The two land-based Pennsylvania casinos that originally went by the name SugarHouse–one in Pittsburgh and one in Philadelphia–underwent a name change in 2019. Both are now known as Rivers Casino.
Both casino properties, along with two other Rivers Casinos, one in Schenectady, NY and one in Des Plaines, IL (near Chicago), are owned and operated by Rush Street Gaming. Unlike the above-mentioned two Pennsylvania casinos, the Illinois and upstate New York casinos have had the name Rivers Casino from day 1. However, in 2019, Rush Street Gaming decided to rebrand the two SugarHouse Casinos in Pennsylvania and name them Rivers Casino, too. The rationale behind the rebranding is to create a single unified brand for all of the Rush Street Gaming offerings. The name Rivers also makes sense since all four land-based casinos are located along or overlooking a river.
As of this writing, the NJ online casino and sportsbook owned and operated by Rush Street Gaming is still called PlaySugarHouse, as is the Pennsylvania online casino and sportsbook affiliated with Rivers Casino Philadelphia. However, the Pennsylvania online casino and sportsbook affiliated with Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is fittingly called BetRivers.
This review is about the online partner of BetRivers Casino Pittsburgh: BetRivers Online Casino. However, don’t let the new name fool you. The generous bonuses and promotions, wide range of banking options, single wallet system for both casino play and sports betting, and iRush Rewards loyalty program are the same as for PlaySugarHouse.
Why BetRivers Casino PA
Innovative user-interface and reliable software
Excellent selection of casino games
Tons of exciting promotions and bonuses
Mobile apps provide added flexibility and convenience
BetRivers Online Casino Bonus: 100% deposit up to $250
Upon signing up with the site as a first-time player, BetRivers Casino will match your first real money deposit dollar for dollar up to $250. To claim the bonus, be sure to use the bonus code MATCH250 when you make your deposit.
If you want to deposit less than $250, no problem. The minimum deposit is only $10. Of course, you can also deposit more than $250, but then you will lose the exceptional value of a 100 percent bonus since $250 is the maximum bonus regardless.
You will receive your bonus within 48 hours after you make your deposit. You then have up to 30 days to meet the casino’s wagering requirement, which is a very reasonable 1x the bonus.
You can clear the bonus with any casino game of your choosing or with sports bets with the same 1x bonus wagering requirement.
Prior to completing this wagering, your deposit, bonus, and any resulting winnings will remain temporarily locked into account. The money will become available to you as soon as the bonus has been cleared.
BetRivers Casino Bonus Reviewer’s Note
This is one of the best Welcome Bonus offers you will find on any PA gambling website. While some online casinos might offer a 100 percent deposit match bonus with a higher cap, the wagering requirements will probably be significantly larger. Also, much more often than not, only slot play counts 100 percent towards clearing the bonus, and other games only a fraction of that (i.e., 20 percent).
A 1x bonus wagering requirement with all games counting 100 percent, along with the option to clear the bonus with either casino games or sports bets, cannot be beat. Since you only have to bet the bonus once, you will be doing so with the casino’s money, not your own, which makes it a no-risk bonus!
Player appreciation at BetRivers Casino doesn’t stop with the Welcome Bonus, however. All of your play counts towards earning Loyalty Level Points and Bonus Store Points. In addition, from time to time, the casino will hold special promotions and giveaways in which participating players can pick up additional bonus money. Like the Welcome Bonus, any additional bonuses you receive come with a wagering requirement of only 1x the bonus.
Safety and security is a No. 1 priority at BetRivers PA online casino.
Rush Street Interactive PA, an affiliate of Gaming, the owner/operator of The BetRivers PA Casino and Sportsbook, is operated by Rush Street Interactive PA, an affiliate of Rush Street Gaming. The company has been in the online casino gambling business in North America since 1996.
BetRivers Casino uses its own high quality software developed in house rather than relying on outside providers. Rather than being flashy and elaborate, the software sticks to basics. However, it runs smoothly and is very user-friendly, so players with an up-to-date computer or iOS or Android device should have no problem with it.
