Legal Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

Sports betting is legal in Pennsylvania. It first launched in the state in 2018 with retail wagering and expanded in 2019. The market has become one of the largest in the country in a short period. There are a variety of companies that operate in the state. The best sportsbooks available in the United States operate in the state.

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This vast market has created a sports betting paradise for people in the state. People can still place bets on offshore sportsbooks, but it’s illegal by state law. There is no reason to wager on an offshore site because of the legal options in the state.

If you are betting using offshore sites for Pennsylvania online sports betting, I recommend transitioning to a legal option. The ease and accessibility make legal books an easy choice in PA. 

Before PA passed mobile sports betting, offshore books were still utilized in the state. Although, they are virtually nonexistent in 2021.

Pennsylvania Ahead of Many States for Legal Gambling

Pennsylvania was ahead of many states in the nation for legal gambling. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act did not allow sports betting in the United States from 1992 until 2018. New Jersey was one of the critical states in the fight against the PASPA in court.

Ultimately, New Jersey and the states were able to get PASPA deemed unconstitutional. The legal battle spanned close to a decade, and it appeared that wagering would be legalized. Some states, like Pennsylvania, prepared by discussing future sports betting bills.

Serious sports betting negotiations began in 2015. This was the year that H 1627 was introduced to the House of Representatives. The bill had the goal of repealing the state ban on sports betting. Legislators in the state also pushed the federal government to repeal the national ban on sports betting through H 619.

H 619 was approved the following legislative session in 2016 by the House Gaming Oversight Committee in PA. The bill did not do much because the federal government did not need to view the legislation. Yet, it showed that Pennsylvania was determined to end the federal sports wagering ban in the nation.

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Introduction of Bill H 519

In 2017, Representative Rob Matzie introduced H 519 as a follow-up to an old sports betting bill. The legislation did not pass, but it went further than its predecessor H 1627. The bill laid out the framework for sports betting in the state, which was why it went further in the legislative process.

The bill required sportsbooks to pay a $5 million licensing fee and an 18% tax on revenue. In 2017, PA was dealing with a massive budget deficit.

Matzie’s bill was not ideal for closing the gap, but legislators still wanted sports betting legalized in the state. A comprehensive gaming expansion became the answer for the state, and it was accomplished through H 271.

Representative Jason Ortitay introduced the bill. The bill hid a lot of details that helped the gaming expansion package pass in the state. Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law on October 30, 2017.

H 271 was enacted in 2018

It required federal approval to go into effect, so when PASPA was overturned in the summer of 2018, H 271 was enacted. Once this occurred, PA rolled out sports betting very slowly. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was given the power to oversee wagering in the state.

The board established a stringent testing procedure for online sportsbooks to ensure safety. Therefore, retail wagering launched in 2018 before online betting went live the following year.

SugarHouse Sportsbook was the first online site to go live in May of 2019. Rush Street Interactive and Kambi created the platform. There were eight books established by the end of the year, including DraftKings and FanDuel.

Online Sports Betting has Skyrocketed

Since 2019, the Pennsylvania online sports betting market has skyrocketed. The pandemic slowed wagering growth, but the state’s market bounced back with a vengeance.

The state has professional sports teams, a large population, casinos, and people who want to wager sports. This is a winning formula for a successful sports betting market.

Pennsylvania has one of the highest tax rates in the nation, but the legislature can get away with this because of the substantial market. There is a one-time licensure fee of $10 million for sports wagering.

The fact that sportsbooks do not have to renew licenses is another reason taxes are high. To place a bet in the state, a person must be 21 years of age and located in Pennsylvania. There is no betting on events like the Oscars or Esports. You can bet on horses in PA, but these sites have a different licensing process.

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Five Reasons to Bet in Pennsylvania

There are plenty of reasons to wager in Pennsylvania. It’s hard only to name five, but here are the main reasons to bet on sports in the state.

Great Bonuses

The sportsbooks in Pennsylvania are the best legal sites in the nation. A sportsbook is judged on many categories, but a primary judgment is the bonuses that are offered. DraftKings and FanDuel are two sites that are known for great promotions. These books are live in the state, along with other prominent sites like FOX Bet, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, and Barstool Sportsbook.

You will have many opportunities to play with house money on the sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. If you utilize most of the sites in the state, it will help you win on sports because of the array of bonuses.

A book you should watch in PA is BetRivers Sportsbook. BetRivers has the best rewards program in sports betting. Most sites offer short-term bonuses. Although, BetRivers is focused on long-term gifts for loyal players through its iRush Rewards program.

The more you wager with BetRivers, the better prizes you will earn. These gifts go beyond free bets on the sportsbook. You can win phones, computers, tablets, and vacations if you risk enough money.

Offshore sportsbooks, like BetUS, MyBookie, and Bovada, also offer great bonuses. These bonuses are even more generous when you deposit using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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Safety

Sportsbooks are also judged on safety. You will never have an issue playing on any of the legal betting sites in Pennsylvania. Sportsbooks collect a lot of personal and financial information. This data is necessary for the site to assure that you are legally allowed to wager in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control board tests these sites regularly to make sure your personal information stays private. Legal wagering is a substantial industry in the United States. If sites did not keep your information safe, they would not make money.

You should have no fear over your personal information when it comes to wagering in Pennsylvania.

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Unmatched Reputation

Pennsylvania sports betting has grown rapidly because of the sites that are available in the state. All the books in PA are spectacular in the legal wagering industry. The ability to choose from the best sportsbooks in America is a luxury that is not available in all states.

Some locations in the United States only have a few books. This is not very entertaining, but it also decreases a player’s chance to win. The wagering experience that you will receive from the sportsbooks in Pennsylvania is unmatched.

The retail sportsbooks give bettors an exhilarating live betting experience. Pennsylvania online gambling is convenient. There is a way to bet that will satisfy every gambler in the state.

Customer Service

The sportsbooks in Pennsylvania provide excellent customer service. All issues will be handled swiftly. This is important because you never want to have technical problems when wagering on sports.

Lines are rapidly moving. A technical issue can cause you to lose money on a wager. These problems do not happen much on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. However, if you do have a problem, you can contact sportsbooks immediately in PA.

Sportsbooks offer live chats for rapid communication. You will also be able to find a phone number, text service, and email to reach technical support.

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Line Shopping

The number of sportsbooks in Pennsylvania plays into your favor as a bettor. Line shopping is when you compare odds from all sites to find the best bet. DraftKings may have a better line than FanDuel for a specific event. The ability to research lines is possible because of the substantial number of sportsbooks in the state. 

The Pennsylvania sports betting framework gives bettors countless chances to win on sports. Sports betting is all about winning, and there are not many states like Pennsylvania that help bettors accomplish this goal.