Fanduel Sportsbook is coming to Pennsylvania, thanks to Fanduel's partnership with Valley Forge Casino and Resort in the eastern half of the state. However, there may be some market confusion among betters looking to find Fanduel's Sportsbook app currently available in New Jersey in the app store for Pennsylvania. As it turns out, the app will actually be branded as Valley Forge Casino and Resort, powered by Fanduel Sportsbook.
Why is this, you ask? In PA, each licensed casino operator, of which there are 12 and soon to be 13, is only allowed to have one online sports betting skin as opposed to New Jersey where each operator, of which there are more, are allowed to have up to three. And in Pennsylvania, that operator needs to use their own branding for their app. This isn't a problem with Parx or SugarHouse because they are branding their soon-to-be launched sports betting apps under their own name. But for operators like Valley Forge Casino and Resort that are working with Fanduel Sportsbook in PA, that means there has to be some unique naming conventions.
This will undoubtedly create some customer confusion as DraftKings Sportsbook, the second most popular in New Jersey, will not be available in PA for some time. Users will most likely default to looking for Fanduel in the app store, and might have some confusion when they see the main app, which is available in New Jersey, and the Valley Forge Casino app. Rest assured for PA players, you won't be able to play the Fanduel Sportsbook app if you're in Pennsylvania. You will have to be in New Jersey to play that.
This is an opportunity for online affiliates to explain to the market what is available for players in their area.
Complicating matters is the fact that the Apple app store does not like duplicate apps. This means that since the app will more or less be the same with a change in branding, some operators in Pennsylvania have run into trouble with Apple accepting or approving their apps for the app store. This is in addition to the Google Play store not allowing gambling apps.
Right now you have a situation in Pennsylvania where you might have no canonical apps live on day one when betting launches, creating an added layer of confusion for users. Either way, Fanduel is expected to be the leader in PA. But it may struggle to find its footing where big brand names like Parx and SugarHouse not only have brand recognition in the Philly area, and Rivers in Pittsburgh, but all of them, particularly Parx and SugarHouse, have large sports tie-ins with frequent sports sponsorships over the years. They will instantly appeal to local betters, and Fanduel will have a harder time educating the betting public about its product.