BetRivers Brings Online Betting To Pittsburgh Sports Betting Scene

BetRivers joins its sister site PlaySugarHouse on the PA online betting market after launching its pp on June 25 for two days of testing.

The drip of online sports betting is now starting to flow.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh launched its online sportsbook, BetRivers, on June 25.

It is the third online sportsbook in Pennsylvania. Parx’s online sports betting platform launched on June 24. PlaySugarHouse.com launched the first app online sports betting market in the state at the end of May.

Hours for the two-day test period for BetRivers are:

  • Tuesday, June 25, from 4 p.m. to midnight
  • Wednesday, June 26, from 2 p.m. to midnight

All bets placed during the test are real-money wagers, with complete features and options available. Pending review and approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), 24/7 online and mobile wagering at BetRivers will start immediately thereafter.

Pittsburgh’s first sportsbook

Western Pennsylvania joins the online sports betting game with BetRivers.  Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is the only casino in the second-largest city in Pennsylvania.

“This summer marks Rivers Casino Pittsburgh’s 10th anniversary,” said Bill Keena, Rivers Casino general manager. “We’re celebrating one decade while planning ahead for the next. Full-service online, mobile and in-casino sportsbooks are where the industry is headed, and thanks to our Team Members, we’re already there.”

Online sports betting might be new to Pennsylvania, but users should get a familiar feeling with BetRivers. Rush Street’s in-house interactive unit oversees both BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse.com. The company works with lines provider Kambi on both books as well.

RSI has generated more than 50% of all retail sports betting in Pennsylvania since the market opened in November.

How to get started with BetRivers.com

Anyone can sign up for a BetRivers account, even if they are not in Pennsylvania. However, users must be physically located in Pennsylvania to wager and at least 21 years old.

Customers can access BetRivers via browser or app without setting up an account. You don’t even have to be in the state of Pennsylvania to view it, so long as you don’t want to deposit or bet.

If you do want to deposit or bet, you will need to set up an account. There is also the option for fast registration using an existing Rush Rewards or Casino4Fun account.

Here is the personal information required. It must be entered as it appears on your government-issued identification:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Address

To access on your desktop, visit pa.betrivers.com.

Android users must also visit the website on their mobile devices and download the app to wager. Apple users can register using their mobile devices but will need to wager via laptop or desktop computer. Betting from iPhones and iPads will hopefully be available soon.

What can I bet on?

How ’bout dem ‘Stillers? They are currently listed +220 to win the Super Bowl. The lines are up for NFL Week 1 and the Steelers are +6 for their matchup against the defending Super Bowl champs New England Patriots.

Think the Pirates can climb out of the basement and make a pennant run? You’d make more than a few “bucs.” The Pirates are +15000 to win the World Series.

BetRivers offers an extensive menu of sports to choose from including:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • College sports
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Motorsports
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • NASCAR
  • UFC or MMA

Current promotions for BetRivers.com customers

New account holders will be able to use the bonus code 250MATCH on their first deposit. The offer is to deposit and receive 100% of up to $250 in bonus money with a 1x wagering requirement.

Some small print on the promo to keep in mind:

  • The minimum deposit for the offer is $10.
  • Bonus money will be credited to the player’s regular bonus bank within 24 hours. All bonus money in the bonus bank always has a 1x wagering requirement.
  • It is up to the player if and when to activate the bonus money and start the playthrough requirement. However, the player needs to activate and play through the bonus money within 30 days after being credited with the bonus money; otherwise, it will expire.

BetRivers Sportsbook deposit and withdrawal methods

Customers have several ways to get money online.

Deposit options include:

  • Online banking (ACH)
  • Credit or debit card
  • SugarHouse Play+ prepaid card
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Wire transfer

Withdrawal choices include:

  • Online banking
  • Cash at the cage
  • Check by mail
  • Prepaid card

First impressions of BetRivers

The BetRivers app isn’t splashy. But like Ben Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter, it gets the job done. It’s simple and easy to use. The newsfeed that shows screen names of users who win is a common feature of online casino games. It doesn’t add any real value to BetRivers. Except maybe the screen names that exalt Roethlisberger and burn Tom Brady.

Sports betting marries slot play with jackpot parlay. It’s a feature on PlaySugarHouse.com and it carried over to BetRivers. Jackpot parlay is a computer-generated parlay created for a chance to win big.

The bettor can simply hit the “jackpot parlay” button and “place bets.” Or they can select a few criteria.

Consider it a lottery ticket with live action rooting interest included.

“It takes some elements from a slot machine and adds a sports twist to it,” explained Mattias Stetz, chief operating officer of Rush Street Interactive.

“The games are randomly generated, and if you want different games you can click the ‘re-pick’ button, and the randomizers spit out a new selection, very much like spinning a slot machine. You can even hold on to one or two games and re-pick the rest, just like in a video poker game.”

