Sports Betting Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania online gambling is finally on the march! After years of discussions, the new PA Online Gambling Bill has finally been implemented and Penn is ready to proceed with online gambling licenses. The licenses will cover both Pennsylvania online casino and Pennsylvania sports betting. Hence there is a bright future for anyone who loves to gamble online in Pennsylvania.

PA online gambling will for sure have many years of good business for PA online casino players and sports bettors. This is exciting times to follow and we hope that PA sports betting and casinos will have a great environment to fully flourish!

Bettingeagle will give you the full insight on the market in Pennsylvania and we will also share our best guides on how to maximize your profit on PA online casinos and betting. Check out our new sports betting strategies and read our introduction to live betting.

Online Casino Pennsylvania

Online casino gambling might not be as deeply-rooted, highly-developed or diverse in Pennsylvania as it in the states of New Jersey and Nevada, but PA is making significant strides to grow the online and offline gambling industries. The banning of PASPA (a law that made sports betting illegal nationwide with the exception of Nevada), remains the greatest motivator for the betting industry, and a lot is expected from the state.

Following the nationwide legalization of sports betting and the launch of the state’s first sportsbook, a few online gambling activities like the online lottery, Keno, virtual sports betting, and regulated daily fantasy sports betting are operational. These events follow the overhaul of the Pennsylvania gaming bill in 2017 which resulted in the legalization of online sports betting, online poker, PA online casino, online casino in Pennsylvania gambling, and live sports betting.

In 2017, the Pennsylvania Senate and House passed HB 271 into law, making online gambling and online betting sites legal. The bill was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf, one day after receiving the legislature.

HB 271 is one of the most comprehensive bills on online gambling and betting. However, what really stands out is the fact that this bill granted the existing land-based casinos, as well as the qualified entities in the gaming industry the right and the ability to finally apply for licenses allowing them to offer online casino/ gambling games finally. Note that the casinos and the other entities that qualify to obtain licenses to run gambling activities online must have licenses for each type of online gambling they wish to offer.

These are the online casino Pennsylvania licenses required by the online casinos to be licensed for online table games, online poker, and online slots.

Online Casino Licensing in Pennsylvania

Each of these licenses costs $4 million. For the existing PA casinos, the passing of the BH 271 bill gave them the option of buying these three licenses as a package deal which set the casinos back $10million instead of $12 million. The catch is that this was a deal open only for the first 90 days after the passing of the bill.

To save on licensing fees, nine casinos took the $10 million licensing package deal by July 16th, 2018. These are:

  • Harrah’s
  • SugarHouse
  • Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia
  • Parx
  • Mount Airy
  • Hollywood
  • Valley Forge
  • Rivers
  • Sands Casino

But, only three of the nine casinos had their licenses approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board with four other getting approval in October of 2018.

PA online casino licenses

Currently, PGCB has approved licenses from 7 online casinos which will be offering online slots, online poker, and online table games.

The seven casinos include:

  • Harrah’s
  • Hollywood
  • Parx
  • SugarHouse
  • Sands
  • Mount Airy
  • Valley Forge

Two other casinos received their licenses although they only opted for online slots and online table games licenses. These casinos are Presque Isle Downs and Stadium Casino. Stadium Casino is the only casino with a permit to build a physical casino in Philadelphia.

The Mohegan Sun Pocono represents the last casino whose application for all the three online gambling licenses is pending.

When the online gambling industry was opened up for casinos, and interested parties asked to apply for licenses, thirteen casinos applied. Out of the 13, Rivers Casino rescinded its application while The Meadows and Lady Luck Nemacolin decided against taking part. These casinos might have deferred their applications to their sister casinos the Hollywood Casino and Presque Isle respectively.

Besides licensing, PA’s Gaming Control Board runs comprehensive background checks on the software providers running online gambling operations in the licensed casinos. The board also approves or rejects the online casino games offered by running tests on the games before the games are given the green light to offer those games.


