Play SugarHouse NJ Online Sportsbook Launch Bodes Well For PA

Written By Joss Wood on August 24, 2018 - Last Updated on November 18, 2021
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 Rush Street Gaming might own two Pennsylvania casinos, but it doesn’t have a brick and mortar casino in New Jersey. This hasn’t stopped it from taking advantage of the new sports betting legislation to be the first operator in New Jersey to offer both online casino and sports betting through its PlaySugarHouse brand.

Rush Street operates both SugarHouse Casino and the Pittsburgh Rivers Casino in PA. Both casinos have applied for new interactive gaming licences from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), and both are expected to follow up with applications to offer sports betting.

Rush Street Interactive (RSI) operates the online business. The company is proud that it is the first New Jersey operator to offer both online casino and sports betting. It does so on its New Jersey Android, iOS, and desktop clients. It’s also the first US-based operator to launch online in South America after securing a license in Colombia earlier this year.

RSI President Richard Schwartz said:

“Being the first US-based gaming operator to launch a regulated online sportsbook outside of the US has been helpful in establishing the SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino. We’ve matured our sportsbook product and validated that players value our proprietary sportsbook loyalty program, including earning points on every single bet.”

It won’t be long before Schwartz is announcing that this expertise is also coming to Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania can expect to see some new betting options

The offer in New Jersey should exist in some form in Pennsylvania. Moreover, Rush Street’s alacrity suggests it’s going to be one of the first to market.

The NJ offer includes several features that sports bettors will find attractive. The RSI PR explains that:

“Players will earn loyalty and bonus points on every single sports and casino wager, including the more than 5 million Live In-Game bet options and 450 casino games and live dealer table games.”

Something Pennsylvania players new to sports betting may be surprised by is the huge range of options for in-play betting.

Modern sports betting technology allows players to bet on an incredible variety of events. In fact, you can place bets while the action is happening. RSI explains:

“RSI and are committed to offering players in New Jersey the most bang for their buck, with millions of Live In-Game bet offers. Great odds and advanced technology enables those In-Game bets at to remain open longer and maximize betting opportunities during the game. Players have the opportunity to make a wide range of bets including who will win the game, upcoming plays, over/under for teams and players, partial game bet, parlays, and much more.”

Odds going against? Cash out early

Another potentially new option for bettors is to cash out a bet after it has been placed. Maybe the game isn’t going the way you had hoped and the chances of winning don’t look good. In that case, PlaySugarHouse offers the chance to get at least some of your money back:

“An innovative feature allows players to cash-out an active bet before the outcome is determined, allowing them to secure part of their winnings or cut their losses as the odds change.”

Rush Street, Presque Isle Downs, and Golden Nugget

RSI operates in New Jersey in partnership with Golden Nugget Casino. The Golden Nugget has a stake in Pennsylvania after signing a deal with Churchill Downs, the new owner of the Presque Isle Downs & Casino.

Presque Isle is the only Pennsylvania casino to have applied for only two of the three possible interactive gaming licenses available in Pennsylvania. It’s evidently decided that online poker won’t form part of its product suite, but it does plan to offer online casino and slots games. Sports betting probably won’t be far behind.

RSI’s relationship with Golden Nugget means that behind closed doors it may well be talking to Presque Isle about a deal for PA gambling.

Presque Isle has relationships with gaming tech companies IGT and SBTech as well. However, the new laws are shaking up old relationships. At this point, a lot is still up in the air. As such, maybe RSI will find itself with another position in the Pennsylvania market.

The Pennsylvania gaming regulations allow each licensed casino only one online sports betting skin. Their other online gambling offering can be in partnership with multiple operators though. Resultingly, online operators get to partner with multiple licensed casinos.

Confused? You’re not alone. And you can include most industry analysts. Even theyare still trying to make sense over the future shape of Pennsylvania’s gambling landscape.

What is clear is that Rush Street is going to be a major player in the game. Rivers and SugarHouse are the third and fourth largest casinos in Pennsylvania by revenue. They won’t relinquish their position without a fight.

MGM, DraftKings also have dogs in the fight

The PlaySugarHouse online sports betting platform was released in New Jersey only one day after playMGM put out the Android version of its mobile sports betting app. The first, and until this week, only mobile sports betting app in New Jersey was DraftKings Sportsbook.

Again you need to follow the corporate relationships to catch what is going on. Instead, Boyd Gaming is currently buying Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Casino is currently being bought by Boyd Gaming. MGM and Boyd recently signed a partnership deal that is wrapped into another joint venture deal with GVC, which owns partypoker.

It seems playMGM will be the brand that Valley Forge uses for its online sports betting and casino, or at least one of them.

Meanwhile, DraftKings which is active in DFS in Pennsylvania does not hide its ambitions to expand into sports betting in other states. DraftKings scooped everyone else with its New Jersey online sportsbook. Its technology partner, Kambi, built the sports betting product.

And guess who Rush Street partnered with to get its PlaySugarHouse sports book out fast? You got it, Kambi.

Soap operas suddenly look uncomplicated compared to the Pennsylvania gambling drama, which just makes developments even more fun to watch. Stay tuned to PlayPennsylvania for the next episode!

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Joss Wood

Joss Wood has a master’s degree in organisational development from the University of Manchester as well as an English degree from the University of Birmingham and also earned. His writing primarily centers on international online gambling markets, though he also writes about the legal US online gambling industry in addition to sports betting and esports gambling.

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