This week, Gov. Phil Murphy extended stay-at-home orders until further notice for all of New Jersey.
The news put the hope of Atlantic City casinos reopening in time for Memorial Day weekend in jeopardy. It also calls into question what post-pandemic retail sportsbooks will look like, or if they will survive.
AC casinos suffered more than a 60% drop in retail revenue in March. And that is with the casinos closed for only half the month. Yes, that is a huge blow to the casinos, but it also severely impacts the city’s and state’s budgets.
While online casino gambling and online sports betting are still operational, it is only making a dent in the revenue shortfall.
One thing that is not on lockdown is the Eldorado-Caesars deal. The closing of the deal is moving at a snail’s pace, likely due to the pandemic, there was some activity this week.
Here are NJ online gambling news headlines for this week.
Will AC casinos be open for Memorial Day?
Following Murphy’s update this week, it seems unlikely that casinos in AC will be open in time to capitalize on the busy summer season.
All businesses are itching to reopen, and the casinos are no different. Moreover, many businesses rely on the summer season to stay alive.
At least one casino is betting against a Memorial Day weekend opening: Borgata Atlantic City. It is accepting reservations for its hotel beginning on June 1.
Of course, we are hoping for some good news soon. For now, the odds are not in our favor.
Will retail sportsbooks survive the pandemic?
Unlike casino gambling where the majority of revenue comes via the casino floor, the majority of sports betting revenue comes via NJ sportsbook apps.
With physical distancing becomes the norm and there is possible reluctance to join large gatherings, what is the fate of NJ sportsbooks?
Well, there will certainly be changes like more reliance on betting kiosks. Additionally, as AC racetracks and casinos emerge from the pandemic, there will likely be cost-cutting measures.
Will retail sportsbooks still exist? Unquestionably. However, be prepared for some changes and a long road back to business as usual.
Bally’s sold to make way for Eldorado-Caesars deal
Caesars Entertainment and VICI Properties Inc. are selling Bally’s Atlantic City to Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. for $25 million in cash.
The Eldorado-Caesars deal caused many people to question how many casinos in Atlantic City one company should own. The sale of Bally’s helps to alleviate any concerns.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement will need to approve the sale. In fact, it still needs to give its stamp of approval on the Eldorado-Caesars deal, too.
On the board at NJ online sportsbooks
There was some distraction this weekend, thanks to the 2020 NFL Draft.
It was the first look at a familiar sport in a very long time. Bettors were hungry and it showed. Now, the NFL betting season is open with futures on the rookie class and more.
For horse betting enthusiasts, with the Kentucky Derby prep races canceled, the Arkansas Derby is picking up the slack. For the first time, it will run two divisions.
Saturday is a day not to be missed at Oaklawn Park. Bettors can wager at 4NJBets, powered by TVG.