Future Takers for online casino licenses

Since PGCB started taking applications for online casino gambling, it has had 11 leftover interactive licenses. The board has, as a result, opened up the application for the online gambling licenses to the other qualified gaming entities, QGEs out of state. This has seen two big potential takers: Golden Nugget Atlantic City and MGM Resorts. MGM Resorts seeks licensing for the three licensing categories while Golden Nugget only seeks licensing for online table games and online slots. An assumption is that Golden Nugget’s application for two rather than three licenses results from the fact that the Golden Nugget is the leading online casino operator in New Jersey, and even there, it doesn’t offer online poker.

Despite their high standing in the online casino world, the applications for these two out of state casinos will not be approved until early 2019 since the application process for their licenses closed in October 31st with the PGCB was expected to approve the applications after 28th November.


While the legalization of online gambling and betting gave the online casinos an opportunity to increase the revenue earned from gambling, HB271 is riddled with high tax rates, especially for online slots. Though profitable in the short and long term, online slots are slapped with an unbelievable 52 per cent tax rate as well as an additional 2 per cent local tax.

The tax rates for online table games and poker are also high at 14 per cent plus the local tax of 2 per cent.

While the legalization of sports betting in 2018 was celebrated, sports betting was slapped a high tax rate of 34 per cent, plus 2 per cent local tax.

Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting

Even before the Supreme Court Ruling of May 14, 2018, the state of Pennsylvania was already making moves to legalize sports betting in online and the offline casinos.

However, the real moves were made post the nationwide legalization of sports betting. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is currently reviewing applications for online sports betting. Offline sports betting is already underway in the state with the Hollywood Casino launched on November 15. That is breaking ground as the first land-based casino accepting wagers on sports. Hollywood casino sportsbook is operated by William Hill US. It covers all the major sporting events worldwide.

Sports betting operators will be charged 36 per cent in taxes, and they are required to pay $10million for the sports betting licensing fee.

One important aspect of choosing a new online casino and sports betting provider is the possibility to get a great sports betting bonus.

About Sports Betting at the Hollywood Casino

As the premier site accepting legal wagers on sports, it’s worth a little more attention, right?

While Parx Casino presented its intention to offer the sports betting services, Hollywood Casino beat Park by submitting their license application first. So, Hollywood casino began taking live sports wagers first. The Penn National Gaming planned to launch the casino on September 1st, 2018, but the launch was pushed to November 15.

One of the conditions given to Hollywood casino sportsbook is the requirement to stick to a strict operating schedule. The doors of the casino are only open from 11 am to 12 am during weekdays, and 10 am to 12 am during the weekend.

The sportsbook accepts all types of wagers including in-play betting. Even though nothing has been said about the launch of a Hollywood Casino online sportsbook, the backing by William Hill means that the launch of the online sportsbook is a possibility.

Other PA Sports Betting Casinos

The opening of online sportsbooks in Pennsylvania happens in 2019. Hence, our focus is now on the land-based sportsbooks expected to open online sportsbooks in the future.

The other sportsbooks that have applied for online sports betting licenses include Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National, Parx Casino, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, and SugarHouse Casino.

Online Lottery

In case you didn’t know, online lotteries now make up the online gambling options in Pennsylvania. The legalization of the online lottery was part of Pennsylvania’s gambling expansion law.

iLottery, the first online lottery, launched in May 2017. ILottery offers at least a dozen online instant games. Similar to the games you buy in the store, like scratch cards. They are, however, more interactive. The instants also include bonus games on top of the scratch-off component. So, the online lottery instant games allow you to multiply your winnings on each ticket.

And, as part of the rollout process, the PA lottery introduced revamped PA lottery mobile apps. And since you cannot buy the lottery’s draw tickets online, yet, the app lets you use ply instant games. You can also use the app to scan your draw tickets and to check your winning numbers.

