What a difference a week makes. When we wrote last week’s NJ Gaming News, the NBA had just suspended its season, and March Madness was set to play to empty stadiums.
Now the US is closed. OK, that might be a bit dramatic, but you get the picture.
Here is the New Jersey online gambling news making headlines this week.
AC casinos closed for the foreseeable future
Gov. Phil Murphy ordered all nine Atlantic City casinos closed on Monday “until such time as it is deemed safe for their reopening.”
It is only the fifth time that gambling has been suspended on the Boardwalk. The longest closure for AC casinos was for five days in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
AC casinos aren’t the only casinos affected either. Most casinos across the US are now closed, including the ones on the Las Vegas Strip.
NJ online casinos open for business
While land-based casinos in Atlantic City are closed for business, online casinos in NJ are still operating.
We applaud Hard Rock Atlantic City and Harrah’s Atlantic City for making some lemonade out of the lemons it was dealt this week.
In what was a difficult week, staff from the two casinos took the food from the properties that would otherwise go to waste and donated it to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Though uncertain and frightening, times of crisis can also inspire incredible acts of kindness. Our friends at @HardRockHCAC have come to our aid, donating a tractor-trailer load of food to help us feed individuals, families, and communities in need during the #COVID_19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/DkgjuQ14fP
— Comm. FoodBank of NJ (@CFBNJ) March 18, 2020
Members of our Atlantic City team are continuing to do our part to support the local community with additional food donations to the @CFBNJ and @acrescuemission. 🤝 Organizations like these heavily rely on charitable support in times of need when demand is heightened. pic.twitter.com/azfo5FNVFr
— Harrah's Resort AC (@harrahsresort) March 19, 2020
Hard Rock is also giving its online casino customers something to help cheer them up. Now through March 29, players can win a share of $15,000 playing live slots.
Hard Rock isn’t the only NJ online casino open for business, either; all 23 of them are.
NJ online poker players flocking to the tables
It is no secret that online poker in New Jersey has been struggling for a while now. Well, players seem to have found their way back to the virtual felt.
The prize pools in the first events not only made their guarantees, they made 3x them.
Official comment from the WSOP is that the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas is still scheduled to run as planned. But if it does need to be rescheduled, we might just see the first online WSOP.
It looks like NJ online poker will get another big tournament series soon. According to Online Poker Report, PokerStars NJ will be running its popular New Jersey Spring Championship of Online Poker (NJSCOOP) beginning April 11. That is the series’ earliest start date.
Pennsylvania will host its own version of the series beginning one week earlier on April 4.
On the board at NJ sportsbooks
Normally, this is where we highlight upcoming sporting events that are capturing the attention of the New Jersey sports betting crowd. Well, there isn’t much too highlight.
But that doesn’t mean sports betting in NJ is completely nonexistent.
There are NFL and MLB futures on the board. With the MLB delaying the start of its season and the NFL’s not scheduled to begin until fall, getting in on the action early may pay off handsomely down the road.
NBA futures are also still on the boards. There is a bit more uncertainty around these bets, though. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement did issue guidance on how to settle pending bets if the season is canceled.
Finally, horse betting fans might be interested in these headlines: