New Jersey Welcomes Another Sports Betting Operator As Prime Sports Soft Launches

Written By David Danzis on April 1, 2024
Image of a phone with the Prime Sports logo for a story on the sportsbook making a soft launch in New Jersey

Prime Sportsbook quietly debuted in New Jersey on Easter Sunday, adding another option to an already lengthy list available to Garden State sports gamblers.

As of Monday, Prime Sportsbook NJ is only available on a web browser. The iOS and Android versions are expected to be available in Jersey soon.

The March 31 soft launch of Prime Sportsbook brings the total number of approved online NJ sports betting operators to 19. Prime Sportsbook is an online “skin” in New Jersey, operating under the sports wagering license of Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City.

According to the sportsbook’s website, state gambling regulators require two more soft play days on Monday, April 1, and Tuesday, April 2.

Prime Sportsbook is already live in Ohio. The company also plans to launch an online sportsbook product in Kentucky.

Prime Sportsbook looking to change the game

It is no secret that Prime is joining a crowded field of operators in NJ. Some big-name brands, including Barstool, Maxim, Sports Illustrated and Fox, have already bowed out.

But the “rookie” bookie is promising a different experience. And, although the sports betting public has heard that line before, the folks behind Prime Sportsbook may deliver.

Joe Brennan, an unheralded and relatively unknown protagonist behind the spread of legal online gambling in NJ and the US, is Prime’s executive chairman. On X (formerly Twitter), Brennan touted Prime’s willingness to accept bets from so-called “sharp” bettors, a reduced vig (the house’s cut for taking the bet) and letting players put down “big money.”

All three talking points have been raised by veterans of the sports gambling community who are critical of the way some of the legal, regulated operators are presently doing business.

Several of the major online sports betting brands are known to limit certain players. particularly if they are winning. It is an issue that has been acknowledged (perhaps accidentally) by sports betting executives and is on the radar of legalization proponents, such as the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States.

Along with betting exchanges, such as Prophet and Sporttrade, Prime fancies itself as trying to redefine what the sports gambling experience looks and feels like for many Americans, particularly those whose first exposure to placing an online wager did not happen until after the 2018 PASPA decision.

NJ online sports betting biz is business as usual

So far, the status quo has not been interrupted by newcomers.

FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook — two daily fantasy sports companies that already had massive customer databases before 2018 — are dominating the online sports gambling landscape. In NJ, FanDuel and DraftKings are estimated to account for more than 70% of both handle (the total amount bet) and operator revenue each month.

BetMGM and Caesars — two books with connections to internationally recognized casino brands — also control their fair share of the domestic market. However, it pales in comparison to the top-tier operators. Others, such as Fanatics and ESPN, have complimenting business elements that enhance their sports gambling product, but the long-term returns are still unknown.

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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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