Rivers and Rush Street rules Pennsylvania sports betting

In May, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh earned $641,029 in revenue from sports betting. It’s sister casino SugarHouse led the state in revenue with $711,846. Rivers handle was $7,924,510.

The Rush Street operated PlaySugarHouse.com launched the Commonwealth’s first online sports betting platform, PlaySugarHouse.com.  Across four days, most of it a testing period, it took $573,163 in bets. If SugarHouse were to keep that same level of action across a month, it would have generated more than $4.4 million in online bets.

Parx Launches Its PA Online Sports Betting Product

On Monday, June 24, Parx Casino began testing on its Parx Sportsbook online product at pa.parxcasino.com. It is the second betting app to launch in PA.

Pennsylvania’s highest grossing casino is ready to get into the game of PA online sports betting.

Parx Casino is conducting a soft launch of their online sportsbook. 

Hours for the soft launch for Parx online sports betting are:

  • June 24  – 4:00 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • June 25 – 2:00 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • June 26 – 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.

When Parx finishes the testing period, if there are no major issues, the online product will be available 24/7.

PlaySugarHouse.com was the first to offer online sports betting in Pennsylvania when they soft-launched at the end of May. Parx becomes the second. However, soon three will be a crowd. Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh is scheduled to join in on the online sports betting action on Tuesday with the launch of BetRivers testing.

What to expect from Parx Sportsbook

The birth of an online sportsbook, especially one run by a big daddy like Parx, carries a lot of anticipation. Parx’s website says:

“Your Sports Betting experience is about to get better! The Parx Casino online Sports Betting app is coming soon to PA.”

Users can expect an online experience similar to Parx’s Betslip Builder. As a part of Parx’s retail sportsbook, it allows users to build their betting slip in advance.

When they get to the kiosks or betting counter, they simply scan a QR code to submit and print the ticket. The app is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and is the betting equivalent of placing a mobile order at Starbucks.

Parx sports betting platform is only available on Android devices, Macs, and PCs. They claim it will be available on iOS devices in the near future.

First impressions of Parx Sportsbook

Monday got a jolt of juice. At 4 p.m. Parx soft-launched its online sports betting product.

For some, registration was a bit of a hassle. A customer trying to register and link their account to their XClub card reported difficulty signing up. Live chat online was responsive to questions.

Once “in” the online sportsbook, it immediately calls to mind Parx’s Betslip. The live betting interface, which resembles a game cast interface, is the MVP of this app.

Anyone who is counting down the days to kickoff will love the app. There is an extensive list of futures bets for the upcoming NFL season. Fans of every team can get in on the action by betting “yes” or “no” on if they will make the playoffs. Over/under win totals for each team is also listed.

Responsible gaming

Parx online sportsbook goes way beyond “Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.” They take real action, an almost parental control-like, approach.

There is a clock on top of the screen which shows the current duration of the session. The app includes a list of options to allow you to keep betting with major controls in place such as:

  • Deposit limits
  • Wager limits
  • Time limits
  • Max bet limits
  • Reality check tool, which notifies you based on how long you are on the app

How to get started with Parx online sportsbook

You must be physically located in Pennsylvania to use the Parx online sportsbook. You can access Parx online sportsbook via your browser or app without setting up an account. You don’t even have to be in the Keystone State to view it, so long as you don’t want to deposit or bet.

If you do want to deposit or bet, you will need to set up an account (which can also be done outside of PA).

There is also the option to link to your XClub account. Here is the personal info required:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four of your Social Security number
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Address

To download to desktop go to pa.parxcasino.com.

The Android download is an easy process when you go to pa.parxcasino.com on your phone’s browser. The option to download on Android will immediately pop up. Once you click that, the app will begin to download on your phone.

Current promotions for Parx Sportsbook customers

All new Parx customers can get $10 free just for signing up. There is no deposit required.

If you are depositing, be sure to take advantage of the deposit bonus promo. Parx is offering a risk-free bet of up to $250 commiserate with your first deposit.

Both of these are available without a promo code.

Some small print to note on both of the promos:

  • It must be used in full and cannot be divided into multiple bets
  • It’s only valid on events with minimum odds greater than -200
  • It must be used in 10 calendar days from the date it was awarded
  • Any unused or remaining free bet amount will be forfeited
  • To be eligible for the $250 risk free offer the player must deposit a minimum of $10

    Parx Sportsbook deposit and withdraw

    Customers have a number of ways to get money online.

    The current deposit options are:

  • Play+ prepaid card
  • ACH/ e-check
  • Bank wire
  • Cash at the Parx cage
  • Check
  • PayNearMe

Withdrawal options:

  • VIP Preferred (ACH/eCheck)
  • Check by mail
  • Cash at the cage
  • Play+

Parx establishes dominance

Parx’s physical location in Bensalem began taking bets in January. A few weeks later, the South Philadelphia Turf Club, located a Carson Wentz Hail Mary from the sports complex, added sports betting to their offerings. Oaks Race & Sportsbook (the turf club formerly known as Valley Forge), received a $500,000 renovation for its March sports betting launch.

