Best Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks And Apps
Pennsylvania is one of the most important and biggest states in the country with regard to sports betting. When it debuted in the state in 2019, Pennsylvania was the most populous state to offer sports betting and is to date one of the largest U.S. betting states.
While Pennsylvania is by no means the largest state in terms of its betting handle, there is a good chance it could become one in the near future. With 13.1 million residents, Pennsylvania is the fifth-most populous U.S. state, so clearly, the potential is there.
The state's potential of becoming one of the top betting states also explains why its law mandated a $10 million fee for licenses and a 36% tax rate on gross revenue from sports betting. However, the pricey fees resulted in a months-long lag between the licensing period opening and submitted applications; however, the Keystone State eventually proved to be too attractive for many of the top sportsbooks who did not want to wait too long before starting offering its service.
Today, Pennsylvania is home to over a dozen of excellent sportsbooks and mobile betting apps, with retail sportsbooks located at nearly every casino location. It goes without saying that sports betting – either online or at retail sportsbooks – in Pennsylvania is huge, and over time, it has matured to a point where it's posting some incredible numbers.
Admittedly, the launch of sports betting in neighboring states will present Pennsylvania with some competition. Albeit, considering how fast the growth of the PA online betting market has been over the years, Pennsylvania will always be a step ahead of most other states.
Top PA Sportsbooks
New Player Bonus: Up to $1,000 Risk Free Bet
Promo Code: PICKWATCHPRO
Claim this offer >>
Best Online Pennsylvania Sportsbooks
Mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania launched in May 2019, with SugarHouse sportsbook the first to go fully live. By 2021, the offer of sportsbooks grew as Pennsylvania is now home to over a dozen excellent sports betting apps for you to download and use for your sports betting endeavors.
It's worth noting that the launch of mobile betting in Pennsylvania did not go without hiccups, as iOS devices used weren't able to bet on sports via their mobile devices. Even today, some sportsbooks have limited availability and functionality for Apple users, albeit the situation is improving, and it's only a matter of time before mobile betting apps become all-inclusive.
And even if you're an iOS device user, this shouldn't bother you too much since most of the top brands offer dedicated iOS mobile betting apps. So if you're betting from an Apple device, the options won't be heavily limited.
Here are some of the top Pennsylvania online sportsbooks for you to check out.
DraftKings has come a long way since it was merely a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) provider, blossoming into one of the leading online sportsbooks in the United States. Most of it had to do with DraftKings' aggressive expansion, having started offering its services in nearly all states.
So it should not come off as a surprise that DraftKings is available for bettors in Pennsylvania as well!
DraftKings entered Pennsylvania at the tail end of 2019, using the sportsbook license of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Even though it was far from one of the first sportsbooks to plant its flag into the Keystone State, DraftKings did not need long to emerge as one of the leading Pennsylvania online sportsbooks.
Its popularity, however, is completely justifiable, seeing how DraftKings offers some of the best online betting services in the business. Beyond that, it has an excellent mobile betting app, widely regarded as one of the most reliable betting apps in Pennsylvania.
The pricing is in line with the industry standard and often, DraftKings seems to be slightly above its competition. It also offers excellent promotions and bonuses which award the most loyal users and present you with excellent value – most notably with free bets, odds boosts, and loss insurance.
With DraftKings, you get to play on a reputable brand with an excellent mobile betting app and outstanding market selection. There's not a lot not to like about DraftKings.
DraftKings Pennsylvania Partner: The Meadows
If we talk about DraftKings, it's only fair to mention its biggest competition, FanDuel. The known DFS provider entered the Pennsylvania betting market through the license of Valley Forge Casino Resort, with the same mobile betting app it offers in New Jersey.
Like DraftKings, FanDuel successfully transitioned into online sports betting, so much so that it morphed into the market leader. And keep in mind that we're not talking about one of the market leaders, but THE market leader.
FanDuel boasts the largest betting handle, outperforming event DraftKings, so it's fair to say that FanDuel is the Pennsylvania bettors' preferred sportsbook and betting app choice.
While the two were neck and neck throughout the first full football season after sports betting became available in the United States, FanDuel has slowly but surely started gaining an advantage, surpassing its competition by quite a significant margin.
Part of it is due to FanDuel's excellent promotions during big sporting events, namely the Super Bowl, as well as unique bet types, such as 55 to 1 blitz, which has proven to be extremely popular amongst bettors. Those might be good enough reasons to explain why FanDuel is one of the top sportsbooks in the country, but there are a plethora of other factors that make it one of the best.
And that leads us to FanDuel's sportsbook app, which is simply phenomenal. It checks all the important marks – it's fast, easy to use, and stable – while it incorporates all FanDuel's advantages in a great market offer and competitive odds.
