Pennsylvania is a sports fan’s dream. The state has eight professional sports franchises and also a popular college sports following. This makes for a dynamic sports betting landscape and bettors have plenty of teams to place wagers on. There may not be any state regulated sportsbooks in the state, but Pennsylvania residents can still participate in legal online sports betting through several licensed offshore sportsbooks. This page was designed for Pennsylvania residents and sheds light on the legalities of the industry as well as which sportsbooks are best to use. You will also find information on the most popular sports teams in the state.
Best US Friendly Sports Betting Site
Accepting Pennsylvania Players In 2018
Pennsylvania residents have more home state pro sports teams to follow than the average American. We can easily recommend Betonline Sportsbook for PA sports fans seeking a premium online sports betting experience. BetOnline is an industry leader when it comes competitive odds and betting lines, which are comparable to the bookmakers in Vegas. This well established operation has been in business since 1991, they offer a lifetime match bonus on all deposits, fast withdrawals and deliver a high quality, secure and innovative betting environment that is licensed and regulated in Panama City, Panama. You will find a well designed mobile application that includes their live betting features, a banking suite that effectively supports US players, and a highly responsive and competent customer support team.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Pennsylvania?
Like all states, the state of Pennsylvania is bound by US sports betting laws that effectively prohibit both online and offline US based sportsbook gambling in PA. These laws have caused many offshore sportsbooks to shun US residents as customers. Therefore, the only way you're going to be permitted to gamble online via a sportsbook is by finding a legal online sports betting site that will accept your action. There are some premium options out there, and we will attempt to point you in the right direction. While there are not any state laws in Pennsylvania that make it illegal for its residents to enjoy offshore sportsbook gambling, it is up to the players to ensure that they are limiting their betting action only to USA friendly sportsbooks that are licensed and regulated outside of the parameters of the US jurisdiction, and that the region has legalized sports betting for their residents. By accessing the sites recommended on this page, you will be doing precisely that. Participating in any type of sports betting that is not licensed or subject to regulatory oversight is illegal, regardless of where the business is based.
Federal Laws that May Impact Pennsylvania
There are three major pieces of legislation here, and we'll start with the latest of the series, the UIGEA. Known technically as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, this was the gargantuan monkey wrench that was signed into law by President George W. Bush at the height of the Internet poker craze. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) places strict regulatory oversight concerning how gambling related transactions are processed online. It is not directed towards bettors, but rather towards gambling site owners and operators, as well as payment processors.
The second piece of regulation we'll speak about is known as the Bradley Act but is technically the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This act, PASPA, was also huge when it was first implemented. In the early '90s, it was the height of sports betting throughout the USA. Bookies and casinos and off-track locations and a thousand other places were enjoying their sports-based action. However, government was very strict on morality in these days. Although they weren't as bad as the McCarthy witch-hunters, they still decided that, to "protect" amateur sports, they would make all sports betting illegal, from pee-wee football to the NFL. Only four states are exempt from this legislation, and Pennsylvania isn't one of them. The law bars all but four states—Oregon, Nevada, Montana and Delaware—from having any form of state-regulated brick and mortar sports betting options. This means that you're not going to find legal sports betting in the state, at least in any official, state-licensed capacity, making offshore betting your best bet.
The third piece of legislation is the oldest, the Federal Wire Act of 1961. This came at a time when phoning your bets in to your bookie was the way to go. It was convenient, it was wide-reaching, and unfortunately it was also impossible for states to control. Phone lines reach everywhere, which made sports betting via wires expressly a federal issue because of interstate traffic. After this law passed, all forms of wire-based betting were shut down, and you still can't find anything like this anywhere in the US. The Federal Wire Act makes it illegal for US-based online sportsbooks to accept any action from US bettors. This law blocks US-based online sportsbooks from being legally operational. It doesn’t go after the bettor, but rather the sportsbook or bookie running the show. However, the law does not apply to legally licensed offshore sportsbooks that offer online access to their betting services.
Places to Gamble in Pennsylvania
It isn't going to take you long to find casinos in Pennsylvania. One of their most popular is the Valley Forge Casino Resort, and this casino features over 600 slots, 50 table games, and has a health spa, a gym, restaurants, valet parking, and entertainment options. If you want something that's much more inclusive, then you might appreciate The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. This is a location where you can find slot machines, table games, a 15-table poker room, horse races, simulcast racing, and so much more. If you're a serious poker fan who wants to play in a large poker room where many tournaments are frequently held, then you might enjoy the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem. Not only can you find over 3,000 slot machines and nearly 200 table games here, but they also have a very large 36-table poker room. They also have plenty of entertainment options, multiple restaurants, valet parking, top-notch rooms, and every other odd and end you would expect from a top-flight casino.
One of the fastest growing names in all of gambling is the Mohegan Sun, and you can find their biggest offering in Connecticut. However, they're starting to open more locations around the nation, such as their relatively new casino in Pocono Downs. This version of the Mohegan Sun has over 2,300 slots, nearly 100 table games, and an 18-table poker room. Slated to open up in 2018, Pennsylvania isn't done with their casinos yet. They have a brand new and very large casino coming via the Live Hotel and Casino resort. This casino will feature over 2,000 slots, over 100 table games, and more than 30 poker tables. There will also be entertainment options and plenty of dining options. If you need a place to gamble in Pennsylvania, you definitely have a few options available.