Currently, Parx operates three of Pennsylvania’s eight retail sportsbooks.

Chasing a sugar high

At the end of May, SugarHouse launched the Commonwealth’s first online sports betting platform, PlaySugarHouse.com.  Across four days, most of it a testing period, it took $573,163 in bets. If SugarHouse were to keep that same level of action across a month, it would have generated more than $4.4 million in online bets.

In New Jersey, there are 14 online sportsbooks. In May, online operators accounted for more than 80% of the overall handle. At 82.6% of the total handle, May featured the highest percentage of bets made with NJ online sportsbooks.

New $60 Million Hotel Landing In Rivers Pittsburgh

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh has almost everything, but not a hotel. Rush Street Gaming will be fixing that with this $60 million expansion.

One of Pennsylvania’s strongest-performing casinos will soon get a standout hotel to go with it.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh announced that it will begin construction this summer on a $60 million hotel called The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh.

The seven-story hotel will feature 219 guest rooms and be attached to the east side of the casino facing the Carnegie Science Center.

Hotel was first approved in 2017

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission first approved the hotel in 2017. However, plans for the building were delayed after gaming legislation was passed that added mini-casinos across the state and transformed PA’s gaming landscape.

In the meantime, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh completed several significant property enhancements. Those upgrades included:

  • Adding a gourmet burger restaurant, FLIPT
  • The Event Center for large galas and expositions
  • Launching Pittsburgh’s first licensed sportsbook

Big month for parent company Rush Street Gaming

The announcement of The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh continues a busy month for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh’s parent company, Rush Street Gaming.

At last week’s Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Rush Street Gaming presented its plans to rebrand Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino as Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Rivers brand will be strong in PA

The SugarHouse rebrand, which will begin this summer, will create a uniform gaming, rewards, and marketing product for all of the company’s Rivers casinos. Rush Street Gaming also operates Rivers Casinos in Des Plaines, Illinois and Schenectady, New York.

In Pennsylvania specifically, the Rivers brand will benefit from two well-performing casinos in the state’s two biggest cities.

Hotel construction should boost an already-flourishing casino

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is typically one of the state’s top performers in both slot machine and table game revenue, as well as overall earnings. The construction of the hotel and corresponding rooms should strengthen that performance.

It also is generally the top sportsbook in the state, thanks to its status as the only book in the city. Comparatively, Philadelphia has six sportsbooks in its larger area. Rivers Sportsbook took in more bets than anyone in May, with $7.9 million in wagers.

The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh will feature expansive windows on every level with unobstructed views of the Ohio River and Pittsburgh’s famous skyline.

The guest rooms will also include 10 luxury terrace suites, each with private first-floor patios.

The hotel’s location will be a desirable one. Patrons of The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh will be within a short walk to Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers), PNC Park (home of the Pittsburgh Pirates), and subway stations with routes all over the city.

What’s next for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh?

The attached hotel will fill a need for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh that is not lacking much else.

The casino currently features:

  • 2,708 slots
  • 128 table games
  • A 30-table live poker room
  • 55 hybrid gaming seats
  • Nine restaurants and bars
  • A riverside amphitheater
  • Black box Event Center space
  • Multipurpose ballroom

The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh will add 128 new jobs

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, which opened in 2009, currently employs approximately 1,700 staff members and has been voted a great place to work in Pittsburgh.

The new hotel, which was privately funded, should add 128 permanent new hotel and casino jobs, along with 1,400 temporary construction jobs.

The hotel is expected to open in early 2021

It will take approximately 18 months to complete the project. The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh should open in early 2021.

“The time is right,” Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, said in the news release. “Statewide gaming expansion changed our schedule, but never our intentions. Rush Street always envisioned a hotel for Rivers to create a full-service destination on the North Shore. We see it as a natural evolution.”

Rush Street Gaming continues to bring positive changes to its Rivers properties.

The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh is simply the latest evidence.

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow: SugarHouse Transforming To Rivers Philadelphia

The popular Philadelphia casino SugarHouse is ditching the name and fully rebranding. Be ready to start calling it Rivers Philadelphia, effective this fall.

Will a casino by any other name be just as sweet?

SugarHouse Casino is betting on it.

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 Casino Philadelphia.

Upgrades on the way

A series of property upgrades later this year are the highlights of the rebrand.

They include:

  • A new state-of-the-art permanent sportsbook
  • A new signature restaurant
  • An online casino experience that complements the brick-and-mortar operations.

The physical transformation of the property will occur over the next several months, including signage, gaming pieces, Team Member uniforms, and more. Rivers Casino Philadelphia will debut in Philly later this fall.

This rebranding represents a $15 million reinvestment in the property. Local companies and contractors will complete all changes to the facility. Additionally, a $164 million expansion in 2016, will continue the property-wide transformation.

