NJ Gaming News: Sportsbooks Anticipate MLB’s Return; Caesars Reopens AC Casinos

Written By Bill Gelman on July 9, 2020 - Last Updated on December 12, 2023
nj gaming news baseball return sportsbooks

Philadelphia Phillies fans are counting down to July 24. The Miami Marlins will be in town for a three-game series.

But announcing the abbreviated 2020 schedule also reopens the MLB betting windows, player props included.

And speaking of New Jersey sportsbooks, another European-based company is setting up shop in the Garden State.

Business is picking up at Atlantic City casinos. Caesars Entertainment hosted a Fourth of July weekend grand reopening celebration on the famous Boardwalk.

And there is plenty more to look forward to, as major pro sports are restarting later this month.

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

Phillies prepare to play 60 games

Citizens Bank Park is open again for business.

For summer training, that is. Call it spring training: the sequel.

The Marlins and New York Yankees are coming to South Philadelphia later this month. Playing 60 games in 66 days will include its share of challenges.

Forget about the standing ovations that typically follow a Bryce Harper home run. The Phillies and the other 29 clubs are playing in empty ballparks. And the schedule includes a total of five days off, two of which come in August.

Besides the competition, keeping players healthy will be key. Even though the MLB season is resuming, COVID-19 remains a serious concern. Phillies third baseman Scott Kingery tested positive but is working his way back.

The bigger question, however, is, “Do the 2020 Phillies have what it takes to contend for the National League East crown?”

The odds are +320 at FanDuel Sportsbook. And in terms of wins, the over/under line is 31.5.

The great part about an abbreviated season is bettors will find out Sept. 27 if their ticket is a winning one.

Operations resume at Caesars AC

Five of the nine Atlantic City casinos reopened on July 2. Caesars Entertainment waited an extra day, holding a public grand reopening in front of Caesars AC on July 3.

The mini celebration applied to Bally’s AC and Harrah’s Resort, too.

As far as the COVID-19 protocols for casinos go, here are some of the biggies:

  • 25% capacity on the casino floor
  • Masks must be worn at all times
  • No smoking or drinking on the casino floor

But the reopening process did include its share of hiccups, like the casinos being told shortly before guests were welcomed back that there will be no indoor dining.

Talk about calling an audible.

However, there are still several places to grab a bite at all properties.

And for the NJ sports betting crowd, the retail books at Bally’s and Harrah’s are still closed. But wagers can still be made via the Caesars Sportsbook app.

Tipico sports betting app preparing for a fall launch

Well, it seems that even during these global pandemic times, the New Jersey sports betting market remains an extremely attractive one.

There are constant rumblings of new operators joining the market. It’s just a matter of when.

If everything goes according to plan, the Tipico sports betting app will be next. This would bring the grand total to 18. Tipico has a land-based partnership with Ocean Casino Resort. The New Jersey Division of  Gaming Enforcement still needs to approve the transaction.

Tipico certainly isn’t a new player in the sports betting industry. Besides having an app, the company has more than 1,200 betting shops overseas.

As far as the plans on this side of the Atlantic Ocean go, they are in the early stages. New Jersey is the initial launching point, with other states to follow.

Tipico did not share the specifics of those plans with PlayNJ. 

However, as targeting its first American jurisdiction goes, the hot NJ sportsbook app market caught Tipico’s attention:

“New Jersey is the perfect state for Tipico to kick-start its business in the US because of its sophisticated mobile sports betting audience and mature regulatory and licensing environment.”

Plans include a mobile casino app, too. The iGaming industry provided a lifeline while AC casinos were shuttered for 100-plus days.

On the board at NJ sportsbooks

Sure, the majority of bettors are likely counting down to July 23, which is opening day for the 2020 MLB regular season. There are two games scheduled then.

And DraftKings Sportsbook is taking wagers.

The New York Yankees (-1.5) will travel to Washington, DC, to play the world champion Nationals.

And the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are a slight favorite over the Yanks to win the World Series, will host the San Francisco Giants. The run line is Dodgers -1.5.

Of course, there are other events taking place this weekend.

The first round of the PGA Workday Charity Open is underway. Here are the outright winner favorites from FanDuel Sportsbook as of 9 a.m. today.

  • Hideki Matsuyama +750
  • Justin Thomas +1000
  • Patrick Cantlay +1200
  • Jon Rahm +1400
  • Xander Schauffele +1600

Plus, UFC 251 is taking place Saturday on Fight Island. In the main event, Kamaru Usman (-260) will defend his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal (-215).

The bigger news is that the days of limited NJ sports betting options are finally winding down. With MLS back and the NBA and NHL restarts weeks away, it looks like things are finally looking up.

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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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