Slot Machines Turned Back On At The Stardust Casino, NJ Online Version

FanDuel Group sees the Stardust Casino app as a means to tap into a meaningful segment of the NJ online casino market.

Who remembers when the Stardust Casino was imploded on March 13, 2007?

And when the building came crashing down on the Las Vegas Strip, it seemed like the Stardust name was gone with it.

Well, here we are in 2021, and guess what name is back in business?

OK. An NJ online casino app doesn’t exactly measure up with a Las Vegas casino resort, but nostalgia is nostalgia.

Stardust Casino is the rebranded version of the former Betfair casino. The product is a joint venture between FanDuel Group and Boyd Gaming Corporation. And it’s available in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets, officially launching on April 19.

And like with Betfair, it falls under the Golden Nugget Online Gaming license.

To get a better idea of what the product is all about and how things are going so far, NJ Gambling Sites caught up with Jesse Chemtob, GM of casino at FanDuel Group.

Farewell Betfair, hello Stardust

Those who keep track of NJ online casino apps are aware the Betfair brand is one of the originals, launching in 2013.

However, it has a bigger following overseas than here in the United States.

As far as Stardust goes, it’s really too early to accurately judge how well it’s performing in the mature Garden State market. However, Chemtob said overall the feedback has been pretty positive.

He noted they knew going in there would be a segment of the casino audience that would have some recognition with the Stardust brand.

“… Going in, like with any rebrand, there’s a kind of risk that people are confused, but by all accounts, the rebrand for us went pretty smoothly,” said Chemtob. “Users kind of woke up on the day of the rebrand and they were able to update their Betfair app to a Stardust branded app. It was pretty seamless from that perspective.”

Instead of surprising existing Betfair customers, the FanDuel team took the change-is-coming approach. Communicating with the customer base about the rebrand was a big part of it.

And the login credentials customers used for Betfair are still good with the Stardust brand.

“… By all accounts, it’s been pretty smooth, and feedback has been pretty positive. Just anecdotally we’ve been getting feedback from customers that they like the new look and feel, and the different front end of the casino experience. We’re pretty pleased, to be honest,” said Chemtob.

Stardust users based in New Jersey currently can choose from more than 400 games.

The FanDuel-Boyd-Stardust connection

So those familiar with Las Vegas history know the Stardust is a former Boyd Gaming property.

Plus, FanDuel and Boyd have an existing relationship. Boyd also owns Valley Forge Casino Resort, which is home to a FanDuel Sportsbook.

FanDuel Casino is connected to the same land-based partnership.

Call the Stardust Casino the latest phase to this “great partnership with Boyd.”

“…We have this relationship with them and we really looked at, Stardust as a means to be able to tap into a meaningful segment of the casino market, aside from just the sports-led casino players,” said Chemtob. “And that’s really what drove the decision around Stardust and how we landed on that with Boyd. It’s really a means to be able to tap into a wider casino customer base.”

Co-existence of FanDuel and Stardust casinos

Like Pennsylvania, New Jersey customers have access to two different casino brands under the FanDuel Group umbrella.

FanDuel Sportsbook mobile customers who click on the casino icon are transferred to FanDuel Casino. However, desktop/web browser users are sent to Stardust.

In the Garden State, even the FanDuel Casino option is still fairly new as the change happened earlier this year. Previously, slots and table game players would be sent to Betfair.

So for those wondering if one casino is more popular than the other, FanDuel Group views the situation from a different perspective. Chemtob said, “We look at them as co-existing with somewhat distinct customer bases.”

On one side there is the FanDuel casino that is “more cross-sell driven, will be more male-skewing, and kind of look more similar to the composition of the sportsbook customer base. More male-skewing, maybe a bit younger.”

However, Stardust users, at least since the rebrand, are both male and female.

“When you look at the Stardust customer base, previously the Betfair customer base, it was a bit more balanced in terms of the male, female split, and skewed a bit older than the cross-sell audience,” said  Chemtob.

“… For the cross-sell audience, it’s more table games led, given the male skew. And Stardust it’s more slots led given the mix of male-female. We think there are two distinct audiences there that are worth going after.”

Bringing Las Vegas nostalgia back to life

In the NJ online casino world, the Stardust name is still the newbie. And the industry is an extremely competitive one with heavyweights like Golden Nugget online casino and BetMGM leading the way.

However, there are some Garden State customers extremely familiar with the Stardust name. This is especially true for those fond of old Las Vegas nostalgia.

The property, which opened in 1958, enjoyed nearly a 50-year run on the North end of the Las Vegas Strip. The land where it once stood is where Resorts World Las Vegas is opening next month.

So as a result of this rich history, the Stardust online casino is in a different category than say an online operator entering the market from Europe.

Chemtob explains:

“Obviously, we’re not starting from zero because there is some brand recognition with Stardust, which is a good thing. But we are starting from a place where we need to build up that brand affinity in New Jersey for the Stardust brand, amongst this wider casino consumer.”

And for those players unfamiliar with the classic Stardust name, the plan is to build awareness and comfortability.

“… Obviously there’s a lot of competition now, but I don’t think the strategy is dissimilar. We just have a bit more to talk about in terms of the brand equity of Stardust, and this nostalgia element of old Las Vegas that we think really resonates with people,” said Chemtob.

Stardust sticking with NJ and PA, for now

Unlike online sports betting, the US is still rather limited when it comes to online casino markets. Besides NJ and PA,  Michigan is the newcomer while West Virginia has limited offerings.

Of course, there is the possibility more states could pass legislation down the road, potentially opening the door for Stardust to build a bigger following.

FanDuel is live in Michigan, but the company has no plans to roll out the Stardust app there.

“Right now, we’re not considering a separate stand-alone brand approach in Michigan. But in future states, we’re going to see how it goes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Chemtob.

Dreamstime Photo





Boom With A View: Caesars AC Offering Packages To Watch Trump Plaza Implosion

Would you pay $299 for a front and center seat to watch the Feb. 17 implosion of the former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino?

But unlike a pro sporting event, you will not be told to leave immediately after the hotel tower transforms into a pile of rubble.

You see, the price is actually for Caesars Atlantic City’s stay-and-view room package.

Talk about a great view.

The two properties are so close you could jump from one rooftop to the other. Figuratively speaking, of course. The buildings are separated by a Boardwalk access ramp.

Steve Callender, Regional President Caesars Entertainment, weighed in on next week’s historic occasion.

“The proximity of Caesars to the implosion site is the closest most will get to the historic milestone in Atlantic City next week, and we’ve had high demand from guests who are seeking to book rooms & suites with a front row seat to the action,”

“We are releasing a limited number of stay-and-view room packages that offer our guests the opportunity to witness the beginning of a new era for Center Boardwalk and a new view of the Atlantic City skyline.”

Details of Caesars stay-and-view package

Yes, some might consider $299 plus tax a little pricey for an Atlantic City hotel room. We are talking about midweek in February.

However, Feb. 17 will be rather unique as Trump Plaza, which sits at the center of the Boardwalk, has been closed since 2014. So guests will be getting a front row seat, or in this case, a hotel room, to watch Atlantic City history.

As of Friday afternoon, Caesars AC had 27 rooms available specifically for the stay-and-view rate.

Here is what the package includes:

  • A front seat with “exclusive view” to Atlantic City history
  • Champagne delivery
  • 1 p.m. checkout

So making early morning mimosas for the implosion is an option.

Bader Field, which is the public viewing area, will be charging $10 a car. Plus. it’s about two miles away and outside.

Trump Plaza implosion will boost mid-week business

The early Atlantic City forecast for Feb. 17  is 36 degrees and partly cloudy.

Not exactly ideal for taking a walk on the AC Boardwalk or the beach. And besides properties operating at 35% capacity due to the pandemic, it is offseason.

However, was far as Atlantic City implosions go, Trump Plaza will be only the second property to see its fate end with a boom.

Sands Atlantic City, way back in 2007, was the other. And that property has been vacant since.

AP Photo/Wayne Parry

Football Five: Doug Pederson’s Odds On Becoming Jets Next Coach

Since being fired as head coach of the Eagles earlier this week, Doug Pederson has become part of a futures wager at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is a now prop bet.

Only in the NJ sports betting world can a fired head coach spark betting. Pederson, canned by the Eagles one day and a futures wager  the next, headlines our weekly Football Five.

New Jersey online sports bettors love the rumor mill, especially when it is actionable.

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Who will coach the Eagles? Look at the Jets first

Where the Jets go will influence where the Eagles direct their efforts.

Following his firing, Pederson became the frontrunner (+300) for the Jets job at FanDuel Sportsbook. As of early Wednesday morning, his odds shifted to +650 as San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh moved into the top spot (+100).

Here is a look at the FanDuel odds on the next Jets head coach as of Tuesday.

If Pederson gains that position, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll (+850) and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy (+850) become available for Philadelphia. Both were the early favorites for the Jets job.