Four casinos under one name

Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates own and operate SugarHouse. The company currently has three other casinos in the U.S. operating under the Rivers Casino brand:

  • Rivers Pittsburgh
  • Rivers Des Plaines
  • Rivers Schenectady

Rebranding SugarHouse Casino will enable regional and national marketing to promote one Rivers Casino brand across multiple markets and channels.

There’s no change in ownership of the property.

SugarHouse’s 1,600 employees bring Rush Street’s total workforce to approximately 6,000 across four states. SugarHouse Team Members voted the casino a leading Philadelphia workplace for the 14th time in 2019. Rivers Casino Team Members have similarly lauded their employers many times.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia will remain committed to its Fishtown neighborhood and to the city. The Penn Treaty Special Services District will continue to receive a $1 million annual operating grant from the casino, even after the name change.

Sports betting and online casino advantage

A main reason behind the rebrand is the advent of online sports betting and online gaming. The goal is a seamless brand platform that will enhance customer experiences throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

“Since receiving our casino license in 2006, gaming in Pennsylvania has evolved tremendously,” said Greg Carlin, CEO of SugarHouse Casino and Rush Street Gaming.

“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.”

PGCB acknowledged SugarHouse’s plans to rebrand during the board’s June 12 meeting.

SugarHouse says guests can expect a seamless transition, expanded players’ club benefits and a 360-degree, full-service gaming experience that includes land-based, mobile, and online.

PlaySugarHouse.com Pennsylvania will align with the Rivers brand later this year. The transition will also be seamless for online players. It is still unclear how this will pan out with the launch of the Rivers Pittsburgh’s real-money sports betting app later this summer.

Timeline of Rivers Casino Philadelphia rebrand

  • Now: Rebranding announcement
  • Early summer: Begin property transformation, including internal controls (signage, gaming items, etc.)
  • Midsummer: Launch iGaming
  • End of summer: Launch of expanded, permanent sportsbook
  • Fall 2019: Ceremonial Rivers Casino Philadelphia launch

Philadelphia-area casinos and sportsbooks

Sugarhouse Casino, Philadelphia’s first casino, opened on Delaware Avenue in 2010. But it’s not only one. Since opening in 2010 other casinos have joined the fray and, especially recently, upped the ante.

Parx Casino, about twenty miles from Philadelphia, opened in 2009 and is now the state’s highest grossing property.

Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia, formerly Harrah’s Chester, opened in 2007 with slots and hose racing. The casino added table games in 2010.

Valley Forge Casino Resort opened in 2012 and is twenty miles from downtown Philadelphia. In January, they announced the addition of 250 new slot machines as part of a complete renovation of the gaming floor.

The renovations “reflect the continued momentum and growth coming from Valley Forge Casino Resort which has invested over $40 million over the past year.”

The $600 million Live! Hotel & Casino is currently being built on the site of the former Holiday Inn north of Citizen’s Bank Park. The property should open in late 2020.

The South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook (a short walk from the Philadelphia sports complex) and Oaks Race & Sportsbook are operated by Greenwood Racing Inc., the parent company of  Parx Casino. Both properties received upgrades earlier this year when sports betting launched.

SugarHouse Casino revenue

In March, SugarHouse was the only Philadelphia-area casino that did not see a year-over increase in total gaming revenue. SugarHouse’s $27.5 million revenue in March was a (distant) second in the state and down four percent from over year.

According to a May 2019 report by the PGCB, SugarHouse’s gross slot machine revenue was $15,563,286.02, a small 0.09 percent gain compared to their 2018 numbers.

In April 2019, Rivers and SugarHouse sportsbooks were second and third, respectively, when it came to sports betting revenue.

What’s in an app name?

SugarHouse launched the state’s first online betting app, PlaySugarHouse.com Pennsylvania.

The western side of the state shouldn’t have to wait too long to join the online betting app action as well. The Rivers Pittsburgh sports betting app is reportedly a few weeks away from launching.

How the rebrand will affect the existing PlaySugarHouse apps in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania is still unclear.

Pennsylvania Cashing In On Economic And Social Contributions Of Casinos

Casinos get a bad wrap as blights on communities, but PA casinos create jobs, outreach, and tax revenue for local communities.

Winners aren’t just limited to inside the confines of a casino.

Pennsylvania is experiencing a jackpot of jobs and an economic windfall as a result of the casino gaming industry.

On May 29, at a Get to Know Gaming event, the American Gaming Association (AGA) released their latest report, Casinos & Communities – Pennsylvania. It provided an in-depth look at the gaming industry’s economic and social contributions to communities across the state.

Highlights of the report included:

  • 33,171 jobs supported
  • $1.8 billion in wages generated
  • $2.5 billion generated in taxes

In 2004, Pennsylvania legislators passed the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, legalizing casinos and racinos. Today, there are 12 commercial casinos and racinos across the Commonwealth, which have rocketed Pennsylvania to the second-highest commercial gaming revenue in the United States, behind only Nevada.

