Oh, SugarHouse, your time in Pennsylvania was sweet, but it is coming to an end.
At Wednesday’s Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) meeting, representatives from SugarHouse’s parent company, Rush Street Gaming, presented plans to rebrand the property to Rivers Philadelphia.
The change may come as a surprise, but it does create some unity across the Rush Street brand. In addition to lining up with Rivers Pittsburgh Casino, it unifies the Rivers brand across four casinos in three states.
Switch from SugarHouse to Rivers planned for the next few weeks
The timeline for the change is relatively brisk. The hope is to change all the signage and branding on the property by midsummer. The estimated cost of the change is roughly $15 million.
This change extends beyond just the brick-and-mortar casino, too. Per the Rush Street presentation:
“Our long-term plan is to establish continuity across Rush Street’s PA properties, sportsbooks, iGaming, and guest rewards program.”
This news comes less than a month after the Philadelphia-area sportsbook launched the state’s first online betting app, PlaySugarHouse.com Pennsylvania. The news today indicates the PlaySugarHouse name is headed out the door, but the exact timeline for that change is not clear yet.
This helps the company when it comes to online casino
If you recall, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh did not apply for an interactive gaming license. It did obtain a sports betting license in order to offer an online sports betting product, which is expected to launch later this month.
“Since receiving our casino license in 2006, gaming in Pennsylvania has evolved tremendously,” said Greg Carlin, CEO of SugarHouse Casino and Rush Street Gaming, in a release following the meeting. “Keeping pace with the changing landscape has been paramount to our success. Creating a unified brand is another example of how we’re anticipating and responding to the competitive market for gaming.”
With online casino, which should launch on or around July 15, it benefits the company to launch one brand under the SugarHouse license that represents both casinos. Considering the high tax rate on slots and table games, combining the marketing dollars of two casinos to boost a united online casino is a sharp play.
On the sports betting app front, things are a little more confusing. The Rivers Pittsburgh sports betting app should be no more than a couple weeks away from launching. The rumor is the second Rush Street app is called BetRivers. What the PlaySugarHouse will change its name to and exactly how it will interact with the Rivers product was not part of the PGCB presentation.
Third name change this year for PA properties
If you’re wondering what is in a name, apparently quite a bit. At least when it comes to casino and sportsbook names. This is the third property to rebrand in the Keystone State this year.
The first, Valley Forge Turf Club, rebranded to the Oaks Race and Sportsbook to avoid confusion with FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino.
Earlier this month, Sands Bethlehem began the process of rebranding to Wind Creek Casino in the wake of the finalized sale of the property to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.