Other notable rumors for the Eagles include Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Tampa Bay Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, and  Saleh, a name worth a long look.

Saleh, a defensive coordinator, has already become a finalist for the Jets job. It’s only been a question of when, not if, he becomes a head coach. The Jets may be a more natural fit for him, but the Eagles could use someone to light a fire under the entire team.

Bieniemy, the offensive coordinator for the Chiefs, is another assistant likely to land a head-coaching position. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie likes Andy Reid’s input, that’s how he got Pederson in the first place, so Bieniemy makes sense. But other teams want him as well.

Then there is Bowles. Remember him?

He had three straight losing seasons with the Jets. How crazy would it be for the Eagles to select the former Jets coach and the Jets to recycle Pederson? Can’t find a prop for that.

Bowles also was the secondary coach for the Birds in 2012.

Eagles will likely interview Duce Staley, too

There’s a common denominator with the candidates. Philadelphia’s long-term contract with quarterback Carson Wentz is a lasso around the neck of whomever takes the job. The Eagles are committed to Wentz and the new coach will experience friction if he wants to bench Wentz at some point.

The successful candidate must be on board with Wentz, who regressed badly this past season but was also left vulnerable by a weak offensive line. What the odds can’t tell you is what candidate will accept this stipulation.

Expect Duce Staley’s name to be included on the list of interview candidates. The former Eagles player served as assistant head coach and running backs coach under Pederson.

Stay tuned. Rumors, and odds, change often.

What about the NFL Divisional Playoff odds?

The NFL Playoffs resume Saturday and Sunday with the final eight teams competing in the divisional round. Here is the weekend slate:

Early splits from DraftKings Sportsbook show the public loves all four “overs,” with the Cleveland-Kansas City game getting the highest endorsement 89%, even at the highest total, 56.5.

Early betting saw the public loving Green Bay the most. Here’s the support level:

  • Green Bay 84%
  • Buffalo 61%
  • Kansas City 60%
  • Tampa Bay 59%

Rams are the NFL chameleons

They do the unexpected.

The Los Angeles Rams flopped as a 17-point favorite and became the first team the Jets beat this year. And then they toppled the Seattle Seahawks, who had beaten the Jets by 37 points, in the Wild Card round.

Just to reach the postseason they defeated the Arizona Cardinals behind backup quarterback John Wolford.

The Rams defense turned that game around with a late first-half defensive score.

And they repeated the feat against the Seahawks. A Pick 6 put Seattle up 13-3 and Jared Goff, who had to replace the injured Wolford, gutted out an efficient performance.

Can the Rams do it again?

They face Aaron Rodgers, enjoying the best year of his life with 48 touchdowns versus five interceptions. The Rams want ball control, the Packers a track meet.

Weather is always a big variable in cold-weather cities. The forecast for this game is under 30 degrees, with winds at less than 10 mph. May feel like 20 degrees. For the Rams, it could have been worse.

Bills and Ravens look good on either side

The Bills opened at -1.5 across the major NJ online sportsbooks and early Buffalo wagering pushed the line up to -2.5. This is still a nice place to bet either team. Ravens bettors may click their heels if the line hits -3. Even the move from -1.5 to -2.5 might make it worth their while to buy the extra point, taking a +3 line.

Lamar Jackson is one key to the game.

The Ravens quarterback rushed for 136 yards in the team’s opening-round triumph over the Tennessee Titans. He also helped rally the team from a 10-0 early deficit.

In avenging the playoff loss to the Titans from last year, the Ravens continued to look formidable.

Buffalo’s defense gave up 472 yards in a narrow victory over the Indianapolis Colts, who crossed the 50-yard line on nine of their 10 possessions and averaged more than six yards per play.

Baltimore’s defense, on the other hand,  has stepped up dramatically and is the biggest wild card in this matchup. How about holding the Cincinnati Bengals to three points and then putting a handcuff on Derrick Henry and the Titans? Henry was coming off a 200-plus yard game and the Ravens kept him to 40.

In this game, Buffalo’s offensive line looks to protect Josh Allen enough for him to launch downfield throws to Stefon Diggs and to scramble. Buffalo does not rely on its running game the way Tennessee did.

All ‘Bs’: Brady + Brees = bets

You have to love the marquee. Tom Brady’s best work of the season has come in the last five games, in which the Tampa Bay offensive line has given him tremendous time to throw.  Brady has more receiving targets than Drew Brees does for the New Orleans Saints.

