On Tuesday afternoon, SugarHouse Casino began live testing of its online and mobile sports betting platform in Pennsylvania after receiving approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

SugarHouse officially began testing its app on Tuesday afternoon which ran from 4 pm to midnight.

The sports betting app will now be tested on Wednesday between 2 pm and midnight and again on Thursday from noon to midnight.

If SugarHouse manages to pass the testing phase without any issues it will be cleared for a full launch on Friday 31 May.

At the moment, the SugarHouse sports betting app is only available for download on Android devices directly from the SugarHouse website. The iOS app has yet to receive approval in Pennsylvania.

Punters can also access the SugarHouse Sportsbook using internet browsers on computers and mobile devices.

A closer look at the app

The app is powered by sports betting technology supplier Kambi, the same supplier that powers SugarHouse’s land-based sportsbook.

To make deposits and wager with SugarHouse in Pennsylvania, punters will need to create an account specifically for the Pennsylvania platform. However, bettors that already have a PlaySugarHouse account in New Jersey can use their existing account to help speed up the sign-up process for a Pennsylvania account.

Just like the betting app in New Jersey, bettors must be physically located within Pennsylvania state lines to place a wager.

For the time being the deposit options are limited to Visa, Mastercard, Discover, cash at the SugarHouse Casino cage and the SugarHouse Prepaid Card.

More banking options are expected to launch in the coming weeks as the online betting market in Pennsylvania begins to take shape.

Can SugarHouse capitalize on being the first to launch a betting app in Pennsylvania?

By being the first to market with a sports betting app in Pennsylvania, the Rush Street Gaming operated casino has the potential to become one of the most successful bookies in the state.

River Casino is also expected to launch an online betting platform in the coming weeks.

SugarHouse and Rivers Casino are both owned by Rush Street Gaming and have both operated a land-based sportsbook for over four months.

Both venues have helped boost the state’s sports betting revenue in recent months. In March a total of $44.5m was wagered on sports in Pennsylvania, when combined SugarHouse and Rivers took $21.1m in March, almost half of the state’s entire sports betting handle.

Now that SugarHouse is launching an online betting option and because punters can sign up remotely from anywhere within the state, it is likely that SugarHouse will see a surge in betting activity in the coming weeks.

Not only would online and mobile betting would significantly boost SugarHouse’s figures but it will finally allow Pennsylvania’s sports betting market to reach its full potential.

New Jersey and Nevada are currently the only two states with live mobile sports betting and are currently the two largest sports betting markets in the country. In New Jersey, more than 80% of sports bets are placed via online and mobile devices every month.

The Pennsylvania sports betting market

In November 2018, the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse became the first venue to offer land-based sports betting in the Keystone State.

There are now eight land-based venues that offer sports betting to Pennsylvania’s residents.

It is also worth mentioning that Pennsylvania is one of the most expensive states for sports betting operators. A single sports betting license costs $10m and in terms of taxation, operators are required to pay 30% of their revenue to the state.

The PGCB expects online casino gambling to launch in Pennsylvania in mid-July.

Elsewhere in the US, DraftKings is preparing to launch its mobile sports betting app in West Virginia.