Top 5 Pennsylvania Sports Betting Sites in 2019

Do you want to place legal bets on your favorite sports and you are in Pennsylvania? Thankfully, online sportsbooks are now a reality in the state and you have a variety of different platforms to choose from.

Is Online Sports Betting in Pennsylvania Legal? Yes! ✅

Pennsylvania has long been a state that has embraced gambling. The state’s casinos are the second-best performing in the country, only behind Nevada. There is also now legal online casinos and online poker available for people in the state.

Sports fans now have the ability to legally place sports bets in Pennsylvania thanks to the respective retail and online sportsbooks. For many years, sports betting was illegal on a federal level, except for in Nevada. The major sports leagues fought against ending this ban as they feared that legal sports betting would affect the integrity of their sports.

Supreme Court Ruling on Online Gambling:

However, following a Supreme Court vote in May 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 came to an end. This meant that each individual state could legalize sports betting if they wished to do so.

Pennsylvania was preparing for the ending of the federal ban for a number of years. As far back as 2015, there was a push to end the prohibition of sports betting in the state. It was in 2017 that House Bill 519 was introduced by Representative Rob Matzie. This amended constitutional language on the issue and it laid out a skeleton framework for a regulated and legal sports betting sector in Pennsylvania.

While ultimately this bill did not make it past the final hurdle, it paved the way for House Bill 271. This was introduced by Representative Jason Ortitay. After a couple of amendments, it was passed in the legislature and in October 2017, the state Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law. This meant that Pennsylvania would have legal sports betting once the federal ban came to an end.

When the May 2018 Supreme Court vote was successful, Pennsylvania lawmakers did note that the licensing project would not be rushed and would take some time. The first retail sportsbooks in the state began to open towards the end of 2018, with the first of the legal online sportsbooks opening for business in May 2019. Now there are many operators serving this sector.

This guide will give you an insight into sports betting in Pennsylvania, as well as breaking down the various leading offers to make your decisions making a lot easier when trying to select the correct platform for you.

Note: There are countless reasons why online sports betting is preferred to retail offerings. It is very convenient, you often get better odds, you can more easily see the markets on offer and you can partake in the likes of loyalty programs and take advantage of bonus offers.

How are these Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks Ranked?

To rank a sportsbook, you want to take into account as many key variables as possible. This should be done in an objective manner as this allows you to accurately compare one sportsbook with another. Here are some of the key criteria that are looked at when comparing the respective offerings outlined in this guide:

  • Number of sports and markets on offer
  • The competitiveness of the odds
  • Variety of payment methods
  • Ease of use of the platform
  • Capabilities of the mobile offering
  • Extent of the live betting offering
  • Security and licensing of the site
  • Level of customer support
  • Various welcome bonus offers and promotions

Top Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks Legal in 2019:

SugarHouse Sportsbook - focuses on its strengths

The SugarHouse Sportsbook has a license in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It was launched in Pennsylvania in May 2019, so it still has a lot of expansion to do in order to mature in the sector.

There is a standard layout to the desktop website, with a three-column design. You can see the latest wins other users of the site have had through the scrolling feed on the sidebar. Live betting is at the core of the SugarHouse offering, with a wide variety of markets and events covered.

The navigation system as a whole is ideal, getting you where you need to be in a flash. All of the major sports are offered through the sportsbook, with more niche offerings to be added as time goes on. There is a dearth of options available of the popular sports, which will tick all of the boxes for bettors in these sports.

You can partake in the 11-tier loyalty program and access the regular promotions that keep players happy. For new signups, you can have your first deposit matched 100%, up to a max bonus of $250 which is a nice way to kick off your new account.

There is no dedicated iOS app as of yet for this sportsbook, but this will come in time. Until then, you can place bets through your mobile device’s web browser. Customer support is open 24/7 and you have can rely on many different payment options to add and withdraw funds.

Overall, this is a platform that has a great offering for the main sports, in particular having a strong live betting platform.

Pros

  • Strong live betting offering
  • In-depth markets for popular sports
  • Hefty welcome bonus offer
  • Easy to navigate

Cons

  • More niche sports yet to be added
  • Mobile apps yet to be released

FanDuel Sportsbook - Suited to all kinds of bettors

FanDuel has long been a leader in the fantasy sports space and it is now a major sports betting operator in numerous states, including Pennsylvania. This licensed operator has a quality interface on its desktop offering.

The color scheme nicely contrasts and helps to make all of the text pop out. As a result, you can quickly navigate around the platform. There are 15 different sports available for you to bet on, with a wide range of markets being part of the more popular offerings, such as US sports and soccer. The live betting interface is nicely laid out, being updated in real-time.

For new players, you can avail of a $500 risk-free bet on your first wager on your new account. If the bet is a loser, the stake will be refunded to you in the form of free bets. Some of the regular promotions include parlay insurance and NBA win bonuses.