It’s been the same pregame script every time these teams met this year.  Brady was supposed to lead the Bucs over the Saints, and New Orleans beat him in the opener. Brady was rolling before the rematch and the Bucs, at -5, were never in it.

And here we go again.

Can the Saints beat the Bucs three times in one year? They will need a big game from Alvin Kamara and Brees will have to throw deep once in a while to keep  the defense honest.

Will Super Bowl champs stop the Cleveland Browns party?

It’s been great for Cleveland Browns fans, who watched their team topple the Pittsburgh Steelers twice in eight days. But now they visit the defending Super Bowl champions, who lost only one game this year.

The Browns optimist believes the team’s momentum from the Pittsburgh triumph snowballs into another upset. Cleveland backers bank on the usual stellar effort from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The subplot will be whether Kansas City should have kept Hunt, who broke in with them.

The Chiefs backer believes they won’t commit the mistakes that brought Cleveland that early 28-0 lead against the Steelers and that the Chiefs won’t be rusty despite the offense resting in the last regular season game.

A shootout is expected and the Chiefs, on paper, have a little more ammunition in their gun.

AP Photo/Michael Perez

New Jersey Sports Betting Sets All-Time High With $5 Billion In Bets For 2020

November’s NJ sports betting handle of $931.6 million pushes the Garden State past the $5 billion mark in a year impacted by a global pandemic.

Who guessed $931.6 million? That would be the NJ sports betting handle for the month of November.

Here’s an even bigger number: $5 billion.

That would be the year-to-date amount wagered from NJ bettors. What makes this number stand out even more is the fact that there were no major pro sports during the months of April, May and June as a result of the global pandemic.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released the November figures earlier today. And in the process, the Garden State shattered yet another record in total amount wagered for any legal U.S. sports betting jurisdiction.

Call it the new normal in 2020.

For those keeping tabs, it shatters the previous mark of $803 million set in October. If we are talking percentages, the increase from October to November is a whopping $86.2%.

NJ sports betting revenue came in at $50.5 million, which is a 53.7% increase from the same period last year.

Here is a closer look at some of the highlights from the latest report.

How high will NJ sports betting handle go?

One would think that when the Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL crowned their respective champions earlier this fall, the industry would’ve slowed down.

Yes, NFL betting is by far the most popular among bettors, but the variety of pro sports offerings would spread the money around. November is prime NFL season, but there was college football and basketball along with The Masters.

Yet if we do a month-to-month comparison since the return of sports, the current offerings are clearly generating the biggest numbers by a wide margin. Here’s a look back at the recent monthly amounts wagered:

  • July handle: $315.1 million
  • August handle: $667.9 million
  • September handle: $748.5 million
  • October handle: $803 million

And getting back to the $5 billion number, 2020 is already ahead of the $4.58 billion in wagers made in 2019. And the current number doesn’t even factor in December totals.

Plus, last year wasn’t impacted by a global pandemic.

And for those states still on the fence regarding whether or not to approve mobile sports betting, just look at New Jersey.

In November alone, 93.6% of bets were placed via NJ online sportsbooks. In-person registration isn’t required.

FanDuel + Meadowlands = winning ticket, again

Meadowlands Racetrack, the land-based partner of FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet NJ, continues to be the biggest winner when it comes to NJ sports betting revenue.

The other 11 license holders didn’t even come close.

The Meadowlands reported $24.8 billion for November, and it’s NJ Gambling Sites’ understanding that FanDuel accounts for the bulk of it.

Resorts Digital (consisting of DraftKings SportsbookFox Bet and Resorts online sportsbook) finished an extremely distant second with $14.6 million.

If we break it down by market share, Meadowlands accounts for 48.9%, while Resorts comes in at 27.4%. That leaves less than 25% of the pie for the rest of the market, which currently consists of 19 operators.

Is $1 billion in monthly handle a reality?

So if somebody predicted at the beginning of the year that New Jersey would take in more than $900 million in monthly bets, would you have believed it?

Forget about the pandemic.

Here’s the reality. Some may have thought October’s $803 million would be the NJ sports betting plateau. It clearly wasn’t. Now that Garden State bettors have shattered the $900 million mark, $1 billion suddenly doesn’t seem so unrealistic.

Eventually, New Jersey will reach the top of the mountain, but at this point, who knows what number that will be?

Suddenly New Jersey, not Las Vegas, has established itself as the unstoppable US sports betting leader.

Photo by Associated Press 

NFL Week 14 Odds: NY Giants Join NFL Playoff Conversation

The red-hot New York Giants, winners of four straight, are now in the NFC postseason conversation with a Week 14 game looming against the Cardinals.

