Philadelphia’s heart-pounding sports scene is about to become even more exciting. The Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center have entered into an agreement with SugarHouse Casino and PlaySugarHouse.com to become their official sportsbook partners. The announcement was made today by Valerie Camillo, President of Business Operations for the Philadelphia Flyers and Wells Fargo Center, Rob Long, General Manager of SugarHouse Casino, and Mattias Stetz, Chief Operating Officer of Rush Street Interactive, the operator of sports betting at SugarHouse Casino and PlaySugarHouse.com.
SugarHouse, which is operated by Rush Street Interactive and is rebranding to the Rivers Casino Philadelphia later this year, is committing $15 million to build two sports lounges at the Wells Fargo Center. The deal will also include a physical sportsbook on the premises. The lounges will carry the Rivers brand and are expected to be open for the Flyers’ first home game of the regular season on Oct. 9 against the New Jersey Devils.
The NHL previously expressed some concerns about the proliferation of sports betting, but the league has reversed course. Earlier this year, the NHL signed a multi-year partnership with sportsbook giant William Hill after announcing similar deals with FanDuel and MGM.
William Hill also has partnerships with the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Devils. The Prudential Center in New Jersey, home ice for the Devils, opened betting lounges in the middle of last season.
The Capital One Arena, home to the Washington Capitals and several other pro teams in the nation’s capital city, could have a retail sports book as soon as the city irons out plans for sports betting. Last season, the NBA’s Sacramento Kings also tinkered with a predictive gaming lounge at their home arena, Golden 1 Center.
The Devils were also part of that pact. Caesars operates the Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack, a rival venue to SugarHouse.
Pennsylvania is home to a growing sports betting market, and the state’s handle is expected to soar with the arrival of football season. SugarHouse is looking to tap into that growth by ensuring visitors to the Wells Fargo Center are frequently reminded of sports betting options.
“The agreement also forges a marketing partnership that includes advertising inside the arena’s bowl and throughout the concourse, as well as radio, billboards and digital media placements,” according to the statement.
Operators such as SugarHouse have some work to do to entice bettors to become more engaged with the NHL. Last year, hockey trailed football, basketball, baseball and parlays in terms of casino win percentage and total drop in Nevada, according to UNLV data. Hockey falls in the “other” category, meaning it’s lumped in with other less bet sports, including golf, NASCAR and tennis.