FanDuel truly is a great online sportsbook, and by some, it's the best one out there. But there are more excellent sportsbooks available to Pennsylvania sports bettors.
FanDuel Pennsylvania Partner: Valley Forge Casino Resort
If we are listing the biggest and most popular sportsbooks, we can't forget about BetMGM, which, as you've guessed, is live in Pennsylvania. BetMGM entered Pennsylvania in December 2020 through a license of Hollywood Casino Morgantown and has since attracted a plethora of customers.
As one of the late arrivals in the state, BetMGM does not have as big of a betting handle as DraftKings or FanDuel. But that doesn't take away from the quality of the service it provides.
BetMGM is known for its mobile betting app, which offers a variety of markets and great promotions, including odds boosts. But beyond all, BetMGM is recognizable by its overall quality of service, with some of the best betting odds in the industry.
BetMGM has come a long way since its start as PlayMGM in New Jersey, and while it still carries some of the negative stigmas it has earned with its subpar mobile betting app at the start, BetMGM is nowadays considered as the gaming behemoth.
Based on popularity, BetMGM trails FanDuel and DraftKings, but it's still up there with the two big Pennsylvania sportsbooks when it comes to quality and the betting experience it provides.
BetMGM Pennsylvania Partner: Qualified Gaming Entity (QGE)
Formerly SugarHouse Sportsbook, BetRivers was the brand to offer mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania when it entered the market in May 2019. As the oldest operating sportsbook in the state, BetRivers has gained a lot of attention from Pennsylvania punters, who consider it as their go-to sportsbook for all their sports betting needs.
BetRivers' biggest advantage over its competition is the selection of banking methods, widely considered one of the best in the industry. Besides that, BetRivers offers all its new customers an attractive sign-up bonus of a $250 deposit match.
In terms of the market offer and odds quality, BetRivers doesn't trail its competition either and while that's definitely an advantage it has over some other names, BetRivers' main feature remains its mobile betting app.
The mobile betting app is not as flashy as some Pennsylvania apps out there, but it really doesn't have to be. Instead, BetRivers prides itself on being as simple and user-friendly as possible, providing you with a straightforward way to bet on your phone.
Although this is a completely subjective opinion, BetRiver's app is not very pretty and definitely not as good-looking as FanDuel's. However, it does its job; it's stable, reliable, and fast.
BetRivers Pennsylvania Partner: Rivers Casinos
The widely-recognized BetStars became FOX Bet in 2019 after being acquired by the media giant Flutter. With that, a new sportsbook was born, creating one of the most interesting tie-ups between a media operation and an iGaming company.
While using FOX Bet, it becomes quickly noticeable that the app might not be as polished as FanDuel or DraftKings, but FOX Bet does an excellent job in providing an excellent betting experience. Most importantly, it's been made to cater to both experienced and casual bettors.
FOX Bet's quality is directly tied to its excellent offer of prop bets and odds boost features, which serve as a huge differentiator from your usual betting operators and most other Pennsylvania sportsbooks.
There are some downsides, however, as FOX Bet does not offer online banking methods as of now. However, there are plenty of other deposit and withdrawal methods for you to choose from.
And while FOX Bet might not be viewed as highly as FanDuel or DraftKings, it is still an excellent sportsbook that shouldn't be overlooked. The overall betting experience on the site is great, and while you might not like the look of its mobile app, its layout and features are all you would expect from a top-of-the-shelf sports betting provider in Pennsylvania.
FOX Bet Pennsylvania Partner: Mohegan Sun Pocono
Popular Sports In Pennsylvania
If you want to know which sports are popular in any given state, all you need to do is look at which teams the state is home to. And with Pennsylvania, there are plenty of high-profile teams to look at.
Most notably, Pennsylvania is the home of two of the most successful NFL franchises in Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Eagles won one Super Bowl title, the Steelers stand out as the NFL's most successful franchise, with six Super Bowl wins and hold the record for the most appearances in a conference championship game.
Beyond that, Pennsylvania is the home of the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, who play in the MLB. The roots of both franchises can be traced back to the late 1800s, and are two of the longest-running franchises in the league.
Obviously, the list doesn't stop there. Pennsylvania is also the home state of the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA) and the Philadelphia Flyers (NFL) as two highly successful teams in their respective leagues.
So if you're wondering which sport is the most important amongst the Pennsylvania bettors, there is no clear answer. As a home of teams across four major U.S. leagues, basketball, hockey, football, and baseball all deserve to be considered popular sports in Pennsylvania. Stay up to date with the latest Sporting Picks with the Experts at NFLPickWatch.com
Betting Options In Pennsylvania Sportsbooks
When betting in Pennsylvania, you won't be limited on how, where, and what you can bet on as long as you bet legally. Admittedly, the selection of sportsbooks in Pennsylvania is not as large as in some other big betting states, but with over a dozen online sports betting apps available, it's hard to complain about the offer.
