SugarHouse Is The First PA Online Casino To Accept PayPal

PA online casino players have their first PayPal option now that SugarHouse accepts the e-wallet for deposits and withdrawals.

PlaySugarHouse, Pennsylvania’s revenue leader in the online casino category, recently added a deposit option that is missing from its competitors’ offerings.

PayPal is the most popular digital wallet in the world. The e-wallet is also one of the most popular ways to get money on and off online casinos and online sportsbooks. Unfortunately, it is not prevalent in the PA online gambling market yet.

However, with the addition at SugarHouse, there is now an option for online casino users to deposit via PayPal. Additionally, the number of PA online sportsbooks accepting PayPal is now up to three.

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SugarHouse, BetRivers now accept PayPal

SugarHouse is the first in the PA online casino market that offers PayPal. However, FanDuel has offered a PayPal option though its online PA sportsbook since launch.

SugarHouse added PayPal without fanfare on Sept. 17.

PayPal is also available via its sister, BetRivers, site. Rush Street owns both properties. SugarHouse is currently in the process of rebranding to Rivers Philadelphia.

PayPal common in NJ, but may not be in PA

SugarHouse has had a PayPal option for some time now in New Jersey, where the market is more mature. Many online casinos and online sportsbooks in NJ accept PayPal for deposits, but not all.

It is possible PA online operators are not offering PayPal because the processing fees are higher than other banking methods.

With Pennsylvania’s 54% tax rate on online slots, online casino margins are slim. Some operators may forgo offering PayPal because the high fee cuts too deeply into profits.

More options for deposits at SugarHouse

SugarHouse has additional deposit options.

They are:

  • ACH 
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Play+
  • PayNearMe
  • Cash at the casino cage

Parx has the most options, but not PayPal

Parx Online Casino offers gamblers 11 options for deposits, which is the most of any online casino in the state. The deposit options at Parx are:

  • Visa
  • Visa Electron, a debit card
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • Maestro, a debit card
  • ACH
  • Secured payment, another form of an e-check.
  • Play+ card
  • PayNearMe, which works through a network of stores, such as 7-Eleven.
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Bank wire transfer

Hollywood Casino deposit options

Hollywood was the first online casino to launch in PA, but it has the fewest deposit options.

The deposit options at Hollywood are:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Play+
  • ACH
  • PayNearMe

Week 3 PA Betting Lines: Injuries Hurt Steelers And Saints Odds

Nine undefeated NFL teams are heading into Week 3, making for interesting betting lines.

The 2-0 teams are:

  • New England Patriots
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Green Bay Packers

Two of the undefeated teams, the Chiefs and the Ravens, are facing off against each other at Arrowhead on Sunday. The Chiefs are currently favored by 5.5 points on FanDuel and 6.5  at PlaySugarHouse.

The Chiefs are receiving about 75% of the bets at SugarHouse.

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NFL Week 3 spreads and totals

Here is a look at all the game spreads and totals at FanDuel Sportsbook and PlaySugarHouse (Last updated: Sept. 21):

GAMEFanDuel spreadSugarHouse spreadFanDuel totalSugarHouse total
TEN -1.5TEN -1.538

CIN vs. BUFBUF -6.5 BUF -5.543.543.5
MIA vs. DALDAL -21.5DAL -2246.546.5
DEN vs. GBGB -7.5GB -741.541.5
ATL vs. INDIND -1.5IND -147.548
BAL vs. KCKC -4KC -45252
OAK vs. MINMIN -9MIN - 943.543.5
NYJ vs. NENE -20.5NE -20.543.543
DET vs. PHIPHI -4.5PHI -4.54545
CAR vs. ARIARI -2.5ARI -244.544.5
NYG vs. TBTB -5.5TB -547.547.5
HOU vs. LACLAC -3.5 LAC -3.548.549
PIT vs. SFSF -6.5SF -6.54444.5
NO vs. SEASEA -4.5SEA -4.544.545
LAR vs. CLELAR -3.5LAR -447.547.5
CHI vs. WASCHI -4CHI -4.541.541

Injuries factoring into the betting lines

Week 3 gets going on an interesting note, thanks to a large number of injuries sustained in Week 2. More than one injured star is impacting the NFL betting lines at Pennsylvania sportsbooks.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right elbow in the game against the Seahawks. As of Monday, he’s out for the season with surgery pending, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Second-year Steeler’s quarterback Mason Rudolph will instead take the field against the already-favored and undefeated San Franciso 49ers. The Steelers are 6.5-point underdogs.