“Over the last 15 years, gaming companies across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have served as an anchor for state and local economies, generating billions of dollars in tax revenue and operating as good stewards and community partners in the places casinos call home,” said Bill Miller, president and chief executive officer of the American Gaming Association.

Casinos as a beacon of hope

The growth of the gaming industry helped fill the void left by the downturn of the mining and manufacturing industries.

Ravaged by the high unemployment, crime and poverty for decades, the 2007 opening of Caesars Entertainment’s Harrah’s Philadelphia provided a beacon of hope. In May 2015, Harrah’s reported:

  • 1,400 jobs created
  • $1.6 million in charitable contributions
  • $1.4 billion in taxes
  • A $100 million economic impact in the city of Chester

Chester Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland explained that when the shipbuilding, steel and automobile industries left the city, jobs were limited and businesses were not coming.

“Harrah’s was the first real economic development that we had in this city for quite some time – for decades. They took a bet on the city. Folks now feel good about going to work in the morning. The casino has provided them with the opportunity to better take care of their families. And not just jobs, because jobs can come and go, but they provide them with career opportunities.”

Boosting the economy and nightlife

Twenty-five miles south of Chester, King of Prussia is in many ways, a world apart. It is home to the largest concentration of commercial office, industrial and flex buildings in the Philadelphia suburbs.

However, the area needed a boost from the 2008 recession. Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino was a “big, big part of that transition from a bad economy to a good economy,” said Eric Goldstein, executive director of King of Prussia’s Business Improvement District.

The casino created job opportunities and attracted visitors while keeping entertainment dollars in the community with their nightlife offerings such as musical acts, stand-up comedy, dueling pianos and Valley Beach, a pool bar with entertainment every Friday and Saturday night during the summer months.

“In the past four years, we’ve added almost 40 new restaurants at King of Prussia, which is crazy. You must have a lot of people to support that level of new business. The casino is obviously helping with that,” Goldstein added.

Casinos as community partners

The impact of Pennsylvania casinos is not limited to their utility as economic engines. They boost local government budgets, support many community causes and are actively involved in the areas they call home.

In April, SugarHouse hosted a veteran-focused job fair to recruit over 100 candidates. In early 2019, SugarHouse was recognized for the seventh time as a “Top Workplace” by the Philadelphia Inquirer and also earned multiple “Best Places to Work” honors from the Philadelphia Business Journal. The Philadelphia-based casino is known for offering employees exceptional benefits, immediate 401 (k) vesting, and tuition reimbursement for continuing education.

Parx poured $90 million into over 800 organizations. Their representatives sit on the boards of addiction facilities and homeless shelters in the Bensalem area.

When the Greater Washington County Food Bank needed a new location, local grant funding from casino revenue “made it possible,” said Executive Director Connie Burd.

The new building with its 800-square-foot cooler and 400-square-foot freezer has enabled the food bank to “get out a lot more fresh produce to people” than before the grant. Employees from The Meadows regularly volunteer their time giving out food to low-income families and seniors.

Winning in western Pennsylvania

The western side of Pennsylvania is winning, too. Communities in and around Pittsburgh have benefitted from an economic upturn from Rivers Casino and the Meadows Racetrack & Casino.

Before Penn National Gaming’s Meadows Racetrack & Casino opened in Washington County in 2009, lifelong resident Larry Laggi recalled a stagnant economy with the area “losing jobs, losing people and losing families.”

Laggi equated the economic impact and excitement generated by the casino with the boon days of the local coal mining and steel industries.

“Every community, large and small, has prospered and benefited from gaming being in Washington County.”

Over the past 11 years, gaming has generated almost half-a-billion dollars for Washington County. That money funded job creation, infrastructure and workforce development projects, according to Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

“Those monies go right back into our economy. They go right back into new projects, encouraging more and more population growth, business investment and things of that nature in our community.”

Raptors And Warriors Action Will Be PA’s First Online Betting Big Event

PA online bettors can test out the first app just in time for the start of the NBA Finals. Here’s what you need to know about how to bet on the series.

Some things change, some things remain the same.

This year’s NBA Finals features the Golden State Warriors making it for their fifth consecutive season and the Toronto Raptors making the first appearance in their franchise’s history.

Pennsylvania bettors should visit the state’s sportsbooks for Game 1 and futures wagers before 9 p.m. Thursday night when the championship series tips off in Toronto. Or, they can take advantage of the soft launch period of SugarHouse Casino’s online sportsbook to place an online bet on the action or use live in-game betting during the action.

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PA sportsbooks post close spreads

Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino sportsbook currently has the Raptors as a half-point favorite with Warriors superstar Kevin Durant out for Game 1. Moneyline odds for Game 1 are also very close:  Warriors (-107), Raptors (-110).  The over/under is currently set at 215.5.

