Pittsburgh is getting its first sportsbook Thursday. After a long waiting period, Rivers Casino will begin taking sports bets starting Dec. 13.
Rivers joins Hollywood Casino as only the second Pennsylvania sportsbook. However, it is the first to open in a major metropolitan area. The casino is walking distance from Heinz Field, where the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Technically, Rivers seems to be starting their testing phase. Hollywood Casino went through a similar process. The property ran two days of supervised PA Gaming Control Board (PGCB) testing before officially opening for business.
Rivers seems to be taking a different tack, calling the start of its introductory period the grand opening. And with that comes some pomp and circumstance at both properties.
In fact, the casino already announced the big day on Twitter:
The countdown is here to introduce the NEW Rivers Sportsbook! Join us Thursday at 2pm for the introductory period of the FIRST Sportsbook in western PA! Our introductory period has limited hours, is open to the public! Visit https://t.co/tTjbjDHkpq for details! pic.twitter.com/Z1ZwbXoAEV
— Rivers Casino (@WinBigRivers) December 12, 2018
Opening day ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. at both properties
Details on the new sportsbook are also posted on the casino’s website.
Rivers Casino General Manager Bill Keena will cut the ribbon on the sportsbook along with Pittsburgh city officials at 2 p.m. after a two-hour preview period of the new facility. The hours for the two test days are as follows:
- Thursday, Dec. 13: 2 p.m. – midnight
- Friday, Dec. 14: Noon – 10 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 15: Opens for business at 9 a.m., pending PGCB approval
Once Rivers Sportsbook is fully up and running, the regular hours will be:
- Mondays – Thursdays: 10 a.m. – midnight
- Fridays: 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
- Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
- Sundays: 9 a.m. – midnight
Is SugarHouse far behind?
Given that SugarHouse Casino and Rivers Casino share the same parent company, it stands to reason the Philadelphia casino is probably ready to open soon, too. After all, both are using Rush Street Interactive and Kambi to help power their sportsbook. The assumption is the two will look almost identical save for the casino name.
If Rivers is ready to begin testing, SugarHouse probably is also. Recall that both casinos intended to open on the same day: Dec. 1.
It is possible Rivers is going first to take advantage of the Steelers home game against a marquee opponent. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles are heading to the West Coast to take on the LA Rams. However, the team will be back in town Dec. 23 to host the Houston Texans.
Probably a safe bet SugarHouse will be up and running to take advantage of the last home game of the regular season.