Will The Return of The Showboat Casino Spell Doom For Atlantic City?

Owner Bart Blatstein has big plans to bring the Showboat casino back to life. Now with preliminary approval, can Atlantic City handle 10 casinos?

Is the Showboat Casino coming back to life?

Property owner Bart Blatstein is at least seriously considering the idea. He appeared before the Casino Control Commission on March 18 and was granted preliminary approval to pursue a casino license.

The Philadelphia developer is not offering much in the way of details. But according to an Associated Press article, he believes the Atlantic City market can handle one more casino.

“There are 104 casinos in Las Vegas in the middle of nowhere. We have nine casinos well within a short trip from one-third of the nation’s population. The market is looking for something different.”

Reviving former casino sites is becoming an ongoing theme along the Uptown section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

Showboat sits between the two newest additions — Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort. The rebranded Trump Taj Mahal and Revel, respectively, both reopened on June 28 of last year.

But are 10 casinos a good idea for AC right now?

What we know about the Showboat casino plans

Caesars Entertainment closed the Showboat in August 2014 for not being “profitable enough.” The company placed a deed restriction on the property that it could not operate as a casino for 10 years. That restriction expires in 2024.

But Blatstein found a loophole around it.

According to the AP, the casino will not be part of the existing structure.

The plans are to build it on a vacant lot that Blatstein owns next to the Showboat. The former outdoor volleyball court is not included in the deed restriction. The two buildings can easily be connected.

Table games, slot machines, sports betting, and yes, NJ online gambling are all expected to be part of the proposed casino.

Blatstein plans on operating it through a third undisclosed party. And that company would need to be approved for a license.

10 casinos in Atlantic City: good or bad?

But there is an elephant in the room. How many casinos are too many for Atlantic City?

The opening of Hard Rock and Ocean brought fresh excitement to this previously struggling casino town. While the excitement was real, some see a downside.

According to the AP story, six of the seven casinos that were operating before the Hard Rock and Ocean joined the market won less from gamblers in 2018 over the previous year.

Once the gambling industry started expanding in nearby PennsylvaniaMaryland, and New York, AC was hit really hard.

Showboat was one of four properties to close its doors in 2014. Trump Plaza, the Atlantic Club, and Revel were the others. Trump Taj Mahal finally closed its doors in October 2016.

As such, the AC market fell from 12 casinos to seven in a matter of two years. Trump Plaza and Atlantic Club remain vacant with no plans to reopen.

At Ocean, the name is different but the story remains the same.

The casino portion of the business continues to struggle. In the meantime, the property is in the process of switching ownership once again, this time to Luxor Capital Group.

Showboat gambling in AC: then and now

But to understand the wishes of Showboat, you have to look back at its history and the history of the AC market.

The Showboat originally opened with a 60,000-square-foot casino back in 1987 and continued to offer slots and table games all the way up to its 2014 closing.

Blatstein purchased and reopened the property as a non-gaming hotel on July 8, 2016.

When Caesars Entertainment closed the property, NJ online gambling was still in its infancy. And the launch of legal sports betting in New Jersey remained an ongoing legal battle.

Fast forward to 2019, and NJ online casino revenue soars to the tune of back-to-back $30 million months.

The sports betting handle for the first two months of this year is at more than $700 million and climbing. With mobile sports betting accounted for the majority of that total, there are obviously new avenues to generate revenue.

Online gambling makes 10 casinos seem possible

So the upside is that gambling sites in New Jersey have allowed casinos to grow despite increased competition.

Case in point is Golden Nugget. On any other day without its NJ online casino, Golden Nugget would likely be on its last legs. Its land-based casino revenue falls way behind Borgata.

But with its market-leading casino app, Golden Nugget finds an edge among the nine casinos.

In January, AC casinos generated $230 million in revenue and 21 percent of that came from online gambling.

Bart and his big AC plans

Bringing back gambling is just part of Blatstein’s vision for the Showboat.

Last summer, around the time Hard Rock and Ocean opened, the property completed a series of renovations that included the addition of 479 guest rooms and a renovated restaurant.

Blatstein also is in the process of converting 400 of the property’s hotel rooms to 264 market-rate apartments and rentals. There is no update as to when the project will be completed.

There also is talk of converting the Showboat’s former bus depot into a family entertainment center.

But with Blatstein, the biggest question is when.

For example, Blatstein also owns The Playground that connects to Caesars via a skywalk over the Boardwalk.

He reopened the property in 2015, but things have not exactly played out according to the $50 million transformation plansT Street, a row of bars with different themes, was short lived.

And the complex that was once home to an Apple StoreTiffany’s, and Gucci remains mostly vacant.

Blatstein is clearly invested in Atlantic City and willing to take a gamble. But time will tell whether or not his big gambling plans come to fruition.

March Madness 2019: Where To Grab A Seat, Place A Bet And Enjoy NCAA Basketball In NJ

New Jersey’s 10 retail sportsbooks are ready for the excitement that March Madness betting brings. Time to figure out where to wager and watch the games.

March Madness betting season is here. It just so happens to coincide with the start of spring.

But this year in New Jersey, the NCAA Tournament arrives with a legal sports betting vibe. For the first time, wagering is permitted on the majority of games.

The two exceptions are contests involving Seton Hall or Fairleigh Dickinson universities. Any games involving New Jersey schools are off limits, no exceptions.

But where to bet is a big decision. Those watching the first two rounds of the big dance from home or the office (we won’t tell) have the option of using any of the 13 NJ sports betting apps.

But you can also use those apps while sitting in a comfy seat at an Atlantic City sportsbook. Some are offering free contests specifically geared toward March Madness.

But if being in the center of the March Madness betting action in Atlantic City is more your speed, there are eight retail sportsbooks there, each offering a unique experience.

Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands Racetrack have sportsbooks, too. And besides a comfy seat, there are amenities you may not get at home.

Here is a rundown of where to watch the games and the best seats in the house:

When it comes to retail, FanDuel is No. 1

When it comes to NJ sports betting, FanDuel is the king of the North. The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands is No. 1 when it comes to retail sports betting revenue, too.

Besides being the only game in North Jersey, the property is a short drive from New York City where sports betting legislation remains a work in progress.

A short trip over the George Washington Bridge or through the Lincoln Tunnel, and suddenly it’s legal to bet on March Madness. Parking is free on any day that there’s no event at MetLife Stadium.

fanduel march madness betting

At 6,810 square feet, the three distinct location insides the Meadowlands is one of the largest in the state. The area includes couches, leaning rails, high top tables and chairs, and a VIP area.

The place holds up to 650 people, but you can reserve a VIP seat by calling 201-460-4079.

The 82 TV screens mean there will be no problem showing all the games. The Victory Sports Bar & Club offers classic American favorites if and when you need something to eat.

Lines at the betting windows can be a problem, however. But the Meadowlands recently installed 14 IGT PlayDigital’s PlayShot QuickBet kioskto speed up the betting process. 

March mania at DraftKings Sportsbook

The DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts is one of the biggest and nicest Atlantic City has to offer.

The 5,000-square-foot space is large enough for 300 fans, not including the VIP space that can hold an additional 100 guests. Visitors’ best bet though is to come early to grab one of the stadium-style seats, and sit back and watch all the games on the 15-foot video wall.

If you want to spring for a VIP space, you can reserve at DraftKings Sportsbook by calling 1-800-772-9000.

There are 16 self-service kiosks and five betting windows, so getting that wager in before tipoff will be a breeze.

march madness betting

Need more? Food and drinks are available inside the sportsbook, and video poker is available at the bar. March Mania begins with Tuesday’s play-in games between Prairie View A&M and FDU along with Temple vs. Belmont. The former game will be for viewing purposes only.

The lineup includes drink specials at DraftKings Sportsbook, Landshark Bar & Grill, and Bar One.

