organizational requirements.
While casinos are working to get ready to open their land-based betting areas, they are also putting in efforts to design online platforms that will be offered as well. Online sports betting is also legal in PA, but it is not expected to be available to residents until well into 2019 after initial sportsbooks are established. The online offering of sports betting will allow residents of PA to engage in betting action from home or by using their mobile device and as long as they are of legal betting age and are located within the borders of the state, they will be able to enjoy some of the best online sportsbooks in PA. These sites will offer all of the same betting options as one would enjoy if they were to visit the land location and there will also be betting tips, great bonus offers, and some fantastic odds.
Just as casinos have had to pay a high fee of $10 million to apply for a sports betting license, they will also have to apply for online gaming licenses and the cost will depend on what they plan to offer. Casinos that wish to offer slots, table games, as well as online poker, will pay a fee of $10 million. Those looking to apply for individual segments will pay $4 million each. The tax rate will remain the same for any online sportsbook that is established, which again, is the main concern for operators as they worry if they will be able to maintain operating costs, licensing fees and still come out ahead in the end.