Toronto, which swept Golden State in their two meetings this season, also has the added benefit of home-court advantage in the first game and the series. However, the Warriors are substantial favorites (-315) to win the championship. The Raptors are underdogs at +250.

Across the state, Parx Sportsbook has similar odds.

Steph Curry is betting favorite for Finals MVP

Warriors point guard Steph Curry is the current favorite for NBA Finals MVP at -143 on a futures bet. Here is a look at some other top contenders and their odds:

  • Kawhi Leonard: +250
  • Kevin Durant: +900
  • Draymond Green:+900
  • Klay Thompson: +2,000
  • Kyle Lowry: +2,500
  • Pascal Siakim: +4,000
  • Serge Ibaka: +10,000

Demarcus Cousins is the longest shot for the Warriors at +20,000.

Sportsbook series odds favor Warriors in six games

The current series odds for the NBA Finals suggest a Warriors victory in six games. The series correct score bet carries the following odds:

  • Golden State 4-2 (+250)
  • Golden State 3-1 (+450)
  • Golden State 4-0 (+450)
  • Golden State 4-3 (+550).

A Raptors upset would bring a much larger return. Toronto’s current series odds are as follows:

  • Toronto 4-3 (+550)
  • Toronto 4-2 (+1,100)
  • Toronto 4-1 (+1,200)
  • Toronto 4-0 (+5,000)

Retail sportsbooks remain the only option for NBA Finals bets

Although Pennsylvania sportsbooks and many industry insiders expected to have online sports betting by now, the retail operations remain the only avenue for NBA Finals action. According to Play Pennsylvania, the delay in online betting appears to be partially due to Apple’s app store policies.

It’s not entirely clear when those issues will be resolved either.

So for now, a trip to one of Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks is the best pathway to NBA gaming besides driving over to New Jersey and betting on an app there.

Get there before the series tips off on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.

PA Sportsbooks Offering Futures, Super Bowl And Lookahead Lines For 2019

The football season is still four months away, but you can already bet on next season college football and NFL games at sportsbooks like Parx and Rivers.

Last week’s NFL Draft brought football back to the forefront. And thanks to Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks, gamblers can get into the action now.

Many PA sportsbooks have posted betting lines for big games in the upcoming NFL season, as well as Super Bowl odds and some over/unders on season win totals.

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Steelers are underdogs in Week 1

At the Rivers Casino Sportsbook in Pittsburgh, the Steelers are +6.5 in their Week 1 showdown with the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. In their home opener, the Steelers are 3-point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. In futures bets, Pittsburgh is +2000 to win next year’s Super Bowl and +1000 to win the AFC.

The Steelers season win total has been set at nine.

Eagles are favorites in season opener

At the Parx Casino Sportsbook across the state, the hometown Philadelphia Eagles are +1600 to win the Super Bowl and +700 to capture the NFC. Philadelphia is an 8.5-point favorite in its Week 1 home opener against the Washington Redskins. The Eagles are 1.5-point underdogs a week later in their first road game in Atlanta.

Philadelphia’s season win total has been set at 9.5.

NFL regular season starts in September

The 2019 NFL regular season kicks off on Sept. 5 with the Chicago Bears hosting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Bears have opened as a 3.5-point favorite.

The defending champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl. Both teams have opened as +750 to win Super Bowl LIV.

The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints follow at +900. The Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts are next at +1400. The Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals are viewed as the league’s weakest teams with odds of +12,500.

PA betting action available on many top games

USA Today selected its picks for the top 10 games of 2019 and some of them have lines posted at PA sportsbooks. Thus, betting action is available far beyond the Steelers and Eagles.

PA online sports betting will also arrive before the NFL season, giving fans another avenue to their football wagers.

Mobile betting will begin testing in May and will launch for the 10 casinos with licenses in July. That development should lead the PA sportsbooks to record profits once the season kicks off.

Parx also offering college football odds

If NFL action isn’t enough, the Parx Casino Sportsbook has also posted some early numbers for college football. Alabama and Clemson, who played in last year’s championship game, are the favorites to win the national title. Both teams carry +200 odds. Ohio State follows at +700.

In other futures, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (+225), Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (+250), and Ohio State transfer quarterback Justin Fields (+900) are the favorites for the Heisman Trophy award.

Football action returns in four months

The college football season and the NFL opener are still a few months away. But for those interested in wagering on them, the odds are already live.

And here in Pennsylvania, the betting windows are open and the online betting apps will be live.

West Virginia Passed Online Gambling; Should Pennsylvania Worry?

Pennsylvania casinos, namely the ones near Pittsburgh, will soon have to contend with competition for online casino players from neighboring West Virginia.

Pennsylvania’s neighbor will soon join the Keystone State in the world of online casino gaming.