Tropicana + William Hill ready for the madness

When it comes to NJ sports betting, William Hill NJ continues to invest serious money in the AC market.

The William Hill Sportsbook at the Tropicana is brand spanking new having just opened on March 8. Talk about perfect timing. The 5,000-square-foot location is one of AC’s largest, and the 180 seats are the most of any sportsbook in Atlantic City.

Seating, however, is first come, first served unless you reserve ahead of time. To reserve on the day of, call 609-340-4022. For groups, call 609-342-7785 and ask for Erin Sterr.

march madness atlantic city

Are you worried about catching all the games? Not at the Trop where fans can watch 16 games at the same time. Its space features 1,654 square feet of video display.

The sportsbook location couldn’t be better for NCAA Tournament fans. You can bet on the game and then head over to Chickie’s and Pete’s. The popular sports bar is offering an all-you-can-eat package from noon to 4 pm during the first two days of the tournament.

Firewaters, Hooters and A Damn Good Sports Bar will have drink specials, too.

Wait, William Hill has more at Ocean Resort

If Super Bowl Sunday is a sign of what to expect for the first two rounds of March Madness, plan on getting to the William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Resort early.

The 7,500-square-foot space with two bars was so crowded back on Feb. 3 that it was nearly impossible to walk through.

So, if you want to watch the games at Ocean, be prepared for standing-room-only or get there early.

Why is Ocean Resort Casino’s sportsbook so busy for the big games? Being located in the center of the casino floor likely has something to do with it. The other reason might have to do with its sheer size and amenities.

ocean resort sportsbook

The 360-degree video walls are a nice touch for watching games, whether it be the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats or top overall seed, the Duke Blue Devils. And let’s not forget the enormous odds board.

Drinks and small bites are available to order, so there is no need to make a reservation at one of the other on-property restaurants. There are high-top tables and chairs along with some leather seats.

Let’s not forget Monmouth Park sportsbook

The Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill was the first of the three to start taking bets way back in June 2018.

Located in central Jersey, there are more than 40 HD TVs to catch all of the NCAA Tournament action, including the games involving NJ schools.

There are roughly 500 seats in the sportsbook, but all seating is first come, first served.

nj sports betting

There are 15 betting windows and an integrated sports bar, adding to the full day of college basketball betting.

By the way, the sportsbook is opening an hour earlier (9 am) on Thursdays and Fridays. Food and drink specials are available for all the NCAA Tournament games.

The Golden one

Golden Nugget is the only one of the three Marina District properties with a permanent sportsbook.

That being said, the space is not huge, but there is seating available for more than 100 guests. The 50-plus screens spread across five video walls are a nice feature to the tournament viewing experience.

The retail sportsbook is located off the lobby and directly across from the casino floor. Food and drinks can be ordered right from your seat.

Borgata is expanding for March Madness

Borgata will likely have one of Atlantic City’s best sportsbooks for the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

But for this season, the temporary race and sportsbook space will have to do. There are 100 seats with individual flat-screen monitors and video walls.

However, Borgata is expecting March Madness betting to attract a big crowd, and the property is getting prepared by adding multiple 10-foot screens in the Central Conference Center that will be open to the public.

Guests will enjoy the added amenities of stadium-style food and a full-service bar. Level One will be showing games, too.

Combine it together, and Borgata is billing itself as the “ultimate destination” to watch the college basketball championship tournament.

We shall see what next year brings.

Windows to Hard Rock sports betting

At some point, before the NCAA Tournament comes to a close, the permanent Hard Rock Atlantic City sportsbook is expected to open. The betting windows are open for business, but there currently is nowhere to sit and watch the game.

Granted, there are TV monitors throughout the casino floor, and the bars and restaurants will likely be showing the games, too.

But if you are coming to town to enjoy the full March Madness betting experience, there are better properties to visit. At least for now.

The Book on Bally’s and Harrah’s

Like Hard Rock, the two Caesars Entertainment properties work just fine for betting, but not necessarily to sit down and watch the games.

If smaller is better, the Book at Bally’s Wild Wild West or Harrah’s will suit you just fine.

There are eight large-screen TVs and stadium-style loungers along with high-top chairs and tables. If you plan on hanging, food and beverage offerings are footsteps away.

NJ Online Gambling Revenue Stays Hot, Crosses $30 Million Mark Again

NJ online casinos and poker sites ended February strong with operators showing a year-over-year increase of more than 44 percent. Golden Nugget led the way.

New Jersey online gambling revenue crossed the $30 million mark for the second month in a row.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released February’s numbers, and NJ online casino operators reported a combined $31,748,726 in revenue.

It’s a slight downtick from the $33,594,391 from January, which was the best month ever for NJ online gambling.

But the significance of  February’s number is the 44.4 percent increase from the same period last year. Newcomers Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino were not open at the time. February 2018 closed out with $21,992,124 in revenue.

Bottom line: NJ online gambling operators are starting 2019 on a high note.

Golden Nugget is the golden child… again

There is a pattern when it comes to the Garden State’s monthly report, and it has to do with the top-performing license holder.

Golden Nugget continues to be the market leader when it comes to NJ online casino revenue.

It was the lone operator to earn more than $10 million in revenue in February.

The $10,701,266 may not stand out as much as the industry-leading $12,180,039 it generated last month, but it’s a 35.7 percent improvement from the same period last year.

Here is a full breakdown of each operator and its internet gambling revenue:

Online Casino Licensee2019 Feb. Revenue2018 Feb. Revenue% Change
Borgata$4,506,716$3,792,01318.8%
Caesars$4,279,791$3,192,26734.1%
Golden Nugget$10,701,266$7,885,64835.7%
Hard Rock$1,668,777----
Ocean Resort$483,508----
Resorts$6,657,591$3,775,73676.3%
Tropicana$3,451,077$3,346,4603.1%

Resorts becomes a real contender

Resorts Digital — the online arm of Resorts Casino in Atlantic City —is No. 2 on the list with a reported $6,657,591.

But what makes this figure stand out above Golden Nugget’s is the fact it experienced a whopping 76.3 percent increase from the same period last year.

Besides having its own Resorts platform, it also partners with a number of other well-known NJ gambling sites:

The latter brand is currently integrated into the DraftKings Sportsbook app and includes live dealer games. Just three months into its life in the market, DraftKings Casino feeds off the success of its NJ sports betting app. This likely contributes to Resorts’ meteoric rise.

A standalone DraftKings Casino app could be coming this year.

Double-digit increases

Besides the two market leaders, the other NJ online gambling operators saw solid year-over-year growth.

Caesars reported $4,279,791 and a 34.1 percent increase.

Borgata reported $4,506,716 for an 18.8 percent increase.

On the flip side, Tropicana remained relatively flat with a 3.1 percent improvement from the same period as last year, but the $3,451,077 earned added to the positive trend.

Hard Rock and Ocean are still growing

For Hard Rock and Ocean online, the two youngest online casinos in New Jersey, comparisons are limited. But trends are visible already.

Hard Rock reported $1,668,777, which puts them toward the bottom of the pack.

But Hard Rock Online Casino has experienced growth over the last few months of its tenure in NJ. It’s well on its way to its first-ever $2 million month.

It also could benefit from March Madness betting. Its online sportsbook launched Jan. 26 as an integrated app with the rest of the online gambling site. Customers using the app to place sports wagers can take advantage of the shared wallet.

Ocean remains in ownership transition. The property is in the process of being taken over by New York-based hedge fund Luxor Capital Group. And as it is, February online gambling revenue came in at just $483,508 — the lowest of any of the license holders.

What about NJ online sports betting?

On its own, gambling sites in New Jersey are a powerhouse. But the addition of online sportsbooks certainly has changed things a bit.

A chilly 28 days in February, combined with a less-than-stellar Super Bowl betting performance, left NJ online sportsbooks with just $12.9 million in revenue. Retail books fared little better.

That being said, there is no question that online sports betting contributes heavily to the success of online casinos thanks to cross-selling. Most of the 13 sportsbook apps share wallets and sites with established online casinos.

When included with NJ online casino and poker revenue, online sports betting brings the total revenue to $44.6 million in February. Not too shabby at all.

NJ Sports Betting Ends Chilly February With $320M In Handle, $12.7M In Revenue

It was a chilly February for sports betting in New Jersey, with $320 million in handle and $12.7 million in revenue despite Super Bowl and Oscars betting.

February 2019 will go down as a historic one for sports betting in New Jersey.

For the first time, legal betting on the Super Bowl and Oscars betting took place in the Garden State.

While there was plenty of buzz surrounding both of these events, the numbers tell the real story. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released its February revenue results, and it shows an overall handle of $320,368,087

It marks a slight decrease from January which had a record handle of $385,279,662.

But there are two factors to take into consideration.

The first is even with the Super Bowl and Oscars, February is three days shorter than January, meaning less betting opportunities. The second being no more weekly NFL games.

Oscars handle alone was only $747,696 with the amount paid out totaling $565,179.

The other big number included in the report is the $12.7 million in combined revenue from the 10 retail sportsbooks and 13 online sports betting platforms in NJ.

The number marks a downtick from the $18,774,940 earned in January.

NJ sports betting revenue breakdown

For the most part, NJ sportsbooks (both online and retail) closed out February with a loss. But there were some bright spots in the numbers.

Here is a revenue breakdown of the 10 retail books and their online partners:

Property (Online)Online RevenueRetail RevenueFebruary Total
Bally's (Caesars, 888)$223,339($40,848)$182,491
Borgata (playMGM)($40,265)($715,727)($755,992)
Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)$34,018($159,289)($125,271)
Hard Rock (Hard Rock online)$18,962$103,614$122,576
Harrah's--($95,617)($95,617)
Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)$6,585,289$1,498,037$7,018,180
Monmouth (William Hill, SugarHouse)$1,276,182($501,873)$774,309
Ocean Resort (William Hill)$1,026,673($280,656)$746,017
Resorts (DraftKings, BetStars, Resorts Online)$3,716,608$142,846$3,859,454
Tropicana (William Hill)$10,477($69,030)($58,553)
TOTAL$12,851,283($118,543)
$12,732,740

While retail as a whole suffered the biggest losses, online sports betting continued to be the high point in the market.

New skins in the game

Technically speaking, there are four new platforms factoring into the numbers.

BetAmerica (Feb. 2) and Golden Nugget Sportsbook (Feb. 19) launched their respective NJ sports betting apps under the Golden Nugget Atlantic City license.

Golden Nugget had been missing from the NJ mobile sports betting equation as a result of SugarHouse Sportsbook switching to Monmouth Park back in October.

Only the BetAmerica app was operational on Super Bowl Sunday. As such, Golden Nugget online wagering totaled just $34,018 in February.

Hard Rock launched its platform powered by Gaming Innovation Group on Jan. 26. Combined with the opening of its temporary retail space, the property generated $122,576 in sports betting revenue.

It’s far from an eye-catching number, but keep in mind that the retail sportsbook remains a work in progress.

Retail had a bad month

Plus out of the eight Atlantic City casinos with retail sportsbooks, only four were profitable.

The Resorts-branded offering from SBTech just beat the Super Bowl cutoff with its Jan. 31 rollout. So February provides a more accurate measuring stick than January did.

Combined with the DraftKings Sportsbook and BetStars NJ, Resorts Digital reported $3,716,608 in online sports wagering revenue. The report does not provide an individual mobile platform breakdown, but one can assume that most of that revenue came from DraftKings.

But the DraftKings retail location at Resorts did not have a great month with just $142,846. Chalk it up as a Super Bowl Sunday hangover.

