888sport Stops Taking Wagers In NJ, Sets Stage For SI Sportsbook Plans

Written By Bill Gelman on December 20, 2021

When looking at the current NJ online sports betting options available to Garden State bettors, the 888sport brand is not one of them. Yes, this is the same 888sport that launched in September 2018.

The status change officially took place on Wednesday, Dec. 15. When customers log in to their 888sport accounts they will receive this message:









But this change doesn’t mean the company is closing up US operations. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Besides 888casino and 888poker still being available to NJ customers, a rebranded NJ sports betting app will likely launch sometime in 2022.

That brand would be SI Sportsbook. Back in June, parent company 888 Holdings announced an agreement to license the iconic Sports Illustrated name.

At the moment, the SI Sportsbook brand is only live in Colorado.

What we know about 888sport changing to SI

So as far as when SI Sportsbook will be live in New Jersey, the answer is unknown.

However, with Super Bowl 56 now less than two months away, sooner rather than later would seem to make more sense. Add in March Madness betting season and you have two of the year’s biggest sports wagering events of the year.

But for now, 888 is not sharing a timeline. Remember, because SI Sportsbook will be a new product, it will need to go through the regulatory approval process with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

PlayNJ did reach out to 888 Holdings regarding the company’s Garden State plans.

John Atkinson, director of business development at 888 Holdings, shared the following statement:

“As part of our strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated, we can confirm that we have closed 888sport.com in New Jersey as we prepare for SI Sportsbook’s launch in the market,” said Atkinson.

“Since its launch in Colorado in September, SI Sportsbook’s differentiated wagering experience, which combines 888’s proprietary technology and one of the most influential sports media brands, has been extremely well received, with positive customer feedback from players across the state.”

So while he didn’t share a specific date, Atkinson did confirm “We are now focused on launching SI Sportsbook in other states, including New Jersey.”

For the moment, the company is sticking with the words “excited to share more details in the coming weeks and months.”

Why SI Sportsbook name makes sense

When it comes to NJ sports betting apps, Garden State gamblers still have plenty of options.

There are 21 other options currently available including market leaders FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars. Plus, several more mobile sportsbooks are expected to join the market sometime in 2022.

Additionally, Barstool Sportsbook launched just before NFL betting season and has wasted little time capturing some market share.

In the case of 888, the SI name is one that resonates with potential customers as Sports Illustrated has been around for nearly 70 years. As the legal sports wagering industry continues to grow, we are seeing more and more crossover between media companies and gambling. NBC Sports and PointsBet have a marketing deal in place. Of course, it’s hard to ignore the one between Fox Sports and Fox Bet.

As part of the deal with SI owner Authentic Brands Group, 888 has an exclusive license for up to 20 years to use the SI brand for online sports betting and iGaming. The SI name is one sports fans and bettors are extremely familiar with. And in many cases, a lot more than they are with 888.

The current SI.com website has a direct link to SI Sportsbook, connecting potential new users to the new product.

Add in the print publication and 888 Holdings has new avenues to promote its products that didn’t exist prior to the deal being announced.

888sport latest sportsbook to go through rebranding

So while 888sport customers sit back and wait, there is no need to sit on the sidelines as college bowl betting season is just getting underway.

The name change or rebranding is nothing new to NJ bettors. Here are a few other products that have changed names since 2018:

  • BetStars switched to Fox Bet 
  • PlayMGM became BetMGM
  • William Hill rebranded to Caesars Sportsbook
  • Sportsbetting.com changes to MaximBet (not live in NJ)

And sometime in the not-too-distant future, 888sport to SI Sportsbook will be added to this list.

Stay tuned.

Lead image credit: Dreamstime stock photo

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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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