As of January 3, 2022, Pennsylvania residents must be at least 18 years old to legally buy sporting events, dollies (coupons), or tickets. The new law also restricts the places where you can purchase these items, as well as the types of items that you can purchase. If you or someone you know has committed an infraction of this law, they could face a citation or fine of up to $500.00. This article will help explain what you need to know about Pennsylvania’s new sports betting age requirements and what you can do to avoid breaking them. It will also serve as a helpful guide to the terms and phrases that you might encounter while placing a wager on sporting events in the state of Pennsylvania.
Before you begin betting or engaging in any type of wagering activity in Pennsylvania, you must first become familiar with the following terms and phrases:
- Legal To Bet: The law allows you to bet on sporting events as long as you meet the requirements set forth by the state. Simply put, you must be of legal gambling age in Pennsylvania. Minors (under the age of 18) are restricted from wagering, and all bets placed by them are considered void. If you are under the age of 18, you must ask your parent or guardian’s permission before you are allowed to place a wager or try any type of gambling activity.
- Wagering Agent: A licensed agent of the State of Pennsylvania is responsible for regulating all wagering activity in the state. They are also responsible for settling all wagers that are placed by legal gamblers. Most sportsbooks in PA are either licensed or regulated by the PA wagering agent. If you’re not sure where to begin your research, check with the State of Pennsylvania’s website (www.paagriculture.com) or call the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB) hotline at (1-800-222-5937).
- PGCB: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is the state agency that regulates and licenses all types of gaming activity in the state. They also administer all anti-gambling laws and regulations. If you think that you or someone that you know might have an infraction of Pennsylvania’s gambling laws, contact the PGCB’s enforcement department at (1-800-222-5937).
- PA Sports Authority (PASA): The Pennsylvania Sports Authority (PASA) is the governing body that oversees all Pennsylvania sporting events, including professional and collegiate sports teams, as well as all amateur sports organizations (e.g., Little League, high school sports, etc.). They also regulate all gambling activities on those events. If you’re not sure where to begin your research, call the PGA’s hotline at (1-800-222-5937).
Where Can I Place My Wager?
The law allows you to place your wager at any of the following locations:
- Casinos: There are several casinos in Pennsylvania, including the Golden Nugget in Pennsylvania City, the Horseshoe Casino in Philadelphia, and the Riverboat Casino in Pittsburgh. All casinos in the state are legally required to accept wagers from out-of-state and foreign countries, as well as serve both cash and credit card bettors. The majority of the casinos are also equipped to handle online wagering. If you’ve been lucky enough to visit one of Pennsylvania’s casinos, you’ll notice that most places offer a variety of casino games, both traditional and newer forms of gaming. If you’re not sure where to begin your research, contact the casino’s customer service department (live chat, email, or telephone) for more information.
- Sportsbooks: Any city in Pennsylvania, including Allentown, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Scranton, and State College are home to various sportsbooks. These places usually offer a variety of sports and racing wagers, as well as daily fantasy sports contests.
- Race Books: There are also several racetracks in Pennsylvania, including the Belmont Racetrack (Allentown), the Bucks County Raceway (Swarthmore), the Pennsylvania Raceway (State College), and the Susquehanna Speedway (Annville). If you’re not sure where to begin your research, contact the track’s or sportsbook’s customer service department for more information.
- Indian Reservations: Certain tribes in Pennsylvania have been granted the right to operate casinos, and many of those locations now allow for the legal gambling of Native Americans. If you’re not sure where to begin your research, contact the tribe’s or casino’s customer service department for more information.
- Off-track Betting: Off-track betting is available at many Pennsylvania racetracks. This option allows you to bet on the outcome of a horse race or other type of event that is taking place at a distance from the actual physical track. You can also purchase dolefuls (coupons) at some horse racetracks to use in place of cash at other odds than those offered by the bookmaker. The staff at the track’s information desk can help you find the best odds for a specific horse or dog race.
What Types Of Items Can I Purchase?
As previously stated, prior to January 3, 2022, Pennsylvania residents must be at least 18 years old to purchase most types of sporting events (e.g., baseball, basketball, etc.), dollies (coupons), or tickets. The only types of events and products that are exempt from this law are: