Don’t bet on an opening-day sportsbook at Hard Rock Atlantic City just yet.
While there’s little doubt that the iconic newcomer will open a sportsbook, the normally publicity-heavy brand has been uncharacteristically quiet about when it will open a sportsbook and with whom they will partner.
A June 1 article from the Press of Atlantic City indicates the silence may be due to a naming-rights contract Hard Rock International has with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
At this point, with NJ sports betting bills still making their way through the New Jersey Legislature, a Hard Rock sportsbook is still up in the air.
Ocean Resort Casino partners with a heavy-hitter
In contrast, Ocean Resort Casino moved quickly to secure a partnership for its state-of-the-art sportsbook.
Shortly after AC Ocean Walk purchased the property, an Ocean Resort sportsbook came into play.
The sportsbook will take up a prominent spot on the casino floor and will open alongside the rest of the property on June 28. To that end, the company announced a deal last week with sports betting giant William Hill.
So what are the plans for a Hard Rock sportsbook in Atlantic City, if any?
Hard Rock AC is quiet but not without possibilities
Hard Rock Atlantic City has been tight-lipped about its sportsbook. But the brand’s existing relationships may provide some insight.
GiG for online sports betting?
This past February, Hard Rock AC announced its partnership with Gaming Innovation Group, a Malta-based online gambling provider.
In an interview, GiG CEO Robin Reed said the partnership presents three tremendous opportunities.
“Firstly, by adding a New Jersey license we are poised to enter the new frontiers of the growing iGaming market in the U.S. Secondly, the deal has the potential to be the largest platform deal we have signed. Thirdly, we get to partner with one of the world’s best-known brands to make a standout new online casino,” Reed said.
While these comments were limited to NJ online gambling, Reed said through a GiG press release less than a month ago that the company embraced the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
“We are very excited about this news and the long-term potential it creates for GiG. We have been positioning the Company for a regulated US market and have a full eco-system of unique products and services to support the iGaming industry, including a cutting-edge sports betting service. We are confident we will have a fair and fun product to thrill and engage the US consumer and will be very well placed for future opportunities in this massive market,” Reed said.
Based on this quote, it seems that GiG would be a solid fit to run the online side of a Hard Rock sportsbook. Of course, this is only conjecture based on the GiG press release.
Whether or not a physical Hard Rock sportsbook will happen at the new casino is anyone’s guess. With opening day around the corner, it’s entirely possible Hard Rock Atlantic City will end its silence soon.