What do you think about a FanDuel Sportsbook at the center of the Atlantic City Boardwalk?
The NJ sports betting market leader announced plans for the debut of a FanDuel Sportsbook inside of Bally’s Atlantic City. Details of the partnership between Twin River Worldwide Holdings (TRWH), the pending new owner of the 40-year-old hotel and casino, and FanDuel Group were announced earlier today via a press release.
The deal is pending licensing and regulatory approvals from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
Twin River is in the process of purchasing Bally’s from Caesars Entertainment and VICI Properties.
For FanDuel, the deal gives the company a strong presence in North and South Jersey. The brand currently operates in the Garden State via the Meadowlands Racetrack license.
When will FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s open?
Well, the question comes with a two-part answer.
Looking to get a bigger piece of NFL betting action, FanDuel plans to open a temporary retail space by the end of 2020. It will be located on the casino floor.
The permanent sportsbook is targeted for a spring 2021 opening.
Here is what Matt King, CEO of FanDuel Group, has to say about the deal.
“The FanDuel Sportsbook is the clear market leader in New Jersey, and we are excited to expand our retail footprint in the state to now include Atlantic City,” said King. “We are excited to get started and be a key piece in Twin River Worldwide Holdings transformation of the iconic Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.”
Once it goes live, all nine Atlantic City casinos will have a retail sportsbook, bringing the statewide total to 12.
FanDuel and Twin River share a Colorado connection
This is not the first time FanDuel and Twin River have worked together. The two companies have ties in the Colorado market. FanDuel runs the online operations for Golden Gates Casino, another TRWH property.
“We currently already have a FanDuel Sportsbook app and online experience in Colorado at another TRWH property,” said George Papanier, president and CEO of Twin River.
“They are great partners, and we are thrilled to work with them in another exciting gaming-centric market like Atlantic City. The permanent sportsbook location is going to be one of the many exciting changes we have in store for the Bally’s property — a unique location just steps away from center Boardwalk, where millions stroll by annually.
“We look forward to breaking ground on this new space as soon as the closing is final.”
The FanDuel deal means Bally’s will have three online skins operating under its license. This is the maximum number permitted under DGE regulations.
Esports Entertainment Group and Sporttrade, which do not have the same brand recognition, are the other pending operators.
Why opening a FanDuel Sportsbook makes sense
Bally’s is currently home to AC’s largest retail operation.
The William Hill Sportsbook at Wild Wild West is 15,228 square feet. However, once the deal is done, Caesars will maintain ownership of the Wild Wild West Casino.
So replacing arguably the best book in AC, if not the entire state, requires something big.
And it doesn’t get much bigger than FanDuel. The operator has already mastered the art of attracting Empire State bettors. The Meadowlands Racetrack is about a 30-minute drive from New York City, with traffic.
The state is still trying to pass mobile sports betting legislation. As a result, FanDuel continues to attract NYC bettors. When those same customers decide to make a weekend trip to AC, watching a game at the FanDuel Sportsbook will be an option.
It will be the second NJ operator to have multiple retail locations.
William Hill (Wild Wild West, Tropicana, Harrah’s, Ocean and Monmouth Park) is the other.
Next steps for Bally’s Atlantic City
So while all this news is exciting, here’s the big question:
When will Twin River be getting the keys to Bally’s AC?
The answer could come as soon as next week.
The Casino Control Commission has a special hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 11 a.m. And the only item on the agenda is to address the petition of Premier Entertainment, AC, LLC, for interim casino authorization.
The company is a subsidiary of Twin River Worldwide Holdings.
What we do know is the Bally’s AC name is staying.
Actually, on Nov. 9, TRWH will become Bally’s Corporation.
Regarding the future of its pending AC property, things are looking much brighter with the addition of FanDuel Sportsbook.