It’s been one month since SugarHouse Sportsbook launched its online sports betting platform in New Jersey.
In the nascent US sports betting market, one month can seem like an eternity.
We reached out to Mattias Stetz, Chief Operating Officer of Rush Street Interactive, the operator of SugarHouse online casino. We wanted to get some insight into the early days of the New Jersey sportsbook.
SugarHouse Sportsbook and NJ sports betting
Growth and customer acquisition is an obvious priority for any sportsbook after going live. SugarHouse Sportsbook is no different. The company knows a thing or two about growing a loyal customer base.
As the first combination NJ online casino and sportsbook in the Garden State, PlaySugarHouse is seeing their focus on the customer paying off.
The launch of its sportsbook provides a common wallet and unified player accounts. Players can choose how they want to bet with browser-based and mobile apps.
Even more exciting is the reward program allowing customers to switch between sports betting and online casino gambling to earn and redeem points.
Stetz considers the seamless integration between the casino and sportsbook as a “big plus from a player’s perspective.”
While reluctant to go into specifics, Stetz did say:
“Our sports betting numbers are growing each week, [and] we expect the numbers to keep growing.”
Officially, there is only one week of sports betting revenue to evaluate for the online sportsbook. It launched on Aug. 23 and the August sports betting revenue report came out mid-September.
SugarHouse earned $103,324. That figure is more than twice the revenue of playMGM which launched one day earlier. It is, however, a far cry from the $2.9 million of DraftKings Sportsbook, who had the market to itself for three weeks.
The first real view of SugarHouse’s NJ online gambling performance will come with September’s numbers due out mid-October.
What is working and what is not
So much so, when asked about his thoughts on the market and the company’s competitors, Stetz responded:
“Our focus is only on our performance and to give our players the best possible user experience.”
Stetz also talked about some of the specifics that he considers a win in the early days of going live.
“We are very pleased with our platform’s performance since our launch. All our 12 different payment and cash-out solutions are fast and reliable and working as expected. Having an iOS, Android and a desktop solution is a major strength.”
Having a solid start without any major mishaps is good, but not good enough for PlaySugarHouse. Stetz elaborated:
“We’re constantly working on innovating and improving all aspects of the user experience to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”
An example of that differentiation came soon after the launch when the company introduced a new betting option, the Jackpot Parlay. Apparently, it isn’t stopping there.
“We have some fun and exciting promotions coming up shortly,” Stetz said.
Local teams come first in NJ sports betting
There was an apparent rush for sportsbooks to launch ahead of the NFL season. Going live in time to capitalize on the popularity of football could be seen as a make or break situation for a new book in the NJ sports betting market.
Stetz confirmed the sentiment when talking about betting trends.
“The NFL is really dominating the ‘most popular bets’ list, with all NFL games attracting a lot of action. Baseball and college football are also very popular among our bettors.”
Of course, football fans are pretty loyal, and that loyalty can translate into some serious sports bets.
“Local teams and big games always attract more attention in general. Eagles are obviously more popular in South Jersey while Giants and Jets are popular in the Northern part of the state.”
In fact, the biggest games came at the hands of local teams.
“Our biggest game so far was Sunday night’s Giants at Cowboys game, both from a handle and grossing perspective. Our biggest loss so far came on the Jets beating the Lions in Detroit in week 1’s Monday night game,” Stetz confessed.
It seems as if SugarHouse Sportsbook has a good handle (pun intended) on its audience. As proof, Stetz went on to say about the Jets vs. Lions game,
“Knowing that there are a lot of Jets fans in Northern New Jersey, I guess we made a lot of people happy that night.”