Pennsylvania’s online sports gambling industry goes live
SugarHouse Casino becomes the first casino in the state to offer an online sportsbook
As of the past Tuesday, SugarHouse Casino’s online sportsbook is officially the first to be operational in Pennsylvania. Regulators approved the launch of the operation from 4 PM to midnight to test its functionality, and authorized similar tests for yesterday and today. The full launch is expected to take place tomorrow.
SugarHouse has been waiting for this moment since sports gambling was first introduced to the state. The casino, as well as Pennsylvania’s sports gambling industry, is hoping to mimic the results seen in New Jersey, which has generated $125 million since the Garden State legalized the activity last November. Some industry insiders believe that Pennsylvania’s market could be even bigger.
PlayPennsylvania.com sports gambling analyst Jessica Welman asserts, “There is no question that the growth of the Pennsylvania sports betting market has been slowed by the delayed launch of online apps. The launch of sports betting apps will give us our first true look at Pennsylvania’s potential as a market, which we believe should rival New Jersey and eventually Nevada as the nation’s largest market.”
Both retail and online sportsbooks were authorized by Pennsylvania at the same time, but the online offerings were forced to wait. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board established regulations that forced sportsbooks to launch their retail operations first in order to gauge how those developed before authorizing online activity.
Not everyone is going to be able to take advantage of mobile sports wagers, though. SugarHouse has released its app for Android devices, PCs and Macs, but there is still nothing for iOS devices. It was recently revealed that Apple’s developer policies don’t allow mobile apps to be identical to their desktop versions. Since many sportsbooks essentially were only modifying their apps for mobile platforms, this is causing frustration and delays for both the industry and gambling enthusiasts.