Posts for Writer/Editor: Kyle Scott Category

How To Play SugarHouse Sportsbook in PA

Kyle Scott - June 17, 2019

SugarHouse Sportsbook is now fully live for PA online sports betting. It’s been a little over a week since the app has come out of testing, and with some early kinks ironed out, users can now sign up and bet with SugarHouse.

sugarhouse sportsbook

In New Jersey and looking for SugarHouse? Check out our full SugarHouse Sportsbook review.

Where to play SugarHouse Sportsbook in PA

There are only two places you can play SugarHouse in PA, and one very notable way you can’t:


SugarHouse Sportsbook can be played from a computer. In fact, this is the only option for people with iPhones or iPads who want to get in on the action. You can sign up for SugarHouse on the web here.


The PlaySugarHouse app is available on Android here. While the Google Play store doesn’t allow real money gaming apps in its store, you can sign up on your desktop or laptop and then download the app and login.


Where you can’t play SugarHouse Sportsbook in PA

You can sign up for SugarHouse Sportsbook on iOS here. But you can’t place a bet through your mobile browser and will have to use a desktop or laptop because SugarHouse requires users to download a geo-location tool, which you can’t do on iOS.

We delved into the reasons here, but the gist is that a recent Apple App Store policy change requires gambling apps to be built natively for iOS rather than as a port of an HTML web version. That means Rush Street Interactive, owners of the PlaySugarHouse app, will have to bring their code into compliance before you bet with SugarHouse in PA.


SugarHouse PA promo code

SugarHouse is making available its same $250 deposit bonus that is available in New Jersey in Pennsylvania.

PA players can enter promo code 250MATCH to get their first deposit matched up to $250. The best part? You only have to bet the bonus once before it is eligible for withdraw. We find this is the easiest, most simple signup bonus among the best sports betting sites.


What else is going to PA?

We have the full scoop on PA online sports betting, but in the coming months you can expect to see FanDuel Sportsbook, Parx Sportsbook, and FOX Bet coming to PA.


sugarhouse sportsbook

Talking Game 6 Betting With 973 ESPN

Kyle Scott - June 13, 2019

I went on with Mike Gill and Geoff Mosher to discuss Game 6 betting tonight. Love Iggy and the under. Love it.

I wrote a bit more on their site here.

SugarHouse Sportsbook in PA Is Still Not Live on iOS

Kyle Scott - June 6, 2019

It’s been a little over a week now since SugarHouse Sportsbook has officially launched for PA online sports betting.

But there is still no sign of an iOS app.

As we detailed yesterday, an Apple App Store policy is impacting a number of online casinos and sportsbooks, SugarHouse included, from launching on the platform.

sugarhouse sportsbook

For details on what sportsbooks will soon be live in PA and how to play with SugarHouse Sportsbook if you’re not on an iPhone or iPad, check out our PA sports betting page.


SugarHouse not on iOS in PA

The reason is due to a new App Store policy that requires online casino games and sportsbooks to be coded natively for iOS.

PlaySugarHouse, the online gaming brand of SugarHouse available in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, uses a wrap of its online website, and this is now in violation of App Store polices.

The difference is that hard-coded apps can be reviewed by Apple for bugs and security, whereas as HTML code can not be adequately vetted. Make no mistake, SugarHouse Sportsbook is safe and a quality site, but Apple wants to be able to verify those traits itself for online gaming apps.

You can still sign up with SugarHouse on iOS and claim a $250 deposit match here, but users will have to use their desktop or laptop to bet.


Can I bet with SugarHouse?

Users can still bet with SugarHouse Sportsbook but only on Android and desktop.

In New Jersey, you can download the PlaySugarHouse app on your iPhone, because the app was submitted to the App Store prior to Apple’s new developer rules.

If SugarHouse doesn’t comply with the policy by September 3, however, PlaySugarHouse runs the risk of being removed from the App Store or at least won’t be able to be updated until they’re in compliance.

For a list of the best New Jersey sportsbooks, SugarHouse included, visited our NJ sports betting page.


What else is coming to PA?

It’s unclear which of SugarHouse’s competitors will also be impacted by the new policy, but apps expected to come to the state include:

and more.


This will likely eventually prove to be a small bump in the road when it comes to online sports betting, but SugarHouse not being live on iPhone or iPad during its launch period is a serious problem for the operator and player alike as it rules out effectively half of all mobile bettors.


Apple May Prove To Be a Big Problem For Online Sports Betting

Kyle Scott - June 5, 2019

Apple made a change to App Store policies which could have a massive impact on the online sports betting and gambling industry. The change is already impacting those of you in PA.

When SugarHouse Sportsbook officially launched and became the first operator to offer online sports betting in PA last week, they did so without being available on iOS at all– not through the App Store or on mobile web.


The issue was thought to be related to an app skin issue – SugarHouse effectively repeated its mobile web page* and New Jersey app in a new app for PA – but it turns out the reason is much more complex and troubling for the industry as a whole. I spoke to several industry sources to gain a better understanding of the issue, and there is some consensus that this will benefit pure-play online sportsbooks and hurt online casino brands who wish to offer sports betting.

*It doesn’t work on mobile web because website users are required to install a geo-location tool, which obviously you can’t do on iOS.

Apple’s App Store change

Here’s the problematic language:

Guideline 4.7. HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.

In other words, online gaming apps that take website code (HTML) and just wrap it into an app are a no-go.

This impacts casino brands which wish to offer casino games alongside their sportsbook more than it does traditional sports betting apps like DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet.* The reason is that online casino games are more varied, complex and often developed by third parties who offer up their code to casinos which can then easily implement the games on their website or skin them for an app (simplified explanation here).

