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SugarHouse Casino's online sports betting launch

28 May 2019

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The fledgling Pennsylvania sports betting market is about to change forever with the launch of online sports betting, which will inject millions into the state's sportsbooks. The race to be the first online sportsbook to launch in the Keystone State ended Tuesday with SugarHouse Casino's entry into the market, the first of what will likely be several Pennsylvania sports betting apps and sites to go live soon, according to analysts from PlayPennsylvania.com.

"There is no question that the growth of the Pennsylvania sports betting market has been slowed by the delayed launch of online apps," said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. "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."

Pennsylvania has so far generated $125.6 million in sports bets since legalization in November, but the importance of online betting to Pennsylvania sports betting revenue would likely mirror other legal jurisdictions in the United States. In New Jersey, the market that most resembles Pennsylvania, online sports betting accounts for 80 percent of the state's entire handle.

In Nevada, approximately 65% of all sports bets are made online, according to analysts from PlayUSA.com, an affiliate site to PlayPennsylvania.com. The growing popularity of sports betting apps has also helped Nevada, which set a single-month record in March with a handle of $582.3 million, thrive even with increased competition from other legal jurisdictions.

"There is no reason to believe that Pennsylvania sports bettors would be any different in their preference for online sports betting than those in New Jersey and Nevada," said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. "Bettors are attracted to the convenience and ease-of-use of sports betting apps, and online sportsbooks that excel in both categories tend to rise to the top. The more innovative a product, the better it tends to do."

Pennsylvania sports-betting market leader Rivers Casino — which like SugarHouse is powered by sports betting services company Kambi — is expected to join SugarHouse online sportsbooks in days. SugarHouse is already operating a sports betting app and site in New Jersey.

Parx Casino and Valley Forge Casino Resort, which has partnered with New Jersey market leader FanDuel Sportsbook for its online product, are also expected to be among the Pennsylvania pioneers.

PlayPennsylvania.com expects 4 to 6 online sportsbooks will launch before the NFL season begins.

"Pennsylvania's online sports betting market will expand quickly," Welman said. "Casinos such as SugarHouse and Valley Forge-FanDuel will have an early advantage because of their experience in other states, but the competition will be fierce. And that will be a win for the state's sports bettors."
 
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