Although it took a few weeks breaks, the NJ sports betting market is set to grow again. Two Atlantic City properties – Tropicana and Hard Rock AC will likely join the party and offer sports bets to NJ citizens.
The DGE – the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey is responsible for regulating sports betting activity in the state. In documents published by the agency, Hard Rock and Tropicana AC have submitted their applications to receive a license to offer NJ sports betting on the ground and online.
The DGE provides licenses in a two-step process. After an initial review, properties can apply for a waiver that is valid for six months. This is a temporary license that allows casinos to run sports betting.
When the transactional waivers expire, the properties can apply for permanent licenses.
Currently, Tropicana and Hard Rock are looking into receiving such waivers, so they may launch their sportsbook and try to catch up to the competition.
In total, there were 16 petitions filed to the DGE in the first half of October. This means that we haven’t seen the everything NJ sports betting will offer.
Recap of NJ sportsbooks to date
Following legalization in June, operators were extremely active, launching a new sportsbook almost every week.
Let’s look at the properties and their corresponding online apps:
|Physical Sportsbook||Date launch||Online Sportsbook||Date launch|
|Borgata||June 14||playMGM||Aug. 22|
|Monmouth Park||June 14||William Hill||Sept. 1|
|Ocean Resort||June 28||Ocean Resort||–|
|Meadowlands||July 14||FanDuel||Sept. 1|
|Resorts||Aug. 15||DraftKings||Aug. 6|
|Resorts||provides a license to ->||Betstars||Sept. 13|
|Golden Nugget||Aug. 15||Golden Nugget sportsbook||–|
|Golden Nugget||provides a license to ->||SugarHouse||Aug. 23|
|Hard Rock||–||Hard Rock||–|
|Caesars||provides a license to ->||888 Sport||Sept. 10|
Tropicana and Hard Rock AC are the last big casinos that haven’t yet entered the market. But that may all change in as little as a week.
Looking into the properties that have already obtained their licenses, there is a relatively short wait time between filing the application with the DGE and starting operations.
Harrah’s submitted their petition on July 31st and launched their sportsbook on the next day.
Golden Nugget opened their temporary location just 6 days after filing for approval.
Online platforms take a little more time to validate and test thoroughly. When Resorts Digital applied for approval, it took 12 days before DraftKings could launch the first online sportsbook in New Jersey.
Though that didn’t prevent them from becoming the MVP in online sports betting.
Getting back to Tropicana and Hard Rock
With these new additions, Atlantic City becomes the capital of sports betting in the North East part of the country.
Let’s look into the details of both sportsbooks and see what we can expect to see when they finally open to the public.
It’s understandable why Tropicana is taking so long to get into sports betting. The casino was recently acquired by Eldorado Resorts and has been undergoing significant changes.
Following the acquisition, both Eldorado Resorts and Tropicana signed a deal with William Hill – the major British sportsbook operator. William Hill is to become an exclusive partner of Eldorado and its properties to offer land-based and online sports betting services.
William Hill already operates two sportsbooks in New Jersey. They have active partnerships with Ocean Resort Casino and Monmouth Park. Given Willaim Hill’s experience, they have already flattened out plenty of the wrinkles to NJ sports betting.
We can expect that Tropicana’s sportsbook will have a smooth and easy launch, as soon as it gets approval by the DGE.
Steve Callender – general manager for Tropicana shared that a new location is being built in the North Tower Casino for hosting the sportsbook. Though light on the exact details, Callender was very excited about the upcoming launch.
That said, it’s not all fun and games for Tropicana. Following its acquisition, Eldorado dissolved the online casino staff making the news. Although the platform, powered by Gamesys, is still running, it’s fate is uncertain.
Hard Rock AC
Hard Rock re-launched from the ashes of the failed Taj Mahal on June 28th and immediately made an impact into the gambling market, tallying more than $30 million in revenue for both August and September.
More interesting, most of that revenue was generated in addition to what other casinos’ profits and not at their expense.
During the launch, the management shared that although it cannot offer sports betting immediately, it is looking into adding it to Hard Rock’s portfolio.
Chief executive of Hard Rock International – Jim Allen spoke in favor of sports betting, but was not overly optimistic about it’s impact to the property’s bottom line.
That said, on Oct 12th, the casino signed a deal of a sort with sports betting technology provider Gaming Innovation Group – GiG.
A press release on the GiG website spoke of a Letter of Intent, signed by both parties, to provide a multi-channel sportsbook platform in New Jersey.
This is not a surprising move, as GiG is already powering the Hard Rock online casino.
All that said, Hard Rock remains somewhat secretive about its plans to enter NJ sports betting. There is no information on whether a physical sportsbook will be launched at the vicinity.