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After a few days of limited testing, Pennsylvania regulators are ready to open the flood gates as the SugarHouse Casino plans to introduce online betting to the state’s residents on Friday, May 31st.
The state’s Gaming Control Board gave the casino the thumbs-up to start taking bets in small windows to assure quality on Tuesday.
And after those tests came back positive, the Gaming Board marked Friday as the go-date for full-fledged online gambling from the casino.
“It’s just an unbelievable day for us at SugarHouse and for sports bettors across the commonwealth,” said Evan Davis, general counsel for SugarHouse Casino.
“We see in New Jersey the appetite for wagering on sports online.”
The rollout has been done with little fanfare as the casino and gaming board intended.
Both entities wanted the rollout to be low key so they would have plenty of opportunities to iron out the problems without fanfare.
Spokesperson of the Gaming Board, Richard McGarvey, told the Pennsylvania Gazette, that SugarHouse was first because they were ready.
“It’s not intended to be a large rollout where many people come to the site,” McGarvey said.
“(SugarHouse was) ready first, they came to us, and we’ve been working with them for weeks. We felt from everything we saw, they were ready to do this test period.”
McGreevy added the casino will have to continue to show they can handle the legal aspects of online gambling.
He noted that the casino will first need to show competency with software that locks out bettors from neighboring states.
The operator must also ensure that accounts are set up by adults and not children and that wagers are processed and winners are paid promptly.
New Jersey has set the standard among early adopters of online sports betting in the nation.
The Garden State has routinely pulled in over $300 million per month in online betting and officials have said that mobile betting now accounts for over 80% percent of all bets placed.
One of the reasons that SugarHouse Casino has been chosen first is because they already operate in New Jersey as a licensed betting operator.
Bettors who currently travel to play in New Jersey will have to register again for an account in Pennsylvania, frustrating active gamblers in the area.
Being the first in the market will certainly help SugarHouse establish themselves as a powerhouse in Pennsylvania.
The opening on Friday comes with a few caveats. The first is that you won’t be able to bet via a mobile app on iPhone just yet.
The reason that Pennsylvania bettors aren’t allowed to bet via an Apple App Store mobile app has been blamed on the company’s tight restrictions for new applications.
Betting, however, will be available on Android phones, desktop PC and MAC computers.
Apple has been rejecting most new applications offered for their app store due to the fact that they are “wrapped” versions of their website and not original structured applications.
Online gaming, expected to debut later in the summer in the state, has been delayed due to the Apple stance.
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