Meadowlands and FanDuel pull away from the pack

Lest one think it’s all a downtrend for NJ sports betting, one location distanced itself from the rest of the pack and it wasn’t DraftKings Sportsbook.

Meadowlands Racetrack and its two online partners are the clear-cut winners for the month. Besides being home to New Jersey’s only retail FanDuel Sportsbook, the FanDuel and PointsBet mobile sportsbooks both operate under the Meadowlands license.

The property, which is located near New York City, reported a February revenue total of $8,083,326, the bulk of which came via FanDuel customers.

In a statement, FanDuel was delighted to have extended its position as the No. 1 sportsbook in New Jersey:

“FanDuel Sportsbook’s first Super Bowl vastly exceeded our expectations and, despite the people’s choice New England Patriots winning, the FanDuel Sportsbook still saw record online revenues in the month.

“We continued to bring our customers best-in-class promotions and introduced new self-service betting kiosks at our retail location at the New Meadowlands Racetrack. We’re looking forward to the inaugural March Madness with legal sports betting in New Jersey.”

Hollywood tops football’s biggest night

The words “not so super” work when talking about the first year of legalized Super Bowl betting.

NJ sportsbooks reported a $4.5 million loss for the showdown between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams. In fact, NJ racetracks, casinos, and online sportsbooks took in $34,894,900 on Super Bowl wagers with a total sportsbook payout of $39,469,147.

But New Jersey was the only state to offer legal Oscars betting for the first time, and it seems bettors took advantage of the opportunity.

The total amount wagered on the 2019 Academy Awards was not as impressive as the Super Bowl at just $747,696 across online, retail and all categories. But, the win percentage stood at 24.4 percent.

Whether or not it will be offered again in 2020 remains to be seen, but at least for this year, Oscars betting earns the victory over Big Game betting.

Up next? March Madness betting + two new sportsbooks

Considering the volatile nature of sports betting compared to other forms of NJ online gambling, February was chilly but not a complete downer.

For sportsbooks, the biggest month yet could be ahead thanks to the NCAA Tournament.

March Madness betting starts with the conference tournaments (many of which are taking place this week) and continues with next week’s first- and second round games. It means four-straight days of non-stop betting opportunities with game after game after game.

And the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats have a fan base that extends well beyond Pennsylvania.

The month also includes the opening of two new permanent Atlantic City retail sportsbooks. The William Hill Sportsbook at the Tropicana unveiled its 5,000-square-foot space on March 8.

And Hard Rock Atlantic City is expected to unveil its permanent space before month’s end. The exact date is to be determined.

Online Or In Line? Comparing NJ Sports Betting Options For March Madness

March Madness betting season has arrived. But before the opening NCAA Tournament tip, is mobile or retail NJ sports betting better? There are pros and cons.

March Madness betting gets underway officially on Sunday night — Selection Sunday.

The official NCAA Tournament bracket will be released that night and the game of correctly predicting the Final Four begins. And, oh yes, legal NJ sports betting will also be in full swing.

New Jersey’s 10 retail sportsbooks and 13 mobile online sportsbook platforms are licensed, and for the first time, approved to take wagers. And business is about to pick up.

Can you say all-day sports betting?

But is it better wagering at the betting window or via one of the mobile platforms? There are pros and cons to both, advantages and disadvantages.

So, before you drive to the Meadowlands or open up that FanDuel Sportsbook app, here are some factors to consider.

NJ sports betting + March Madness

Where do things stand in New Jersey sports betting? It’s home to 23 total sportsbook options.

