PA Online Gambling Forecast: Rivers And SugarHouse Online Casinos

Martin Derbyshire August 12, 2018
Pittsburgh skyline

The companies that own and operate Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia are both Rush Street Gaming subsidiaries. Both are also among the nine Pennsylvania casino license holders that applied for a $10 million online gambling license to operate online slots, online table games, and online poker.

Because, like all other PA casino license holders, Rivers and SugarHouse could have gone another route, it’s clear both casinos are interested in operating all three types of online gambling the state has authorized.

However, there’s one thing that differentiates Rivers and SugarHouse from most other online gambling license holders. It’s that fellow Rush Street Gaming subsidiary Rush Street Interactive is already in the real-money online casino business in neighboring New Jersey. A fact that makes is particularly it’s easy to see what the SugarHouse-branded online casino in PA will look like. After all, it is exactly the site Rush Street Interactive rolled out in the NJ market.

PlaySugarHouse NJ online casino

Rush Street Interactive’s PlaySugarHouse.com online casino launched in New Jersey under Golden Nugget’s internet gambling license in September 2016. Since then, its increasing popularity has helped sites running under the Golden Nugget license become the top-grossing online casino sites in the state. In fact, PlaySugarHouse.com is widely considered the fastest growing NJ online casino in the industry.

The site runs using Rush Street Interactive’s own proprietary software.

There are over 425 games on the site and all the classic table games and slots are there. Here are some examples:

  • Over 400 penny slots
  • Five Blackjack games
  • Popular alternative table games including Three Card Poker and Let it Ride
  • Six versions of Roulette
  • 14 different video poker variants

In November 2017, SugarHouse also became the first online casino in the state to launch virtual sports, allowing wagering on digitally simulated races and games. There’s also a variety of Bingo-Slot hybrid Slingo games on the site.

Rush Street’s software is user-friendly and its interface is sophisticated. SugarHouse runs a wide variety of promotions and bonuses that are variable and easy to clear. Its iRush Rewards player loyalty program is also considered among the best in the NJ market, offering frequent reward opportunities and cross-promotions with the SugarHouse Casino property in Philadelphia.

A game’s return-to-player rate determines how points are distributed.

Depositing funds is simple, easy, and safe. The withdrawal process is consistent and fast.

Rush Street’s free-to-play online casino

Rush Street Interactive has also run a free-to-play online casino website since 2015, allowing Pennsylvanians to play games on its in-house software for fun.

When it comes to online poker, Rush Street’s intentions are not quite as clear. None of its casino brands have a real-money online poker site associated with it.

However, SugarHouse’ poker room carry’s the name of Rush Street’s popular Poker Night in America TV show. Plus, Rivers leverages the popularity of the show for events on site as well.

The company runs a free-to-play Poker Night in America-branded online poker app. The app could become the foundation it ultimately builds its real-money online poker site on top of.

SugarHouse and Rivers

SugarHouse Casino takes its name from the Jack Frost Sugar refinery that once ran on the land where the casino sits. It’s a reclaimed industrial site in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood on the banks of the Delaware River.

The casino opened there in September 2010. After a 2016 expansion, it now features more than 1,890 slots, over 100 table games, and a 28-table poker room.

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh was originally meant to be a Majestic Star property, until Majestic Star ran out of money in the middle of construction and Rush Street Gaming bailed them out. Rivers Casino opened in August 2009.

It sits on a one-time Carnegie Steel site on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers combine to form the Ohio River. The casino is just a stone’s throw from the stadium where the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers play their home games.

The casino features more than 2,900 slots, 90 table games, and a 30-table poker room.

Rivers and SugarHouse are the top three and four grossing casinos in the state respectively.

Rivers Casino posted $269.7 million in slot machine revenue in 2017 and another $65.7 million in table game revenue. SugarHouse Casino posted $177.8 million in slot machine revenue in 2017 and $119.8 million in table game revenue.