The 49ers are receiving 70% of bets to cover the spread at SugarHouse.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is also headed to the operating room. He has a ligament tear in his throwing hand, injured in a game last weekend against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Saints were the favorites to win the NFC South before Brees’ hand injury, but that’s in doubt.

The NFL reports Brees is likely out for six weeks. Teddy Bridgewater will now start against the Seattle Seahawks.

As of Friday morning, 85% of the bets are on the Seahawks to cover.

Last week’s sports betting action

According to, the three most popular teams last week against the spread were the Chiefs (-7), Cowboys (-6), and Chargers (-1.5).

All three teams had nearly 85% of bets on them to cover the spread. The Chiefs and Cowboys covered their spreads, but the Chargers could not get it done against the Detroit Lions.

The two largest underdog wins last week at SugarHouse were the Seahawks and Colts.

Quite the spread for the Cowboys

Meanwhile, in notable spreads this coming weekend, the Dallas Cowboys are favored by 22.5 points over Miami on FanDuel and  SugarHouse.

That’s the first time in 32 years that the Cowboys have been favored by at least that many points.

Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is having arthroscopic surgery and could be out for two to four weeks.

The hapless Dolphins have given up 102 points over the first two weeks of the season.

Patriots remain heavy favorites too

Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn had a toe injury during the game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. He’s on injured reserve with turf toe. The earliest he can to suit up is on November 17th against the Philadelphia Eagles.

But that hasn’t had a noticeable influence on the line, with NE heavily favored at all PA sportsbooks.

Fly Eagles?

The Philadelphia Eagles are favorites against the Detroit Lions despite a painful loss against the Atlanta Falcons.

Nonetheless, FanDuel puts them at 6 points over the Lions and Sugarhouse makes the Eagles at 6.5-point home favorites. But keep in mind the Birds failed to cover the spread in either of their first two games.

Detroit is coming off a 13-10 win against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team is 1-1 ATS so far this season.

“This looks to be an exciting weekend of football: New starting quarterbacks for the Steelers, Saints, and Giants, massive spreads for the Patriots (-22.5) and the Cowboys (-21.5) and a 52 point over/under in the Ravens-Chiefs game,” said Mattias Stetz, of SugarHouse’s parent company, Rush Street Interactive.

Picking An Online Poker Screen Name: Are You An ‘Acehole?’

There is more to picking an online poker screenname than you may think. What to consider and how to pick a winning poker handle.

What’s in a name? In the world of online poker, a screen name can mean many things.

Or sometimes, nothing at all.

What to consider with an online poker name

A persona is something to ponder while we await the launch of online poker in Pennsylvania.

A name could be a bluff or deflection, such as a girly name for a guy. For instance, Cindy34 might be a dude. Some male players have gone so far as to create an entire false female identity, hoping opponents will play them differently.

A name may be meant to intimidate, invoking a mythical figure of great power, such as Isildur from Lord of the Rings.

Or it might show a depth of knowledge about the game, or maybe it is just funny. Or both.

Humor can be a good online choice

How else to explain Acehole? It is at once self-deprecatingly funny and also “indicates you know a certain amount about how to play,” one poker veteran says.

Unless, of course, it is just a bluff.

Don’t give away too much online

While a handful of players use their real names or some variation, most of those who play online like the relative anonymity of selecting a screen name because a pseudonym doesn’t offer any tells.

As Mike, a veteran player online in New Jersey says, he keeps extensive notes on those he plays against, hoping for a psychological advantage about how his competition plays the game.

That’s fairly common with serious players.

That was harder to do a few years back when the pool online was huge and booming, says Mike.

But with a smaller number of players in the pool of poker players now, according to Mike, it’s difficult to remain unknown these days.

Notes on a player can be formidable tools, he explains, especially with the tracking stats compiled by what is known as a heads-up display, or HUD, which tracks a player’s hand history. HUDs are allowed on some sites, but not all.

Don’t include telling info with your handle

While many online players use numbers in their online handle, using a birth year which gives away clues about your age or generation or a clue about how long you have played poker might not be to your advantage, unless it is a red-herring or simply a lucky number, says Mike.

While you don’t want to give away that you are a clueless newcomer, there can be some advantages to hinting that you are still learning.

Mike likes the name Newbie, for instance, because other players may make assumptions and play differently against Newbie than they might against someone named ThortheDestroyer.

