Finally, You Can Use A PA Online Casino And Sportsbook On iPhones, Thanks To SugarHouse

Written By Jessica Welman on July 17, 2019 - Last Updated on December 14, 2023

UPDATE: The GeoGuard app is now compatible with both PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers online sportsbooks.

The Apple solution online casinos have promised for Pennsylvania online casinos is here. It may not be exactly what you expected, though.

Essentially, the solution is an app produced by GeoComply, the company responsible for most geolocation solutions in the regulated US market. You can find it in the Apple app store under “GeoGuard Location Validator.” The name tells you the general gist of what the app does.

GeoGuard Location Validator allows PA online casino browser access

The issue for iOS users is not just that there isn’t an app. Users can’t access online casinos and sportsbooks on their phones’ browsers either. This new app will help solve that problem.

Essentially, the GeoComply app talks with the PA online gambling sites in question, confirming the customer’s location. Once the app verifies the location to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB) regulatory standards, iOS users can access the browser-based versions of their preferred online casino or sportsbook.

If you were hoping the solution was a new iOS app for PA players, sorry to disappoint. The new Apple guidelines on native iOS programming over HTML5 mean that is likely a ways away for most operators.

New app debuts alongside PlaySugarHouse casino launch

Once logged in, you’ll be met with this prompt for the GeoGuard app:

That takes you to the external app, which will walk you through setting up for geolocation.

How to set up GeoGuard Location Validator

Here are the steps that the GeoGuard app will take you through to get started:

After that, you’ll return to the SugarHouse website. If you’re located inside PA’s borders, you’ll be good to go. If you’re not, you’ll see a message like this:

Geolocation fail

The app only works with SugarHouse and Rivers

For those hoping this will help access every PA online casino, you’re in for bad news.

SugarHouse has built this functionality into its site, with the help of GeoComply. For sites that haven’t worked on this workaround with GeoComply, the GeoGuard app will not work. SugarHouse’s sister property, Rivers Pittsburgh, announced its online sportsbook, BetRivers, was also compatible with the GeoGuard app.

That means no Apple functionality yet for Parx Casino and Hollywood Casino, which launched earlier this week.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has been a key voice in the legal betting industry since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. She contributed to and formerly managed several Catena Play-branded sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayTenn and PlayIndiana. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for

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