At BetRivers, providing a safe and fair playing environment is top priority. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), which is responsible for licensing and regulating all of the state’s legal gambling sites, has tested the BetRivers website and app and certified them as fair. In addition, BetRivers uses state-of-the-art authentication and encryption to ensure that each player’s information remains private and protected.
Choose between Desktop and Mobile Play
Pennsylvania players can access BetRivers Casino either on their desktop or mobile device.
However, it is important to note that before you can play for real money in the State of Pennsylvania, your location needs to be verified. Geolocation verification is quickly accomplished via a browser plugin on desktops or through location services on Android devices.
Those with iOS devices will need to download the app Geoguard from GeoComply, which available from the App Store. Once that app is enabled so that their location can be verified, they will be able to access BetRivers Casino directly from their mobile browser.
For more information on how to download the gelocation app, read the following the web page.
Android device users can only download the casino app from the BetRivers website, as apps for real money gambling are not available on Google Play. However, downloading the additional geolocation app won’t be necessary, as the feature is already built into the mobile app.
One Stop Gambling on both Casino Games and Sports
If you are one of the many players who enjoy both casino games and sports betting, you will be pleased to know that a single login either on your desktop or on your mobile device will give you quick access to both platforms. The single wallet system allows you to use the same account for both and to switch back and forth from one to the other as often as you wish.
Getting Started at BetRivers PA Casino
Once you have downloaded the software, as soon as you complete the following steps, you will be able to start playing.
Create an account: Simply fill in the information requested, including your name, date of birth, complete mailing address, phone number, email address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. You will also be asked to create a user name of 4-16 characters and a password.
Make your first deposit and claim your Welcome Bonus: You don’t necessarily have to live in Pennsylvania to play at BetRivers PA Casino. However, you do need to be 21 years of age or older and physically situated in Pennsylvania while playing for real money.
BetRivers Online Casino Game Offerings
What BetRivers PA Online Casino lacks in quantity of games, it makes up for in quality, since the present selection represents some of the top providers in the industry. However, the very small size of the casino has to be a disappointment to anyone who plays frequently and is hoping to find a wide variety of games.
Not just the offerings for mobile play, but even those on the full desktop casino are quite limited. At the present time, the total number of games in the desktop casino is only 65, of which a mere 18 are available for mobile play. And yet PlaySugarHouse NJ offers over 400 games. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the number of games at Bet Rivers PA Online Casino increases substantially.
If you already know which game you want to play, simply type it in the search bar and it will come up immediately. Otherwise, you can make your search faster and easier by choosing the type of game that interests you from the following categories:
The drop down menu for type of game also includes three other game categories: Virtual sports betting, Slingo, and Video Bingo & Keno. However, at the present time, BetRivers PA Online Casino offers no games in any of those categories.
The games are also sorted by game studio: IGT, NetEnt, or Everi
57 of the site’s 65 games are slots. If you would like to know more about any game, simply open the information (“i”) tab. You will find a brief description of the game, along with the manufacturer, number of paylines, minimum bet, and whether it is available for mobile play.
The vast majority (42) of the slots at BetRivers PA Online Casino are from NetEnt. This manufacturer’s slots are known for their wide variety of themes. In this case, you can choose from such varied themes as ancient history, heavy metal music, fairy tales, and magic and witchcraft.
NetEnt also provides the casino’s only progressive jackpot slot, Divine Fortune.
The number of paylines on the NetEnt slots also vary considerably. They run the gamut from 10 lines or fewer (i.e., familiar favorites, Dead or Alive with 9 lines and Starburst with 10 lines) all the way up to 99 paylines (Jack Hammer 2). Or if you want even more action and excitement, you can play Twin Spin or Victorious with 243 ways to win, Pyramid with 720 ways to win, or Reel Rush with a mind-boggling 3,125 ways to win!
One feature of NetEnt slots that does not vary much, however, is the return to player (RTP). Every online slot game that this leading provider releases has an RTP of at least 96 percent and some as high as 97 percent. This puts NetEnt slots in the top echelon of online slots available to Pennsylvania players in terms of your likelihood of winning, or when you don’t win, of not depleting your bankroll. Even the progressive jackpot slot, Divine Fortune, has an RTP of 96.60 percent, which is very rare for progressive jackpot slots.
Minimum bets on the NetEnt slots vary from as little as 9 cents per spin up to $1 per spin, or of course, if you wish, you can wager a lot more. In other words, whatever your budget and personal tastes and preferences may be, you should have no trouble at all finding a NetEnt slot game that is just right for you. Unfortunately, none of the NetEnt slots are currently available for mobile play.
10 of the slots are from IGT. Among them are familiar titles like Cats, Cleopatra, Double Diamond, and Triple Diamond. All of the IGT slots can be played on mobile devices.
The remaining five slots are from a company called Everi. Thee slots differ markedly from the intricate games with many paylines that now dominate online casinos. Three games–Smokin 777, Double Jackpot, and Tiger 7s–have five paylines, with a minimum bet of 25 cents. The remaining two–Meltdown and Vortex–only have one payline, with a minimum bet of 30 cents. Like the IGT slots, you can play the Everi slots either on your desktop or mobile device. They are a good choice for beginners and low stake players who prefer playing a relatively simple slot.
Other BetRivers Casino Games
Only one variety of video poker is currently available: GameKing Video Poker by IGT. This game is played like Jacks or Better but with extra bonuses. It can be played either on your desktop or mobile device.
Hopefully, BetRivers will offer additional video poker games in the near future.
Out of all of the casino table games, blackjack is by far the most popular. Accordingly, many online casinos give players a choice of several different variations of the game. However, BetRivers PA Online Casino only offers two versions. Both are simply called Blackjack; one is from NetEnt and the other is from IGT. Both games have a minimum bet of $1 and a maximum bet of $1,000. However, in the NetEnt game, you can play up to three hands at a time. Only the IGT version is available for mobile play.
Rules and Basic Strategy Matter
One of the reasons for blackjack’s great popularity is that its theoretical house edge is much lower than that for most other casino games. However, it is a game that relies on skill as well as luck. So in order to be able to take advantage of the very low house edge (which in both versions of the game at BetRivers is less than .50 percent), you need to know and apply the correct basic strategy. The rules of the game matter, too, since even small variations can impact both the basic strategy and the house edge. Accordingly, it would be nice if the casino website listed the game’s rules and RTP and also provided a basic strategy chart.
Fortunately, basic strategy charts are readily available online for you to study in advance on your own at your leisure. You can also bring the chart with you to the table and refer to it as needed in the course of your play. However, there is no need to learn about card counting. It doesn’t work with online blackjack because the cards are reshuffled before every hand.
Many online casinos give you the additional option to try most of their games in demo mode before switching to real money. This is a great idea with blackjack, particularly for anyone who is new to the game or who hasn’t played in a long time. However, there is no indication that BetRivers Casino gives you that option. So at least familiarize yourself with all of the blackjack basics beforehand and only play for stakes you can comfortably afford. There is no guarantee that you will win, but at least you will be able to avoid making costly mistakes.
Rules for the two blackjack games at BetRivers Online Casino
Blackjack – NetEnt
Blackjack pays 3:2.
Dealer stands on soft 17.
Doubling down on any two cards
Doubling down after non-Ace splits
No resplitting of pairs
All pairs except Aces can be resplit once.
One card to each split Ace
Blackjack – IGT
Blackjack pays 3:2.
Dealer stands on soft 17.
Doubling down on any two cards
Doubling down after non-Ace splits
All pairs except Aces can be resplit once.
One card to each split Ace
The only difference in the two sets of rules is that the NetEnt game does not allow any resplitting of pairs, while in the IGT game, you can resplit any pair except Aces one time.
Baccarat – IGT
This game also has a minimum bet of only $1 and a maximum bet of $1,000. Like all of the other IGT games at BetRivers, it can be played either online or on mobile devices. To keep the house edge low, stick to the basic bets on Bank or Player and avoid the side bets.
The only other table game available at BetRivers PA Online Casino is roulette. Players can choose from three basic varieties: American Roulette, European Roulette, and French Roulette. The minimum bet is only 10 cents for European or French Roulette and $1 for American Roulette. Maximum bets vary depending on the type of bet.
