SugarHouse, Rivers Conclude Successful Gambling Tests

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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board official logo

Pennsylvania is set to expand the number of operating sports books three-fold by the end of the week. The anticipated opening of the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia are undergoing final adjustment before they can be released to the public.

Pennsylvania Is the US’s Latest Betting Frontier

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has cleared Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino, granting them licenses to roll out their full gambling products. The facilities participated in a pilot test on both December 13 and December 14, with the PGCB gauging the efficiency and compliance of the companies.

The PGCB has cleared both companies, after the test went smoothly, with the watchdog giving the greenlight to launching operations backed by Kambi, a provider of gaming software, on Saturday, December 15.

The companies will use makeshift gaming lounges while their full-scale facilities are being prepared for a release later in 2019. The present betting stations are quite impressive despite their temporary nature. Rivers offers 3,000 sq ft of space dedicated to the activity, hosting up to 100 patrons at a time.

SugarHouse has gone for half of that, with 1,800 sq ft and 70 seats available. This is well ahead of the Q1 betting go-ahead planned for 2019 in Pennsylvania, but operators are eager to get some hands-on experience and the PGCB is similarly interested in seeing whether the licensed companies can keep their end of the bargain and provide a solution that is up to the necessary standards.

Both companies, meaning Sugar and River, managed to secure licenses rather easily earlier in October. The brands then needed to await PGCB’s mandatory follow-up checks to guarantee that both companies were up to the required standard.

The PGCB had to check a number of defining aspects of the experience, including gaming system as well an on-site inspection of the venues before the trial roll-out was even allowed.

No Legal Hurdles Left to Clear

Despite the spate of legal hoops, both operators have been quite determined to comply and push ahead with the full legalization of their activities. According to intelligence firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Pennsylvania will be worth $12 billion once the industry has been fully-legalized, allowing for the state to tap into its welled-up gaming potential.

The short-terms prospects of Pennsylvania are of course driven by the licensing deals the state has managed to clinch with casinos. Each activity costs $4 million, including casino games, video slots and pokers. The entire bundle of all three costs $10 million.

Meanwhile, competition has been intensifying, not only between operators, but also between individual players in the market. IGT, a renowned tech company specializing in the iGaming sector has already tied up the necessary deals to join the market with Penn Online Entertainment.

Penn and IGT have signed up a five-year deal during which the company will use IGT’s PlayDigital to deliver “superior gaming experience”.

Pennsylvania already has some experience with sports betting and iGaming, after PASPA was struck down and the Hollywood Casino started offering the segment on November 17. SugarHouse and Rivers are only going to complete the now fast-developing betting market.

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