There was already a palpable buzz at the SugarHouse’s sports book on Wednesday afternoon, even if it wasn’t open just yet.
Workers and executives filed in and out from behind the curtains, a computer programmer monkeyed around with the self-serve kiosks, and construction engineers hung signs, wheeled in potted plants and tightened up other aesthetics.
According to several sources, the Fishtown casino will debut its sports book with a soft opening Thursday afternoon. The public will be able to wager on sporting events at 2 p.m., with the book open for ten hours.
Hint: Don’t put money on the Eagles winning the Super Bowl.
The protocol is for two days of limited business hours, to be followed by inspection from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. If all goes well, the SugarHouse could be fully functional in time for the start of Saturday’s college football postseason. Who do you like in the Camellia Bowl?
SugarHouse officials declined to comment.
The Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, also owned by the parent company of the SugarHouse, announced Wednesday that it was opening its sports betting operation on Thursday.
SugarHouse would become the area’s first sports book in the region outside of Atlantic City and the first in a major metropolitan city besides Las Vegas. Parx Casino is expected to be next, with sports-betting parlors in Bensalem and South Philadelphia opening shortly.
The next step after retail sports books is mobile sports betting, which is not expected to be available in Pennsylvania until maybe the Super Bowl. The SugarHouse’s online arm, Rush Street Interactive, has had mobile sports betting in New Jersey for several months.