All of the roulette games are by NetEnt
Whereas European and French Roulette have only a single zero on the wheel, American Roulette has both a single zero and a double zero. The addition of the double zero raises the house edge all the way up to 5.26 percent, which is higher than that for many slot games. If you enjoy playing roulette, opt for European or French Roulette instead, with a 2.70 percent house edge.
Some versions of French Roulette have an even lower house edge of only 1.35 percent due to an added La Partage or En Prison rule. If you make an even money bet and the ball lands on zero, you only lose half of your bet (La Partage) or the bet stays in place for the next spin (En Prison). However, neither of these options is offered in the NetEnt French Roulette game at BetRivers.
Roulette players who like to consider recent stats when making their plays can refer to a billboard showing the distribution of winning numbers over the last 500 spins as well as which numbers have been “hot” or “cold.” However, keep in mind that each spin of the wheel is independent and determined by a random number generator (RNG), not by previous outcomes.
Players also have the option to designate certain bets as “favorites” and save them for future use.
BetRivers PA Loyalty Program
BetRivers PA Online Casino offers a loyalty rewards program called iRush Rewards. Every real money wager you make on the site earns you both Loyalty Level Points and Bonus Store Points.
You can redeem your Bonus Store Points to make purchases in the online Bonus Store, while the number of Loyalty Level Points you earn determines your loyalty level. Each successive Loyalty Level unlocks increasingly generous benefits and rewards, one of which is additional bonuses in the Bonus Store.
Loyalty Level Points have a rolling period of 60 days. However, the points you earn during that period are valid for only 30 days from the date they are earned. If not used during those 30 days, they will drop off. However, for active players, it won’t matter because they are earning new points. The casino provides you with a progress bar so at any given time, you will know how many points you have and how close you are to reaching the next Loyalty Level.
The 6o-day rolling period described above does not apply to Bonus Store Points. You have up to a year from the date you earn those points to redeem them. You have a variety of choices on how to spend your Bonus Store Points, including free spins of the wheel and bonus money to place wagers on your favorite games.
You can earn Loyalty Level and Bonus Store Points playing any online casino game you wish or by betting on sports in the BetRivers sportsbook. However, with the casino games, the rate at which you earn points varies for different games inversely with the game’s RTP.
Reviewer’s note: It is common practice and also fair to reward play for different broad categories of games at a different rate (i.e., less wagering required per point for slots than for blackjack. However, within a given game category, the rate at which players earn loyalty points should be uniform. Players who have the good gaming sense to select slots with a higher RTP over slots with a lower RTP and likewise for blackjack and other table games should not be penalized. They should not have to wager more money to earn the same number of loyalty points as a player selecting a less favorable game in the same category. It is equivalent to comping players based on how much money they lose rather than simply how much money they bet.
Higher your Loyalty Level, the Greater your Rewards
There are 11 Loyalty Levels in all. The required number of points for each level is shown below.
Minimum points required
By invitation only
All players have access to the online Bonus Store. However, starting at Level 3, players become eligible for additional special offers. Players at Level 6 and above may also be eligible for increased deposit limits.
Players at Level 7 and higher are assigned a dedicated VIP manager. They also receive VIP birthday gifts and other special gifts and offers, including a free casino game play and dining offer. Level 8 and higher players also receive invitations to exclusive VIP events and expedited withdrawals.
Thereafter, the rewards keep getting even more spectacular. Players who qualify for Elite status are treated like royalty. Only the top echelon of players will make the cut. But those who do will be entitled to their own personal VIP concierge, VIP transportation to Rivers Casino, and luxury accommodations while there. They will also be showered with ultra-luxurious VIP gifts.
BetRivers Casino gives players a wide choice of easy and secure deposit options, including all of the following:
Online banking/ACH: ACH deposits are free of charge, but they are not instantaneous. Between the time it takes to process the request and the time the money becomes available for use in your BetRivers account, you will have to wait a few days. If you initiate the request after business hours, any action will be further delayed until the next business day.
MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards*: Unfortunately, these cards have a low approval rate for use in online gambling transactions. There is a high probability your transaction will be declined, so check with your bank first.
Discover card*: Discover card users may run into the same problem.