Online Casino Partnerships

Probably anticipating the legalization of online casinos, most of the land-based casino operators in Pennsylvania teamed up with leading software providers, as well as the existing online casinos in New Jersey. It is also possible that the NJ online casinos got to broker deals with potential real-money gaming software providers, and with the PA properties.

The partnerships are important because Pennsylvania casinos can be part of the interactive online gambling market by either hiring developers for their native platforms of they could lease licenses to already-established third parties.

The top partnerships include:

Hollywood Casino

For interactive gaming, Hollywood Casino has partnered with IGT while interacting with the sports betting giant William Hill for its sports betting services.

Now, you might not know this, but Hollywood Casino is only one of the two properties of Penn National Gaming in PA. It is also the Banner Carrier for the group. Penn uses the Hollywood Casino brand/ License in deploying its interactive platforms across the state of Pennsylvania. The Penn Paperwork was approved earlier on.

In the application process, the new Hollywood Casino- IGT alliance was revealed, as well as it is an extension of William Hill.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

The casino has partnered with 888 Casino and Scientific Games for interactive gaming. For sports betting, it partnered with Scientific Games.

Harrah’s is one of Caesar’s property, and Caesars and 888 casinos have a historical partnership in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. The partnership of Harrah’s with 888 Casino will, therefore, make Harrah’s Caesar’s fourth interactive partner in the country.

It should be noted that PA online poker has the highest potential for liquidity following the partnership. Since Caesars uses Scientific Games, the partnership affects Harrah’s as well.

Mohegan Sun Pocono

This is a tribal casino operator who gained a wealth of knowledge on the operation of online casinos thanks to their deals with Resorts Casino based in Atlantic City. Since Mohegan Sun runs the daily casino operations of the land-based Atlantic City casino, it has the experience it needs in Pennsylvania. NJ’s offline Mohegan Sun has worked with NYX, the software provider, and PokerStars.

Mount Airy Casino

Despite being a mid-tier casino in Pennsylvania, Mount Airy Casino aims to venture into the online casino industry where it could gain a competitive edge. Mount Airy Casinos signed a deal with the high-rolling NJ casino 888 in 2015. Other than 888 Casino, Mount Airy Casino is planning a partnership deal with The Stars Group which will allow Mount Airy Casino to make use of PokerStars brand for their online poker platform. It also plans to leverage BetStars in sports betting within PA.

Meadows Casino

This is the other property of Penn National Gaming. While its sports betting and interactive gaming partners are non-existent, the customers of Meadows Casino have access to sports betting and interactive casino services. Its applications submitted by the property owner, Penn, was under Hollywood Casino’s license.

Other partnerships
  • Parx Casino has partnered with GAN and Kambi for its interactive gaming and sports betting platforms.
  • Presque Isle Downs Casino is partnering with SBTech for their sports betting and interactive gaming platforms.
  • Rivers Casino is partnering with Kambi for its sports betting platform, but its interactive partner doesn’t have a partnering platform, yet.
  • SugarHouse partners with Kambi for its sports betting platform and Rush Street Interactive for their interactive gaming platform.
  • Valley Forge is partnering with FanDuel Sportsbook for sports betting and Party Poker/ GAN/ and IGT for its interactive gaming platform.
  • Sands Bethlehem’s partners are unknown, as is the case with Stadium Casino.

Gambling in Pennsylvania – conclusion

While most of the casinos plan to partner with PokerStars to offer online poker, slots and table games, PokerStars has received its approval from PGCB, and it already has a permit to offer online poker, online table games, and online slots.

Finally, you might want to know that out of the 39 permits for interactive gaming in PA, 27 are still available, and with Rivers withdrawal and the change of mind of Stadium and Mohegan Sun casinos over the poker licenses, there are a total of 12 leftover permits, each going for $4million – 6 online poker licenses, 3 table games, and 3 online slots licenses.

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