NJ Gaming News: AC Casinos Get The Green Light; MLB Teams Report For Duty In July

Posted on June 25, 2020 - Last Updated on June 24, 2020

Wondering when Atlantic City casinos will reopen? How about when fans will be allowed at New Jersey racetracks?

Let’s just say a lot of people are counting down to July 2.

And that means the Garden State’s 10 retail sportsbooks will be back in business, too.

That news started the week off on a high note. But the other anticipated news came on Tuesday: The 2020 Major League Baseball regular season will finally get underway. Negotiations are done. It’s time to play ball.

All of these headlines make the news of the DraftKings Casino app launching in New Jersey seem minor. But it’s a pretty big deal, too.

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

Atlantic City casinos are turning on the lights

New Jersey residents have patiently (in some cases impatiently) been waiting weeks to find out when Atlantic City casinos will reopen.

Well, Gov. Phil Murphy made a lot of people happy Monday morning.

AC casinos may reopen July 2. For now, all nine properties will be limited to 25% capacity. And not all nine are opening on July 2 (more on that later).

Preparing for the big day, Resorts and Ocean Casino Resort are counting down via social media platforms. Seven days to go for those who are counting.

Both New Jersey officials and casino owners continue to share operational updates.

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Hard Rock + Borgata share safety guidelines

Hard Rock Atlantic City is going with a Safe + Sound plan, the details of which were formally announced last week.

Joe Lupo, the president of Hard Rock AC, said developing new protocols has been the top priority over the last several months.

Some of the focus points include:

  • Mandated masks
  • Temperature checks
  • A new “Safe + Sound” clean team
  • Increased quality air circulation

The company is making use of thermal technology to make sure people are healthy.

Here is a behind the scenes look:

Over at Borgata, the property is implementing its 7-point safety plan put together by parent company MGM Resorts. But the casino is not reopening July 2 like its neighbors.

They are delaying the public reopening to 10 a.m. on Monday, July 6.

This will give Borgata a window to conduct a soft restart by hosting an invitation-only event. The specifics have yet to be announced.

But once July 6 rolls around, valet parking, surface lot, and poker are just a few of the things that will not be available.

And here is a rundown of what dining outlets are opening at Borgata:

  • Angeline by Michael Symon 
  • Old Homestead 
  • Moneyline Bar & Book 
  • Borgata Beer Garden 
  • Bread + Butter 
  • Borgata Baking Company 
  • Starbucks 
  • The Marketplace

Major League Baseball announces 60-game season

After months of failed negotiations, MLB players and owners finally have an agreement.

Philadelphia Phillies (or New York Yankees) fans can look forward to 60 regular-season games over the course of 66 days. It means don’t expect too many games to be postponed.

Here is the general timeline. Teams will begin spring training round two (call it summer training at this point) on July 1 in their home cities. The new opening day will follow on July 23 or 24.

Sorry fans, watching games at Citizens Bank Park is not an option this year. All ballparks will be empty.

As far as regular-season schedules go, MLB has yet to announce those details (at least at the time of this writing). The good news is World Series futures are live on NJ sportsbook apps.

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Phillies at +2000. Overall, the Los Angeles Dodgers (+375) hold a slight edge over the Yankees (+400).

Monmouth Park and the Big M preparing for fans

Unlike Atlantic City casinos, New Jersey racetracks resumed live racing earlier this month.

However, the events at Meadowlands Racetrack went on without fans in attendance. There were no in-person bets allowed. Monmouth Park’s racing season kicks off July 3.

In the meantime, horse betting in NJ could still be done via 4NJBETS, powered by TVG.

Well, that is about to change.

Earlier this week, Murphy announced fans can return to NJ racetracks beginning July 2. Racetracks will be able to operate at 25% capacity, just like casinos.

This is especially good news for Monmouth as the Haskell Invitational is July 18.

This also means the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands and the William Hill Sportsbook at Monmouth will start taking bets again.

DraftKings Casino app launches in the Garden State

When DraftKings Casino launched in 2019, many customers were likely wondering if there was a standalone app in the works.

Remember, DraftKings slowly rolled out its casino product by integrating games into the existing mobile sportsbook.

Well, as of Tuesday, New Jersey is the first state where players can download the DraftKings Casino app.

The Boston-based company made NJ sports betting history back in 2018 by becoming the first operator to launch online outside of Nevada.

On the board at NJ sportsbooks

Now that we know baseball is back, it’s highly likely MLB betting is about to pick up where it left off way back in March.
However, there is a long wait between now and when the first pitch is thrown.
The PGA Tour continues with this weekend’s Travelers Championship, with the first round taking place today.
But two big names are off the board. Brooks Koepka withdrew from the tournament after his caddie tested positive for COVID-19.
Webb Simpson, who won last weekend’s RBC Heritage, also decided not to compete.
The odds are shifting as a result of the revised field. Here is a look at the outright winner top-five breakdown from FanDuel Sportsbook as of Wednesday:
  • Bryson DeChambeau +1000
  • Rory McIlroy +1100
  • Justin Thomas +1200
  • Jon Rahm +1400
  • Dustin Jonson +2100
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and now NJ sports betting and online gambling.

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