European companies continue to look for avenues to offer online sports betting in NJ

Hard Rock Atlantic City Now Has Another NJ Sports Betting Partner: Kindred Group

Hard Rock Kindred Group NJ sports bettingHard Rock Kindred Group NJ sports betting

It looks like Unibet brand is coming to the US for sports betting.

Kindred Group + Hard Rock

European company Kindred Group — the parent of the online gaming site and app Unibet — announced that it reached an agreement with Hard Rock Atlantic City to offer online sports betting in New Jersey.

A press release on the deal was short on details other than the deal spans a decade and will allow Kindred to pursue a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License in the state.

“Hard Rock is proud to partner with one of the fastest growing operators in the industry. We are hopeful that Kindred’s international experience and commitment to innovation will translate to a significant success in New Jersey,” said Kresimir Spajic, senior vice president of online gaming at Hard Rock International.

Backstory on Hard Rock and NJ

Hard Rock appears to have a similar deal in place with another European sports betting company: Bet365.

Currently, DraftKings Sportsbook is the only NJ sports betting app that is up and running in the state.

Hard Rock is one of three casinos in Atlantic City that does not have an active physical sportsbook, along with Tropicana and Caesars. The other six active casinos in AC all have temporary sportsbooks.

The deal could also mean that Kindred could in theory offer a full NJ online casino with a CSIE, but it’s not clear if and when that will happen. Hard Rock has its own online casino that it launched in June.

“This is a very exciting moment for Kindred as we have been working hard to take this first important step into what will most likely become the largest betting market in the world. I’m also delighted that we have been able to team up with a true lifestyle and entertainment brand and I am confident that Kindred and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will give New Jersey customers an absolutely great sports betting and gaming experience”, says Manuel Stan, senior vice president of Kindred US.

Kindred’s US ambitions

Kindred had previously indicated its desire to get into the US market just last month during an earnings call. It’s a successful and growing online gaming company in Europe, with revenues of £750 million in 2017.

“In some ways Kindred is the most significant market addition so far,” said Alun Bowden, senior consultant at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. “They tend to be overlooked but they are a hugely successful business that has been one of the true pioneers entertainment-led betting in Europe and have always focused on user experience first and foremost. They’re a modern technology led operator with a strong mobile product and it will be really interesting to see how they approach the market.”

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.