As NFL Week 14 arrives, it seems the NFC Least is dead.

Long live the NFC East, or at least the pace-setting New York Giants. We launch Odds Five focusing on one of the league’s most inspiring stories as the regular season roars into the home stretch for NJ sports betting customers.

The red-hot Giants, winners of four straight, play three of their final four games at home, including Sunday’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

The original Week 14 line is tantalizing for Giants backers. The slight underdogs are listed at +2.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook, a mild surprise after the Seattle triumph. It stayed there Monday morning, with Giants bettors waiting to see if it hit +3 before they pounced on it.

Giants are the talk of NFC East

How did the Giants get here?

Big Blue not only upset the host Seattle Seahawks 17-12 as a double-digit dog Sunday but outplayed the 8-3 NFC West leaders that beat the Philadelphia Eagles the previous week. Since opening 0-5, the G-Men have flipped the switch on their season.

They are 5-2 since, and that includes four straight victories against the Washington Football Team, the Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and the Seahawks.

Here are some of the other highlights:

  • They have back-to-back road wins.
  • They have roared from last place into first place and from +2000 to win the division to -225 at DraftKings, going from chumps to chalk.
  • They improved to 8-4 against the spread.
  • They held their last three opponents to 17, 17 and 12 points.
  • They held the explosive Seattle offense to no touchdowns for three-and-a-half quarters.

The Giants look better each week and prevailed Sunday without injured quarterback Daniel Jones (who may return against the Cardinals.) Colt McCoy managed the game well enough, and the Giants held the explosive Seattle offense to one touchdown.

Suddenly, their defense is being described as sophisticated. Suddenly, the offense line is opening holes, and Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris rushed 79 yards on three successive plays to score the TD that put them ahead for good Sunday.

And suddenly, there’s a new culture as first-year coach Joe Judge, having come from the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots climate, is being associated with disciplined football.

As Week 13 concluded, the Giants became scoreboard-watching fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, clear favorites against the Washington Football Team and Dallas Cowboys on Monday night and Tuesday, respectively.

What they learned is that Washington isn’t going away so quietly. The Football Team shocked the NFL betting world by upsetting the Steelers, 23-17. As a result, Pittsburgh blew its chances at an undefeated season.

New York and Washington now have identical 5-7 records, but Big Blue holds the edge as a result of winning both regular-season meetings.

Are the Philadelphia Eagles this bad?

Yes, and change Hurts. Literally.

Jalen Hurts outplayed Carson Wentz in Sunday’s 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers and is the player who looks capable of rallying the team around him. He displayed speed and athleticism, converting a fourth-and-18 into a 32-yard touchdown toss to Greg Ward when the Eagles trailed 23-3. And then Jalen Reagor made the game interesting with a punt-return TD, pulling the Eagles to within a touchdown.

It wasn’t enough, but the Eagles at least came to life.

Now they have to host the sizzling-hot New Orleans Saints and opened as a slightly less than a touchdown underdog. The Saints have the NFC’s longest winning streak, nine, and may have injured quarterback Drew Brees back on Sunday. That’s not always as bad as it sounds, because Brees could be rusty, but consider these implications:

  • The Eagles scored 17 points in three straight games and 16 on Sunday.
  • They have never reached 30 points in a game this year.
  • The 10-2 Saints have done it six times.
  • The Eagles’ offense looks as slow as a truck driving through a residential neighborhood. They needed 15 plays to go 41 yards to set up a game-opening field goal and six more to go 21 yards on their next drive. That was 21 plays, 62 yards. (Green Bay had 77 on one fourth-quarter play.)
  • Wentz has been plodding, which he can’t afford with the team’s porous offensive line. This team’s quarterback needs to make plays with his feet.

In Wentz’ defense, he has worked with 12 different receivers since last year, the most in the NFC. And the offensive line has been awful, enabling him to be sacked three or more times for the 10th straight game Sunday.

Week 14 spotlight: Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are suddenly looking like an elite team.

Three barely-good-enough wins over the Houston Texans, the Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars made the Browns look a bit inflated before Sunday’s trouncing of the Tennessee Titans. But Sunday’s 41-35 triumph, far easier than the final score indicated because they were up 38-7 at halftime, stamped them as a coming elite team.

The Baltimore Ravens are up next on Monday night. They are an exceptionally balanced team.

