On Your Mark, Let’s Bet, Go: SugarHouse Begins Online Testing

Written By Grant Lucas on May 28, 2019 - Last Updated on September 19, 2023
Bet Rivers Play SugarHouse PA

Finally, Pennsylvania sports betting is online.

SugarHouse Sportsbook is the first to roll out a PA online betting app.

The product began live testing on Tuesday following approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Testing will run the following hours:

  • Tuesday, May 28: 4 p.m. to midnight
  • Wednesday, May 29: 2 p.m. to midnight
  • Thursday, May 30: noon to midnight

If SugarHouse gets through these three testing sessions without issue, the online book will be clear to launch 24/7 pending PGCB approval.

Things to know about the PA SugarHouse app

Currently, the app is only available for Android phones directly from the SugarHouse website. Bettors can also access the desktop version from both computers and phones, for those iPhone users in a bind.

If you have an existing account on the New Jersey version of PlaySugarHouse, you can use it to express sign up for a PA account. You will need a second account specifically for PA and will need to deposit separately though.

The deposit options for the PA app are fairly limited compared to New Jersey. The options during testing are:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • SugarHouse Prepaid Card
  • Cash at SugarHouse Casino cage

Be warned that several credit cards will flag gambling transactions and potentially decline them. MasterCard holders tend to have better luck in states like Nevada and New Jersey.

You’ll notice popular deposit options like ACH and PayPal are not on this list. That is not to say they are never coming. In fact, reports out of the ICE North America conference earlier this month confirmed PayPal was not going to be licensed in time for the Pennsylvania online casino launch.

In other words, be patient. Like the iPhone app, these options are likely just a few weeks away as the first PA betting site irons out kinks and PGCB continues to approve related retailers.

Expect in-game wagering and a wide range of betting options

The app is powered by Kambi Group, which serves as the odds provider for the SugarHouse and Rivers PA retail sportsbooks.

Kambi also powers the PlaySugarHouse online sportsbook in New Jersey. Expect something similar to the NJ sports betting product in Pennsylvania when the app fully launches.

The NJ online sportsbook features sports ranging from the major American sports leagues to international and domestic soccer to NASCAR and boxing.

Like its chief competitors, SugarHouse NJ has thrived thanks in large part to in-play wagering. Such an option, combined with traditional wagering and futures betting, led SugarHouse to become a popular choice among users who prefer to use mobile devices as opposed to desktop. In October, the company reported that 80% of wagering came by way of its mobile app.

SugarHouse building on early success

This is not the first time both SugarHouse and its sister property Rivers became trendsetters of sorts. Each has operated a brick-and-mortar betting operation for over four months.

With relatively longstanding businesses, SugarHouse and Rivers have helped PA sports betting revenue reach record heights. In March, for example, the industry took in some $44.5 million in wagers, the best month yet. Over the first three months of 2019, PA sports betting has generated $10.1 million in revenue from over $108 million in handle.

SugarHouse and Rivers have led operators in handle each month since opening, including in March, when the two properties combined for $21.1 million in handle. That amount represents nearly half the state total comprising eight sportsbooks.

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.

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