With a pretty rapid development of the online gambling Pennsylvania based spots, all the gamblers were amazed and curious about what it all would come to. One of the branches to consider in this case is the history of betting that got legal in the Keystone state.

Let’s cast a brief look at how PA authorities prepared to legalize betting in the state, so that it would obtain the shape it currently possesses.

Alex Author
Publication date: 2021-12-07 Last updated: 2022-08-24
Table of Content

    Sports Betting in PA: A Timeline

    Pennsylvania sports betting is one of the most developed gambling domains in the US due to being controlled with the utmost attention.

    How did betting in PA got legal? Catch it right now.

    • 2015

      A New Beginning for Sports Betting

      There were lots of events in 2015 that stimulated the emergence and evolution of betting in the Keystone state. One of them was HR 619—the memo that proposed to remove the ban and allow betting in the state. Adopted on June 29, 2016 (140-59), it deactivated the 1992 Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (28 U.S.C. § 3701 et seq.) that banned all betting and couldn’t ensure development of the PA online casino and betting industry.

      As a result, the HR 1627 released the same year clearly denoted that there’d been no legal circumstances to “prohibit the receiving, recording or registering of bets or wagers or selling pools involving any professional or amateur athletic event by a licensed facility as that term is defined in 4 Pa.C.S. § 1103 (relating to definitions)”.

      Thus, it was the beginning of the new era in betting in the Keystone state.

    • 2016

      Further Actions

      The House Gaming Oversight Committee approved of the Rep. Matzie’s resolution proposed to cancel the ban over the sports betting activities in the Keystone state. It gave a more vital push to the betting legalization in the state.

      As a result of this resolution, further actions have been developed. The main outcome of the actions was that 23 betting locations were legal in the state. In the near future, the online betting spots would be run, and the history of the betting industry in the state would acquire more and more powerful events.

    • 2017

      Kotik’s Bill Impact

      Thanks to the Rep. Marzie and the resolution they powered, the laws on betting started being reconsidered and created anew. 

      There was another bill to speed up the development of the betting sector in PA—HR 519 proposed and promoted by Rep. Rick Kotik. 

      The bill states all the features of bet and wagering are, “the business of accepting wagers on sporting events or on the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sporting event or combination of sporting events by any system or method of wagering, including, but not limited to, exchange wagering, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools and straight bets.”  

      Along with this, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was given the controlling tools and regulations. The main basis for the authority’s responsibilities originated from the Christie vs. NCAA case. It means that year the PGCB became the main controlling body to exercise the audit all over the casinos and betting spots in the state.  

      Besides, there was the House Bill 271 that caused a lot of discussions. One of the reasons for the discussions was the fact that it was considered to be a bill to promote gambling to the extent exceeding the initial expectations of the authorities.

    • 2018

      The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

      In 2018, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board established all the process, regulations, and measures to exercise all the responsibilities related to the gambling platforms. 

      As a result, the main responsibilities of the PGCB included licencing the online/offline gambling platforms, monitoring the activities of the platforms, providing all legal support to the casinos, etc. 

      In fact, the year 2018 didn’t bring many events to the betting field development but shaped all of its actors’ responsibilities. Therefore, after the PGCB had received its responsibilities, it got possible to consider the real beginning of the absolutely legal betting in PA.

    • 2019

      The First Betting Establishment

      In May 2019, after going through all of the requirements to start a betting spot in PA, the first betting house was run: it was the well-known now SugarHouse. Yes, the same sportsbook having already been popular in New Jersey.

      Besides, there were some more events that year.

      Three more sportsbooks were powered in the state the same year: BetRivers, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook. Starting off that time, there were real online betting platforms that officially and legally functioned in the state.

      Being regularly monitored by the PGCB, these betting brands have been famous in the state and have attracted countless gamblers even outside PA.

    • 2020

      A COVID Crisis or Acceleration?

      As known, with the pandemic start and its unfortunate development, the income of the betting houses was expected to be reduced. However, in reality the shortened income of the betting houses anyway resulted in faster development of the industry.

      Since the gamblers had to experience the lockdown, there was no other option to earn money than betting. As a result, the betting sector of gambling industry started generating a higher level of income.

    • 2021

      The Future Is Here

      One of the future aspects of PA online betting is to work out the steps to strengthen the industry and bring higher results. What’s more, there’s a kind of a competition between the states on which of them would bring more income out of betting. Currently, the main competitor of the Keystone state is New Jersey.

      The future would show what is going to happen. In any case, for now, there’s no doubt that betting would remain one of the most beneficial fields to be into, as it accumulates big sums of money and is always ready to make a gambler another millionaire.

    PA Sports Betting Timeline Infographic

    PA sports betting timeline infographic


    Am I eligible to bet in PA if I am a non-resident of this state?

    Yes, every person who is geographically located in Pennsylvania is eligible to bet and gamble online in all forms prescribed by the current state legislation.

    Should I bet using the PA-based sportsbooks or the offshore ones?

    No offshore sportsbooks are legal in the Keystone State. It means that by signing up with one or several of them, each gambler violates the law of the state. Be sure to get into legal online betting in Pennsylvania to avoid any possible issues related to law and fraud.