At this point, it's also worth noting that Pennsylvania expects to welcome more online sportsbooks in 2022 and beyond, further accelerating the impressive growth of its betting market. Beyond that, the selection of betting markets and bet types at any of the currently available sportsbooks is vast and covers all the options you would expect.
With so many big-brand names offering their services in Pennsylvania, you can rest assured that your online betting options won't be limited, nor will you find yourself at any disadvantage compared to bettors from other states.
Legislation For Online Sports Betting on Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania had been pushing to legalize sports betting for many years, even before it happened in 2018. In fact, Pennsylvania's legislators had been trying to make sports betting happen as early as 2004.
Retail sports betting in Pennsylvania was eventually legalized in 2018; however, it wasn't until May 2019 that PA launched online sports betting and saw the birth of its first mobile betting apps. May marked a breakthrough month for the state and the beginning of what is now one of the largest betting markets in the country.
Admittedly, Pennsylvania did not make it easy for operators to enter its market with large $10 million licensing fees. However, that did not deter any sportsbooks from paying the hefty fee just to be a part of one of the biggest markets in the country.
The first operator to have a live app running in the Keystone State was PlaySugarHouse (BetRivers), who went live in June 2019, with other big brand names following suit.
The start of mobile betting in Pennsylvania wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, however, as many apps did not offer support for iPhone users. That changed in July 2019, when FanDUel launched in the state, offered an app that worked on iOS devices, and set a new benchmark for any future mobile sports betting apps in the state.
FOX Bet, DraftKings, Unibet, and BetAmerica joined the fun with their own mobile betting apps by the end of the year. Now, Pennsylvania bettors have more than a dozen sportsbooks to choose from, with more brands set to enter the market in 2022.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Timeline:
October 2017 – A set of bills outlining gambling expansion in PA is signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf. These bills legalized retail and online sports betting as a part of the planned expansion that was halted by rules of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which was still in effect.
May 2018 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules the PASPA unconstitutional, overturning the mandate after 26 years. With that, Pennsylvania gets the green light to launch sports betting in the state.
November 2018 – Pennsylvania's first retail sportsbook opens its doors, as Hollywood Casino at Penn National accepts the first sports bet in the state.
May 2019 – Pennsylvania launches its first online sportsbook – SugarHouse Sportsbook.
July 2019 - FanDuel enters Pennsylvania and quickly emerges as one of the most popular mobile sports betting apps.
December 2020 – BetMGM joins the Pennsylvania sports betting market as the state's first Qualified Gaming Entity (QGE). It's the first iGaming brand to enter the market with that status, which doesn't require a land-based casino partner.
What to Consider When Shopping For The Best Pennsylvania Online Sportsbooks and Apps
When shopping for the best sportsbook in Pennsylvania, you have to consider a few things. First and foremost, you have to pick one of the legal sportsbooks, for obvious reasons, but mostly to keep yourself and your money safe.
Besides that, the quality of the service is important as you wouldn't want to bet on any sportsbook that lacks in any of the critical areas. That includes a large selection of betting markets, competitive odds, and a responsive site or mobile app.
Banking options are to be considered, as you should always pick the sportsbook that has the deposit/withdrawal options that suit you. Similarly, the mobile app's layout and appearance are not something to ignore, albeit those are secondary factors to keep in mind.
As long as the sportsbooks' app works as intended, is fast and stable, it's likely a good pick. Last but not least are the bonuses and promotions which are some sportsbook's main selling points.
Admittedly, using a sportsbook with great bonuses is great as it can earn you some nice rewards and provide you with great value. But at the same time, you should never put more weight on the promotions than on the basic elements all sportsbooks should have – great prices, available markets, and a reputable brand.
Pennsylvania was one of the first states to push for the legalization of sports betting and was quick to jump into the world of betting as soon as it was possible. The state has since come a long way and is currently one of the largest betting states in the country, both with its handle and the potential for further growth.
As one of the most populous states in the U.S., Pennsylvania offers excellent expansion opportunities for any sportsbook, which explains why so many brands are rushing to start offering their services in the state. This created a market where any bettor has a wide list of sportsbook and betting apps to choose from and a highly competitive market that forced all the betting providers to work on the quality of its services.
The only major negative about Pennsylvania sports betting is the very high tax rates, which may make it difficult for some operators to enter into its market. As a result, Pennsylvania will likely continue to lag behind New Jersey in the betting handle.
On the bright side, that shouldn't affect you as a bettor, who will continue to have plenty of apps available to you to use and enjoy. And did we mention that college betting is permitted in Pennsylvania?