*We’ve only confirmed this in regards to PointsBet– it’s unclear if DraftKings or FanDuel are skins.

Some sportsbook software from the pure-play sports betting apps, while often developed in tandem with a third party, is coded as a native app on mobile.


A big problem in PA

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SugarHouse Sportsbook Is Fully Live in PA After Testing Period

Kyle Scott - May 31, 2019

SugarHouse Sportsbook has completed its testing period and is now live for full-time PA online sports betting.

A customer service rep confirmed the site went live again at 10 a.m. today and is fully functional for betting.

However, not much has changed from the test period, where it was live on desktop and Android. There is still no betting, of any kind, on iOS.

One thing that is added is the ability to deposit through online banking (ACH echeck)– this was missing from the testing period.

Rush Street, owner of SugarHouse, is still working to get their app live in the iOS App Store. We explained all of it in our FAQ.

You can read our SugarHouse Sportsbook review or view more on what comes next for online sports betting in PA, explained in this video:

Broad Lines Podcast: Sports Betting Launches in PA

Kyle Scott - May 30, 2019

Kyle Scott and Jason Ziernicki of discuss the launch of PA online sports betting, what comes next after SugarHouse Sportsbook, and what to expect from FanDuel Sportsbook and FOX Bet.

Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Spotify.

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FAQ: Answering Questions About SugarHouse Sportsbook’s Test in PA

Kyle Scott - May 29, 2019

SugarHouse Sportsbook began its three-day testing period in PA yesterday, signaling the unofficial launch of online sports betting in PA.

That’s the good news.

The… other… news is that there are still many questions and quite a bit of confusion as to what this means and whether or not you can bet, right now, today, on your phone.

Let’s try to answer as many as possible.

Can I participate in SugarHouse Sportsbook’s testing period?

Yes. You can sign up to bet with SugarHouse Sportsbook in PA here. However, betting hours during the test period are extremely limited:

sugarhouse sportsbook test hours

Further, SugarHouse, known for its many deposit options and the ease with which you can get money into your account in New Jersey (a problem for many legal sportsbooks), only has four deposit options currently available:

  • credit or debit card
  • SugarHouse prepaid card
  • wire transfer
  • cash at cage

Personally, I can’t deposit (at any sportsbook) with my bank or credit card, and the next best option is usually bank account login (available at PointsBet in New Jersey) or echeck (direct bank account access). Those options, along with PayPal, are not yet available at SugarHouse in PA.


Can I play on iOS?

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SugarHouse Sportsbook Will Begin Testing Today For PA Online Sports Betting

Kyle Scott - May 28, 2019

The day has arrived. Sort of. PA online sports betting will enter a testing period today at 4 p.m., with SugarHouse Sportsbook soft-launching their online betting options in Pennsylvania.

The three-day trial period will give the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board time to test the app for compliance and bugs. It will be available to a small number of users during a limited number of hours until the state gives the go ahead for a full public launch later this week.


SugarHouse Sportsbook

All along, we believed SugarHouse Sportsbook would be among the first to market in PA. Parent company Rush Street was second to launch the brand in New Jersey, and the fact that they hold two PA gaming licenses with SugarHouse and Rivers casinos made them a good bet to launch first in PA.

SugarHouse’s PA Sportsbook will be available through a web-based interface and eventually the iOS App Store.


Problems with Apple

We were first to report last week that SugarHouse was having some trouble getting the PA version of its app (yes, it will be a different app) into the iOS App Store – thanks to Apple’s approval process – and that they planned to launch with just a web-based version. Google Play already blocks gambling apps, so all legal online casinos and sportsbooks are available as a direct download on Android.

A quick check of the iOS App Store shows that SugarHouse Sportsbook PA is not live yet.


A longtime coming

When the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 decision that effectively made sports betting illegal in all states but Nevada last year, Pennsylvania already had a bill passed and in place to legalize sports betting. They vowed to move quickly, with state regulator Susan Hensel telling the East Coast Gaming Congress in June that retail betting would be live before football season and online betting would go live by the end of the year.

Both of those targets were missed as the first sportsbook didn’t open in Pennsylvania until December. Online betting lagged even further behind, missing the Super Bowl, March Madness, Masters and Kentucky Derby.

But with the full launch of online sports betting now around the corner, Pennsylvania bettors will be able to wager on the NBA Finals and, of course, the start of college and pro football seasons.


App availability

We’re told that Rush Street is having trouble getting a SugarHouse Sportsbook PA app approved in the iOS App Store. So for the time being users will have to access SugarHouse on desktop or the mobile web until the app is available in the App Store.

On Android, SugarHouse Sportsbook PA will be available as a direct download as the Google Play store doesn’t allow real money gaming apps.


Fully legal betting

While sports betting has been available online in PA and other states for a long while through offshore betting sites, fully regulated betting brings wagers out of the shadows with government oversight. With that comes high tax rates for sportsbooks, which had to pay a $10 million upfront fee to the state as well as 36% tax rates on revenue. These steep rates keep some operators from applying for licenses, but as of now about eight have plans to launch sports betting apps in Pennsylvania.


Ripe market

Pennsylvania is home to two major sports cities in Philly and Pittsburgh, and represents a significant opportunity grow sports betting. Fans of the Eagles, Steelers, Sixers, Phillies, Pirates and Penguins can bet on their hometown teams, perhaps ushering in an unprecedented wave of legal sports betting handle.



Leave your email and we’ll update when SugarHouse and other sportsbooks officially launch: