Pennsylvania sports betting started late in the game considering it had a law on the books in 2017, only launching in November. The Keystone State changed its law last year to allow legal sports betting anywhere within the state. State regulators approved this year a set of rules for sports betting that includes mobile. Retail sports betting is under way, and mobile sports betting is legal and could launch as soon as spring 2019.
There are no PA online betting apps as of yet, but that will be changing in just a couple of weeks. Delays related to the new DOJ Wire Act slowed things down. However, the PA Gaming Control Board said on April 17 that they plan to begin testing on an online app in a matter of 2-3 weeks. After that, expect a rolling schedule of launches throughout May and June.
In 2017, legislation was introduced to amend the state's current gaming control law. Michigan's proposed bill would allow any holder of a casino license to "accept wagers on sporting events." The state's gaming board would be required to "promulgate rules to regulate the conduct of sports betting under this act." The law was approved by Michigan's legislature, but the state's governor vetoed the measure.
Sports bettors place their wagers either legally, through a bookmaker/sportsbook, or illegally through privately run enterprises. The term "book" is a reference to the books used by wagebrokers to track wagers, payouts, and debts. Many legal sportsbooks are found online, operated over the Internet from jurisdictions separate from the clients they serve, usually to get around various gambling laws (such as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 in the United States) in select markets, such as Las Vegas, Nevada, or on gambling cruises through self-serve kiosks. They take bets "up-front", meaning the bettor must pay the sportsbook before placing the bet. Illegal bookies, due to the nature of their business, can operate anywhere but only require money from losing bettors and don't require the wagered money up front, creating the possibility of debt to the bookie from the bettor. This creates a number of other criminal elements, thus furthering their illegality.