Gambling in Pennsylvania has changed quite a bit over the last 10 years or so. It used to be that the state was totally against gambling as a whole, but that is certainly not the case anymore. Not only are there over a dozen land-based casinos in the state, but there is also no lack of slots games and tables games at them. Racetrack gambling, the lottery, online casinos and online poker are all legal in the Keystone State, which was also among the first to introduce sports betting after the nationwide ban was overturned in 2018.
SEE ALSO: GAMBLING IN THE UNITED STATES
Sports betting in Pennsylvania
Gambling on sports was illegal in all but four US states until May 2018, when the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in a landmark ruling. Pennsylvania had already passed a sports betting bill by then, so it was no surprise when the Hollywood Casino at Penn National officially opened a sportsbook in November 2018. Most of the state’s casinos and racetracks now take bets on sport.
Online sportsbooks for Pennsylvania
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While sports betting was legalised in 2018, the first round of licences were reserved for existing gambling venues such as casinos and racecourses. As internet gambling is already legal in Pennsylvania, it will not be long before the state has a fully operational online sports betting industry.
Until then, there are a number of reputable offshore betting sites that accept players from the United States. Our top three are:
BetOnline.ag – This great online sportsbook has a ton of options not only in the many sports they offer odds for, but also as well as the types of wagers available. There is a not only a great sportsbook, but you can also play at BetOnline’s casino that has everything a legit online casino should have more including Live Dealer games.
Sportsbetting.ag – There are many betting options at this established and reputable online sportsbook and they also have great bonuses and promotions and top-notch player security to name just a few positives. BetOnline.ag is their parent company, so you know they have you covered when it comes to betting on sports. They have odds posted for a ton of sporting events, but not only that, but they also offer their members many different types of bets including live betting and mobile gaming.
Xbet.ag – This is a reliable and established sportsbook that has no lack of offers for their players. They have one of the more lucrative welcome bonuses online today as well as many betting options, solid player security, a variety of banking options, and great customer support.
Betting on horse racing in Pennsylvania
Betting on horses in Pennsylvania is legal and there are five racetracks where you can make wagers.
Harrah’s Philadelphia – This racetrack located in the City of Brotherly Love opened in 2006 and is located very close to Delaware and New Jersey. There are many bets to make on the many races that are offered at the state of the art racetrack.
Parx Racetrack – This is one of the bigger racetracks in Pennsylvania and it is where the the main two gallops races in the state are held, with the Grade II Pennsylvania Derby and the US $500,000 Grade I Fitz Eugene Dixon Cotillion Handicap taking center stage.
Penn National – This racetrack was established in 1972 and here bettors can make wagers on races year around.
Pocono Downs – This track runs many races with many wagering options and they are a member of the U.S. Trotting Association.
Presque Isle Downs – This track was established in 2007 and besides offering many races this track is a unique one to say the least. It is paved with Tapeta, which is a synthetic surface where races can be held on no matter what the weather and in the Northeast region of the United States it was the first longer than one mile synthetic racetrack.
The Meadows – This is the oldest racetrack in the state and you can make bets all year round.
Online Poker in Pennsylvania
In the casinos around Pennsylvania poker is available legally and while there are no state-specific online poker rooms the bigger ones online today take players from the state. There are many offshore poker rooms, which cater to every type of player from low stakes players to high rollers. The state does not prohibit its citizens to playing at online poker rooms.
Online gambling laws in Pennsylvania
In 2004 the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act was passed in Pennsylvania which made it legal to gamble on slots machines as well as table games. By 2006, casinos and racetracks in Pennsylvania were allowed to have video slots and table games.
Online gambling and sports betting were made legal in October 2017 when Governor Tom Wolf signed HB 519 into law. The federal ban on sports wagering was repealed the May 2018 and Pennsylvania sportsbooks commenced operations the following November.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates most of the gaming in the state and it is law that casinos can have up to 5,000 slot machines and 250 table games. Resorts around the state that have a gaming license can have up to 600 slot machines and 50 table games.