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New Jersey sports betting is here, both for physical sportsbooks and now for online wagering.
DraftKings Sportsbook was the first mobile platform to launch on Aug. 1, and it held a monopoly on the market for more than three weeks.
The playMGM sports betting app went live on Aug. 22, and the arrival of SugarHouse Sportsbook a day later brought the running count to three. A week later, both FanDuel Sportsbook and William Hill joined the online sports betting realm.
Caesars added mobile betting on Sept. 6, just in the nick of time for NFL season. The following Monday, 888 Sportsbook appeared in the market. Then came BetStars, incorporating sportsbook functionality into its existing PokerStarsNJ platform.
Casinos and racetracks are permitted to form as many as three online partnerships apiece — and several are in place — but they must have a physical sportsbook first. Eight NJ casinos and racetracks have retail sportsbooks at the moment.
Here’s the current landscape for both brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and their associated online brands:
Resorts AC has multiple sports betting partnerships under its belt. One of them involves DraftKings Sportsbook, which was officially the first to market with a legal online sports betting site and app.
The DraftKings sports betting soft-launched on Aug. 1, and the full launch came on Monday, Aug. 6. The app and browser-based online sportsbook are fully functional, offering a wide variety of traditional and in-game bets.
In November, DraftKings announced it would operate the retail sportsbook inside of Resorts — its first brick-and-mortar implementation.
Get a look at the online/mobile platform here.
Resorts has been the most active of the Atlantic City casinos, evidently the first to use up its allotment of three online brands.
Early in August, the casino expanded its long-standing partnership with The Stars Group to include sports betting. The group has years of experience with Resorts, offering NJ online poker and casino platforms under the PokerStars brand.
Resorts also has a new partnership with B2B heavyweight SBTech. Under its stewardship, the retail sportsbook opened on property in early August.
Resorts has not yet launched its self-branded online/mobile platform.
In the Marina District of Atlantic City, the beautiful Borgata launched sports betting on property on June 14. A little more than two months later, it started offering online wagering via a standalone playMGM sports betting app. First available only on Android, the iOS version went live Oct. 20.
Borgata is using its existing racebook as a temporary, hybrid space on property, but expansion is on the horizon. Back in December, MGM said the property would invest $7 million in a new standalone sportsbook. Timeline? Uncertain right now.
Borgata is owned by MGM, which serves up mobile betting in Nevada through playMGM, as well. The brand is also available as an NJ online casino, but the products are separate for now.
The Golden Nugget has a couple significant partnerships in place, but once again, the implementations aren’t fully clear yet. It does have a land-based sportsbook, though, a permanent space that opened just in time for football season.
In may, Churchill Downs announced partnerships with both the Nugget and SBTech, charting its course into New Jersey. Whether this is a turnkey partnership or just a skin deal (more likely) remains to be seen, and launch is not especially imminent — maybe early next year.
The Nugget also had a deal with Rush Street Gaming, which operates the PlaySugarHouse NJ online casino. On Aug. 23, SugarHouse added sports betting to the platform, making it the third to go online. The SugarHouse sportsbook is available statewide on web and mobile devices.
Golden Nugget itself operates live and virtual sportsbooks in Las Vegas, so it likely won’t need to hire a new supplier. It should be noted, though, that ties to the Houston Rockets will preclude the Nugget from taking bets on NBA games in New Jersey.
In October, SugarHouse switched partners and aligned with Monmouth Park, likely to get out from under that NBA restriction.
Monmouth Park began making plans for sports betting way back in 2013, securing a partnership with William Hill. The William Hill mobile sports betting app soft-launched on Sept. 2.
Years after their initial union, the property opened the state’s first sportsbook and printed the first legal ticket on June 14. The governor was on site to christen the NJ sports gambling industry and bet on the World Cup.
The partnership figures to bode well for Monmouth Park’s endeavors in the digital realm. Based in the UK and with a US arm in place, William Hill is richly equipped with resources, and its US team already operates a Nevada sports betting app. There’s no reason to expect anything different in New Jersey.
Monmouth Park hasn’t revealed a date for internet/mobile betting yet, but the two parties likely won’t waste time. That’s especially true when you consider what’s happening up the road in East Rutherford.
As mentioned above, SugarHouse joined the Monmouth Park family in October as a license partner.
If you could choose a spot to build an NJ sportsbook, you might pick Meadowlands Racetrack.
The property lives in the shadows of MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and Jets. Owning a sportsbook near the border is enviable right now, as bills to legalize NY sports betting are dead until 2019. Expect fandom and geography to drive busloads of visiting traffic this year.
Like its competition in Oceanport, Meadowlands is putting together an ambitious plan for sports betting. It recently entered into a long-term partnership with Betfair US, the domestic arm of Paddy Power Betfair.
In the meantime, PPB acquired daily fantasy sports brand FanDuel to serve as the face of its US products. The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack opened on July 14.
Online and mobile betting weren’t ready on day one, but it shouldn’t be long. A former Betfair executive said the group would be taking remote wagers “by the start of NFL” this fall.
As with the retail operation, the online/mobile platform is branded as a FanDuel Sportsbook. The product launched on Sept. 1.
Down on the Boardwalk, the new Ocean Resort Casino is the other place you can wager right now.
When Bruce Deifik bought the property in January, he said he wanted it to be the “best in market” for sports gambling. Although the ORC is brand new, it looks like Deifik is working to make good on those plans.
The physical sportsbook opened for business in the center of the casino floor on June 28, occupying the large footprint of the former nightclub. It’s partially open, that is, but ongoing construction keeps us from seeing what the final space will look like. You can get a sneak peek here, though.
Sportsbook operations for ORC are also powered (and branded) by William Hill US. That leaves the property on the same online/mobile timeline as Monmouth Park — uncertain, but likely not far off.
A name change and a renovation have turned the old Trump Taj Mahal into the beautiful new Hard Rock AC property just a few strides down the Boardwalk.
At the grand opening in June, Chairman Jim Allen confirmed Hard Rock would be in the business of sports betting. We also learned that company is subject to some additional restrictions due to its relationship with the NFL and the Miami Dolphins. Hard Rock will not be able to “set the bet” as Allen put it, needing a third party to manage the action.
In July, a new partnership between HRAC and Bet365 surfaced in documents filed with the DGE. Bet365 is an enormous outfit based out of England, and Hard Rock will provide its entry point into the US market. You’ll see its mobile app hit the virtual shelves at the appointed time, whenever that time may come.
Hard Rock also struck a partnership with Kindred Group — best known for its Unibet brand. Both deals are pure branding deals, however, so neither provided insight into Hard Rock’s own plans.
In October, Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) announced it signed a letter of intent to power those Hard Rock platforms. The alliance covers both retail sports betting on property as well as online/mobile channels.
Caesars has opened brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at Bally’s and Harrah’s, the former also serving it’s eponymous casino on the Boardwalk. As it formed a new partnership with Scientific Games., Caesars announced that mobile/online betting would follow “quickly.”
About a month later, it delivered. Caesars added added sportsbook functionality to its existing NJ online casino app on Sept. 6, just hours before NFL kickoff.
Under Caesars’ casino license, the mobile 888 Sportsbook went live the following Monday. The 888 iOS app went live on Oct. 20.
Apart from Freehold Raceway, that leaves Tropicana as the only other property we haven’t mentioned.