A handful of New Jersey casinos and racetracks have already reaped millions in wagers from sports betting. The rest of the state’s gambling entities will need to hurry if they want to follow suit ahead of the most lucrative time of the sports betting calendar.
The Associated Press reports the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has instructed Atlantic City casinos to have finalized sports betting applications into the organization by July 16 if they want to take bets by the start of football season. According to the AP report, DGE Director David Rebuck said it may take up to two months for regulators to verify and approve the casinos’ sports betting plans.
Football has traditionally been the most wagered sport in Nevada, where sports gambling has been legal for decades. New Jersey, which took its first legal sports bet in June, will be approaching its first autumn with legal wagering.
College football kicks off its 2018 season Aug. 25. The NFL begins play Sept. 5 with the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons. That game takes extra importance in Atlantic City, only 60 miles from Philadelphia, where Eagles fans would have an opportunity to place a legal bet on their favorite team’s first game since winning a championship.
Since the Supreme Court unexpectedly decided to hear the legal challenge to the federal ban on sports betting last year, New Jersey casinos have laid groundwork to take bets on single-game sporting events. New Jersey led the lawsuit against the ban and its gambling stakeholders monitored the progress of the case, which was settled in the state’s favor in May of this year.
Already one of the most gambling-friendly states outside Nevada, the Garden State was well positioned to take advantage of sports gambling. Several casinos and racetracks took bets shortly after New Jersey passed its own sports gambling legalization laws and others followed shortly after. They are:
New Jersey has a third horse track, Freehold Raceway near Trenton, as well as seven more Atlantic City casinos that are eligible to support sports betting if they meet regulatory approval. The AP reports the gaming entities are in different phases of the approval process, with some further along than others. The report didn’t reveal where each property stood in the process.
Most state Casinos have indicated they would like to eventually offer sports betting. That includes the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. Though it opened last month without a sports betting license, casino officials have said they would like to do so in the foreseeable future.
It remains to be seen how far along the Hard Rock is in the application process and if it could meet the deadlines to take bets in time for football season. Initial earning reports may incentivize the Hard Rock, and others, to do so sooner than later.
In the second half of June alone, Monmouth Park, Borgata and Ocean Resorts combined to take in $16.4 million. As legalized sports betting becomes available at more facilities, and football season arrives, these monthly figures are sure to rise in the near future.
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