Ocean Resort Wastes Little Time, Partners With William Hill For Sports Betting

Written By Eric Ramsey on May 24, 2018 - Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Plans for a “state-of-the-art” sportsbook at the new Ocean Resort Casino seem to be taking shape. Principal Jason Deifik told the Press of Atlantic City today that his property has secured a partner to carry it into the arena.

Ocean Resort didn’t monkey around, choosing William Hill to provide its sports betting infrastructure. The UK-based bookmaker is one of the largest in the world, offering industry-leading solutions across nearly every active market.

William Hill is poised to play a starring role in the US market as this one matures, too. Its US division already operates more than 100 sportsbooks in Nevada, and it’s preparing to print the very first NJ sports betting ticket at Monmouth Park in the coming weeks. CEO Philip Bowcock says the company has invested close to $10 million preparing for US expansion.

Ocean Resort is scheduled to open on June 28 alongside the new Hard Rock Atlantic City.

Ocean Resort forms elite partnerships

A sportsbook was one of the first things Deifik’s father, Bruce, talked about when he purchased the former Revel months ago:

“Atlantic City is coming back with a vengeance and with the groundwork for the legalization of sports betting, we foresee a great opportunity to bring a state of the art sports book to a city which caters to a large and diverse sports market.”

Thanks to last week’s ruling from the US Supreme Court, his plans can now move forward.

The Ocean’s sportsbook will occupy 7,500 square feet “in the middle of the gaming floor.” The report also mentions plans to include private suites for large events, such as March Madness or the Super Bowl. That’d be cool.

That’s about all the details we have so far — and likely will have until the doors swing open. Deifik says the sportsbook will be ready to take bets on opening day, pending final approval from regulators. Considering William Hill already carries a Nevada gambling license, there shouldn’t be any hiccups.

Ocean Resort Casino seems to be taking the path of least resistance into this modern age of gambling. In addition to this sports betting deal, it’s also partnered with GAN to power the Ocean Resort online casino. Like William Hill, GAN is one of the elite tech providers in its space.

Considering this Atlantic City monstrosity is the first casino endeavor for AC Ocean Walk, securing turnkey partnerships like these seems prudent.

Other NJ sportsbooks?

Although there aren’t tons of details about Ocean Resort’s sportsbook yet, that’s more than we have for most NJ properties. We really only know firm plans for two others, and one of those might be in some jeopardy.

Monmouth Park will offer sports betting the first day it can, that’s the one other certainty. William Hill’s logo is already hanging up behind the sports bar that overlooks the track, just waiting for the regulatory go-ahead to open the betting windows.

Borgata will also have a sportsbook in the coming weeks. Or… will it?

MGM’s bookmaking boss, Jay Rood, first started discussing the $7 million investment back in December. The group’s eligibility has suddenly come into question, though. A Senate bill looking to set the final sports betting framework contains a clause that would deny licenses to casino owners linked closely to sports.

As it turns out, casino companies really like to buy into sports. MGM owns the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces franchise, which is clear grounds for denial under the proposed law. Caesars and Golden Nugget also have ownership positions in NBA teams, so the five NJ properties these groups own are in legislative limbo at the moment.

If that clause is removed, Caesars and Golden Nugget will almost certainly offer sports betting in NJ as they do in Nevada.

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What else we know about Ocean Resort Casino

The new owners of the former TEN/Revel are giving the property a significant overhaul. That’s good news because the old place was a bit of a beautiful disaster. About a month out from its grand opening, we have a good picture of what guests can expect from Ocean Resort.

First of all, the building itself is the tallest in Atlantic City, so it’s hard to miss if you’ve never seen it before. It’s the one with the lighted pearl on top if that helps. There are about 1,400 guest rooms and 140,000 square feet of casino space contained within its Boardwalk sprawl.

There will be food, of course. Ocean Resort is planning for 16 restaurants, including a buffet and a franchise of the popular burger chain Wahlburgers.

Although there are no plans for a ropes course, there will be no shortage of entertainment. For starters, TopGolf is installing an 11-bay driving range on the grounds, its largest Swing Suite facility in the world. Under an affiliate deal with Hyatt, Ocean Resort will also be able to soothe those tired golf muscles in its Exhale Spa.

If you’d prefer a dip in the pool, you’ll have six to choose from, including one filled with saltwater. They’ll be inside and outside, offering cabanas and beverage service (and potentially even a wet dayclub/nightclub).

Ovation Hall is the name of the property’s 5,500-seat concert venue. There are no shows scheduled yet, so we’re still waiting to hear more about the lineup for opening day and beyond.

Image credit: Jevanto Productions / Shutterstock.com

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Eric Ramsey

Eric is a reporter and writer covering the NJ gambling industry, online poker, sports betting regulation, and DFS. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.

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