You’re a fan of e-sports betting but can’t find information about its legality in Pennsylvania. Information about e-sports betting in Pennsylvania can be hard to find. If you are a Pennsylvania resident or planning to visit the state, it’s important to know if you can practice this activity without breaking any laws.
That’s why we have compiled all the available information on the legality of e-sports betting in Pennsylvania in this short, comprehensive guide.
This information includes what e-sports are, the difference between e-sports and gaming, whether betting is legal in Pennsylvania, and where you can bet on e-sports in the Great Lake State.
Make sure you read through our guide before you attempt to place any bets on e-sports in Pennsylvania.
What Are E-Sports?
E-sports, or esports, short for “electronic sports,” are competitive, multiplayer online games organized into ranked competitions.
E-sports can be individual or team-based. While competitions might include amateur players, one typically reserves betting for professional leagues.
What Is the Difference Between E-Sports and Gaming?
While there might be rankings in an online video game, it isn’t the same as competitive e-sports.
Online gaming, or simply “gaming,” usually refers to playing any video game. These video games do not have to be online or multiplayer, although they can be.
While gaming is supposed to be an activity done solo or with friends, e-sports are competitive spectator games. There are clear winners and losers in e-sports competitions.
E-sports are a multibillion-dollar industry, with professional gamers making up to several thousand dollars per week. Tournament prizes are even higher.
Betting on e-sports is how a casual gamer or spectator can cash in on this massive industry.
On What E-Sports Can I Place Bets?
Many popular multiplayer games are now spectator events that offer competitive, ranked tournaments.
Some of the most popular e-sports are
- LoL (League of Legends)
- CS: GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
- Apex Legends
- StarCraft II
- Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients)
- COD (Call of Duty)
- NBA 2K
- And many more.
You can turn any competitive online game into an e-sport, so the available games will depend on what is popular and how many professional players there are.
Is E-Sports Betting Legal in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania passed the Lawful Sports Betting Act in 2019, officially legalizing sports betting in the state.
This law allows bettors to place wagers on athletic events.
With this act, Pennsylvania also passed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2019. This act legalized gambling over the internet. “Gaming” in the title refers to online casino games and betting on athletic events, not competitive e-sports.
E-sports betting in Pennsylvania is not specifically part of these laws. For this reason, casinos and sportsbooks throughout Pennsylvania do not allow wagers on competitive online video games.
A loophole allows you to place bets on e-sports in Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulates betting and other forms of gambling. Each establishment must follow strict rules and regulations.
However, there are some organizations to which these oversights do not apply.
Pennsylvania law does not oversee tribal casinos. Therefore, these establishments may decide whether to allow e-sports betting and what rules to enact surrounding the practice.
Be aware that you cannot legally bet on e-sports online in Pennsylvania, so you must place your bets in person at a tribal casino.
One tribal casino in Pennsylvania, Little River Casino Resort, offers e-sports betting. We recommend that you call ahead and inquire as to whether they are offering the e-sport on which you wish to bet.
Little River partners with BetRivers, which is an online betting platform. You may be able to bet on e-sports in other states through BetRivers, but they are not yet available in Pennsylvania.
Other Ways to Bet on E-Sports
Certain websites, such as DraftKings, allow e-sports betting on their DFS (daily fantasy sports) platforms.
However, since e-sports betting is not yet legal for Pennsylvania residents, you might have to wait until Pennsylvania law includes competitive online video games in its gaming regulations. The law is unclear on whether using these DFS platforms for e-sports betting is allowed in the state.
Why Are Betting Laws Important?
While you might be tempted to try to find a loophole or a way to gamble illegally, we want to discourage you from doing so.
It is unfortunate that Pennsylvania law does not yet recognize e-sports as an approved gambling activity outside of tribal casinos, but following the law ensures safety for all.
Gambling or betting may appear to be “easy money” to an outsider, but you must be knowledgeable about the sport you are betting on and you must know your limits. We recommend only gambling with money you can afford to lose.
Do not put money on the line that you need for food, housing, or other bills and necessities.
Rules and regulations surrounding gambling are important because there are several downsides to gambling or betting. You are risking money, so you want to ensure you do so safely without putting yourself or your family in danger.
Gambling always comes with the possibility of addiction. Just like any other addiction, a gambling addiction can destroy your life or your family, and leave you with financial woes that are not easily solvable.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has an issue with gambling addiction or compulsion, please review the resources available to you and seek help immediately.
Hopefully, our guide on e-sports betting in Pennsylvania has given you some insight into how the state’s law functions in this area.
We gave an overview of what e-sports are and which ones are popular, covered the legality surrounding e-sports betting, where and how to place wagers on competitive e-sports, and what to do if you think you have a gambling problem.
E-sports betting can be a great way to earn money for fun if you are safe about it.
Now that you understand all the details about how to participate in e-sports betting in the state of Pennsylvania, it’s time to go and have fun!