Play SugarHouse Online Casino NJ Review
PlaySugarHouse casino is the latest NJ online gambling website to be licensed and regulated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), having launched operations in September 2016. It is currently one of three sites tied to the industry-leading Golden Nugget AC license.
Although this is the operator’s first venture in New Jersey, the name SugarHouse may already resonate with players hailing from the Garden State. That’s because the land-based SugarHouse Casino is one of the fastest growing casinos in the nearby Philadelphia area.
As far as the online property, it is operated by Rush Street Interactive NJ, which is a division of SugarHouse Casino owner Rush Street Gaming. What this means is that online players can expect the same exemplary experience as those who play at the brick and mortar casino.
But still, how can a brand new online casino compete against properties that have been around for years? Short answer: By adopting an aggressive strategy with regards to promotions and game selection, and doing just enough differently to differentiate itself from the masses.
Play SugarHouse casino software
Play SugarHouse utilizes a proprietary desktop and mobile platform developed in-house by Rush Street Interactive.
This isn’t Rush Street’s first casino development project, as the group was responsible for launching CASINO4FUN, SugarHouse’s social gaming site, in September 2015. Thus, it comes as little surprise that Play SugarHouse has a social casino vibe, stocked with vivid graphics, chat functionality, and free social bingo games. And interestingly enough, many of the same virtual slot terminals available on the social site can be found on Play SugarHouse. The only difference being, that in New Jersey the games are available in demo and real-money forms.
Rather than rely on just Rush Street for its gaming catalouge, Play SugarHouse features games from myriad providers, many of which are among the top names in the game manufacturing industry. Suppliers include IGT, NetEnt, NextGen, Konami, High 5, and Spin. Collectively, these manufacturers have supplied the site that hundreds of slot, video poker, and table games — and even a little bit of bingo.
Players can access the online casino via most common web-based browsers (no download necessary) and through compatible iOS and Android mobile devices.
Play SugarHouse NJ welcome package – Best bonus for Play SugarHouse Casino
Play SugarHouse has gone against the grain with an aggressive first-time deposit bonus that can be cleared in roughly the time it takes to read this review. Admittedly, the monetary caps are in the low-to-moderate range, but that’s more than offset by the fact that players are almost guaranteed to walk away with house money.
First deposit bonus offer
SugarHouse offers a generous first deposit bonus. Players that use the promo code PLAYNJ when making their first deposit will receive a deposit match of 100 percent up to $250. In order to take full advantage of this offer, players are encouraged to deposit $250.
Players will have 14 days to capitalize upon this offer. Bonus money is subject to a low 1x wagering requirement. Upon meeting these requirements, the funds convert to cash, and can be withdrawn.
All bonus money must be wagered on slots and video poker games; sorry table game players. However, the wagering contribution for video poker games is the same as it is for slots — that’s a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
Other Play SugarHouse Casino NJ promotions
King Cash Weekly Challenge
Each and every week, Play SugarHouse Casino rolls out a new leaderboard promo where the top 50 point earners split a $1,200 bonus prize pool. Earning points is as simple as making a deposit of $50 or more during the promotional period, and wagering real-money on the current week’s eligible games.
The top earner will win a $150 bonus, subject to a 1x turnover requirement. The leaderboard resets every Sunday at midnight, so be sure to check in Monday morning for the current week’s challenge.
Free daily bingo games
Got Bingo on the brain? Then Play SugarHouse Casino has just what the doctor ordered.
Up to 20 times daily, the online casino will randomly host invite-only 75 Ball Bingo games. The prizes for these games are paid out in bonus money. The price of admission: nothing, it’s on SugarHouse Casino’s dime.
Play SugarHouse offers a unique loyalty program, where players will be rewarded with variable prize amounts for their patronage.
First the familiar: As is the case with most NJ online casinos, players earn loyalty points by wagering funds on real-money games. Earn rates are as follows:
- Slots: 1 point per $5 wagered
- Roulette/non-blackjack table games: 1 point per $10 wagered
- Blackjack and video poker: 1 point per $25 wagered
Now the unfamiliar: Upon reaching a new loyalty tier, players will be whisked away to a prize wheel interface, where they’ll spin for bonus prizes. The higher the tier, the bigger the minimum reward. We say “minimum” because lucky players will win an even bigger cashback percentage.
There are 10 listed tiers, with the point requirements escalating per tier. For instance, to reach Tier 1, a player only has to earn 40 points. To reach tier 7, they’ll have to grind out 5,200 points total during a calendar month. Tier 10 requires a whopping 20,000 points.
In addition to wheel spins, anyone that reaches Tier 1 is eligible to receive incremental scratch cards for extra bonus opportunities throughout the following month. The higher a player’s tier, the higher the potential payouts.
VIP Mystery Calendar
VIPs are treated to a bevy of extras at Play SugarHouse, beginning with the VIP Mystery Calendar. In order to become eligible for these surprise offers, players will first have to reach at least Tier 7 the prior month ($26,000 coin-in on slots).
VIP Mystery Calendar earners can expect extra bonus match opportunities, enhanced versions of regular promotions, and much more.
In addition to the calendar, Tier 7+ players receive the following perks:
- Free play, food comps and VIP lounge access at SugarHouse Casino in Pennsylvania. The higher the tier, the bigger the free play and comp amounts.
- Tier 10 players will receive scratch cards during the same month in which they reached the milestone.
- Other “spot” offers, including even larger milestone rewards for Tier 10+ members.
SugarHouse Philadelphia Casino
Anyone who becomes a Rush Rewards member at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia will receive $10 Free Play guaranteed. Earn 5 points during the same day and earn another $10, up to $300 in free play.
So OK, this isn’t exactly an online offer. But it is listed on Play SugarHouse, which suggests that real cross-promotional vehicles are likely in the pipeline.
Play SugarHouse Mobile NJ casino app
Unlike other NJ online gambling websites, which released inferior versions of their software on mobile and then improved them later, Play SugarHouse has nailed “gaming on the go” right out of the gate.
The application is available for both iOS and Android devices, and are compatible with any semi-recent operating system. The iOS app can be downloaded directly via the site or on iTunes. Android device holders will need to download the app directly from the website — but don’t worry, Play SugarHouse provides all the necessary steps to get started.
Relative to other NJ online mobile apps, the iOS version is slightly on the larger size, but not so large as to become a deterrent. By contrast, the Android app is tiny (10.6 mb) and should be ready for installation within seconds.
Players that open the app will probably immediately notice that it bears a striking resemblance to the desktop client, both in terms of layout and functionality. Yet somehow, the app never feels overcrowded, even on smartphone devices. Game icons are bright and easily distinguishable, and a bevy of account management features are neatly tucked away in a side menu.
There are a number of game filtering options available as well, making finding a preferred game a breeze.
Mobile casino games
Here’s where the app really shines. Already, nearly 170 games have been transitioned from the main site to the app, including 150 slots, a fair selection of blackjack games (including two mobile specific “touch” games), roulette, and a healthy dose of video poker titles. There’s even a video bingo title.
Mobile slot games run the gamut from new and exclusive titles to old standbys and brand recognizable games. There’s definitely enough here to satiate the appetite of most gamblers.
Games can be sorted by a number of parameters not available on other NJ online gambling websites including:
- # of paylines
- top historical bet multiplier
- min to cover bets
This presents an interesting dynamic where players might find games they would have otherwise never played had these filters not existed.
All told, the game selection is stellar — it ranks a close fifth among NJ online casinos, which is pretty impressive considering most of those apps have been on the market for two more years.
Online casino games
Like just about any casino, land-based or online, the majority of Play SugarHouse’s more than 300 games are slot titles. In fact there are currently over 275 slot games on the site — a number which seems to be growing by the week. However, other formats are well-represented, and in greater frequency than the norm for NJ.
At over 275 slots, Play SugarHouse boasts one of the largest reel-game selections in the industry.
Slots titles added recently include:
- Imperial Wealth (exclusive)
- Golden Wolves (exclusive)
- King Kong
- Guns N’ Roses
- Wheel of Fortune on Tour
- Joker Pro
- Wild Wild West: The Great Train Heist
Games can be played in real-money or demo mode, allowing players to check out a game before they invest. The games are just about all penny slots featuring five-reels and one or multiple bonus features.
What’s nice is that Play SugarHouse displays the number of paylines and the minimum bet to cover all lines right in the game lobby. Casual players will be pleased to know that they can usually cover all bets for $0.50 or less. Of course, much higher stakes are also available.
Also, players can sort slots by a number of built-in filters, many of which are unique to Play SugarHouse. Favor a particular game studio, or want to know which games have been hot in the past hour? SugarHouse Casino has filters for both.
There are four blackjack variants available on Play SugarHouse:
- Single-Deck Blackjack
- Blackjack by IGT
- Blackjack Pro Atlantic City Single Hand
- Blackjack by NetEnt
All four variations bring something to the table, although we’d probably advise against the single deck game, as naturals only pay 6:5.
Blackjack by NetEnt runs incredibly smooth, has mostly favorable rules, and allows for multi-hand play, with stakes starting as low as $0.10 per hand. This is our preferred choice.
Play SugarHouse offers an average selection of non-blackjack table games, including five roulette variants:
- Roulette Double Bonus Spin
- 3 Wheel Roulette
- Roulette Master
- American Roulette
Popular carnival games Three Card Poker and Let it Ride are also available.
Here’s one area where Play SugarHouse thrives. The online casino offers 14 video poker games (there is some overlap), which is more than most. Popular variants include:
- Jacks or Better
- Bonus Poker
- Double Bonus Poker
- Double Double Bonus Poker
Generally, players are advised to stick with the Game King versions of the games, as they offer the better payout tables — 99 percent plus in many instances.
For action-craved players there are Game King branded Triple Play and Five Play games. As far as multi-hand games go, these aren’t bad options, boasting payout tables that are almost on par with their single-line counterparts.
Cashiering at Play SugarHouse Casino
There is no shortage of ways to fund an account at Play SugarHouse Casino. Deposit options include:
- SugarHouse Prepaid Card
- MasterCard/Visa credit and debit cards
- Online bill pay
- Pay with Cash @ 7-Eleven
- Cash @ the Golden Nugget Casino cage
- Wire transfers
The only notable exclusion here is Paypal, although only a few NJ online gambling websites have incorporated the popular third party processor.
As far as success rates go, ACH should probably be a player’s default option, but we’d say that the prepaid card option boasts even higher success rates — it just requires an extra setup step.
Pay with Cash is a reliable option for players who do not have access to a bank account, or who have had trouble depositing via more traditional means. Cash at the casino cage also falls into this category, although it’s probably more viable for players who live within close proximity of Atlantic City.
The available withdrawal options are:
- SugarHouse Prepaid Card
- Cash @ the casino cage
- Check by mail
In order to withdraw via ACH, prepaid card, or Neteller, players will first have to use the method to make a qualifying deposit.
Play SugarHouse gains several points for its payout turnaround times — funds will typically hit player accounts within 24-48 hours after the initial request. Checks by mail take somewhat longer, but are a serviceable alternative for those who do not possess a checking account or credit card.
Players with more in-depth cashiering questions are encouraged to contact customer support via Live Chat (9:30 a.m. – 3 a.m. daily) or email. There is also an extensive FAQ section for more common queries.
Affiliated land-based casino in Atlantic City
Play SugarHouse is affiliated with the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Golden Nugget has a long and storied history, with roots dating back to 1940s Las Vegas. However, the Nugget didn’t make an appearance on the east coast until 1980, when then upstart Steve Wynn opened a Golden Nugget branded casino hotel on the boardwalk.
The original Golden Nugget would eventually be sold to Bally’s, and it would change ownership a couple more times throughout the years. As the Atlantic Club, it struggled mightily, and was ultimately forced to shutter its doors in 2014 — the first of now five Atlantic City casinos to close in the past several years.
The current Golden Nugget was originally Trump’s Castle, first constructed in 1985. The recession of the early 1990’s took its toll on the casino, and it would eventually be sold in September 1996 to Trump’s new publicly traded casino company. It was rebranded as the Trump Marina in 1997.
The Trump Marina was never a big hit, and in 2008, Trump Entertainment Resorts hammered out a deal with Coastal Development to sell the horribly struggling property for $316 million, then $270 million. But Coastal couldn’t secure proper financing. Finally, in 2011 it was sold to Landry’s, who would rebrand the casino as the Golden Nugget, for the bargain price of $38 million.
Landry’s invested $150 million into the casino; an investment that clearly paid dividends, because these days, the new Golden Nugget is thriving. The online casino arm of the Golden Nugget isn’t faring too shabbily either, having brought in nearly as much revenue as the Borgata and Tropicana licenses. And momentum is undoubtedly on the Golden Nugget’s side, as lately, it’s been capturing more market share than any other NJ online gambling licensee.
A part of that recent success can undoubtedly be attributed to the addition of Play SugarHouse.