A historic week in Pennsylvania online gambling has provided a major opportunity for a prominent gaming operator.
Rush Street Interactive, on behalf of SugarHouse Casino, will become the first operator to launch online casino services in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania this Wednesday.
The wait finally ended Monday as officially licensed online casinos were given the permission to go live all across the state by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
The first two casinos launched Monday afternoon with Parx kicking off an eight-hour "soft launch" at 11 a.m. EST and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course doing the same at 2 p.m.
All of this comes thanks to major gambling reform from a sweeping package of legislation passed in 2017.
Since then, the PGCB has approved operators through licensing to provide online slots, online casino games and online poker, or all three.
Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, said in a press release that he was thrilled his company would be a “part of (the) history” of Pennsylvania gambling.
“We thank the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, for authorizing us to be a part of history this week in bringing our online sportsbook and casino to gaming enthusiasts in the state of Pennsylvania.”
“We are also proud to become the first gaming operator to offer the same online brand in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey so players who live or work across the border of these states can bet on PlaySugarHouse.com in either state.”
As Schwartz touched on, this will be a helpful development for many gambling fans in the Northeast who spend a good amount of time in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Now loyal SugarHouse users don’t have to be concerned when crossing state lines about their accounts and those in Pennsylvania especially don’t have to travel to Jersey to get some betting action.
RSI also is the first gaming operator to launch an online sportsbook in Pennsylvania which is closely intertwined and shares a platform with the online casino.
The New Jersey online casino launched all the way back in 2016.
In August of 2018 it launched New Jersey’s first “integrated online sportsbook and casino with all loyalty, promotions, and bonus store functionality seamlessly working together between the sportsbook and casino categories” per the release.
The opening catalog of slot games will be understandably limited, as “additional game vendors obtain the necessary approvals to launch their game libraries in the state of Pennsylvania. But, based on the numbers, the sooner the better.
Slots are already incredibly popular in Pennsylvania as the PGCB recently reported an increase in slot revenue from the last year. That generated a whopping $1 billion in tax revenue from slots alone, which makes the prospect of a new online slot industry all the more promising.
Schwartz revealed in the release that RSI “has grown market share in New Jersey since entering the market in 2016, in large part due to the quality of the user experience at PlaySugarHouse.com and the time we’ve invested listening to what our players want to improve their experience and by offering responsive customer service and fast payouts.”
The company now looks to bring that same success and experience to customers in the Keystone State.