Last Wednesday, West Virginia legalized online casino gambling when House Bill 2934 became law. Gov. Jim Justice failed to act on the bill, just as he did with West Virginia’s sports betting last year. Even though he did not act, the bill become law after 15 days of inaction per WV law.

“There are a lot of different things out there that I guess people do (in online casino gaming),” West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said in an article on MetroNews. “I think there are even some video lottery games like we have in the casinos to a smaller degree that you could even play.”

WV online gaming takes cues from other states

West Virginia is now the fifth state to legalize at least some form of online poker and online casino gambling, joining Pennsylvania, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. PA passed its online gaming law in October 2017.

The West Virginia law is similar to those passed by other states. Anyone 21 and older, and who is within West Virginia’s state lines will be able to play online casino games with a computer or mobile device. Each of the state’s five casinos are eligible to purchase a permit to host online gaming:

  • Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
  • Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
  • The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
  • Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
  • Wheeling Island Hotel

Currently, the most popular online casino games are poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and slots.

WV online casinos shouldn’t greatly affect PA’s gaming

While the Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland and Wheeling Island are only about an hour away from the Pittsburgh area, it’s unlikely West Virginia’s new law will steal substantial business from its neighbor. That is good news for the city’s two casinos, Rivers and The Meadows.

First of all, Pennsylvania’s online casinos are expected to launch much earlier than West Virginia’s. Most estimates expect PA’s online gaming to arrive in June or July. West Virginia will likely be more than a year behind that.

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PA online gaming will feature numerous options

Furthermore, Pennsylvania is on track to provide online gamblers with a wealth of options. The PA Gaming and Control Board has already provided conditional approval for 10 of the state’s 13 casinos to offer online poker, slots, and table games.

Presque Isle Downs, Mohegan Sun Pocono, and the upcoming Stadium Casino project will just offer online table games and slots.

Furthermore, qualified gaming entities (QGE) from outside of Pennsylvania were allowed to apply for the remaining online gaming licenses. Both MGM Resorts and Golden Nugget Atlantic City have filed paperwork. Each group is expected to offer some form of online gaming in Pennsylvania upon launch, pending PGCB approval.

West Virginia’s online gaming is more likely to target other states

Pennsylvania’s early action on online gaming will likely keep most of its online players within the confines of the Keystone State.

However, the new law in West Virginia is aimed beyond its borders. The online gaming legislation is hoping to attract gamblers from neighboring states such as Ohio, Virginia, and Maryland. Those states have not yet legalized online gaming.

And that’s the biggest reason the bill drew bipartisan support in the WV state legislature.

“iGaming has the potential to bring millions of dollars in revenue to our state,” West Virginia legislator Jason Barrett said in the PlayWV article.

Put simply; the new online gaming bill is a boon for West Virginia. But not a major threat to its neighbor in Pennsylvania.

A Tale Of Two Cities: Philly And Pittsburgh Sports Betting Numbers

While Rivers Sportsbook in Pittsburgh rakes in bets, the Philadelphia sportsbooks are struggling for market share and revenue.

The Super Bowl has long been the most-watched and most-wagered-on sporting event in America.

Even in February, albeit a short month, the biggest NFL game of the year would theoretically provide a boost to legalized sports betting in Pennsylvania.

Last month, though, not even the Big Game could drive PA sports betting forward.

According to financials released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board this week, the state’s six sportsbooks in February took in $31,500,742 in wagers. That total was down just $511,096.82 from the previous month.

Revenue, however, fell drastically. The number was down more than 25 percent month-over-month to $1,946,816.50.

Super Bowl can’t boost PA sports betting

The New England Patriots hoisting the Lombardi Trophy did not sit well with sportsbooks in any state.

New Jersey, for example, lost a combined $4.5 million on Super Bowl wagers.

FanDuel Sportsbook lost approximately $1 million, according to estimates. DraftKings Sportsbook, meanwhile, paid out about $11 million.

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PA sports betting revenue takes a dive

The Keystone State featured a half dozen sportsbooks for the second straight month. Except February was the first month where all books were operational for the entire period.

Rather than taking a step forward, however, some regressing occurred in February.

Granted, as noted, February is a shorter month. And overall handle last month dipped by just 1.6 percent.

Yet total revenue fell below $2 million for the first time since November, the first month of PA sports betting that only had one sportsbook operational. And that sportsbook was only open for two weeks, over Thanksgiving no less.

Rivers Sportsbook topped the list of revenue-earners in February with $627,520.99, just ahead of SugarHouse Sportsbook with $522,308.00.

On the flip side, Pennsylvania’s trailblazing property, Hollywood Sportsbook, reported a mere $13,914.20. That total represents a $270,710 decrease from January. Another casino that struggled in February was Parx Sportsbook, which had its revenue fall by a whopping 68 percent to $369,995.89.

