SugarHouse Casino has applied for a sports betting license in Pennsylvania in the hopes that it will allow them to open a sportsbook in the newly regulated market.
SugarHouse Casino joins Harrahs, Parx Casino and Hollywood Casino in applying to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for a sports betting licence.
In total, thirteen sports betting licenses are available in Pennsylvania—now four will be earmarked for the aforementioned casinos.
SugarHouse Casino has already been given approval to run online poker, slots and table games via the PGCB and the Interactive Gaming Certificates that they have been issuing out to bricks and mortar casinos since the summer.
If sports betting licenses are not applied for by the remaining casinos it is unclear what the next steps will be. However, it has been stated that they will not auction off the licenses, as what is happening with the leftover Interactive Gaming Certificates.
When Will Sports Betting Licenses be Approved in Pennsylvania?
It is deemed as “highly likely” that the PGCB will vote on Hollywood Casino and Parx Casino getting their sports betting licenses on October 3 in an upcoming PGCB meeting.
“...Sports wagering petitions from both Penn National and Parx casinos will be up for consideration by the Board at its October 3rd meeting,” said PGCB’s Director of Communications, Doug Harbach. Penn National runs the Hollywood Casino.
After the October 3 meeting, another PGCB meeting is slated for October 31 which might see sports betting take center stage.
Using New Jersey as a Blueprint
SugarHouse Casino is already operating a sportsbook in New Jersey so it is likely that they will use their experience in this market to influence choices, if their license gets approved in Pennsylvania.
SugarHouse’s sportsbook is running alongside competitors such as 888sport who called the launch a “major milestone” for the company and BetStars run by PokerStars—marking the first time both brands have been available to players in the United States.
As PokerStars partnered with Mount Airy Casino in Pennsylvania to bring its sportsbook to life, it is likely to see the BetStars template as used in New Jersey transferred to the Pennsylvania market.
It is also expected that the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in conjunction with Swedish owned Kindred Group who runs Unibet will launch a sportsbook in New Jersey in the near future.
This is thanks to a 5+ year partnership the pair have inked to bring a joint offering to the New Jersey market. Once launched, it may pave the way for expansion into other regulated US states (such as Pennsylvania) for the Swedish online gaming operator.