Pennsylvania, USA - For the first time, fans of sports betting can finally place online and mobile bets in the State of Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, May 28th, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) granted approval to Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino to launch online sports betting. The first casino to launch a land-based sportsbook in Philadelphia back in December 2018, SugarHouse now holds the distinction of being the first to launch the first licensed online and mobile sportsbook in the Commonwealth as well.
From 4:00 p.m. to midnight on Tuesday, SugarHouse did a test run of PlaySugarHouse.com. Longer test periods were then made on Wednesday and Thursday, before the full launch was finally made on Friday, May 31st. The web address used is the same one bettors are using in New Jersey, where SugarHouse began taking online sports bets last year. Those who access the website in Pennsylvania will automatically be rerouted to Pa.PlaySugarHouse.com.
Open to registered players 21 years old and over, the online platform is operated by Rush Street Interactive, a SugarHouse affiliate. Rush Street Interactive President Richard Swartz said, “We are excited to make history in bringing the first online sportsbook to sports fans in the state of Pennsylvania.”
The betting app is available on a desktop PC, a Mac, and on Android phones, but it cannot be accessed on iPhones and iPads for now. Casino officials explained that the app has not been approved by the Apple store yet due to some changes in Apple’s policies. And while Rush Street Interactive is still working on closing the loops with Apple, SugarHouse saw no need to delay the launch, considering that the app is already good-to-go on other mobile devices, as well as on desktop and laptop devices.
Rush Street Interactive Chief Operating Officer Mattias Stetz said the success of SugarHouse’s online wagering operations in New Jersey as well as their casino and sportsbook in Colombia played an important role in speeding up the regulatory approval of their online betting operation in Pennsylvania.
SugarHouse Casino General Manager Rob Long has this to say: “Since opening, our SugarHouse Sportsbook has been bussing with sports fans 24/7. Whether they’re watching Philly teams on the big screen, or following a soccer game or tennis matches live-streamed directly from the French Open to PlaySugarHouse.com, the action is round-the-clock. And now with online and mobile sports betting, you can take it with you.”
People are expecting the NBA Finals to be the first big thing for gamblers to wager on, now that online and mobile sports betting are legal in Pennsylvania. To celebrate the launch, SugarHouse is even activating no-vig bets on the NBA Finals similar to the way it is being offered in New Jersey.
Other Pennsylvania casinos have started taking sports bets in their land-based locations last November, and they are expected to follow SugarHouse’s example in the coming months. Gaming Board Spokesman Richard McGarvey said, “Others are getting close, but we don’t have specific dates for them.” Industry experts expect betting to grow dramatically in Pennsylvania, following this launch.