Who Will Follow DraftKings Sportsbook Into The NJ Online Sports Betting Market?

The DraftKings Sportsbook app became the first to officially launch mobile sports betting in New Jersey this week, prompting questions of exactly who will be next.

The mobile sports betting product actually opened up last week with an invite-only soft-launch despite no physical sportsbook location at its land-based casino partner, Resorts.

The mobile sportsbook got the thumbs up from New Jersey gaming regulators this week, and the group opened up its NJ sportsbook app to the public on Monday.

The move made the DraftKings Sportsbook the first mobile sports wagering app to open in the New Jersey market, and the first outside Nevada.

So who will be next to launch in the NJ online sports betting world? Let’s check in on the prospective candidates:

Caesars is getting things in order

Caesars Atlantic City has not released plans to open a retail sports betting operation on the property. Its sister properties — Bally’s and Harrah’s — did open sportsbooks in Atlantic City just last week.

However, Caesars Entertainment has said it will launch a Caesars Casino & Sports mobile sportsbook app before the start of this fall’s National Football League season. The 2018 NFL season will begin with its annual Kickoff Game on Sept. 6.

The combo Caesars sports betting and casino app comes from the casino’s partnership with Scientific Games. And it’s already available for download even if all the pieces aren’t in play yet.

However, it won’t likely be the next one to start operations in the Garden State.

That spot seems reserved for the organization that had to be thinking it was beating everyone to market when it announced last week its popular Nevada sports betting app was coming to New Jersey.

The playMGM sports betting app

In fact, MGM Resorts International and its Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa seemed poised to launch New Jersey’s first online and mobile sportsbook when DraftKings and Resorts suddenly stole their thunder.

Speaking at a July 31 press conference announcing MGM had become the NBA’s official gaming partner, Chairman and CEO Jim Murren let it slip that the organization will start taking mobile bets in New Jersey at the end of the week.

The end of the week came and went without any further word from MGM. Or the launch of a mobile sportsbook. The DraftKings Sportsbook app launched instead.

However, Murren’s comments still suggest MGM is poised to launch mobile sports betting in New Jersey any day now.

It certainly has the technology ready to go. In fact, the very popular playMGM mobile sports betting app already runs on an IGT software platform in Nevada.

Therefore, it would appear MGM will be the next to launch mobile sports betting in New Jersey. That is unless it gets surprised by another daily fantasy sports turned sportsbook operator in the meantime.

Claim Your $1,250 Bonus at DraftKings Sportsbook
Up to $1,250 FREE
New User Bonus. T&Cs Apply.
DraftKings Promo: Bet $5 Win $200
PLUS $50 Free On Deposit
PLUS Up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
To Claim: Click Play Now

Meadowlands + FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands opened its physical doors in July, and while it’s had a few growing pains, it has every intention of going online, too.

But like many operators in the state, FanDuel Group, the US arm of Paddy Power Betfair (now FanDuel), has said very little about mobile sports betting plans other than to say they will have a sportsbook app up and running by football season.

However, if MGM really wants to be next, it has more to worry about than just FanDuel.

Ocean Resort and Monmouth Park

Sportsbook operator William Hill US now has two retail operations in New Jersey — Ocean Resort Casino and Monmouth Park. Plus, it has a popular Nevada sportsbook app of its own.

Its technology could seemingly become available in New Jersey with just a thumbs up from regulators. Plus, the flip of a switch.

The physical sportsbook at Ocean Resort opened for business in the center of the casino floor on June 28, just a couple weeks after Monmouth Park opened.

At this point, the casino’s sportsbook is only partially open, and ongoing construction keeps us from seeing what the final space will look like.

So what does this mean? William Hill, like MGM, has all its ducks in a row. And while nothing has been said for certain on a timeline for an online launch, both properties are likely on the same trajectory.

The other players in NJ sports betting

There are six operational sportsbooks in the state, four of which are casinos. So there are obviously still a few casinos (and racetracks for that matter) that have plans afoot for physical and mobile sports wagers.

But the chances are slim that they will beat the above contenders to the market if only because their plans are for the most part a mystery.

Golden Nugget AC

The Golden Nugget has a couple big partnerships in place with SBTech and Churchill Downs, but the implementation isn’t exactly clear yet.

The Churchill Downs factor is likely more a skin deal for the two, but even so, the launch of either its sportsbook or NJ gambling site is not imminent.

On the other hand, Golden Nugget operates live and virtual sportsbooks in Las Vegas, so it likely won’t need to hire a new supplier. But the timeline is unclear.

Hard Rock Atlantic City

Opening the same day as Ocean Resort, Hard Rock took over the former Trump Taj Mahal. In the weeks leading up to the big day, Hard Rock International had stayed mum on its NJ sports betting plans.

But at a press conference before the grand opening Guitar Smash, Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen confirmed that sports betting is in the works for the property.

Then in July, a new partnership between Hard Rock and Bet365 surfaced in documents filed with the DGE. Bet365 will use Hard Rock as its entry point into the US market. You can expect to see its mobile app hit the virtual shelves at the appointed time, whenever that time may come.

And Tropicana?

The sale of Tropicana Atlantic City makes things a little complicated for its sportsbook plans, both online and in the casino.

Penn National Gaming owns the building. Eldorado Resorts owns the gaming operations. But neither company has made any NJ sports betting plans public just yet.

About the Author

Martin Derbyshire

In his over 10 years covering the US online poker, legal NJ online gambling, and land-based casino industries, Martin Derbyshire has worn the hats of award-winning journalist and video and film producer. He has logged countless miles reporting on the world of high stakes gambling.