But innocuous and not memorable might be a good choice for names if your goal is to stay in the background. I mean, who is going to remember KCS1234?

Some online names jump out

On the other hand, some names do stand out:

  • PwnedUrAnus
  • UPay4MyWeed
  • The-Toilet
  • GameSlut
  • OJ Limpsin
  • PokeHer

Keep in mind, some opponents will ask about the origins of a nickname using the chat function. The players I spoke with say they sometimes answer questions usually with a cheeky story, but Mike turns off the chat when opponents go too far.

And, while you can actually find online poker name generators, Mike thinks that’s a bad idea.

Make it personal, just not too personal

“People put thought into the name they choose,” says Mike, whose own poker name comes from a lucky event in his life as a poker dealer in a live poker room.

He’d previously used a variation of his dog’s name as his online handle, but he likes the connection to luck, which comes with the name he uses now.

“Choose a name that has personal meaning to you. I think that’s what most people do,” he says.

NFL Week 2 Lines: Patriots Heavy Favorites Despite AB On Roster

Everyone is betting on the Patriots now that Antonio Brown is on the team. Check out the betting lines on New England and every other Week 2 match-up.

Maybe the biggest news from NFL Week 1 was off the field, not on, though it set off ripples on the odds for future weeks starting with Week 2.

We’re talking about the release of temperamental but talented receiver Antonio Brown from his short-term home with the Oakland Raiders and his addition to the defending the Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots.

And as if that wasn’t enough, there was the civil court accusation of rape against Brown and his lawyer’s threat to countersue her.

As a USA Today columnist put it: “Antonio Brown is going to spoil all those grand plans the NFL had for its 100th birthday.”

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Brown’s move to the Pats the odds for the season and Week 2

While drama seems to follow Brown, the book at had already moved the Raiders from 40-1 to 100-1 to win the Super Bowl on the news and the Patriots odds improved from 6-1 to 4-1.

At FanDuel, Patriots odds had from +700 to +550 to win the Super Bowl.

This week, New England is currently favored by 18.5 points playing away against the Dolphins in Miami at FanDuel. SugarHouse has moved it to -18.5.

That looks to be the largest spread of Week 2 at Pennsylvania online sportsbooks. And it is the largest a team has been favored by on the road since 2007.

Here is a look at all the Week 2 lines (Last updated Sept. 14)

GAMEFanDuel spreadSugarHouse spreadFanDuel totalSugarHouse total
TB vs. CAR CAR -7CAR -7.549.5


BAL -12.5
BAL -12.546.546.5
BUF -2BUF -2.543.543.5
DAL vs. WASDAL -6 DAL -646.546.5
IND vs. TEN TEN -3.5TEN -3.543.543.5
JAX vs. HOU HOU -8.5HOU -8.54343
LAC vs. DETLAC -1.5LAC -1.546.547
MIN vs. GB GB -2.5GB -2.54343
NE vs. MIAMIA -18.5MIA -1948.548.5
SF vs. CINCIN -1CIN -14646
SEA vs. PITPIT -4PIT -3.547.547.5
KC vs. OAKKC -7.5 KC -753.553.5
CHI vs. DENCHI -2.5CHI -2.54040
NO vs. LAR LAR -1.5LAR -251.552
PHI vs. ATL PHI -2PHI -1.552.552.5
CLE vs. NYJ CL -6.5CL -6.54444.5

Boos and believers for the Eagles

Of interest to Pennsylvania gamblers, the Eagles drew boos from their Philly fans for their lackluster first half play in Week 1, before turning the game around.

They narrowly beat the Washington Redskins 32-27 even with a home-field advantage. Pregame odds with FanDuel had favored the Eagles by 10.5 points. In the end, though, the final score was enough for Washington to cover the spread.

The Eagles’ upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 in Georgia is on the board at -1 with FanDuel and -2.5 at SugarHouse. Nearly 90% of bets with SugarHouse favor the Eagles to cover the spread.

And their fans remain believers for the long haul.

At the start of Week 2, the Eagles account for 17.2% of the total bets made on teams to win the Super Bowl and 26.6% of the total handle wagered to date, according to FanDuel. The Patriots, on the other hand, account for just 6.1% of the total bets and 8.1% of the handle for Super Bowl wagering.

Steelers stumbled and Week 2 looking weak

While the Pittsburgh Steelers hoped that with Brown gone from their roster they would put their losing behind, the Pats drubbed them, 33-3, when most sportsbooks had them listed as just 5.5-point underdogs.