Online sportsbook apps

Online SportsbookLand-Based AffiliateAndroid App?iOS App?
DraftKingsResorts ACYesYes
888 SportCaesars YesYes
FanDuelMeadowlandsYesYes
SugarHouse SportsbookMonmouth ParkYesYes
CaesarsCaesarsYesYes
BetStarsResorts ACYesYes
William HillMonmouthYesYes
playMGMBorgata ACYesYes
PointsBetMeadowlandsYesYes
Hard RockHard Rock ACYesYes
Resorts SportsbookResorts ACYesYes
BetAmericaGolden Nugget ACYesYes
Golden Nugget sportsbookGolden Nugget ACYesYes

Retail sportsbook locations

Casino/RacetrackSportsbook NameLaunch DateOpen?
BorgataBorgata Race & Sports BarJune 14Yes
Monmouth ParkMonmouth Park Sports Book by William HillJune 14Yes
Ocean Resort CasinoWilliam Hill Sportsbook @ OceanJune 28Yes
ResortsDraftKings Sportsbook at ResortsAug. 15Yes
MeadowlandsFanDuel SportsbookJuly 14Yes
Harrah'sThe BookAug. 1Yes
Bally'sWild Wild West SportsbookJuly 30Yes
Golden NuggetThe Sports BookAug. 15Yes
Hard Rock Atlantic CityHard Rock SportsbookJan. 30Yes
TropicanaWilliam Hill Sports Book at Tropicana Atlantic CityOct. 25Yes

Reasons to use NJ sports betting apps

Comforts of home

It’s easy to get in the car and drive to your favorite Atlantic City casino or New Jersey racetrack. But wagering from home saves time and money (at least in terms of gas, tolls and parking).

Watching the NCAA Tournament games from home while having access to all of the NJ mobile sportsbooks listed above is a combination that is hard to beat. Only in New Jersey.

No lines

Technically speaking, there are lines (aka odds), but using the mobile and online platforms means bypassing the lines at the betting windows and kiosks.

There are no excuses for missing that moneyline bet before the opening tip in the first round. If that digital bet slip is a winner, cashing in is even easier.

Banking

Existing customers of DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet NJ, BetStars NJ, or another sportsbook of choice likely will have funds available for March Madness betting.

Are you running low? You don’t have to run to a casino cage or retail sportsbook to deposit.

Depositing is a couple of clicks away, and there are several options available, PayPal included.

Sportsbook shopping

Like shopping for clothes or a new car, finding the best odds sometimes requires a little shopping around. Compare two apps or all 13, but it’s not just about the odds.

The majority of NJ mobile online sportsbooks have promos and bonus offers for new customers, including up to a $500 risk-free bet at BetStars NJ or $25 free from DraftKings, that will make betting on March Madness games even more attractive.

Even then, online sportsbooks will likely have odds boosts, special prop bets and event offers during the tournament.

That’s not to say NJ sportsbook locations won’t have offers but sifting through each app is far more convenient than going to each sportsbook and scoping out the odds.

Best of both betting worlds

When visiting one of the Garden State’s retail sportsbooks, there is no rule that bets need to be made at the window or kiosk.

Betting from your mobile device is permitted right from the comforts of that stadium-style seat.

The added bonus is the viewing experience is one that cannot be matched at home. So sit back, relax, watch the game and bet on the app. It’s a win-win.

Reasons to visit an NJ retail sportsbook

Time to charge the battery again

One of the downsides of betting with a mobile device is the battery life only lasts so long until the green-colored symbol gets drained down to yellow and red.

By the time the Thursday and Friday night games come around, the iOS or Android device could be working on borrowed time. If you plan on using the apps for March Madness betting, keep that charger handy at all times.

Retail sportsbooks are equipped with charging stations, but betting backup plans B and C are just footsteps away.

Down goes the internet

Depending on where you are watching the NCAA Tournament games, there is the possibility that a weak Wi-Fi signal will slow down the betting process.

Even worse, there is that outside risk — no matter where you are watching the game — that the internet goes down. A weak signal means slower geolocation confirmation and results in a delayed wagering process.

But if you’re on location at the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts, for instance, that weak Wi-Fi signal becomes a nonissue. The games, and betting windows, are all around you.

Entertainment factor

Even if you’re watching the college basketball games with friends or coworkers, there is something unique about a retail sportsbook scene during a bit sports event.

