In short, SugarHouse players in Pennsylvania have a regulatory problem. Pennsylvania gaming regulations preclude them from placing wagers on the NBA Draft at any Pennsylvania sportsbook, SugarHouse or otherwise.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has previously affirmed that betting can only take place on actual sporting events, not events ancillary to the games. The prohibition is inherent in the state’s very definition of sports wagering, which is as follows:
“The business of accepting wagers on sporting events or on the individual performance statistics of athletes in a sporting event or combination of sporting events by any system or method of wagering, including over the Internet through websites and mobile applications. The term includes, but is not limited to, exchange wagering, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools and straight bets.”
That language comes from Act 42 of Pennsylvania’s new gaming expansion law. So, the PGCB’s regulations simply dovetail with the state’s definition. There was no betting on the NFL Draft either.
Options for Pennsylvania SugarHouse customers
The good news is that Pennsylvanians who live near the state border with New Jersey can cross over and take part in the NBA Draft prop betting without much difficulty. New Jersey’s wide use of internet wagering means that a mere meander across the Delaware puts Keystone Staters in range of betting the Draft.
Do be aware that the PlaySugarHouse NJ and PlaySugarHouse PA are two different apps. You will need to download the app, open an account, and fund it if you only have the PA version and want to bet the Draft in New Jersey. The process is simple though and only takes a few minutes.
The other piece of good news is that Pennsylvania sportsbooks need not worry too much about missing out. At best, wagering on the Draft is a niche that draws only a few bettors each year.
So, you’re not missing much if the Draft prop bets remain closed to you. That is, if you’re only interested in betting on the event. Frankly, there are a few items of interest beyond the wagering aspect.
Most of the intrigue surrounds the New Orleans Pelicans organization. The Pellies find themselves with an embarrassment of riches thanks to the Anthony Davis trade. Now, the New Orleans team have the 1st and 4th picks in the Draft overall.
Most likely, the Pelicans will select Zion Williamson first. Then, the Memphis Grizzlies seem poised to grab Ja Morant. After that, it becomes more of a free-for-all.
So, this year’s NBA Draft could be quite exciting, actually. But, it won’t be because people in Pennsylvania are wagering on it.