Live sports feeds have come to SugarHouse Online Sportsbook. SugarHouse parent company Rush Street Interactive has become the first US-licensed sports betting operator to launch live sports streams, beginning with real-time video from this year’s French Open in Paris.
The live streams are delivered to SugarHouse customers at PlaySugarHouse.com as well as through the iOS/Android mobile apps. The technology is provided by IMG Arena, which has a deal in place with Rush Street for live tennis betting data and video.
SugarHouse Sportsbook customers in New Jersey already have access to live tennis video while customers in Pennsylvania will have access shortly. In both states, customers will be able to place in-game wagers while watching every match online in real time.
IMG Arena will be providing live streams to SugarHouse customers for numerous tennis events moving forward. This includes not just the 2019 French Open, but also other major US-based tournaments such as the Miami Open, Western & Southern Open and Indian Wells.
Rush Street Interactive President Richard Schwartz said this in a press release:
“Rush Street Interactive continues to focus on enhancing the experience of our PlaySugarHouse.com customers. We believe that by offering players the chance to watch the action while they are live betting, IMG ARENA’s streaming service will bring greater entertainment-value and integrity to our players’ betting. We’re pleased that our focus on customer experience is driving our strong market share growth in New Jersey.”
And here’s IMG Arena Managing Director Freddie Longe:
“We are delighted to partner with one of North America’s top online gaming operators, Rush Street Interactive. Players at PlaySugarHouse.com will now have a significantly enhanced wagering experience through the incorporation of our live streams.
“Bringing our official streaming product to the US is an important step for IMG ARENA and the market as a whole. In the more mature European market, we have seen that one of the major complaints by fans is a lack of live streaming availability, and that it is a key factor in setting a tier one operator apart as markets develop.”
Rush Street Interactive and IMG Arena
The Rush Street Interactive and IMG Arena agreement covers official sports betting data and streaming video services delivered straight from the sports leagues themselves.
In the case of sports betting data, IMG Arena has deals in place with dozens of sports leagues around the world for data rights. IMG Arena gets its data straight from the leagues, refines the data for sports betting purposes and then delivers it to operators such as Rush Street nearly instantly.
This in turn allows sites like SugarHouse to offer fast in-play markets with instant, accurate results. For instance, IMG Arena explained in its press release yesterday that data in a tennis match is entered right from the umpire’s chair and delivered straight to SugarHouse customers.
Total time from court to fan: less than one second.
As far as live streaming goes, it appears the Rush Street – IMG Arena deal only includes tennis for now. However, it is a significant milestone and it seems very likely we will be seeing more news on this front in the near future.
More About IMG Arena and Official Data
IMG Arena was established last year by IMG as the company’s newest division focusing on providing official league data and video streams to sports betting operators around the world. The company has partnerships in place with 40 leagues including the likes of the ATP and WTA, English FA Cup, MLS, EuroLeague basketball and the NHL.
All data and video provided by IMG Arena comes straight from the source. This is a key point because the major professional sports leagues here in the United States have been lobbying state legislatures across the country to pass legislation requiring all licensed betting operators to buy data from official league sources only.
The leagues’ demands have caused no small amount of controversy as it pits the free market against government-mandated purchases, but the leagues have pushed the issue nonetheless. Bills advanced in several states include such mandates and more such bills are under consideration now.
By partnering with IMG Arena, Rush Street Gaming keeps the leagues and customers happy with official data that is timely and accurate. Getting live video from some major US leagues could prove challenging, however, due to complex contracts leagues have with stateside cable providers. Still, the launch of live tennis streaming is a big step forward for the US betting industry.