Believe it or not, sports betting has been legalized in New Jersey for a full month. To celebrate the occasion, another facet of NJ sports betting is ready to be rolled out.
Under legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on June 11, mobile sports betting was not to be authorized until after 30 days.
Today marks the end of that waiting period. As a result, sportsbooks in the Garden State could theoretically go live today with their online platforms — or skins.
Casinos and racetracks in the state are allowed to have up to three skins apiece if they have a physical sportsbook that is either operational or under construction. On top of that, bookmakers must have supplier licenses issued to them by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Currently, it appears no sportsbook is ready to launch online skins just yet. That said, let’s take a look at the properties with existing sportsbooks and what we know so far when it comes to mobile sports betting.
Monmouth Park has been the trendsetter of sorts in New Jersey.
The racetrack heavily advocated for regulated sports betting five years ago, perceiving the industry as an extra source of revenue as the property attempted to stay afloat during a stretch of financial woe.
In 2013, Monmouth partnered with William Hill. Last month, the track became the state’s first facility to accept legalized wagering.
For Monmouth, William Hill is an ideal suitor. The UK-based bookmaker is among the giants in the sports betting world and was already fully operational in Nevada by the time Monmouth came calling. In Nevada, William Hill boasts a sports betting app. Certainly, William Hill will have something similar lined up for its NJ partner.
There has been little — if any — mention of a timeline for launching mobile betting from Monmouth or William Hill. Surely, though, something will happen on the sooner end as the two Garden State pioneers look to capitalize on an untapped online market in the state.
Like Monmouth, Borgata opened the doors to its sportsbook June 14, using its existing racebook as a temporary lounge for sports betting.
The Atlantic City casino has expansion on its mind, as MGM, its owner, announced in December that it would pour $7 million into building a new sportsbook. However, the jury is still out on a timeline for that project’s completion.
While there is no announced date for online sports betting, a page on the playMGM NJ website indicates that “it won’t be long” until “sports betting on your phone” will be launched.
Ocean Resort Casino
Ocean Resort Casino shares a common thread with Monmouth Park.
The AC casino that opened June 28 partnered with William Hill to offer sports betting. Its William Hill sportsbook opened for business the same day as the casino’s grand opening along the Boardwalk.
When Ocean Resort owner Bruce Deifik acquired the former Revel property in January, he noted that he saw a “great opportunity to bring a state of the art sports book to a city which caters to a large and diverse sports market.”
The casino is still in its infancy, yet Ocean Resort appears as though it’s on the right path to do just that. The physical sportsbook is open, though it is still undergoing construction.
As for an online presence, consider Ocean Resort on the same fast-tracking path as Monmouth thanks to its William Hill partnership. In fact, according to a press release, Ocean Resort’s NJ online casino partner GAN expects to launch an integrated sports betting app on the new Ocean Resort online casino later this year.
The news cycle this week has belonged to Meadowlands Racetrack.
Located across the street from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, Meadowlands lined up a deal for Betfair US — the American arm of Paddy Power Betfair — to set up its sportsbook at Victory Sports Bar & Club.
Since that partnership was announced, track owner Jeff Gural has twice moved up the opening date for the sportsbook, and it is now scheduled to begin accepting wagers Saturday.
Unconventional is Meadowlands’ draw, as Betfair, which recently completed the acquisition of daily fantasy sports giant FanDuel, will roll out the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
That said, the sportsbook will not go online the same day it opens its physical doors. Gural said earlier this week that he and his team still have “work to do” on that front and that the aim would be to launch NJ online sports betting by the start of football season.
The deal was announced last month, giving DraftKings its first foot in the door to sports betting. It appears DraftKings will only have an online presence considering Resorts partnered with SBTech later, which will likely operate the physical sportsbook.
Currently, these are just deals written out on paper. The casino still does not have a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, which heavily blurs the timeline for any skin to be operational.
Hard Rock AC
A few hours before Ocean Resort debuted along the Boardwalk, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City made its grand opening June 28.
Formerly the Trump Taj Mahal, Hard Rock Atlantic City had been mum on its sports betting plans, focusing more on the entertainment side of things and ensuring a smooth opening in Atlantic City.
Last week, however, documents filed with the DGE showed that Hard Rock had struck a deal in June with bet365, the third European bookmaker to get in on the sports betting industry in New Jersey.
There has been little to no movement on the physical sportsbook front for Hard Rock AC, but as bet365 is a seasoned veteran in the industry, a mobile app should be expected. When that will happen, however, remains a mystery.
Elsewhere in Atlantic City
It is a natural assumption that all qualified casinos in New Jersey would jump at the opportunity to offer sports betting.
Golden Nugget is positioned to do that. The casino currently runs live and virtual sportsbooks in Las Vegas. This makes for an easy transition into the New Jersey online sports betting market.
Like its colleagues, however, Golden Nugget has not announced any timelines on a physical or mobile sportsbook.
A month ago, reports surfaced that Caesars Entertainment — which owns Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s — is aiming for an August launch of sports betting. Updates, however, have not come about. The company does have a mobile app in Nevada, powered by Miomni.
As for Tropicana, the casino’s gaming operation is owned by Eldorado Resorts. The building is owned by Penn National Gaming, but plans for sports betting have not been released.
While NJ sports betting makes a landmark step deeper into the woods, we still remain in wait-and-see mode when it comes to mobile wagering.