Philadelphia and Pittsburgh now taking sports bets

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Sure, the Philadelphia Eagles certainly haven’t been putting together a memorable Super Bowl title defense this season, as the defending champs are in serious danger of missing the playoffs altogether. But the Philadelphia 76ers sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference, with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler leading the way, are giving the city’s sports fans something to get excited about.

And here’s something else for them to be excited about as well: Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino became the first Philly-area casino to launch legalized sports betting on Thursday. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, SugarHouse began offering sports bets and taking wagers Thursday and will continue Friday in a two-day test period under introductory hours. If the trial period goes well and operations live up to standards, the state’s regulatory Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will allow the casino to open up to a more regular sports-betting hours on Saturday. That’s a touchdown for Philly sports fans for sure.

And just in time for the Eagles (6-7) visiting the Los Angeles Rams (11-2) with their season on the line. Off the magnitude of this game alone, Eagles’ fans should be hitting SugarHouse’s sportsbook in droves come Saturday and Sunday before the huge Sunday Night Football game.

Philadelphia’s presence on the sports-betting map speaks to the overall growth of sports gambling in Pennsylvania, period, as Thursday also had Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino launching its own Rivers Sportsbook under a trial period as well. Just like SugarHouse with its introductory hours and trial run, Rivers Sportsbook is operating under the same test period, while also hoping to expand to more regular sports-betting hours come Saturday — dependent on a green light from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Pennsylvania and Rhode Island became the latest states to offer legalized sports betting, joining the likes of Nevada (it’s only home to Las Vegas — hello), Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico.

ESPN’s “State-by-state sports betting bill tracker” reports New York and Arkansas in the “on-deck circle” of being legalized sports gambling states as well.

You can bet on sports online at SugarHouse by clicking the Bet Now button below.