This coming week, FanDuel puts the Steelers behind by 4 .5 points against the Seattle Seahawks despite playing at home and SugarHouse also has them at -4.5.

The Steelers do not factor into much Super Bowl wagering at this point.

No Luck for some Colts bettors

Andrew Luck‘s abrupt retirement changed odds last week in the Los Angeles Chargers game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Before the news, the Chargers were favored by 3.5 points. After the trade, the line closed at LAC -6.5 points according to SugarHouse. The Colts lost 30-24 and the Chargers covered.

Bettors who picked the Chargers before the Luck news won their bets in overtime, while wagers made after the news couldn’t quite hang on for a win.

For now, the lines at both books favor the visiting Colts over the Tennessee Titans in their upcoming game. FanDuel put the Titans behind by -3 and SugarHouse pegs them at -3.5 point favorites.

Check All The Week 1 NFL Betting Lines At PA’s Major Sportsbooks

Go line shopping at Pennsylvania’s best sportsbooks with this rundown of the lines for all 16 NFL Week 1 games kicking off the 2019 season.

And so it begins: Week 1 of the regular NFL season.

The 100th season for the league kicks off Thursday, Sept. 5 with Green Bay at Chicago. A full slate of games follows on Sunday, Sept. 8, then the week wraps with Monday Night Football on ESPN on Monday, Sept. 9.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks are ready. The lines are set at FanDuel and SugarHouse, which is essentially the same book as BetRivers since the two are sister properties and utilize the same Rush Street Interactive software and Kambi betting lines.

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Week 1 NFL betting lines at PA sportsbooks

We’ve broken out the spreads and totals for the opening week’s games in the table below to make it easier to compare and shop.

We’ll be updating the table daily right up to the kickoffs as odds adjust.

Last updated: Sept. 8

GAMEFanDuel spreadSugarHouse spreadFanDuel totalSugarHouse total
GB vs. CHICHI -3CHI -346.5


CLE -5.5

CLE -64544.5
BAL -7BAL -74040
ATL vs. MINMIN -3.5MIN -3.54747.5
BUF vs. NYJNYJ -2.5NYJ -2.540.540.5
WAS vs. PHI PHI -10.5PHI -10.544.544.5
LAR vs. CARLAR -2LAR -25049.5
KC vs. JAXKC -3.5KC -3.550.550
IND vs. LACLAC -6.5LAC -6.544.545
CIN vs. SEASEA -9.5SEA -9.544.544.5
NYG vs. DALDAL -7DAL -745.545
DET vs. ARIDET -2.5DET -2.54646
SF vs. TBTB -1TB -1.55150.5
PIT vs. NENE -5.5NE -64949.5
HOU vs. NONO -6.5NO -6.552.552.
DEN vs. OAKDEN -2.5DEN -2.542.542.5

Intro to key betting terms

Some betting basics,  first, then we’ll take a quick look at some of the more interesting contests.

The most common football bet is the spread. You can find the spread for each of the 16 games above.

In the simplest terms, the spread is the number of points one team is expected to win by in a given game.

The favored team has to win by the point spread offered by the sportsbook in order for bets on that team to cash.

The favorite in a game is listed as being minus (-) in the point spread. The underdog in a game is listed as being plus (+) the point spread.

The reason for the plus is that an underdog can still lose the game and have a bet on them cash. Take, for example, Green Bay. The team is +3 for Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bears, so if they lose by one or two points, they still “cover the spread” because they lost by fewer than three points.

The total is just what it sounds like: A wager on whether or not the combined score for a game is over or under what the oddsmaker sets.

Notable NFL games

Green Bay @ Chicago Bears

The opening game on Thursday, Sept. 5 is one to watch, and not just to quench a need for some football or listen to Meek Mill at the pre-game show. Or the fact that it is the most expensive opening day ticket.

The Bears are currently -3 favorites, which means these two teams are close to evenly matched, with Chicago benefitting from home-field advantage.

San Francisco @ Tampa

The San Francisco 49ers are playing away at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa is a single-point favorite, the closest game of the week.

A late injury report Friday by the San Francisco Chronicle to rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd could shift the spread when it becomes clearer if he’s good to play – or not.

