I walked into SugarHouse Casino on a weekday. The last time I was there I had a Geno’s and played Roulette with Allen Iverson (true story, as I found myself a part of his unlikely 10-man posse). This time I was there to interview Evan Davis, a VP and general counsel at SugarHouse, about their brand new sportsbook… and eat a Geno’s.
The temporary facility, located near the secondary entrance, is filled with large TVs, leather seats and tables and chairs, as one would expect. It’s thoroughly modern-looking, without all the vestiges of some of the old Race and Sports Books you see in other places where you feel compelled to wear a green visor and let it hover over your bet slip. But what matters is a super-large, configurable 14 x 7 LED screen, complemented by (my count) 13 other large screens, four of which display a wide-range betting action set by a combination of third-party data providers and SugarHouse itself. The latter puts its touches on the experience by offering props like a “Philly Special” Super Bowl bet if a quarterback catches a touchdown (one didn’t).
The sportsbook at SugarHouse casino has been open since December 16 and was one of the first to go live for Pennsylvania sports betting. The casino is owned by Rush Street Gaming, which also owns Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. The company, through its subsidiary Rush Street Interactive, already offers a sports betting app that has been live in New Jersey and is expected to launch soon in Pennsylvania, meaning the SugarHouse brand has been one of the unexpected leaders in the legal sports betting market here in the US. You can read our full review of the PlaySugarHouse app here.
I sat down with Davis to talk about the new space, the challenges of launching a sportsbook, how he views online impacting the physical experience, and just how much action lands on the Eagles on game day. Continue Reading