888 Using Its Building Blocks To Give It An Edge In A Crowded NJ Online Market

Yaniv Sherman, head of commercial development at 888, provides insight on the latest news surrounding 888 Casino, 888 Sportsbook, and 888 Poker.

888 Holdings is all in when it comes to New Jersey online gambling.

We’re talking about a company that made its Garden State debut back in 2013 with its 888 Casino offering.

In 2019, 888 is a triple-threat in New Jersey: Along with the casino, the integrated site features 888 Poker and 888 Sportsbook.

There is plenty of news to share on all three fronts. But keeping up with the times is key.

For some insight on exactly what’s new and on the horizon, we checked in with Yaniv Sherman, 888’s head of commercial development.

888 Casino’s new platform

One of the bigger developments took place earlier this month when 888 unveiled its redesigned NJ online casino platform.

Yes, the company literally launched into Orbit, a brand-new sleek and stylish system that, according to 888, makes the site work faster and more efficient.

Sherman says it’s “the newest and most advanced casino platform out there.”

One of the biggest differences with the new product is it’s a web-based platform and “very much resembles other gaming, not gambling products.”

“It’s very mobile-focused. So it’s really swipe-and-touch adaptive,” said Sherman. “And as I said, we’re trying to offer more priority and navigation within the game and the lobby, and the selection is much smoother.”

More importantly, though, is the game count, which for 888 is more about quality not quantity. He noted the online casino currently accounts for about 60% to 70% of its New Jersey business.

“If you look at another product in the marketplace today, they offer four or five, 600 games,” said Sherman. “We’ve optimized our proposition from our experience. I mean beyond let’s say 200 games, the players tend to get lost.

“Our mission is to bring him content adaptive to what he’s interested in and also make it easier for him to find content. That’s what the system or the product is geared up toward. And in the back there are other benefits because it was structured in a web-friendly and mobile-friendly way.”

Games available to gamblers

That being said, 888 is quick to note that table and slot players will find there is plenty of variety built within the Orbit platform.

Here is a breakdown of some of the games currently available:

  • 239 slot games
  • 15 table games (some mobile only)
  • 13 live casino tables (8 blackjack, 2 roulette, 1 baccarat, and 2 poker)

The previous platform only offered two live dealer tables.

Some of the slot titles currently available are:

  • Triple Cash Wheel 
  • 88 Fortunes 
  • Irish Riches 
  • Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin 
  • Ghostbusters 
  • Monopoly Mega Movers 

888 separates itself from the competition by owning their own technology stack as well as its own product.

888 Poker upgrade in the works

Online casino may be more in the spotlight when it comes to NJ, but poker cannot be ignored.

Many may not realize that 888 Poker is currently the No. 1 poker website in the country. Besides having a self-branded platform, their software powers World Series of Poker events.

As an added plus, players can compete against others in Nevada and Delaware via interstate player pools.

Online poker sites, however, are not as prevalent in the Garden State.

While sportsbook apps and online casinos feature double-digit numbers, NJ online poker is a small market of just seven sites.

And on the revenue side of things, online poker is just a drop in the bucket in the online casino win of almost $40 million monthly.

At the same time, 888 is not holding out on its current poker site. Just like the online casino, the company plans or rolling out a new poker platform “[within] the next few months,” said Sherman.

At this point, they are ironing out some of the last technical details.

“So we’re going to roll that out as we develop it and get players’ reactions and adjust. But it’s going to be a whole new product and we’re very excited about that,” Sherman said.

“Really it’s the first major launch for 888 in the poker sphere since 2016 and in that time [there has been] lots of dramatic change in our positioning.”

NJ sports betting and 888 take two

On the other side of the casino/poker coin, however, is 888 Sport.

Flashback to about this time last year, and 888 was gearing up to get a piece of the NJ online sports betting pie.

The market was still in its infancy at the time; 888 was one of seven apps to go live in time for the start of football season.

The market has since doubled in size to 15, with several more apps expected to join the field soon.

But the 2018 NFL betting season served as a feeling-out period for 888 and others. Where other apps found their footing and took off like rockets, 888 stayed relatively quiet.

888’s Atlantic City partner, Bally’s/Caesars, posted online sportsbook revenues of $236,254 for the month of July. In June, revenue was just $26,752.

(The online revenue is a combination of 888 Sport and Caesars sportsbook).