All of the usual methods are on offer with FanDuel, including credit cards and PayPal. The mobile offering is very similar to the desktop experience, with everything laid out in a simple manner. There are apps available for download for both iOS and Android devices.

There is a nice variety of markets on offer, no matter if you are a beginner sports bettor or someone with a lot of experience. Finally, the customer support is open 24/7, whether you wish to contact them through live chat, by telephone or through email.

Overall, this is a reputable offering that has a nice design and strong markets on offer. It is suited for beginners and more experienced bettors alike.

Pros

  • Strong selection of sports and markets
  • Easy to use interface
  • Well-tailored to mobile betting
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Welcome offer is not as strong as other industry offers

DraftKings Sportsbook - Simple yet effective offering

DraftKings is a licensed online sportsbook in Pennsylvania and similar to FanDuel, it has long been a leader in the daily fantasy sports space.

The interface is not very glamorous, with the focus being more on functionality rather than aesthetics. However, there is a nice selection of sports on offer, with the markets being well-suited to the needs of beginners and experienced sports bettors alike. The live betting interface is simple, but it ticks the boxes needed in a live offering. It updates in real-time and there are always a few markets to choose from.

There are all kinds of promotions and competitions running, with great prizes up for grabs. You can make predictions and be entered into prize pools. The mobile apps for the DraftKings sportsbook are also very simply designed like the desktop site. All they are concerned about is allowing you to place your sports bets with minimal hindrance.

One of the downsides of the DraftKings offering in Pennsylvania is that there are currently no e-wallet options when making a deposit or a withdrawal. There is 24/7 customer support, which is ideal.

Finally, for new players there is a 20% deposit bonus on your first deposit, giving you bonus funds of up to $500. This is not a great deposit bonus offer when compared with others in the sector. However, you can also get $25 in free bonus funds when you sign up for an account, with no need to make a deposit, which is ideal.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with DraftKings is you are solely focused on placing bets and not worried about what a site looks like.

Pros

  • Great selection of markets and sports
  • Simple yet effective design
  • No deposit bonus worth $25
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • No e-wallet payment options

Bottom Line

The online sports betting sector is constantly expanding in Pennsylvania. It is still in its early stages, so there may be some teething problems that need to be ironed out as time goes on. There also will be more operators getting involved in the market, which will cause more innovation and more competitiveness overall.

If you are still having an issue narrowing down the different options, there are some key tips to keep in mind. You want to ensure that you know exactly what is most important to you in an offering. This will vary from person to person, with certain variables going to be non-negotiables. This could be the types of markets that are offered or the payment methods that can be used.

You also want to avoid getting suck in by the likes of flashy promotions. While many of these offers look spectacular on the surface as they try to get people sucked in, the reality is often a lot different when you dig down into the terms and conditions of the offer. This is why you always need to do enough homework when assessing your options.

Key Aspects of Online Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania

There has long been a significant black market for sports betting in Pennsylvania. While this was the only way residents could place their sports bets, there were dangers involved, such as a lack of consumer protection.

Now that there is legal sports betting, customers are well-protected when they use licensed operators. It is also massively convenient as you can place bets through your mobile device no matter where in the state you may be.

Do note that only those who are at least 21 years old will be able to place sports bets in Pennsylvania. You also need to be within state lines when doing so. You can usually create an account from out of state, but no bets will be processed unless you are in Pennsylvania.

One of the big steps in using online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania is verifying your identity. This entails submitting the given online sportsbook a couple of some form of photo ID, as well as proof of address. This is done to prevent underage gamblers from placing bets, as well as being a key part of anti-money laundering laws. Usually, this process will be completed within 24-48 hours.

Where Else is Online Gambling Legal in the US?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

FAQ

Are online sportsbooks legal in Pennsylvania?

Online sportsbooks have been legal in Pennsylvania since the ending of the federal ban on sports betting in May 2018. The state regulators did take some time with the licensing process, which is why the first online sportsbooks only opened in May 2019.

Who can use online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania?

If you are at least 21 years old and within state lines of Pennsylvania, then you will be able to place online sports bets.

What sports are offered through Pennsylvania sportsbooks?

You have access to many different sports, with only a handle of markets being off-limits. These restricted markets include esports, certain novelty markets, high school sports and in-state universities.

How do online sportsbooks get a license in Pennsylvania?

To operate sports betting, the initial license fee is $10 million, which is the heftiest to date in the US. The online operator also has to partner with a physical facility in the state in order to obtain a license.

How do you know if an online sportsbook is safe to use in Pennsylvania?

You can check the list of licensed online sportsbooks by visiting the website of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

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About Andrew O'Malley

Andrew has been writing about the gambling industry for more than five years, covering everything from sports betting to casinos and poker. With the sector constantly evolving, he loves nothing better than staying up to date with the latest movers and shakers in the space.