The popularity of football and the growth of sports betting in New Jersey is a recipe for success at Atlantic City casinos and sportsbooks.
In fact, this NFL betting season could be one for the record books at Atlantic City casinos.
The league already raised the stakes in 2021 with the addition of a 17th regular-season game.
But for the first time in 43 years of legalized gambling, sports bettors can put down legal wagers at any casino in Atlantic City.
That’s right. All nine Atlantic City casinos have actual sportsbooks. (See the complete list below).
“The NFL is obviously king when it comes to sports betting,” said Tom Gable, director of race and sports betting at AC’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “I think this is going to be a huge, huge football season for sports betting in Jersey.”
NJ sports betting could set records in 2021, 2022
NJ’s sports betting market is already the largest in the country.
Besides the nine casino books, three racetracks throughout the state have shops.
But, the big draw in NJ is online sports betting. More than 90% of the money gambled in Jersey is done electronically.
At the start of the 2021 NFL season, NJ has 21 online sportsbooks. SuperBook,operating via the Meadowlands Racetrack license, is the newest arrival.
Since June 2018, more than $17.3 billion has been gambled on sports in NJ. Garden State sports bettors also set an all-time monthly high of $996.3 million in legal wagers last December.
Based on the first couple weeks of heavy NFL and college football betting, Gable thinks September could be a record-setting month.
“I think this is going to be a huge month,” he said. “And, probably, Jersey is going to be coming very close to, if not exceeding, that $1 billion magic number for handle.”
Pigskin betting benefits Atlantic City casinos
Atlantic City casinos also have other factors working in their favor this NFL season.
There is pent-up demand for in-person experiences. They have momentum from a busy summer at the Jersey Shore. And, most pandemic restrictions in NJ are in the rearview mirror.
“Atlantic City casinos are ready to welcome back even more guests this fall as we kick off the 2021 football and convention season with even more expanded amenities,” said Terry Glebocki, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and CEO of Ocean Casino Resort.
Check out PlayNJ’s full list of NJ online sportsbooks and mobile apps.
Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino
Facts: The 4,100-square-foot FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s opened in March. Wagers can be placed at five betting windows or more than 20 self-serve kiosks.
What To Know: Call ahead or stop in early for Sunday reservations. A $50 per person charge includes a guaranteed seat plus food and beverage service. Monday and Thursday nights are based on availability.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar
Facts: NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving placed the first legal sports wager inside an Atlantic City casino at Borgata’s race book on June 14, 2018. The 8,000-square-foot BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar (formally Moneyline Bar & Book) is across the hall.
What To Know: Reservations are needed for most major sporting events, including Sunday NFL games. Bar seating, high-top tables, booths, and VIP sections are available.
Caesars Atlantic City
Facts: The Caesars Sportsbook inside the Wild Wild West Casino of Caesars AC is the largest on the East Coast. The centerpiece is an 18-by-98-foot LED screen.
What To Know: Fan caves are private viewing areas that fit between 16 and 24 people. Up to three games can be watched at once. Caesars Sportsbook fan caves also include an Xbox, table service, and food provided by Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Facts: Despite its small size (2,500-square feet), The Sportsbook has 53 TV screens and five video walls.
What To Know: Seating is limited, so arrive early on Sundays. The Sportsbook’s $22 beer bucket is one of the better prices in town.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Facts: Hard Rock’s 3,800-square-foot sportsbook has roughly 50 seats and 40 TVs, plus a full-service bar with video poker machines.
What To Know: The sportsbook is located at the north end of the casino near Sugar Factory.
Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City
Facts: At 3,800, this is the smallest of the three Caesars Sportsbooks inside Atlantic City casinos. It still manages to hold 50 leather seats and two private fan caves that fit 10 people.
What To Know: Seats must be reserved on Sundays. Cost is $60 for the day, $30 for either the 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. set of games.
Ocean Casino Resort
The Sportsbook at Ocean by William Hill
Facts: Ocean was the first Boardwalk casino in Atlantic City to offer legal sports betting. The 7,500-square sportsbook opened when the casino formally known as Revel opened on June 27, 2018.
What To Know: Reserve a sportsbook suite for up to 10 people on Sundays. Suites are located on the second floor overlooking the sportsbook.
Resorts Casino Hotel
Facts: The 5,000-square-foot DraftKings Sportsbook inside Resorts features 135 stadium seats, nearly 1,000-square feet of ultra-high-definition video walls, 12 self-betting kiosks, five walk-up wagering windows, and a full bar complete with food offerings and tableside bottle service.
What To Know: Reservations are encouraged on game days. Call ahead or go in person before kickoff.
Tropicana Atlantic City
Facts: The 5,000-square-foot Caesars Sportsbook in Tropicana can seat over 180 people.
What To Know: Even with all that seating, reservations are needed on Sundays. Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab House and 10 North Lounge are nearby if seats are hard to find in the sportsbook.
AP Photo/Wayne Parry