Eagles, Steelers and Nick Foles

There are several opening week games of particular interest to Keystone State gamblers, beginning with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Redskins @ Eagles

There are several opening week games of particular interest to Keystone State gamblers, beginning with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Washington Redskins are visiting the Eagles with the Birds favored to win. FanDuel puts the spread at -8.5 while SugarHouse pegs the spread at -9. On the points total, FanDuel has posted 46 and SugarHouse 45.5.
Pregame news coverage in the Washington Post has focused on the broken finger of Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Pittsburgh Steelers @New England Patriots

The Steelers are on the road, playing against the Pats, last season’s Super Bowl champs.

FanDuel and SugarHouse both favor New England by 6 points.

The Steelers have no major injuries to contend with, according to Trib.Live, but star receiver Julian Edelman may have injured a thumb. Patriots nonetheless remain favored.

Kansas City @ Jacksonville

While not a PA contest, Keystone gamblers may have a strong interest in this contest with former Eagles’ QB Nick Foles now helming the Jaguars.

Visiting Kansas City is favored by 3.5 points at both books.

Want Some Instant Sports Betting Action? Try Jackpot Parlays At SugarHouse And BetRivers

New PA sports bettors might not realize SugarHouse and BetRivers offer up Jackpot Parlay action for those who want a little money on a longshot big payout.

Learning sportsbook vernacular is something like picking up a foreign language on the fly. Except instead of asking “Parlez-vous français?” the question is more apt to be, “How do you place a parlay wager?”

Or, in the case of two PA online sports betting sites, “What’s a Jackpot Parlay?” 

So listen up, class, school’s in session with the sister Pennsylvania sites BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse as our virtual chalkboards.

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What is parlay betting?

Let’s start with the simple definition of a parlay.

A parlay bet is a single sports wager made simultaneously on the outcome of two or more teams winning.

The appeal of parlay betting is a larger payout than choosing a single team to win.

Larger payouts for a parlay make sense since picking an individual winner is difficult. Picking more than one winner is harder. But then the reward for winning is larger.

How does the Jackpot option work?

That brings us to Jackpot Parlays, which offer a quick and inexpensive way to get into multiple sports games wagering.

A Jackpot Parlay is the equivalent of a quick-pick lottery, but a quick-pick chance that’s also a sports bet.

A traditional parlay wager is made by a bettor picking two or more outcomes, and not necessarily in the same sport. That usually means an investment of time and research to craft your bet.

A Jackpot Parlay lays out the options for you, minus the time studying up.

The betting option from PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers automatically puts together the bet for you. These bets can range from three to eight legs.

There is an amount of instant gratification to these bets too. The sites allow you to choose from a selection of events happening in the next four hours or events happening in the next 24 hours. There are no multi-day Jackpot Parlays though.

These bets, which can cost users as little as $.10 can yield some massive paydays if you are lucky enough to hit every leg. Be aware though that the odds on Jackpot Parlays, just like lottery quick picks, are very long by design.

How to place a Jackpot Parlay

BetRivers Jackpot ParlayA graphic icon labeled “Jackpot Parlay” is on the Sports Betting section of SugarHouse and BetRivers mirror sites.

Start by clicking the “Bet Now” button. 

By default, the Jackpot Parlay selects a combination of eight randomly selected bet options. 

At the top of the screen, you can see the potential payout if all of the bets are winners.

If the selections suit you, then you can click on “Place Bets.” You can choose an amount to wager with Place Bets, too. The potential payout shows at the bottom of the screen. 

What are the Jackpot Parlay options?

SugarHouse Jackpot ParlayThe sites and their apps allow bettors some options. A bit of strategy can even come into play.

Here are the options:

  • Choose the sports you want to bet on.
  • Pick the time period for settling the bet. You can only wager on live events taking place within a 24-hour time frame.
  • Choose the number of bets you want to have in the Jackpot Parlay. Three is the minimum.
  • Pick the amount you want to bet, beginning at 10 cents.

You also have the option to remove one or more bets from the list by clicking on the “X.”

Recreational bettors are the target audience for Jackpot Parlays. These bets feature long odds but give someone who just wants a little money on the action something to root for, namely, the hope of a big payday.

Whole Hog: FanDuel Hopes 900-Pound Pig Brings In Sportsbook Bacon

FanDuel Sportsbook decided to roast itself with a new commercial featuring an enormous pig named Marley and details on PA launch.

Before we consider FanDuel‘s new ad rolling out its online sportsbook in Pennsylvania, think of the typical sportsbook TV ad you’ve seen before.

They tend to feature a handful of bros on a couch shouting at a televised sports event, amid a background of pizza boxes and empty snack bowls.

They rarely involve farm animals.

