Sports Betting in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know


Sports betting was legalized in Pennsylvania in 2018 and expanded into the state’s online gambling market when it launched in 2019. Bettors no longer need to visit a physical sportsbook operator to place their bets as many online facilities and apps allow them to do so from anywhere in the state.

Pennsylvania law

After federal laws that hampered state sports betting legislation were repealed, Pennsylvania sports betting became a reality as states could set their own laws. After that, the launch of online gambling made it even more convenient to place bets on various sports matches. This industry is heavily regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), and operators that do not comply with legal requirements face license revocation and severe penalties.

The Keystone State’s legal requirements for sports betting are that bettors must be 21 or older, within Pennsylvanian state lines, and not on a voluntary self-exclusion list. Additional restrictions include a list of sports on which betting is allowed. Sports league personnel may not bet on any games within their sporting discipline.

Legal betting sports

Bettors may place wagers on professional sports, college games, and international sporting events. This includes NBA games, the Olympics, and the upcoming NFL season. No betting is allowed on non-sports events, such as elections, and even outcomes of NFL drafts are off-limits.

Be in the right place at the right time

Sportsbook operators use sophisticated geolocation software to ensure that online bettors are within state lines when placing wagers. If a site or app cannot determine a user’s location or determines that they are outside Pennsylvania, it will not accept bets. Doing so would put the operator at risk of illegal activity that could see it permanently shut down or face heavy fines.

Esports betting

As it stands, betting on esports in Pennsylvania is not legal as it does not appear on the state’s list of approved betting sports. However, legislation introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives hopes to change this. Some gaming control boards regulating sports betting in US states have included esports in their sports betting legislation.

Nonetheless, experts predict that most states with legalized sports betting will introduce esports to their approved betting activities list. The industry is expanding, and there is great revenue potential for sportsbook operators. Esports is even being considered as an Olympic sport for the 2028 games.

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