PropertyHandleGross RevenueTax
Total$31,500,741.94$1,946,816.50$700,853.95
Hollywood Sportsbook$3,742,819.85$13,914.20$5,009.11
SugarHouse Sportsbook$7,091,933.11$522,308.00$188,030.88
Rivers Sportsbook$8,147,558.96$627,520.99$225,907.56
Parx Sportsbook$6,965,511.90$369,995.89$133,198.52
South Philadelphia Turf Club$2,601,650.62$275,876.90$99,315.69
Harrah's Sportsbook$2,951,267.50$137,200.52$49,392.19

Quick takeaways from February

The PA sports betting industry is only in its fifth month of operations. Plus, it still does not feature online wagering.

Regardless, the first few reports are starting to paint a picture.

Kambi controls market

Of the six properties in Pennsylvania, four sportsbooks have leveraged Kambi Group. To date, those facilities have generated 77 percent of the state’s overall handle and 80.9 percent of revenue.

In February alone, Kambi’s four sportsbooks (Rivers, SugarHouse, Parx, and South Philadelphia Turf Club) reported a combined $1,795,701.7892.2 percent of the month’s revenue.

These properties have a wide reach in the state, with three located in Philadelphia and one in Pittsburgh. Additionally, they utilize self-service kiosks for easier access. Even better, the properties all offer betslip builder websites that allow customers to create betting tickets before heading to the retail sportsbook to save time at the counter.

Of course, the PA sports betting industry expanded in March with the introduction of FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino Resort as well as Valley Forge Turf Club. The latter, though, also leverages Kambi.

Head to head: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love has become the hub for PA sports betting, with four sportsbooks operational in February. Yet Pittsburgh, a one-horse town, has taken hold of the state share.

Since December, Rivers has accepted nearly $23.3 million in handle. That accounts for more than 28 percent of the state’s overall handle numbers. Philly sportsbooks, meanwhile, averaged just over $10.7 million.

In terms of revenue, Philadelphia properties have averaged just over $854,000, compared with Rivers’ total of $2.55 million.

February followed that trend as well:

  • Rivers: $8.15 million handle, $627,520.99 revenue
  • Philadelphia average: $4.9 million handle, $326,345.33 revenue

Sportsbook Provider Kambi Taking Its Talents To Philadelphia

Kambi has dominated the European betting markets for years. Now it is headed stateside, with a US office in Philadelphia, PA.

Kambi Group has a new home. And it’s right in the heart of sports betting country.

The Stockholm-listed sportsbook provider has set its sights on opening a Philadelphia office sometime in the second quarter of 2019. The provider for four of six PA sports betting operations and three of the top four online sports betting services in nearby New Jersey, Kambi will have its first US-based office in the near future.

“The opening of a US office has long been part of our plans and we have taken the time to carefully weigh up a number of different options to ensure we settled on the right location,” Kambi Chief Commercial Officer Max Meltzer said in a statement.

“In Philadelphia we have found a city that ticks all the boxes — great proximity to customers, a people passionate about sports and high performing local universities. The team we are building will tap into that local talent and ensure we can provide an even greater level of service to our customers.”

Philly checks all the boxes

As noted, Kambi certainly has roots laid in the Northeast, specifically in two states that could challenge Nevada as sports betting king.

At the heart of it all: the Philadelphia sports betting market.

According to Kambi, the group selected Philly for four key reasons:

  • The proximity to current and prospective customers
  • The East Coast contains most states where regulated sports betting currently exists
  • The city’s passion for sports
  • Local talent, specifically in terms of educational institutions in the area. “We believe we can benefit from those graduating reasonably locally,” Kambi said.

Kambi said it is in the process of hiring “a number of roles,” including in customer supporttechnical support and trading/odds compiling.

Initially, the group said, the office will begin with approximately 30 employees before steadily growing depending on business requirements.

Kambi sets up shop amid booming business

Kambi has taken the sports betting world by storm since the US Supreme Court repealed PASPA in 2018.

The group, for example, reported Q4 revenue growth of 14 percent. It entered the NJ sports betting landscape at the ground floor, powering DraftKings Sportsbook since its launch in August 2018.

During that time, DraftKings has totaled $37.3 million in revenue, accounting for nearly 54 percent of overall sports betting revenue by online sports betting products. Kambi also powers two other popular online sportsbooks in New Jersey: SugarHouse NJ and 888 Sport.

In December, Kambi brought its business to Pennsylvania as SugarHouse Sportsbook and Rivers Sportsbook opened in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, respectively. Another two Kambi-powered operations opened in January as Parx Sportsbook and South Philadelphia Turf Club entered the market.

These properties have combined for $37.7 million in accepted wagers, which is about 76 percent of the overall handle. They also produced $3.9 million in revenue, which is about 81.2 percent of overall revenue since the industry launched in November.

With growing business in New Jersey and with Pennsylvania continuing to expand both with retail sportsbooks and PA online gambling sites, Kambi now sits in the heart of it all.