NJ Gaming News: Bally’s New Owners Are Busy Making Online Gambling Deals

Written By Bill Gelman on August 27, 2020 - Last Updated on December 12, 2023
nj gambling news

The Philadelphia Flyers continue to be the big NJ sports betting story. Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime win against the New York Islanders evened the NHL Eastern Conference second-round series at one game apiece.

On the other side of the Canadian border, Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the pending new owner of Bally’s Atlantic City, continues to share details of its online sports betting plans. And it isn’t holding back on the NJ online casino front either.

And sticking with the sports wagering theme, things are looking “pretty phenomenal” over at BetMGM.

Here are the latest headlines making New Jersey gambling news this week.

America’s first sports betting exchange heading to NJ

Twin River has yet to be handed the keys to Bally’s AC, but the Rhode Island-based company is not keeping quiet about its plans.

The latest announcement is a multiyear partnership with Sporttrade, a sports betting startup out of Philadelphia.

If the company sounds unique, well, it is. Pending regulatory approval, it would be America’s first sports betting exchange. Details of a launch date have yet to be announced.

But as for what differentiates Sporttrade from the traditional NJ sports betting appAlexander Kane, the company founder and CEO, shared some details:

“By applying capital markets technology and market structure to the US sports betting ecosystem, we are creating something revolutionary.

“Sporttrade will establish a first-of-its-kind sports betting venue that will be fair, liquid and transparent, and we look forward to offering customers innovative betting products at significantly lower costs than traditional sportsbooks.”

And esports betting? Bally’s has plans there, too

The Sporttrade news dropped a mere days after Twin River announced a similar partnership with Esports Entertainment Group.

The name might trigger an immediate “Who?” reaction.

Well, the company has offices in New Jersey and Europe. More importantly, Esports Entertainment is “a licensed next-generation online gambling company focused purely on esports.”

But guess which state has yet to pass esports betting legislation? Here’s looking at you, New Jersey. Like the regulatory process, it’s a work in progress. And esports betting at this point in NJ is OK’d on a case-by-case basis.

When it finally does pass, it’s looking like Bally’s will be in the best position to succeed.

In the meantime, here is what Esports Entertainment’s CEO Grant Johnson has to say about the deal:

“We are excited to partner with Twin River to bring mobile sports betting to the New Jersey market. When we completed out IPO on Nasdaq earlier this year, it was with the intention of expanding our operations to the US. With this partnership, we’re delivering on that goal.”

In other breaking news …

TheScore Bet app is getting into the NJ online casino game. Guess who the Toronto-based company announced a market access deal with earlier today?

That’s right. Chalk up another one for the future owner of Bally’s Atlantic City. As part of the multiyear agreement, theScore Bet casino product’s anticipated New Jersey launch date is the second half of 2021.

The deal is subject to theScore securing licensing and regulatory approvals from the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Twin River also needs to complete its pending acquisition of Bally’s.

John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore, commented via a press release:

“The addition of an online casino offering to our award-winning and truly differentiated mobile sports betting platform broadens our reach and deepens our strong portfolio of assets. This is yet another step toward providing theScore’s media and betting patrons with a completely holistic and tightly integrated media and gaming experience.”

TheScore Bet sportsbook operates in New Jersey under the Monmouth Park license. Operators need to partner with an Atlantic City casino license holder to launch online casino apps.

And for those keeping tabs, this makes it two NJ online casino deals for Twin River. The company announced a separate one with PointsBet NJ earlier this month

BetMGM starting to shine in NJ online gambling

The BetMGM NJ sportsbook app will be celebrating its one-year anniversary next week. Rebranded from the initial PlayMGM name, the New Jersey relaunch set the table for product releases in IndianaWest Virginia, and Colorado.

And guess what? Parent company Roar Digital (a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings) is just getting started. As company CEO Adam Greenblatt puts it, “We’re certainly not sitting on our hands.”

Here in the Garden State, BetMGM continues to see rapid growth in NJ online gambling.

In an exclusive chat with Play NJ, Greenblatt used the words “pretty phenomenal” to sum up the past year.

On the NJ sports betting side, land-based partner Borgata is one of the big beneficiaries. The license holder reported just shy of  $3 million in total sports revenue for July. That was good enough for third-best in the market, right behind Meadowlands and Resorts.

And on the NJ online casino side, the BetMGM brand is playing an important role in helping Borgata increase its market share. Last month, Borgata earned $15 million in total revenue, good enough for a 17.5% market share.

The market as a whole reported an all-time monthly record of $87.4 million.

Greenblatt remains bullish about the future. “Frankly, I have great confidence in the resilience of that digital gaming product and what we’ve also seen [from] new players,” he said.

On the board at NJ sportsbooks

Seeing as this is Gritty country, NHL betting continues to be in the spotlight.

The Flyers need three more wins to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Whether or not one of those victories comes in the game remains to be seen.

As of 9 a.m. today, DraftKings Sportsbook had the puck line at Flyers +1.5 (-305), while the moneyline was Philly -103. But there are several player props on the board, too, including who will score the game’s first goal.

Kevin Hayes, who tallied the first two Flyers goals on Wednesday, was +1700. For those who want to wager on him simply scoring a goal, the odds improve to +340. And these are just a couple of examples.

By the way, the Flyers’ line to win the series is -112, versus -106 for the Islanders.

Switching gears, another PGA Tour event is underway. This week, the golfers are in North Carolina for the BMW Championship. As far as odds on the outright winner, here is a look at some of the favorites as of 9 a.m. today from FanDuel Sportsbook:

  • Dustin Johnson +750
  • John Rahm +1000
  • Justin Thomas +1200
  • Bryson DeChambeau +1300
  • Xander Schaufele +1600
  • Rory McIlroy +1800

AP Photo/Wayne Parry

Photo by AP Photo/Wayne Parry
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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