- BetRivers sportsbook has opened a ‘lounge’ at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ home rink, PPG Arena.
- The sportsbook-esque facility officially opened on Saturday, April 24.
- BetRivers is the ‘Official Sportsbook of the Pittsburgh Penguins’.
With the caveat that the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously distorted time for everyone–you might remember way back in October 2020 the Pittsburgh Penguins announced a partnership deal with BetRivers and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. Much of the deal was highly conventional for partnerships of this type with BetRivers named the ‘Official Sportsbook’ and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh named the ‘Official Casino’ of the Penguins. By now, you know the drill–branding and advertising inside the arena, social media channels, etc. The interesting component of the press release announcing the partnership was the announcement of what I described as a ‘swank sportsbook style lounge’ to be built in the Penguins home rink aka PPG Paints Arena.
The lounge will feature two rows of luxury seating where sports fans will now be able to watch the Penguins games live, while betting via the BetRivers Pennsylvania app on their personal mobile devices. The new space will be created by removing several rows at the top of section 120 in the lower bowl.
The released renderings* show the look and feel of the sportsbook-style lounge, which will have the same vibe as the popular sportsbook at Rivers Casino, and is created by the same designer, DMAC Architecture of Chicago. Along with the luxury rows of seating, the fun space will feature a bar with seating and club chairs, as well as multiple live-action screens. The new sports bar and lounge at PPG Paints Arena is designed to bring the elevated game-day experience of BetRivers, the market-leading sportsbook and casino, into the arena where the action is actually happening live on the ice.
With so many projects that were planned and announced during 2020 yet to transpire I kind of forgot about it–until today. That’s when I got a press release from Bet Rivers/Rush Street Interactive dropping the news that the lounge was ready to open! Rush Street Interactive is the parent company of BetRivers (NYSE: RSI) and they went public via a SPAC deal with dMY Technology Group in late 2020. They began trading on the NYSE on December 30. They now offer online/mobile betting in Pennsylvania, llinois, New Jersey, Indiana, Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, and Colorado. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is owned and operated by the privately held Rush Street Gaming.
As promised, the BetRivers Lounge at PPG Paints Arena (that’s the official name of the venue) officially opened on Saturday, April 24 for the 12:30 PM Eastern game between the Penguins and the New Jersey Devils. BetRivers probably didn’t intend for it to be a ‘soft opening’ but that’s what they got anyway courtesy of the 15% capacity limit for Penguins’ home games. For those of you familiar with the Penguins’ home ice, the lounge is located on the FedEx level, third floor, section 119. As promised, they’ve delivered a ‘swank sportsbook style lounge’. Here’s the details from the press release announcing the opening:
Last fall, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers.com announced an exclusive deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins to build a sportsbook-style lounge at PPG Paints Arena. The new space features two rows of ticketed bowl seats, a lounge area with club chairs, a generous bar top, hi-def video screens, and streaming odds boards. The BetRivers Lounge at PPG Paints Arena is designed to elevate the game-day experience by integrating BetRivers, the market-leading retail sportsbook and popular online casino, into the arena.
Basically, it’s a sportsbook without the actual betting component. Never fear, true believers, since the betting can be done on your handy BetRivers app! BetRivers was an early entrant into the Colorado mobile betting market so I actually have the app on my phone. Were I in Pittsburgh I’d probably have to install a separate app since casino games are also offered by BetRivers in Pennsylvania. After I did, it would be just like being in a sportsbook only inside a hockey rink. But don’t take my word for it–once again, we’ll quote from the press release:
Guests 21 or older who have BetRivers.com accounts can watch and wager on Penguins games and other sporting events from BetRivers Lounge, anywhere in PPG Paints Arena, at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, and elsewhere throughout the Commonwealth. All wagering is via personal mobile devices using the BetRivers Pennsylvania app. In addition, while in attendance, in-game betting allows fans to continue to stay engaged throughout the game.
The sportsbook-style lounge at PPG Paints Arena matches the look and feel of the popular in-casino sportsbook at Rivers Casino on the North Shore, and it’s created by the same designer, DMAC Architecture of Chicago.
David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Penguins, is pleased to have the swank sportsbook style lounge in his team’s rink:
“The BetRivers Lounge is yet another investment delivered under our Rivers partnership to enhance fan experiences inside PPG Paints Arena. The lounge will provide a safe and exciting space for fans to enjoy an innovative and multimedia experience while attending Pens games and other live sporting events year-round.”
Bill Keena, general manager of Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, noted (correctly) that the finished product looks almost identical to the architectural renderings:
“Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is particularly proud of our longstanding relationship with the Penguins, and we’re delighted that the BetRivers Lounge is now open. The architectural renderings have come to life perfectly, and the views of the ice are terrific.”
Finally, we’ve got Mattias Stetz, chief operating officer of Rush Street Interactive, giving much love to the city of Pittsburgh and the five time Stanley Cup Champion Penguins:
“The BetRivers Lounge symbolizes our strong partnership with the Penguins, five-time Stanley Cup champions, and our commitment to Pittsburgh sports generally. The new lounge enhances the experience of watching live and wagering in real-time. We are proud to be the exclusive sportsbook of this winning franchise.”
You’re going to be seeing a lot more of the ‘sportsbook style lounge’ concept not only in sports arenas but just about everywhere else that has a robust mobile betting market.
I was hoping to find a video of the BetRivers Lounge but to no avail. I did track down a local news report about the various health and safety precautions implemented at the arena this year but all you get of the BetRivers Lounge is a quick glimpse of the ‘under construction’ sign:
At the time of publication, James Murphy has a long position in RSI.