Pennsylvania's Many Sports Franchises
Major League Baseball
MLB has a huge presence in Pennsylvania via two very popular ball clubs: The Philadelphia Phillies and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies are the more popular of the two teams, and that's because they've been the better team for longer. Their last East Division title came in 2011, but they have a pitching staff that's basically unmatched in all of baseball. If only they could swing the bats on a more consistent basis, the team might actually have more World Series wins to its credit. Their last World Series came back in 2008, and they had a chance to win back-to-back but ended up losing in '09. The Phillies have fallen on hard times this season, however, due to injuries and bad trades, so they won't be in 2015's post season. However, their core pitching is still intact and they may make another big run at it next season.
For the Pirates, they're actually in contention in the NL Central this season. They're currently five games back (as of September, 2015), and they're 29 games over .500. For Pirates fans, this is a huge improvement over recent years. They made a wild card berth last season, and may well again this season, but before their relatively recent run of decent play, the Pirates were a bottom-shelf team. Their last World Series happened back in 1979, so the state of Pennsylvania is hungry for a Pirates push through the playoffs this year.
The National Hockey League
The NHL is considered to be the bottom of the major four American sports, but at least they're listed as a top-four sport. Golf, volleyball, soccer and many other sports cannot claim this. And so it's no surprise really that Pennsylvania has two NHL teams: The Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers have been around since 1967 and have a pretty big following. Unfortunately, however, they don't have a very big roster of talented players. Their last Stanley Cup victory came all the way back in 1973, and the last time they won their division was in 1967. The Flyers aren't looking that ready for prime time of late, but maybe their luck is slated to change in a few years.
For the Penguins, you're looking at a team that has won more recently yet still hasn't really given Pittsburgh anything in decades. They're 25 years without any winning seasons, dating back to their last division title and Stanley Cup in 1990. Under Mike Johnston, the Penguins seem to be a little improved, but fans are hoping for much improved. Maybe another year of draft picks and free agency can fit Pittsburgh's woes.
The National Basketball Association
In the NBA, there's only on team in Pennsylvania, and that's the Philadelphia 76ers. This is an incredibly proud franchise, which once had the famous Dr. J playing for them, and they had Mr. "Who Needs Practice" himself, Allen Iverson in the 1990s. However, now that the 76ers are basically without that level of talent, they're the bottom rung of the Eastern Conference. Surely this article doesn't inspire much confidence with Philly fans, but we must tell the truth as it relates to sports teams and your odds of winning anything on them. And the truth about the 76ers is that they'll probably finish close to dead last in the East next season, at least four solid drafts away from putting together a true contender. Long gone are the days of Dr. J's impressive reverse layups. These days, it's flopping and tanking for more lottery balls in the draft.
Major League Soccer
Perhaps the newest sports franchise in Pennsylvania is the Philadelphia Union, of Major League Soccer (MLS). Of course, soccer isn't ranked as a top-four sport, and thus a lot of people don't follow the action closely. But for fans in Philly, the Union are a solid ball club that has been in competition for big titles since they were founded. They once finished as runners up to the US Open Cup, and the team seems to get a little better every year.
The National Football League
The state of Pennsylvania might like its sports, but it loves its NFL. There is no other sport in the state that can even come close to the fandom displayed at football games, and this goes for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams are watched closely by the oddsmakers and fans alike and are always featured in the betting lines at prominent sportsbooks.
The Steelers are one of the strongest teams in the league. They clinched their division with an 11-5 record last year under head coach Mike Tomlin. They had Super Bowl aspirations and looked to be on their way, but failed to win against the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. The Steelers have an all-star cast with Pro Bowlers RB Le’Veon Bell, WR Antonio Brown, G David DeCastro, C Maurkice Pouncey, QB Ben Roethlisberger and ILB Ryan Shazier. Betting on the Steelers is always a safe move and they will be a force in the AFC yet again. Whether they can stop the Patriots is another question.
The Eagles finished 7-9 and last in their division. This record caused them to miss the Playoffs for the third consecutive season. Head coach Doug Pederson was unsuccessful in his debut and will try to turn things around his sophomore season. The Eagles are showing positive signs by signing WR Torrey Smith, WR Alshon Jeffery and RB LeGarrette Blount. These additions give QB Nick Foles more opportunities to put points on the board. Some analysts have the Jets pinned as a sleeper team in the upcoming season, but there is no way to tell until the new season kicks off. Keep an eye on them on a week-to-week basis.
Just keep in mind that, as a Pennsylvania sports fan, your best move might be with betting on teams outside of your home state. Always do your research when betting and place your money on the team/player with a higher statistical likelihood of winning. If you can do this, you can win some real money when betting.
Future Betting Odds For All Pennsylvania Sports Teams 2018-2019
Philadelphia Phillies Odds to Win the World Series +7500
Pittsburgh Pirates Odds to Win the World Series +15000
Philadelphia Eagles Odds To Win Super Bowl 53 +850
Pittsburgh Steelers Odds To Win Super Bowl 53 +1200
Philadelphia 76ers Odds To Win The NBA Championship +6600
Philadelphia Flyers Odds To Win Stanley Cup +4000
Pittsburgh Penguins Odds To Win Stanley Cup +900
Philadelphia Union Odds To Win MLS Championship Cup - TBA