FanDuel Backed Team USA Before The WWC Quarterfinals, Paid Out All Bets

FanDuel Sportsbook decided to cough up $400,000 in early payouts that Team USA would win the Women’s World Cup before the team even played the quarterfinals

So much for the sweat.

FanDuel’s sportsbook paid out Women’s World Cup futures bets made on the U.S. Women’s soccer team before its quarterfinal game with France even began.

FD paid out $400,000 in bets for its customers

Thursday FanDuel announced that all online customers in New Jersey who made futures bet on the U.S. women’s team to win the World Cup were getting paid out early. The site doled out a total of $400,000 before the game kicked off. The U.S. eventually won 2-1.

“We are paying out our customers early so they can just enjoy the game and not worry about advancing,” said Director of Risk and Trading for FanDuel Group John Sheeran. “All across America fans are supporting Team USA and showing their excitement at home, at work, and on social media. So we wanted to share our Team USA excitement and pride with our customers.”

News release cites good vibes from NJ sports betting triumph

FanDuel also cited the exciting news that New Jersey beat Nevada in total sports betting handle during the month of May.

According to Legal Sports Report, New Jersey took in $318.9 million in sports betting handle in May, while Nevada had a total of $317.3 million. It was a big victory for the state that became the trendsetter in the sports betting movement pushing across the country.

New Jersey will likely beat Nevada again in the near future. And with Pennsylvania’s population and sports betting growth, the Keystone State could be tops someday as well.

FanDuel’s move should generate more WWC action

The generosity and publicity surrounding FanDuel’s Sportsbook will likely lead to some increased action on the Women’s World Cup.

The United States will now take on England at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the World Cup semifinals in France.

FanDuel’s Sportsbook currently has the U.S. as -115 and England as +320. There are a number of other betting options available beyond the moneylines as well.

The sports betting lines at the newly-launched  Rivers online site and Parx online site are very similar.

The other Women’s World Cup semifinal will feature Sweden (+210) vs. the Netherlands (+130) at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Heading into last Thursday’s game, Team USA was responsible for 85% of the bets and 90% of the handle in World Cup futures bets at the FanDuel Sportsbook.

The U.S. is now listed as -130 to win the World Cup. Futures bets made after last week’s announcement do not qualify for an early payout from FanDuel.

FanDuel has been donating for every U.S. goal

In addition its early payout, the FanDuel Group has also celebrated Team USA by donating  $10,000 to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and an additional $1,000 for every goal Team USA scores in the World Cup.

The WSF is a powerful voice, catalyst, and convener dedicated to ensuring all girls and women have equal access to sports and physical activity, and the tremendous life-long benefits they provide.

Plenty Of Ways To Play Responsibly At Parx Online Sportsbook

Part of Parx Casino’s new online sportsbook is a robust list of responsible gambling limits and options for PA sports bettors.

On Monday, Parx Casino launched its much anticipated online sportsbook.

With the launch, Parx Casino continues to demonstrate its commitment to responsible gaming by unveiling a vast array of options for customers. These options allow customers to balance limiting online betting while still being able to fully enjoy the benefits of the app.

The self-exclusion option is available as well. However, if you still want to bet, but do so with limits, you have plenty of options.

Setting your own self-imposed limits

With the purpose of responsible gaming in mind, you can set your own deposit, spending, and time limits.

Remember, these limits are effective immediately once set.

Increases to limits will not become effective until after time period of the previous limit has expired or 24 hours passed since the request (whatever is longer).

Deposit limits

For now, a player chooses to set their own daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits. Once you submit the request, the deposit limit is immediately applied to the account as long as it is valid.

On the other hand, any decrease in limits will also be applied immediately.

For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Wager limits

Again, a player chooses the limit: daily, weekly, or monthly. These limits prevent you from wagering more than the specified amount in the set time period.

In order to do so, enter the maximum amount, the time limit, and submit the request. The wager limit is effective immediately if valid.

This process is the same as setting deposit limits. Decreases are also immediately effective. For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Maximum bet limits

Similarly, a player sets their maximum bet limits. This prevention stops you from wagering more than the specified amount in an individual wager during a game. In order to do so, enter the maximum amount for an individual wager during a game and submit the request.

