Testing phase comes first
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has approved the SugarHouse Casino to begin the testing phase and full launch of its online sports betting operations. The casino operator is the first in the state to offer a form of online gambling.
SugarHouse must test its app and site before a full launch can take place. The online option was live Tuesday from 4pm until midnight. Two longer test phases are planned for today and Thursday. The full rollout should occur by Friday.
To access the online sports betting site, players need to use an Android device, desktop PC, or Mac. Players can log on to the PlaySugarHouse.com site, the same address that is used in New Jersey. Pennsylvania players will be rerouted to Pa.PlaySugarHouse.com.
For Apple users, the app is not available on iOS devices as of yet. Apple has recently become stricter about new apps that are considered to be “wrapped” versions of an operator website. This issue has played a major role in the delay of online gambling in the state, be it sports betting, casino or poker options. Despite the Apple delay, SugarHouse was ready to launch.
SugarHouse was the first to have the technology ready to request the test period from state regulators. Right now, the testing phase is low-key, which gives the brand the opportunity to make any adjustments before marketing and opening the online option fully to the public.
Gaming Board spokesman Richard McGarvey said: “It’s not intended to be a large rollout where many people come to the site. They were ready first, they came to us, and we’ve been working with them for weeks. We felt from everything we saw, they were ready to do this test period.”
More to come
SugarHouse was able to get started quickly in Pennsylvania due to its successful online sports betting operations in New Jersey. Regulators had to complete a run-through of the online systems of the SugarHouse app and online offering for several days. The underage gambler exclusions, accounting systems, and geo-location tech were all reviewed.
Once finished, SugarHouse was given the green light for the test phase launch and then the full launch soon after. Other sites are expected to launch soon but the brands that might be involved and the launch dates have yet to be announced.
Online sports betting services in the state are separate from the online casino and poker options that will launch later this year. According to VSO News, online casino gaming should be ready by July. A coordinated effort was announced in April, with regulators looking at the week of July 15th for those who are ready to begin to offer online casino and poker gaming services.
Operators were sent a letter to prepare for launch, given plenty of time to prepare sites and apps for operation.