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FanDuel’s sportsbook ad based on strong hamwork

Now consider both the setting and the star for FanDuel’s new sportsbook rollout ad:

In a typical bowling alley, there’s a 900-pound pig named Marley and her owner on the cellphone:

Marley’s suave owner is basically a version of Rob Lowe-light, in a blue blazer with a pocket square. He is also placing sports bets with the FanDuel Sportsbook app on his cellphone. The sports teams showing on the screen vary by which PA TV market is airing the ad.

Fronting the seated owner is the whole hog, also seated.

The comic foils in the ad are an average suburban couple. They’re not too young, not too old, not too stylish, not too shabby, and they are bowling.

The woman skeptically asks the owner, “Can you do that here?”

That’s the set-up line for a message with a twist. Oblivious to the question’s aim, Marley’s owner explains he can bet anywhere in Pennsylvania now using FanDuel.

Promo ads usually hog the sportsbook market

Sow, what’s the big deal with this not-at-all boaring ad for FanDuel?

“It’s certainly a departure for us,” explained Steve Giraldi, FanDuel’s executive creative director.

The ad is a first of its type for FanDuel, aimed primarily at brand building, not details of betting or promo offers.

FanDuel already has some brand recognition in PA: The company offers the most successful retail and online sportsbooks in nearby New Jersey. And since March, it has operated a retail book at PA’s Valley Forge Casino Resort.

Giraldi calls the sportsbook space “extraordinarily crowded” with ads and competitors. As a result, Giraldi says the goal with his company’s hog wild ad is “disruption and distinction.”

“We were going for something off.”

But conventional promo ads and football-reference advertising, “product-centric” in Giraldi’s marketing-guy words, are in the pipeline for later.

Given FanDuel’s entrance into a new market bound to get more crowded, the company wants to initially offer a contrast to its competitors.

They also aim to build their brand’s recognition during the opening weeks.

Broadening the FanDuel customer pool

FanDuel’s aim with their opening ad campaign is “to broaden who we are speaking to,” adds Giraldi.

That means ads which might seem “big and sloppy” because they are not aimed just at younger male sports enthusiasts.

But that’s exactly the point.

As part of that broader target, the Marley ad is airing in the Philadelphia market during an entertainment news show, hardly a hotbed for recruiting traditional sports dudes, but fine for casting a wider net.

“That’s our media team intercepting all sorts of different folks. We wanted to open the aperture a bit of who we’re talking to.”

That said, there are ads planned “on a sliding scale” with varying degree of more in-depth details of sports wagering coming.

Is this FanDuel ad just hogwash?

Giraldi says the ad campaign is still in the early days, but, so far, FanDuel has gotten “nice notes back.”

But there still could be changes based on additional feedback.

“We slip and slide,” when a new campaign begins, per Giraldi. But that also means FanDuel can recalibrate if needed.

Giraldi says licensing Marley’s huge image was just too expensive for a billboard campaign, though there will be billboard ads as part of the introduction.

No matter where you live in Pennsylvania, Marley is playing.

FanDuel Spokesman Kevin Hennessy said,

“We have a robust television plan that will blanket the state of PA and we can’t wait for the people of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Harrisburg and more to meet Marley.”

Marley on the casting couch?

Shooting the commercial, while it mentions PA once, took place in Los Angeles.

Two pigs were in the running for the starring role, according to Giraldi, who emphatically called Marley the star of the ad.

There was a 300-pound pig to consider. Then there was Marley, whose 900 pounds, an enormous image, is shown in the commercial just as it was in real life.

Of course, Giraldi chose Marley for the visual impact.

However, trundling the giant pig from her home on a Santa Barbara ranch to a set in LA presented a few issues. Mats had to be in place in the bowling alley because pig’s feet and smooth floors presented a bit of a pickle.

Also, Marley learned on the set how to sit; something pigs don’t naturally do. Unless the pig sat, she blotted out the seated actor. Giraldi said the actor spent a day hanging around the swine to establish a rapport before the shooting day.

“They’re not Sonny and Cher,” but they have chemistry.”

The Official Launch Of FanDuel Cements PA’s First iPhone Sports Betting App

The official launch of FanDuel Sportsbook in Pennsylvania means the state’s first iOS betting app is underway and good to go.

FanDuel Group has jumped into the Pennsylvania online sportsbook market with lessons learned from neighboring New Jersey, where they substantially lead the growing online and mobile market.