The wager limit is instantly applicable as long as it is valid. Likewise, any decrease in limits is also applied immediately.

For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Time limits

Also, you can set your own limit on the number of hours per day that you play on the site. In order to do so, enter the maximum number of hours per day that you want to play and submit the request.

The time limit is immediately effective as long as it is valid.

Likewise, any decrease in limits is also applied immediately.

For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Self-exclusion

Self-exclusion ensures that your account closes for a minimum of 12 months. Therefore, the account cannot be reopened or reactivated for any reason during the self-exclusion period. Perhaps, consider first a less restrictive alternative like the standard account closure or timeout below.

Timeout

Need a cooling off period? Choose the self-suspension option of a minimum of 72 hours. Please note that once the self-suspension is effective, you cannot login. After the timeout, the account automatically reopens.

Want your funds returned during the timeout? Contact customer service.

Closing your account

Contact customer service for closing your account.

Additional help and support

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

For additional help and support, check out these organizations:

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.

Just A Few Days Of Online Betting Revenue Has All Of PA Optimistic

PlaySugarHouse.com PA managed to generate more than half a million dollars in bets in just its first four days of launch in the Keystone State.

Sometimes convenience beats user experience.

Pennsylvania’s first sports betting app, PlaySugarHouse.com, was not available to iPhone customers and had limited deposit options. It didn’t seem to bother customers who are accustomed to summoning meals and rides from the palm of their hand. Sugarhouse’s online sportsbook  generated $573,163 in bets in just four days after launching in late May.

“Though a small sample size, it shows that online sports betting should not only draw significant action over digital channels, it could also help grow the state’s retail sportsbooks,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com.

Numbers snakebitten by Apple

PlaySugarHouse app is still not available in the Apple Store. Developers are working to meet Apple’s new policy change that requires the apps to be written in code native to the iOS system.

Android users can access the app and Mac users are able to use the desktop version of the SugarHouse sportsbook.

“The Apple policy change has not only limited access to SugarHouse Casino’s online product, it has also significantly slowed the launch of other online sports betting products in the state,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania. “The problem appears to be a bigger hurdle for online casinos than online sportsbooks, but no doubt this will slow the progress of both.”

A summer of sportsbook launches? 

PlaySugarHouse.com is currently Pennsylvania’s first and only online sportsbook.  Expect more to follow this summer. In-progress online betting apps include:

  • Parx Casino Sportsbook
  • BetRivers
  • FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National’s William Hill app
  • Presque Isle Downs’ BetAmerica

No official dates have been announced for official launches. But it’s a safe bet there will be four or five up and running by football season.

Right now, convenience beats user experience. But when there are multiple players in the online game, consumers who get frustrated with a wonky app will have other options.

Limited release, big numbers

One of the golden rules of marketing is to make yourself known. PlaySugarHouse.com did little marketing to promote the launch. They still took in $573,163 in bets across four days. If they kept the same level of action across a month, it would have reaped over $4.4 million in online bets.

May sports betting revenue comes in at $36M

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released May’s sports betting revenue numbers this week. Pennsylvania’s retail sportsbooks generated $35.9 million in bets and $2.8 million in revenue in May. Compared to April, Pennsylvania’s May handle dipped 2.3% from $36.8 million. Revenue was down 32.2% from $4.2 million.

May’s overall handle for Pennsylvania sports wagering was $35,934,215.  March 2019 marked the highest handle with $44.5 million. It came as a result of the openings of FanDual at Valley Forge and Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook along with March Madness betting.

In May, SugarHouse topped all state’s sportsbooks with $711,845 in revenue followed by  Rivers Casino $641,029, and  Parx $639,922. 

Here is the full list of revenue results:

PropertyHandleGross RevenueTax
Rivers Sportsbook$7,924,510$641,029$230,771
SugarHouse Sportsbook$7,934,839$711,846$256,264
Parx Sportsbook$6,809,662$639,922$230,371
Hollywood Sportsbook$3,816,054$210,637$75,830
FanDuel at Valley Forge$2,739,475$240,766$86,675
Harrah's Philadelphia$2,589,147$138,094$49,714
South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook$2,745,803$168,815$60,773
The Oaks Race and Sportsbook$1,385,725$110,744$39,868
Total$35,934,215$2,861,853$1,030,267

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.

