Welcome to 2020, where it seems the weeks are measured in years. It has been another busy week in the New Jersey gaming world that included layoffs, cyberattacks, poker tournaments and table tennis. Yes, you read that right, table tennis.
The week started with the news that Atlantic City casinos were laying off employees. While the announcement was expected, it is still hard to see it in print, especially when Atlantic City seemed to be doing so well.
However, there was some good news this week, too. Online poker in NJ, which has been struggling for about two years, has found some new life. Following the success of the WSOP Online Super Circuit event, two more online poker tournaments with huge guarantees have been announced.
And finally, the NBA is giving sports fans everywhere something to pin their hopes on. Apparently, Atlantic City is on a list of potential sites to host an abbreviate version of the NBA playoffs. Again, you read that right.
Of course, no one knows what this looks like, especially as there is so much uncertainty around us. But even the thought that the playoffs might be taking place in our backyard is something to brighten up the day.
Here’s a look at what is making headlines in the New Jersey online gambling market.
AC casinos lay off 16,000 employees
The continuing global health crisis continues to impact the New Jersey gambling market.
Earlier this week, all nine Atlantic City casinos formally laid off their employees. About 16,000 casino workers are now able to file for unemployment benefits. Luckily, there is state assistance available for out-of-work casino employees.
It is not clear what life on the Boardwalk will look once we come out of lockdown. Undoubtedly, there will be changes and the workforce might look quite different than it did before the closures.
Employees will be eligible for rehire once the casinos reopen their doors. However, there is no guarantee the every casino worker will be offered their job back.
Two new NJ online poker tournament series
Following the success of the WSOP Online Super Circuit online poker tournament series, two more series found their way onto April’s calendar.
The WSOP Spring Online Championships started right on the heels of its successful online circuit event. Warmup events are currently underway.
The tournament has over 100 events and has $4 million in guarantees throughout April and into early May.
Starting on April 11 is one of New Jersey’s most popular events, PokerStars NJ Spring Championship of Online Poker. It comes with an expanded schedule of 48 events, each with a low and high buy-in. The series guarantees $1.2 million in prize money.
It will be interesting to see if the NJ poker market can handle two big tournament series without border-crossing traffic from neighboring Pennsylvania and New York.
Cyberattack takes NJ sportsbooks offline
A cybersecurity threat forced SBTech-powered platforms offline, and they have been offline since March 27.
New Jersey online casinos and sportsbooks impacted are:
Luckily for Golden Nugget, the issue hasn’t impacted the Golden Nugget online casino. Thomas Winter, senior vice president and general manager of online gaming for Golden Nugget, spoke to NJ Gambling Sites on Tuesday about the issue.
“It’s premature to give an exact timeline, but we hope for the next 48 hours.
“We trust SBT is taking all measures necessary, in close conjunction with regulators, to reopen in a safe fashion.”
On the board at NJ online sportsbooks
As we settle into a time when staying at home is the name of the game, online sportsbooks in New Jersey are looking at ways to keep its customers entertained. One way includes betting on table tennis, and it just so happens it is getting some betting action.
Mostly, though, players are looking at futures wagers.
There are futures on the board, including:
BetMGM made special allowances for New Jersey players since esports betting is restricted. Instead, players can look forward to:
- Bracket challenge freeroll.
- $20,000 split-the-pot for the most picks.
The very best part of the NBA2K Players Tournament is that BetMGM will be donating $20,000 to New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.
While all these options are sure to pique a bettor’s interest, it is the idea that Atlantic City is one of the sites under consideration as a condensed NBA playoff location, which is letting our betting imagination run wild.
Other sites are on the list that many will see as more likely candidates. Don’t count Atlantic City out; however, it certainly has some advantages.