What You Need to Know About Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

Written by:
Published on:

Pennsylvania has very friendly laws towards sports betting, both online and land-based. The favorable legislation came into force in 2017. The first in-person betting would only happen a year later, though. In 2019, the state also allowed mobile betting. Pennsylvanians have had a multitude of options ever since. Here's your guide if you want to take your chances at the Keystone State.  


The Legal Frame 

The state’s lawmakers have been introducing one liberalizing bill after another since 2013. The Gaming Act legalized “tavern raffles” and chance-based games for charitable purposes. Horse racing and lottery were already legal, although only in-person. Online gambling was finally legalized in October 2017. Now, Pennsylvanians can enjoy all the perks and games of BetMGM online casino.

The state has its own regulatory agency, the PGCB (Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board). The minimum legal age for gambling in the state is 21 years old. It oversees all gambling activities in the Keystone State. These include tavern games, horse racing, lotteries, sportsbooks, and casinos. 

Although Pennsylvania has largely legalized gambling, illegal gambling still persists in the state. Slots and other gambling devices are only allowed in licensed venues. Betting on offshore platforms is also illegal. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board can grant licenses to small venues for tavern gaming. Additionally, it must enforce the current legislation in those venues. 

Point By Point 

Check below the most important aspects of the gambling laws in the State of Independence.  

Sports Betting


Sports betting was legalized by the Expanded Gaming Act, and by the suspension of the federal ban by the Supreme Court, in 2018. All bets should be placed in person until 2019, when the online sportsbook sector was regulated.  

Betting (in general) 

Non-sports betting, like financials, entertainment, or who’ll be Bill Gates’ next date isn’t allowed in the state.  


According to the Gaming Act, poker is considered a table game and is regulated by the PGCB. All forms of poker are allowed, online or land-based, and are organized by licensed venues.  


Slot machines are very popular in Pennsylvania, and it was the first kind of gambling allowed after the Gaming Act. There are four different licenses for slots operators, depending on the licensee. Slot machines are only allowed in casinos, racetracks, resort casinos, and satellite casinos.  


Truck stops can now have terminal-based gaming. Skill-based terminals can also be offered electronically by land-based casinos. A truck stop must follow certain specifications concerning average sales and size. Each truck stop can have up to five terminals.  

Bingo and Lottery 

Pennsylvania operates its lottery, but there’s no prohibition on other lotteries. From 2019, players can enjoy the iLottery. Bingo  

Fantasy Sports (DFS) 

DFS stands for Daily Fantasy Sports, which are simulations of matches using real players’ stats. It became a roaring success among sports fans, as it allows them to relive classic games and manage their own teams. Pennsylvania laws are very friendly to this kind of betting. 

Currently, eight providers are catering to the Pennsylvanian audience. Apart from DraftKings and FanDuel, there are Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Sportshub Technologies, Full Time Fantasy Sports, Boom Fantasy, Fantasy Draft, and Draft. 

“Skill Machines” 

Skill Machines are a very Pennsylvanian phenomenon. These machines look very much like video slots, but with a tweak to make it more “skill-based.” It was enough for the court to consider that those games are skill-based and not sheer luck. Now, there are skill machines in countless clubs, bars, gas stations, and even tobacco shops. 


The Keystone State has one of the friendliest gambling laws in the country. Gamblers are contemplated with many options on every branch of online and land-based gaming. Such friendliness shows in the state's gambling revenue record last year. 

- Payton O'Brien, Gambling911.com Senior Editor

Gambling News

Is BetUS Legal in Arizona?

BetUS is an internationally licensed online sportsbook that has been serving the sports betting public worldwide for 25 years now.