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Legal Sports Report

An Apple Today Might Keep PA Sports Betting Competitors Away For SugarHouse Sportsbook

PA sports betting

SugarHouse Sportsbook might have a solution that solves the persistent Apple problem in PA sports betting.

According to an article at PlayPennsylvania.com, SugarHouse paired with GeoComply, a leading geolocation technology company, to offer a workaround for iPhone and iPad users. Whether looking to take part in PA sports betting or PA online casino, the SugarHouse site now prompts users to download GeoComply’s GeoGuard app.

By installing this geolocation technology on an Apple device, bettors should be able to access mobile PA sports betting at SugarHouse. GeoComply technology already functions within many apps in other states, including New Jersey.

Why this is a problem in the first place

SugarHouse launched its online PA sports betting site in May without an iOS app. The issue originates with Apple and its App Store, and changing guidelines on real-money gaming apps.

While Apple’s motivation for the shift remains unclear, the limitation on the Pennsylvania sports betting market remains the same. Neighboring New Jersey sees four out of every five sports bets placed via a mobile device, and Apple’s iPhone dominates the mobile market.

If the GeoGuard workaround sticks for SugarHouse Sportsbook, it could provide the Rush Street Interactive property with an enormous early edge in the PA sports betting market. Competitors Parx Sportsbook and Hollywood Casino are not part of the GeoComply solution at this point.

More on the Apple PA sports betting fix

PlayPennsylvania goes into additional detail about how the GeoGuard app communicates with the gaming site, ensuring it meets the terms of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB):

Essentially, the GeoComply app talks with the PA online gambling sites in question, confirming the customer’s location. Once the app verifies the location to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulatory standards, iOS users can access the browser-based versions of their preferred online casino or online sportsbook.

The PGCB proceeds cautiously with regard to location verification, especially in the wake of the new Department of Justice memo about the Wire Act. PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole sent a letter in January to operators, requiring compliance in making sure no betting information crosses state lines:

“Thus, with any forms of internet or mobile gambling, it appears that diligence in assuring that the transmission of bets and wagers, payments and credits as a result of bets or wagers, as well as the information assisting in placing those bets and wagers, does not cross state lines is paramount.”

While online sports betting in PA only operated at SugarHouse Sportsbook for a few days in May, it generated more than $570,000 in handle. That might represent a tiny fraction of the nearly $36 million wagered but that number could grow exponentially in the June report, which should come out shortly.

 

Adam Candee
- Adam Candee is the managing editor of Legal Sports Report. He covers sports business and news from Las Vegas. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun and KLAS-TV. He can be reached at [email protected]
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