DOJ Delaying Enforcement Of New Wire Act Opinion Until 2020

The Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone for Wire Act violations until the pending court case challenging the new opinion is resolved or 2020.

The US Department of Justice is biding time until early 2020 to enforce its new opinion on the Wire Act.

On Wednesday, Online Poker Report obtained and published a memorandum written by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Specifically, the scope of the memo advises DOJ staff members and the Director of the FBI to delay enforcement. The delay is in place until the start of 2020 or 60 days after the final resolution of the New Hampshire Wire Act case.

A brief overview of the Wire Act

Recently, US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro issued a 60-plus page opinion. His opinion negated the DOJ’s new interpretation of the Wire Act.

Recall that the New Hampshire Lottery sued the DOJ after a new DOJ 2018 opinion stated that all forms of online gambling violate the Wire Act.

Previously, a 2011 opinion from the DOJ limited the scope of the Wire Act. The limitation applied only to sports betting occurring across states. The previous opinion paved the way for states such as Pennsylvania to legalize online gambling.

The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post exposed Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO Sheldon Adelson as the driving force behind the DOJ’s 2018 opinion. As a result, New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal filed suit against the DOJ to expose Adelson’s links.

Although Barbadoro’s opinion is considered a win for online gambling, the DOJ is not out of options. An appeal can be filed to the 1st Circuit Court.

DOJ’s power play: No safe harbor for violations of the Wire Act

Although the DOJ conceded to pushing back potential Wire Act enforcement, the memo pointedly states there is no “safe harbor” from violations. In doing so, the DOJ retains the power to prosecute those who violate the Wire Act in the past or present.

The memo makes this point crystal clear:

Providing this extension of the forbearance period is an internal exercise of prosecutorial discretion and does not create a safe harbor for violations of the Wire Act. All other provisions of the January 15, February 28, and April 8, 2019, memoranda remain in effect.

With that, the DOJ doubles down on its new Wire Act interpretation against all forms of online gambling.

Although the DOJ stated in the memo, “the Department is evaluating its options,” we can practically smell the appeal coming to Barbadoro’s opinion.

What about PA online gambling?

Previously, PGCB announced a July 15 start date Pennsylvania’s online casinos. With the Wire Act concern out of the way, that date has one less concern to worry about. Nonetheless, do not be surprised if many casinos are not ready to go by then.

Additionally, we don’t expect any further expansion of online gambling because PGCB took a cautious approach regarding the Wire Act.

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.

How To Get The SugarHouse Sportsbook Sign-Up Bonus Twice

If you got a deposit bonus for signing up for SugarHouse NJ, don’t worry, you can get the exact same offer again on its new PA betting app.

PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook officially launched online in Pennsylvania on May 31 and there’s something special in it for PA sports bettors – Even if they’re already PlaySugarHouse customers in New Jersey.

Pennsylvania-based SugarHouse Sportsbook NJ customers who do a little sports betting across state lines may remember receiving first deposit bonus of 100% up to $250 when they signed up for an account in NJ.

Use the PA250 promo code

All players who registered for an account in NJ using the SugarHouse Sportsbook promo code 250MATCH were eligible for the bonus. Now, they can also take full advantage of the very same offer right here in PA.

The only difference is the promo code, which is PA250 instead of 250MATCH.

Just sign up for a new SugarHouse Sportsbook PA account using the promo code PA250.  Then, you’ll receive a deposit bonus of 100% up to $250 when you make your first deposit.

Even if you got the full $250 bonus in NJ, you can get it again by signing up for an account here in PA. Or, you can get it first here in PA, then go across the state line and claim it again using the promo code to sign up in NJ.

The same easy-to-clear one-time wagering requirement is attached in both states as well.

Just a one-time wagering requirement

You’ll see the bonus in your Bonus Bank within 48 hours. Then, you’ve got 30 days to wager with it. After you’ve played through bonus money once, it’ll move into your main cash balance. Then, you’re free to withdraw it or let it ride as you see fit.

Not only is the bonus a generous one, but the terms and conditions are easy to meet. You can deposit as little as $10 or as much as $250 and, if you haven’t already done so, you can head over to NJ and do the same thing there.

A separate PA and NJ online sportsbook

That’s because for all intents and purposes PlaySugarHouse.com PA and PlaySugarHouse.com NJ are two completely separate entities.

Both share the same name as Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino. Plus, the online arm of the casino owns and operates both online sportsbooks.

Both post the same odds provided by Kambi. However, sports betting regulations in both states require the two mobile and online sportsbooks to operate separately from one another.

That means even PA residents with an account at PlaySugarHouse.com in NJ will have to register for a new account on PA.PlaySugarHouse.com if they plan on making bets online in PA.

Separate accounts and separate deposits are required for anyone planning to use both. Plus, you’ll have to download the PA app if you’re planning to make bets on a mobile device in PA.

The Android app is available on the SugarHouse website. As of now, there is no iPhone option, but one should arrive soon.

Claim online sportsbook bonus twice

Of course, there are some clear advantages to this for players. These advantages start with the ability to claim a second deposit bonus even if you already claimed one in NJ.

Then, there’s SugarHouse’ promotion offering no-vig bets on NBA Finals games. SugarHouse has extended it to PA as well. As a result, there’s really a lot in the launch of PA’s first online sportsbook for players on both sides of the state line.

PlaySugarHouse Offering Vig-Free NBA Betting To The New PA Market

PlaySugarHouse.com Pennsylvania is celebrating its entree into the Keystone State with vig-free bets on the 2019 NBA Finals.

The wait for online sports betting in Pennsylvania is finally over.

Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino, which launched PA’s first retail sportsbook in December 2018, partnered with Rush Street Interactive to become the state’s first online sportsbook. The site PlaySugarHouse.com launched last Friday.

PlaySugarHouse.com looks to build on NJ success

The PlaySugarHouse.com launch followed a successful three-day testing period and full approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming and Control Board (PGCB) to accept digital wagers. New Jersey’s SugarHouse sportsbook site launched in September 2018.

“Thanks to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s leadership, we are excited to make history in bringing the first online sportsbook to sports fans in the state of Pennsylvania,” Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, said in a press release last week.

“Rush Street Interactive has grown market share since entering the New Jersey market, in large part due to the quality of PlaySugarHouse.com user experience and a laser focus on delivering what our players want, a massive range of sports betting options, responsive customer service and fast payouts. We have now brought the same quality, award-winning PlaySugarHouse.com site to players in the state of Pennsylvania.”

PlaySugarHouse.com has been one of the top four performing digital sportsbooks in the state of New Jersey. Its operator, Rush Street Interactive, was also recently named Mobile Operator of the Year in North America at the 2019 EGR North America Awards.

No-vig NBA bets, deposit bonuses accompany the launch

To celebrate PlaySugarHouse.com’s launch, the site will offer no-vig bets on NBA Finals wagers made in Pennsylvania. The main line spread will be priced at +100 for each team in each game.

NBA Finals action continues Wednesday in California with the series between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors tied 1-1.

To bet, users will have to visit PlaySugarHouse.com to create an account. Even if you have a SugarHouse account in New Jersey already, you will need to create a new one to play in PA. Players will also receive a match bonus of up to $250 on their first deposit.

Betting is live on laptops and Android; iOS still awaiting approval

Gamblers can place their bets now via the PlaySugarHouse.com site on their laptops, desktops, or Android devices. The iOS app for PlaySugarHouse.com in Pennsylvania is still pending due to changes in Apple Store policies but is expected in the next few weeks.

Bettors will have a wealth of options for gambling action far beyond the NBA Finals. Lines for football, baseball, Stanley Cup hockey, French Open tennis, and some selected prop bets are all live right now.

More PA sports betting sites should soon follow

It’s only a matter of time before some other Pennsylvania casino-sponsored sites follow PlaySugarHouse.com into the world of online sports betting.

But for now, the first entrant will enjoy a healthy boost in business. Across the border in New Jersey, online betting accounts for roughly 80 percent of the state’s overall betting handle.

“Since opening, our SugarHouse Sportsbook has been buzzing with sports fans 24/7,” said Rob Long, general manager of SugarHouse Casino in the press release. “…The action is round-the-clock. And now with online and mobile sports betting, you can take it with you.”