Philadelphia Eagles and repeat-NCAA champions Villanova Wildcats.

But watching sports events in Pennsylvania is getting even more exciting for fans who enjoy betting on their favorite teams.

The following Philadelphia-area casinos are all going to offer sports betting:

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) already conditionally approved each outlet to operate retail and online sportsbooks.

SugarHouse is already up and running. Meanwhile, the rest of the casino sportsbook launch dates are still pending. It seems the first quarter of 2019 is the hot target. Valley Forge Casino, located just outside of Philadelphia, recently received conditional approval as well. It will likely not launch until March.

Setting the Philadelphia sports scene

Philadelphia represents in all of the major professional sports leagues:

  • NFL: Philadelphia Eagles  
  • NBA: Philadelphia 76ers 
  • NHL: Philadelphia Flyers 
  • MLB: Philadelphia Phillies  
  • MLS: Philadelphia Union  

There are several Division I schools around Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Big 5 is a huge draw during college basketball season.

The Philadelphia-area Division I schools are:

  • Drexel University
  • La Salle University
  • St. Joseph’s University
  • Temple University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Villanova University

Villanova campus is located within the Philadelphia suburbs, but the NCAA national champion Wildcats play several of their home games at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The national championship parade was held in Center City.

Other Division I schools located nearby include:

  • University of Delaware
  • Delaware State University      

PA sports betting

Legalized sports betting in Pennsylvania has generated its share of buzz. The ball started bouncing in Pennsylvania’s favor in May 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was unconstitutional.

Pennsylvania casinos now have the option of applying for a license to add online and retail sports betting. Several Philadelphia-area casino operators already paid the required $10 million licensing fee.

Philadelphia sportsbooks

New Jersey and Delaware may have gotten a head start, but, as of Dec. 15, Philadelphia sports fans can place straight bets, parlays, and propositions without crossing a bridge.

Here is a look at what’s on tap for early 2019:

Parx Casino

The top-grossing casino in the Keystone State is located in Bensalem, PA, about a 30-minute drive from Center City. The property, owned by Greenwood Gaming, was approved for a sports betting license Oct. 3. The conditional license also covers the South Philadelphia Turf Club off-track betting parlor.

The retail sportsbook should launch in January, with online betting expect to follow in the first quarter of 2019. Partner Kambi, based out of Europe, already played an active role in the launch of New Jersey online sports betting via partnerships with DraftKings and Play SugarHouse.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack

Harrah’s is located just outside of Philadelphia in Chester, PA, about a 10-minute ride from Philadelphia International Airport. The property received licensing approval from the PGCB on Oct. 31, setting up tentative plans to launch its retails sportsbook in January, followed by online sports betting during the first quarter of 2019.

Scientific Games and 888, who are both involved with Caesars’ Atlantic City properties, are the partners. Caesars Casino & Sports and 888 Sport, both went live in New Jersey earlier this year.

SugarHouse Casino

SugarHouse is one Pennsylvania casino based in Philadelphia, more specifically in the hip Fishtown neighborhood. Parent company Rush Street received licensing approval from the PGCB on Oct. 31 (along with sister property Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh).

Both Rivers and SugarHouse launched on Dec. 13 with the first of two days of testing. On Dec. 15, both went live with full wagering.

Just like in New Jersey, SugarHouse is partnering with Kambi. Having an established sports betting platform should make the transition to Pennsylvania an easy one, especially for users who have already created accounts.

Valley Forge Casino Resort

Valley Forge, owned by Boyd Gaming, is located in King of Prussia, PA, less than an hour drive from Center City via the Schuylkill Expressway.

Primary partner FanDuel has been operating in New Jersey for several months at the Meadowlands Racetrack just outside of New York City along with a robust online/mobile platform. Having an established following in the neighboring market, as well as through the FanDuel daily fantasy sports brand, will likely be a big draw.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

Based in Mount Pocono, PA, Mount Airy Casino Resort is about a 90-minute drive from Center City, but the location may not be a factor. The property has not applied for its sports betting license but has announced a partnership with The Stars Group.

The Stars Group is the horsepower behind BetStars and PokerStars NJ and is one Philadelphia sports fans should follow closely, as the sports betting app may be accessed from anywhere in the Keystone State.

Stadium Casino

This long-delayed hotel/casino project is located across the street from the South Philadelphia Turf Club and walking distance from Lincoln Financial Field, Citizens Bank Park, and the Wells Fargo Center.

Stadium Casino will likely have a massive draw with Philadelphia sports fans once it opens, but not projected until 2020.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course

Hollywood Casino is home to Pennsylvania’s first retail sportsbook. It opened Nov. 17 and is about a 2-hour car ride from Philadelphia. The online sportsbook is expected to launch during the first quarter of 2019.

Delaware and New Jersey sports betting options

While waiting for Philadelphia casinos to cut the ribbons on their respective sportsbooks, Philadelphia sports fans can make the short trip to New Jersey or Delaware to place a bet. The Garden State is currently home to eight online sportsbooks, which means bets can easily be made via a mobile device by crossing the bridge.

Alternative online sportsbooks

Delaware went all in on legal sports betting June 5 by offering it at the following casino and racetrack properties:

  • Casino at Delaware Park is about 45 minutes from Philadelphia.
  • Dover Downs Hotel & Casino is about 80 minutes from Philadelphia.
  • Harrington Raceway & Casino is about 2 hours from Philadelphia. 

New Jersey started offering legal sports betting at casinos and racetracks June 14. Atlantic City is about an hour drive from Philadelphia.

Alternative retail sportsbook options

Here’s a rundown of the retail sportsbook option:

  • Bally’s Atlantic City (Caesars)
  • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (MGM)
  • Golden Nugget (SB Tech)
  • Hard Rock Atlantic City (yet to launch)
  • Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City (Caesars)
  • Ocean Resort Casino (William Hill)
  • Resorts Atlantic City (DraftKings)
  • Tropicana Atlantic City (William Hill)

Caesars Atlantic City does not have its sportsbook, but the property connects to Bally’s.

New Jersey also has two racetracks with retail sportsbooks:

  • Monmouth Park Racetrackin Oceanport, (William Hill) is about 90 minutes from Philadelphia.
  • Meadowlands Racetrack (FanDuel) is about 90 minutes from Philadelphia.

Philadelphia sports fans also can access eight different mobile sportsbooks by crossing the Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin, or Betsy Ross bridges. Some of the apps are set up for bettors to view the odds from anywhere, but you must be in New Jersey to place the bet.

Here is the current list of NJ online sportsbooks and their respective land-based partners:

  • BetStars NJ (Resorts Atlantic City)
  • Caesars Casino & Sports (Caesars Atlantic City)
  • DraftKings Sportsbook (Resorts Atlantic City)
  • 888 Sport (Caesars Atlantic City)
  • FanDuel Sportsbook (Meadowlands Racetrack)
  • PlayMGM NJ Sports (Borgata)
  • SugarHouse (Monmouth Park)
  • William Hill (Monmouth Park, Ocean Resort, and Tropicana)