The Vegas Sports and Information Network (VSiN) continues to parlay the growth of sports wagering into the expansion of its network. On Wednesday, the well-known betting-based show announced the opening of a new studio at Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City.
The facility will serve as a home to its weekend morning shows, which will be unveiled later this month. The studio takes shape in the new hotbed of NJ sports betting.
The network also announced former NFL executive Michael Lombardi will become a permanent co-host for the weekend programming along with Jonathan Von Tobel, a producer and host on the network since its debut in February 2017.
Their show will kick off VSiN’s live weekend programming, beginning each Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.
An East Coast voice for NJ sports betting
Lombardi grew up in nearby Ocean City and is excited to be a permanent host with the network after working as a contributor. He brings something different to the table when breaking down games and matchups for bettors.
“To see Atlantic City excited about sports betting and the whole revitalization of the town is exciting on a personal level,” Lombardi told PlayNJ.com. “On a professional level, I’ve been in the information business my whole life, that’s what you do when you’re a general manager or you’re in scouting – you collect data and sort data and analyze things. That’s ultimately what you try to do for people who place a bet.”
The move adds a larger footprint for VSiN but also links the NFL closer to the world of sports betting. An NFL front-office executive for 25 years, Lombardi earned Super Bowl rings with San Francisco (1985) and New England (2015 and 2017). He also brings media experience — serving as a contributor to the NFL Network, NFL.com, and more.
“I think bettors want information, and they want the right information,” he said. “They don’t want anything held back. “You’re going to get straight, hard-fact news based on how the games are going to be played.”
Along with his broadcast duties, Lombardi is the author of the new book “Gridiron Genius,” with a foreword written by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Belichick referred to Lombardi as “one of the smartest people I’ve worked with.”
After spending so much time analyzing Xs and Os, Lombardi feels that knowledge will carry over to talking point spreads.
“It’s all applicable,” he said. “It’s just packaging, and I’m really looking forward to doing it.”
New studio at Ocean Resort sportsbook
Ocean Resort recently reopened after the former Revel closed in 2014. The casino is located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and features 140,000 square feet of gaming space including a state-of-the-art sportsbook. The William Hill Sports Book opened its permanent space at the end of August.
“Jerseyans love football, and I’m sure Sundays at the Ocean [are] going to be exciting,” Lombardi said. “It’s one of the nicest casinos I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
VSiN officials see the new studio serving an expanding sports betting industry both in and outside New Jersey. The company also recently announced it will be opening another Las Vegas studio, at the D Casino downtown.
The first sports network dedicated to betting is available on SiriusXM (204), fuboTV, and its website and apps. Legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger anchors VSiN’s weekday evening show, “My Guys in the Desert.”
“As legalization continues to expand across the country, VSiN will be where it needs to be to cover these markets,” CEO Brian Musburger said in a press release. “Bruce Deifik’s Ocean Resort has made a significant commitment to the sports betting scene in New Jersey by opening the most impressive sports book in Atlantic City.”
A taste of Lombardi’s Locks
As Lombardi moves into a new role in helping sports bettors, the former NFL executive offered up a couple picks for Sunday’s games:
- Broncos at Jets (-1) – “The Jets are favored and most fans might ask, ‘How is that possible?’” He noted that the Broncos are 1-8 in the last nine road games. During that stretch, he said, “The Broncos haven’t really played a team that is that tough.” The Jets are the bet here with Denver also coming off a Monday night game.
- Raiders at Chargers (-4) – “The Raiders are going to Los Angeles, and that’s a Raider town. That’s really a home game for them. I’m not sure the Chargers are better than most teams in the NFL, at least not be favored by almost a touchdown. I think the Raiders will play really well.”