PayPal: PayPal is a convenient option because it allows cardholders to make a deposit online or through the mobile app anytime they wish. However, as with ACH deposits, you need to allow several days for the money to be credited to your BetRivers account and available for use. There may also be a small fee.
PayNearMe*: PayNearMe entails making a cash deposit at participating retail stores in your area such as 7-Eleven and CVS. Many players like this method because it doesn’t involve your bank at all. In fact, you don’t need to have either a checking account or credit card. The disadvantage is that you can’t complete the transaction online or on your phone. You have to make a special trip to a store that accepts PayNearMe. However, the money gets credited to your account very quickly, usually within 20 minutes.
BetRivers Play+ Card: This prepaid card which you can apply for on the BetRivers website can only be used for transactions at BetRivers. However, as soon as you are approved, you can load your card and make your deposit. You can use either a credit or debit card or a bank account to fund your BetRivers Play+ Card. Then simply make your deposit, and the money will be available for use immediately. Within 10-14 business days, you will receive your physical card in the mail, which will also allow you to make ATM withdrawals.
Cash at the Pittsburgh Rivers casino cage: If traveling to the Rivers Pittsburgh casino is convenient for you, this method also allows you to use the deposited money online immediately.
*Cannot be used for withdrawal
The minimum deposit at BetRivers Casino is only $10. However, the maximum varies greatly depending on the method. For example, the maximum deposit via PayNearMe is only $500, while the maximum deposit made via PayPal or credit or debit cards is $1,000. The maximum amount for ACH deposits varies depending on the customer’s relationship with the bank.
Those who wish to make large deposits should consider using the BetRivers Play+ Prepaid Card with a $10,000 maximum deposit or cash at the casino cage, with no stated maximum.
Four of the above deposit methods can also be used for withdrawal: ACH, PayPal, BetRivers Pay+ Card, and the casino cashier’s cage. Credit and debit cards and PayNearMe can only be used for deposits.
Another withdrawal option is check by mail. However, this will take a couple of weeks, so if you want your money quickly, it is not recommended.
As with deposits, the processing time for withdrawals varies with the method. For ACH and PayPal withdrawals, allow 2-5 business days, while checks by mail typically take 10-14 business days. If you need the money the same day, your only options are the BetRivers Pay+ Card or the Rivers Casino cashier’s cage.
Both the BetRivers Pay+ Card and PayPal offer the option to make withdrawals at virtually any ATM machine. You will be charged a nominal fee, but you might find it more convenient than having to make an extra trip to your bank.
The BetRivers website Banking section is somewhat sketchy. Also it only covers deposits, not withdrawals. However, information on withdrawals and answers to many banking-related questions can be found by visiting the online Help Center.
Players with additional questions can contact customer support via live chat or email.
Customer Support at BetRivers Casino
Customer Support can be accessed as needed via live chat or email to answer questions and provide assistance. The hours of service are 9:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Unfortunately, no phone support is available at this time. However, players will find the answers to many frequently asked questions simply by visiting the site’s Help Center.
BetRivers PA Online Casino Pros and Cons
Keep in mind that this is a new online casino. As such it is still a work in progress. By the time you read this review, or soon thereafter, some of the suggested improvements will probably already be in place.
The owner/operator, Rush Street Gaming, has many years of experience in the online gambling industry.
Easy to use high quality of software for both online and mobile play
Generous 100 percent deposit match Welcome Bonus up to $250 for new players with only a 1x bonus wagering requirement.
Players can clear the Welcome Bonus with either casino play or sports bets.
Wide choice of deposit options
Helpful “i” tab with useful information, especially for slots
iRush Rewards loyalty program
Single wallet system for casino play and sports betting
iOS players have to download a separate Geolocation App.
New players don’t receive a “no deposit required” bonus just for signing up.
No indication of an option to play in demo mode rather than only for real money
The Banking section on the website only covers deposits, not withdrawals.
The casino is much smaller than most online casinos.
Blackjack players need to have the game rules clearly stated on the website. The site should also provide a basic strategy chart.
No live dealer games
Loyalty points are inversely related to game RTP, even for slots
Customer support is not available 24/7 and currently does not include phone support.