FanDuel partnered with Boyd Gaming. This deal gave FanDuel entree to Pennsylvania via Valley Forge Casino Resort in suburban Philadelphia. FanDuel and Boyd established a retail book back in March.

The newly launched online component of FanDuel in Pennsylvania essentially incorporates Pennsylvania customers into its existing New Jersey app.

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Two states, but just one app for FanDuel’s sportsbook

FanDuel is using their vetted and popular NJ app for PA bettors. The tested app allows bettors in the neighboring jurisdictions to go back and forth across borders without missing a beat.

Underscoring that, rather than opening a new account and setting up a separate PA bankroll, customers already signed up in NJ for FD’s sportsbook can easily log in while in PA.

After verifying their identity, they can immediately start betting without the annoyance of downloading a second app.

Likewise, there is no need for a second bankroll if a bettor already has one funded in NJ. The wallet is shared.

However, each jurisdiction has servers in each state to keep things kosher with state and federal laws.

Pennsylvania bets are subject to a 34% tax rate. But in New Jersey, online betting run by racetracks (FanDuel is licensed through The Meadowlands) are subject to a 14.25% tax rate.

The separate servers mean FanDuel can assure every transaction starts, ends, and doesn’t leave the state where the customer places a wager.

Apple-ready app opens the market to 47 percent of cell users on iPhone

In another real competitive leap, FanDuel’s app is available for Android, but also for iOS.

Unlike competitors so far thwarted by Apple rules about coding, FanDuel has the only iOS app available in the state.

Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group, is well aware of its advances:

We’re leveraging our expertise in creating world-class fantasy and sports betting experiences to build the best online sports betting platform in the state of Pennsylvania.

We became the number-one sports betting operator in New Jersey by focusing on the customer experience and we can’t wait for sports fans in Pennsylvania to join the party.

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New users who sign up for the book in Pennsylvania can get a risk-free bet of up to $500.

There is some fine print, of course, beginning with the restriction that it cannot be claimed again in PA if you already signed up for the same promotion in NJ.

Deposit options

The options to fund an account include:

  • Visa and MasterCard credit cards
  • PayPal
  • ACH (e-check)
  • Online bank transfer
  • FanDuel prepaid card
  • Cash at the cage
  • Check

Withdrawal options

  • ACH
  • Check
  • FanDuel prepaid
  • PayPal

Sports and betting options

FanDuel offers betting on all major sports leagues. Moreover, in Pennsylvania, you are able to wager on New Jersey college teams, which is something you can’t do in the Garden State.

The sportsbook also provides a wide range of in-game wagering.

Customer service is available 24/7.

BetAmerica Sportsbook Now Open At Presque Isle Downs & Casino

BetAmerica Sportsbook at Presque Isle Downs Casino in Erie is now open for betting, bringing the number of PA retail sportsbooks to nine.

Saddling up for the sportsbook race, Presque Isle Downs & Casino began a two-day soft launch of a new retail book in conjunction with BetAmerica.

The book opened for business from 4 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday and continues Thursday from 2 p.m. until midnight.

A full opening is expected to begin at noon Friday with the assent of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

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Presque Isle plants the sportsbook flag

Presque Isle becomes only the second retail sportsbook in Western Pennsylvania. Rivers Pittsburgh, two hours south of Erie, is the only other retail book in the region.

BetAmerica Sportsbook at Presque Isle Downs will feature 50 kiosks, some within the sportsbook property, but also placed throughout the casino.

Presque Isle hoped to open the brick-and-mortar sportsbook in early June. But getting approval by the PGCB took longer than planned.

Presque Isle aiming for an online sportsbook presence

Still, opening the retail book at Presque Isle is the first step in the race, with sports betting wagers shifting dramatically to online options as they come online.

Regulators have, so far, only allowed operators with a physical sportsbook to launch online. Thus, an online operation should come next, but there is no announced timetable.

The online wagering market clearly motivated the $178.9 million purchase of Presque Isle facility by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI). Churchhill Downs is the owner of the track, which hosts the Kentucky Derby and a portfolio of other gambling venues.

As CEO Bill Carstanjen explained in a first-quarter earnings call earlier this year:

In January, we completed the acquisition of Presque Isle Downs and Casino, an excellent brick-and-mortar facility, which also provides us an opportunity to launch our retail BetAmerica Sportsbook at the Casino and launch our BetAmerica online sportsbook and iGaming platform across the entire Pennsylvania market later this year.