The new William Hill Sportsbook at Tropicana that opened on Friday features nearly 200 linear feet and 1,654 square feet of video display.

Where else can you watch 16 games at once with a standing-room-only crowd of fans?

Thrill of victory

Part of what makes March Madness different from the other major sporting events are those Cinderella stories.

Like when you bet on that No. 12 seed to upset the No. 5 seed or the No. 1 seed getting knocked out in the first round (We’re looking at you, Virginia vs. UMBC.).

Then it’s time to go cash in the winning ticket. And celebrate with other bettors around you.

Sounds more exciting than watching digital cash appear magically on the smartphone screen, right?

March Madness party vibe

Casinos and racetracks are well aware that the NCAA Tournament is one of the busiest times of year on the NJ sports betting calendar.

As a result, the properties with retail sportsbooks will likely have special events planned. You can bet (pun intended) that those events will be worth attending if you want to experience March Madness with legal sports betting.

It’s NJ Sports Betting Madness! Tropicana To Open New William Hill Sportsbook On Friday

Tropicana Atlantic City announced that its new permanent NJ sportsbook will open Friday, March 8. The 5,000-square-foot space is one of the biggest in AC.

It’s official.

Tropicana in Atlantic City plans to open its permanent sportsbook just in time for March Madness betting.

The opening ceremony for the new 5,000-square-foot William Hill Sportsbook at the Tropicana is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, March 8.

The company shared the news via a press release.

The new NJ sports betting digs will have a prime location on the North Tower Casino floor adjacent to Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab House & Sports Bar and 10 North.

Unnamed sports celebrities are expected to join executives from the Trop, parent company Eldorado Resorts, and William Hill NJ.

Steve Callender, senior vice president of operations, commented on the exciting new addition.

“At Tropicana, we are always looking to bring our guests more exciting experiences, and this new venue will bring a new level of fun and entertainment to the property.”

Callender added that guests will be able to enjoy a VIP area, drink specials, and bottle service, as well as delicious eats at the sports bars throughout Tropicana.

The sportsbook will be one of the largest among the eight Atlantic City sports betting locations. The interactive space is billed as an “immersive sports betting experience” and includes:

  • Nearly 200 linear feet and 1,654 square feet of video display
  • Watch 16 games at one time plus the odds
  • Eight betting windows
  • One high-limit window
  • Four betting kiosks
  • 180 seats, including bar and lounge-style seating
  • Elevated VIP seating

Months in the making

Tropicana and William Hill first delivered the NJ sportsbook news via its Facebook and Twitter accounts last month.

The announcement included the words “coming March 2019” and “Sports Betting Redefined.”

Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, was similarly excited to launch its third sportsbook in New Jersey.

“The new sports book at the Trop is proof of our collective commitment to provide our customers with the best possible experience,” Asher said.  “Powered by our industry-leading sports betting product, it will bring added excitement to sports fans that want to watch and wager at the Tropicana.”

And talk about perfect timing.

The first round of the NCAA Tournament starts March 21 and 22, when there could be as many as four games taking place at the same time. Can you say March Madness?

The first week of sports betting action at the new Tropicana sportsbook will include NCAA Conference tournament games, including the Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference, and Pac-12.

Callender and the rest of the Tropicana/William Hill team are ready for the big NJ sports betting dance to begin.

“Considering the popularity of the NCAA tournament, we expect to see the number of visitors grow exponentially. With the addition of this new venue, we now have more to offer our new guests and we are eager to share this new space with them.”

Replacing Tropicana’s temporary sportsbook

Until it opens, Tropicana AC customers can still place all of their legal sports bets at the William Hill temporary sportsbook located in the North Tower Casino.

It includes:

  • 24 odds boards
  • 16 TV screens
  • Six betting windows

The space opened Oct. 25.

Once the new Tropicana space is finished, William Hill will have three permanent NJ sportsbooks. The other two are at Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino.