[toc]You have to hand it to New Jersey: It’s nothing if not creative in finding ways to offer legal sports betting.
The state has passed two different laws to try to get around the federal sports gambling prohibition. And there’s a fantasy-type parlay game called FastPick where you just select a few players with the chance for a big payout. (You can now bet on NFL player performances there.)
You can also get a bigger deposit bonus at an NJ online casino if you simply pick the winners of an NFL game correctly.
Borgata lets anyone who wants to deposit at its online casino make things a little more interesting, thanks to the NFL.
In September, the MGM-owned property in Atlantic City lets users receive $50 in “bonus dollars” right away when they deposit it $100 on three Sundays in September. Where does the sports betting aspect come in?
If you take part in the promotion, all you have to do is pick the winner of the Sunday night NFL game, and you get another $50 in bonus money. So, in reality, players aren’t betting, as there’s nothing to lose. But if they pick right, they stand to gain.
Regardless of the mechanics, it’s another creative way for US-based gaming to get in on sports betting action when single-game wagering isn’t allowed because of federal law. (Of note: the NFL and actual team names are not used in anyway in running the promo.)
MGM is eyeing the sports betting space
Should the state come out victorious in the NJ sports betting case before the US Supreme Court, MGM and Borgata stand to be big winners, as well. Borgata is already far and away the market leader for gaming revenue in AC.
It’s a fair guess that it would also own a sizable chunk of the AC sports betting market, if New Jersey prevails and its casinos and horse racing tracks can start offering sports wagering.
The fantasy sports route also exists
No matter what happens with the Supreme Court case, there are other ways to offer sports betting, legally. The aforementioned FastPick made use of existing statutes, and also conforms to a new fantasy sports law enacted this summer.
Hard Rock AC is also eyeing fantasy sports when it opens the former Trump Taj Mahal in 2018.
But like the Borgata promotion, event without legal and regulated sports betting, everyone will be looking to find ways to offer something that approximates it.