Horse Racing in Pennsylvania
What horse racing tracks currently exist in Pennsylvania?
The state of Pennsylvania has three major thoroughbred racing tracks:
- PARX (Bensalem, PA)
- Penn National Race Course (Hershey, PA)
- Presque Isle Downs (Erie, PA)
The state is also home to three live harness racing tracks as well:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack (Chester, PA)
- The Meadows Racetrack and Casino (Washington, PA)
- Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
Despite a promising start in Pennsylvania during America’s infancy, gambling was outlawed in the state in 1820. It was not until well over a century later that horse racing and wagering was legalized in the state. As the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association explains:
“Many wealthy, prominent, and influential Pennsylvania horse owners lobbied for the legalization of horse racing, and finally in 1959, the state passed the Race Horse Industry Reform Act which cleared the way for the construction of statewide race tracks and pari-mutual wagering.”Early Horse Racing in Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association
Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
Is sports-betting legal in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania first launched legal and regulated retail sports betting in 2018, before expanding to online in the Summer of 2019. The already handles a higher volume of bets annually than any state outside of Nevada and New Jersey.
When can I bet on sports in Pennsylvania through TwinSpires?
Betting on sports in Pennsylvania became available with TwinSpires’ BetAmerica platforms in 2019.
Churchill Downs Incorporated has offered sports betting online for players in Pennsylvania since December of 2019 through the BetAmerica brand. The BetAmerica brand is currently transitioning into the larger TwinSpires brand. Existing BetAmerica online players can continue to utilize the BetAmerica platform as normal before a seamless migration to TwinSpires in the first half of 2021.
What sports can I bet on in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania allows sports wagering for your favorite professional and collegiate sporting events! However, betting is not permitted on non-competition events like the NFL draft. Additionally, players may not bet on eSports, political races, the Oscars, and other non-sporting events in the Keystone State.
- National Football League (NFL)
- National Basketball Association (NBA)
- Major League Baseball (MLB)
- College Football (NCAAF)
- College Basketball (NCAAB)
- National Hockey League (NHL)
- Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
- Auto Racing (NASCAR)
- Horse Racing
- and more!
What types of sports bets can I make in Pennsylvania?
You may place sports bets online in Pennsylvania through any of the traditional bet types listed below:
- Moneyline Betting
- Over/Under Betting
- Futures Betting
- Spread Betting
- Props Betting
- Runline Betting
How does Pennsylvania sports betting work?
Bettors in Pennsylvania have the option to place bets in person at a number of licensed casinos and racetracks throughout the state. Presque Isle Downs and Casino offers racing, poker, table games, slots, and sports betting kiosks. The location also boasts a High Limit Room, a state-of-the-art poker room, and over 2,000 slot machines.
Online customers may choose to play through any preferred sports betting operator that has been approved by the state (such as TwinSpires). Then, through a corresponding smartphone app or website, bettors may place wagers so long as they are physically present within the borders of the State of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting FAQ
The legal age for sports betting in Pennsylvania is 21, like most states throughout the United States. Additionally, employees, coaches, athletes, or other individuals associated with professional and/or collegiate sports teams are not permitted to bet.
One does not have to be a resident of Pennsylvania to bet on sports while physically present in the state.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has regulatory jurisdiction over sports betting throughout the State.
Anywhere within the borders of the state, so long as wagers are made online through a website or app run by a state-approved sports betting operator such as TwinSpires.
Yes. TwinSpires customers can play now through the BetAmerica online platform, which will be seamlessly merged into the TwinSpires brand and experience in the coming months.
TwinSpires players have numerous options for funding their accounts. These options include:
- ACH deposit
- Online banking
- Credit Card (VISA or MasterCard only)
- Twinspires Prepaid Play+ Card
- Check or money order
Find complete information on all of these options at: https://support.twinspires.com/hc/en-us/articles/360056572252-Funding-Options-FAQ
Withdrawals from online wagering accounts with TwinSpires can be done online or by phone. Funds can be withdrawn in the following ways:
- via check
- via bank transfer through PayPal or EZ Money
Find complete information on withdrawal options at: https://support.twinspires.com/hc/en-us/articles/360055490731-How-can-I-make-a-withdrawal-from-my-online-wagering-account-
Historical Sports Betting Moments in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania boasts a multitude of historic professional and collegiate sports teams and franchises. From the Eagles to the Steelers, 76ers, Phillies, Pirates, Penguins, Flyers, Penn St., Pitt, and Villanova… there’s no shortage of local teams to support. With such a rabid fanbase in the region, it’s no surprise that the first month of sports betting in 2019 generated $32 million in bets, primarily in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Pennsylvania sportsbooks got off to a rocking start in 2021, shattering previous records according to Play Pennsylvania:
“December’s all-time handle was shattered by a record-breaking January handle of $615.3 million. Compared to November, sports betting handle was up 25%. Revenue for January hit $34 million.”PA Sportsbooks Jumpstart 2021 with Record $615 Million Handle – Play Pennsylvania
A Sad Night for Seattle (Gamblers)
As a 6.5 point favorite against the Eagles on a Monday Night game in 2020, the Seahawks took a commanding 14 point lead into the final seconds of the fourth quarter. Happy days for bettors favoring the Seahawks to cover, right?
“Not so fast” as Chris Berman would say. Following a touchdown with just 12 seconds left on the clock, the Eagles inexplicably went for a 2-point conversion…. and converted. Final score: Seattle 23 – Philadelphia 17. Eagles lose by 6 and cover. Good time for Eagles fans taking their team and the points!
Pennsylvania Online Casinos
Is online casino gambling legal in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania online casinos are legal growing quickly. Through Presque Isle Downs Casino, TwinSpires players can play a variety on online casino games through BetAmerica, which is being merged into the TwinSpires brand and experience in the 1st half of 2021.
Individuals who are 21 or older within the borders of the Keystone State can play online poker, slots, blackjack, and a variety of other tables games from their computers or smartphone devices.