This is one of the breakout games Cleveland needs to obtain respect. Previous outings against Baltimore and Pittsburgh failed to do the trick. But they are here now. There’s no going back for this team, which has a chance to avenge its season-opening 38-6 shellacking by the Ravens.

The Browns also play the Giants and Jets before finishing against the Steelers.

They look poised to break the league’s longest playoff drought of 18 years.

Jets still winless as Ruggs bettors rejoice

If you pulled the trigger on a Fox Bet prop for Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders to throw at least 275 yards and speedster Henry Ruggs III to collect 75 of them, you prospered on the Raiders’ final offensive play.

The prop paid +333 as Ruggs caught a 46-yard bomb to give the Raiders an improbable 31-28 triumph, keeping the Jets winless. Ruggs ended with 84 yards, and Carr hit for 381.

The Jets played their hearts out again (4-2 recently against the spread) but lost in horrific fashion. After rallying from 11 points down to lead late, they were beaten on a deep ball with surprising man-to-man coverage.

You know there had to be a casualty from this play, and there was. Monday, the Jets fired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who called the ill-fated all-out blitz that left rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson in man-to-man coverage against the speedy Ruggs.

The play call was unprecedented in recent NFL history. According to research by ESPN Stats & Information, out of the 252 pass plays attempted under similar circumstances in the past 15 seasons, the Jets were the only defense to send more than six rushers.

And now the Jets get to board a plane and play the Seahawks.

Week 14 extra points

Key Sunday afternoon games include the Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins (1 p.m.) and an excellent Sunday Night Football matchup of Pittsburgh at Buffalo.

And here’s an in-game note regarding the Los Angeles Rams.

Los Angeles is a mind-boggling 33-0 under head coach Sean McVay when leading at halftime. The Rams did it again Sunday, toppling the shaky Arizona Cardinals after leading at the break. They face the suddenly hot New England Patriots to open the Week 14 campaign Thursday night.

Photo by Associated Press

Raise The Curtain: Hard Rock AC Announces Live Entertainment Plans

Hard Rock AC might not be hosting live concerts yet, but there is a holiday show coming to town in December with health and safety rules in place.

Entertainment fans looking to catch a concert at Hard Rock Live Etess Arena will still be waiting several months.

According to the Hard Rock Casino website, Pitbull is currently the next scheduled entertainer. And by next, we mean June 25, 2021. He was originally booked for Nov. 7.

Hard Rock, however, isn’t waiting as long to offer customers live entertainment. The property announced it’s bringing back live music for the holiday season.

Motor City Live’s A Motown Christmas will run on select dates at Sound Waves.

Hard Rock AC is the first of the nine Atlantic City casinos to offer guests an indoor theater-style show since the pandemic shut down the industry back in March.

Details on Hard Rock’s entertainment plans

Some may question bringing back some form of live entertainment as COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

Gov. Phil Murphy recently urged the Garden State to be cautious heading into a busy holiday season.

However, like the casino floor and restaurants, there will be limited capacity at each show. Plus, Hard Rock will be implementing the strict “Safe + Sound” guidelines for each and every show.

Tickets ($29 each) are being sold for individual tables of two and four to ensure social distancing. Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 27, with A Motown Christmas running on select dates between Dec. 11 and Dec. 30.

Here are some of the other precautions being implemented:

  • Temperature checks
  • One-way directed traffic patterns
  • Decreased venue capacity
  • Mandated facial coverings

Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock AC, commented on the new entertainment offering.

“We are happy to present a holiday show to raise the spirits of our guests in a very safe and sound environment,” said Lupo.

“Public demand is looking for activities, especially with outdoor temperatures keeping everyone inside. The large showrooms, with better air circulation and spacious seating, and less than 10% of normal (occupancy) can provide that safe and fun night out.”

This is the latest example of Hard Rock’s willingness to offer guests additional amenities with strict health and safety protocols.

Last month’s reopening of the Fresh Harvest casino buffet is another example of this. So far, Hard Rock AC is the only New Jersey casino to bring back the dining concept, minus the buffet stations.

What other AC casinos are doing

So here’s the bigger question: When will other Atlantic City casinos bring back live entertainment?

Well, the answer is still to be determined.

Other AC properties are slowly starting to offer other forms of entertainment.

Harrah’s Resort hosted a series of outdoor concerts in the summer with its Bayside ROCK Live series.

Tropicana is going the comedy route with performances by the AC Jokes comedy club.

So what comes next is anybody’s guess. However, it’s highly likely those answers will not come until the first quarter of 2021, at the earliest.

For now, Hard Rock is ready with some holiday cheer.