Rush Street Gaming already has an online gambling platform ready to go

Breaking Down The PA Online Gambling Market: SugarHouse Casino

Sugarhouse PA online casino

Pennsylvania recently legalized online poker and casino games. This is the next installment in a series of articles about the state’s casinos and their possible place in the online gambling market.

History of SugarHouse Casino

SugarHouse Casino was awarded a Category 2 casino license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in 2006. The project stalled when local communities fought to keep the casino from being built.

In 2008, the case went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the casino. Construction finally began in October 2009. Just a year later, in September 2010, the casino opened its doors.

The quick opening meant SugarHouse construction took place in phases, and the 2010 opening marked only the first.

In the summer of 2014, SugarHouse started work on a massive Phase 2 expansion, a $164 million project that turned the casino into one of the state’s biggest revenue generators.

SugarHouse completed this expansion in May 2016. Since then, it has gone from a middle-of-the-pack casino to one of the state’s top performers. Construction on Phase 3, which includes a hotel, has yet to begin.

Land-based performance

Despite its prime location, the decision to open a bare-bones facility led to the Philadelphia casino starting slowly.

The Phase 2 expansion doubled the size of the casino floor. The property added hundreds of slot machines and table games, as well as a state-of-the-art poker room.

In addition to the casino, Phase 2 upgraded the property in the following ways:

  • New parking garage
  • Expanded public river walk
  • Events center
  • Art galleries
  • Several new restaurant and dining options

Table games constitute a big part of SugarHouse’s success, with revenue making up over 40 percent of the casino’s total numbers. The only casino with a similar breakdown between slots and tables is Sands.

What we know about SugarHouse and online gambling

SugarHouse has already launched an online casino in neighboring New Jersey, under the Golden Nugget interactive gaming license.

PlaySugarHouse.com operates on its own proprietary platform, designed by Rush Street Interactive, a subsidiary of SugarHouse’s parent company, Rush Street Gaming.

As such, SugarHouse is one of the few casinos where the words “possible” and “likely” aren’t required for describing its online offerings.

Platform provider

Rush Street Interactive will provide the online casino platform.

In-state partnerships/relationships

Rush Street Gaming, which also owns Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, owns SugarHouse.

Combined, SugarHouse and Rivers generate more revenue than Parx or Sands.

Out-of-state partnerships/relationships

As noted above, SugarHouse operates under Golden Nugget’s interactive gaming license in New Jersey. It’s logical to assume this deal will be in play in Pennsylvania, if the law allows multiple brands and sub-brands to operate under a single license.

Forecasting SugarHouse’s online gambling performance

For all the reasons listed above, SugarHouse’s chances look good in what will be a very crowded market.

SugarHouse Casino has the following advantages:

  • Experience in US online gambling thanks to its New Jersey platform.
  • The casino reigns as one of the most heavily trafficked in Pennsylvania, and it’s the only casino located inside Philadelphia.
  • Rivers Casino will help boost liquidity and streamline marketing efforts.
  • Rush Street has national plans for online gambling and is likely to be one of the bigger marketers in the state.

Expect SugarHouse and Rush Street Interactive to be at or very near the top of the online gambling pack in Pennsylvania.

Past installments

Sign Up For The Grove Report – US Online Gambling Industry Insights Delivered To Your Inbox:
Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.