Pennsylvania’s Sports Betting Laws Are Already In Effect
Ever since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992) was overturned by the Supreme Court in May 2018, there has been a mad dash among a handful of states to be out of the gate with the US’ first non-Vegas sports betting product. And though Delaware – which will begin offering sports betting on June 5, 2018 – will be the first state to join Nevada in allowing its residents to legally bet on sports, Pennsylvania won’t be far behind. That’s because Pennsylvania’s sports betting laws are already in effect!
Act 42, previously dubbed HB 271, was passed by the PA legislature and became law on October 30, 2017. Technically, sports betting in PA has been legal since that time, pending the overturn of PASPA. Now that PASPA is in fact dead, the state is primed to implement these laws, though it is taking a bit of time to establish licenses and coordinate the commercial roll-out of the much-anticipated product.
Chapter 13C “Sports Wagering” is Act 42’s primary sports betting framework, and it contains sections on licensing, regulations, taxation, fees, and other provisions deemed crucial to the state’s efforts of establishing a robust sports gambling market. The bill also makes clear that slot machine licensees will be the first entities considered to receive a so-called “sports wagering certificate,” which is what would allow them to legally offer the pastime in the state. Additionally, Act 42 clarifies that – as far as the PA legislature is concerned – online sports betting will be coming to the region.
So far, the timeline for Pennsylvania to actually open its sports betting product to the public is unknown. Or, rather, it is unadvertised. SportsBettingPennsylvania.com thinks a good guess, however, is that PA residents will be able to wager on sports at any of the state’s 12 commercial casinos and racino facilities sometime before the start of the 2018 NFL season. This deadline, more than any other, seems to be what most states with existing sports betting legislation on the books are shooting for, and there is no reason to expect PA to be any different.
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