Details and the NFL

The property first opened in February 2007; it operates approximately 1,600 slots, 32 table games and a poker room.

There are sports betting kiosks throughout, including:

  • The high-limit area
  • The nonsmoking area of the sportsbook
  • The Hub Center bar
  • Bar 90

The sportsbook’s celebratory opening hoopla begins at 4 p.m. Aug. 8.

That’s the official start date of the NFL preseason games with Pennsylvania’s cross-state rivals. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles are playing, but not against each other.

The Steelers will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home while the Eagles host the Tennessee Titans.

Rivals already online and on the ground

Competitors in PA’s online sports market already include Hollywood Casino, Parx Casino and SugarHouse Casino.

FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino online site launched earlier in the week.

Presque Isle became the ninth retail sportsbook in the state and two more, Mount Airy and Mohegan Sun Pocono, are in the pipeline.

SugarHouse Is Third PA Online Casino To Launch, But The Only One On iPhone

Now it’s a three-horse race with a powerful new entrant joining the market for online casino in Pennsylvania, with SugarHouse Casino getting into the fray.

Now it’s a three-horse race with a powerful new entrant joining the market for online casino in Pennsylvania.

SugarHouse online casino jumped in two days after the legal starting day of July 15, the day when Hollywood and Parx each launched online casinos.

While all three allow betting via Android devices, PC and Mac, none of them had an iOS app ready for the many Apple users.

That means they are all missing at least half of the mobile market. Apple is not allowing online gambling apps that are not built specifically for iOS.

But SugarHouse is offering a significant advantage: its users can sign up via a browser on an iPhone/iPad. This is not possible at Parx and Hollywood.

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SugarHouse, Hollywood and Parx all bring strengths and experience

Parx, Pennsylvania’s top revenue casino, competed head-to-head with Hollywood, during the opening day match-up. Hollywood has an experienced interactive partner, IGT, as its interactive partner.

Hollywood Casino, with a brick-and-mortar location in the lightly populated area north of Harrisburg, immediately expanded its reach to customers.

And Parx Casino asserted itself once again as a market leader by its early entry into online casino wagering in Pennsylvania.

SugarHouse, with an online sportsbook already launched, should make for interesting competition among the three, with more than half a dozen additional online casino options eventually joining in.

SugarHouse online casino joins sportsbook and other strengths

SugarHouse comes with several strengths, even beyond its new app.

SugarHouse Sportsbook PA was the first online sportsbook in Pennsylvania, and it experienced strong opening days. The book and the online casinos are all operated by Rush Street Gaming, which also has the BetRivers brand under its umbrella.

SugarHouse also already ready has an online casino in nearby New Jersey. And the new online casino will bear a strongly resembles its sister site, PlaySugarHouse NJ.

Rush Street owns Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, SugarHouse’s sister property. There are plans to rebrand all the elements under the name Rivers. Rush Street also operates Rivers-branded casinos in Illinois and upstate New York

To use the casino and sportsbook app, players must be within the state of Pennsylvania and be at least 21 years old. They will need to provide personal info verifying their identity. Geolocation technology will determine a player’s location.

SugarHouse online casino offerings

SugarHouse online casino will eventually feature a number of popular slots and table games, though only 22 slot games are available. In New Jersey, it offers more than 500 slots.

SugarHouse is offering a generous welcome bonus to new players of a 100% match on their first deposit, worth up to $250.

The bonus has a one-time wagering requirement. This feature is a huge win for players, as most online casinos have wagering requirements of 10 to 20 times.

This is the same offer the PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook is offering, but they cannot be combined.

Rewards and banking options for SugarHouse online casino players

Players at SugarHouse are eligible for the iRush Rewards program. Players earn loyalty points based on their play online and at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. They can use those points in the bonus store and access exclusive promotions and benefits.

SugarHouse’s online casino offers its players an extensive library of games from top providers. Slots are easy to navigate via a search barallowing players to filter by game type, game provider, popular games and featured games.

While SugarHouse has a license to offer online peer-to-peer poker products, there are no immediate plans to begin those games, which are less lucrative than slot offerings. But video poker should be available.

SugarHouse Casino offers a wide variety of banking options, making it easy to deposit and withdraw.

Players can use the following options:

  • ACH or e-check
  • SugarHouse Prepaid Card
  • Visa or Mastercard
  • PayNearMe (7-Eleven convenience stores)
  • Cash at the SugarHouse Casino cage in Philadelphia.

A check in the mail is a withdrawal option.