In comparison, Meadowlands Racetrack reported $2,725,594 in revenue from online betting. The majority of that number is from FanDuel Sportsbook, but PointsBet NJ also contributed to it.

But Sherman said 888 is heading into the 2019 season more prepared. Thecompany, which has offices in Secaucus, also has a sponsorship deal with the New York Jets that Sherman said will help with brand recognition.

Now that the company has had some time to acclimate, the hope is that year two produces stronger returns.

“We hope it translates into more players and more activity,” Sherman said.

Promotions, promotions, promotions

One way of attracting new players is via promotions.

DraftKings, for instance, announced a no-brainer odds boost that the Eagles, Giants, or Jets would score a touchdown in Week 1 of the NFL.

888, which like DraftKings is powered by Kambi, continues to offer new customers up to a $500 deposit bonus, along with an exclusive $10 free bet.

With the field of operators still growing, figuring out ways to gain a bigger market share is tough, but not impossible.

Sherman provides a little teaser of what’s in the works:

“We’re looking at several interesting campaigns that we want to run in conjunction with the season,” said Sherman.

“… I think we’re trying to get to a point where we can offer some interesting prop bets and interesting events around that to attract new players. And as we did last [year], as many live events and markets as possible. We’re gonna offer some interesting promotions, not just around NFL, but also NFL and some corresponding casino content and poker.”

And it’s that cross-selling that might give 888 another edge in the market.

888 + cross-selling opportunities

Companies that are operating multiple platforms in NJ are taking full advantage of cross-selling to customers. The casino customers are trying sports for the first time and vice-versa.

The results are showing in the monthly online casino figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Year to date, the seven license holders have generated $256,775,046. It’s a 55.2% increase from the same period last year.

888, of course, has the additional advantage of having a standalone poker product in play.

“I mean, at the end of the day, I think the name of the game is trying to offer the player what’s the highest probability for him to play,” Sherman said.

“Sport naturally introduced a mass market opportunity here because by construction there are more people more inclined to place a sports bet than there are playing poker or casino.

“But we definitely see different appetites across different demographics and different databases. … We’ll try to put you in front of the widest possible variety of entertainment and games.”

Once the customer makes their choice, Sherman said it’s up to 888 to customize that experience so that it’s not just a one-size-fits-all mentality.

In the meantime, 888 has developed some very interesting AI capabilities for its casino and sports platform. After seeing great success in Europe, Sherman said the company will be rolling them out in the US in the near future.

Sportsbooks In New Jersey Flirt With Nevada’s All-Time Record In July

NJ sports betting finished July with $17.8 million in revenue and $251.3 million in bets. The leaders of the pack remain FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks.

July is what many consider the slowest month on the sports betting calendar.

Wagering opportunities were limited to Major League Baseball, The Open, and Wimbledon, likely keeping some bettors on the sidelines.

So the numbers released today by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement may seem like nothing special at first glance.

However, the $251.3 million NJ sports betting handle is nothing to cry about.

Nevada’s sports betting handle came in at $244.6 million for the same period last year.

But there is more.

New Jersey’s sports wagering gross revenue finished July with $17.9 million. It’s a significant increase ($14,038,910, to be exact) from the $3.8 million from the same month last year.

But take that with a grain of salt, too.

Last year in July, New Jersey featured only land-based sportsbooks (and only a few of them at that). The huge $14 million jump in revenue can easily be attributed to the addition of online sports betting and a total NJ sports betting market of two dozen operators.

In other words, there’s a reason why New Jersey’s hot market has a lot to do with what’s happening online.

NJ online sports betting holds all the cards

Mobile wagering didn’t launch in NJ until August of last year, but it continues to be the preferred means of betting.

Gamblers wagered $213,038,739 via online devices in July.

And if we look at the year-to-date handle, the mobile numbers pop out even more. Out of the $2,235,397,358 wagered year to date, $1,819,399,268 is coming from online.

That 80%/20% divide between mobile and retail still exists and is likely only going to get stronger.

Besides theScore, apps from Unibet NJ and Bet365 NJ are both expected to be live by the time the NFL regular season kicks off next month.

For now, all we can say is they’re coming soon.

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It’s FanDuel and DraftKings on top… again

There continues to be an ongoing theme when it comes to the sports betting story in NJ. FanDuel Sportsbook remains No.1 followed by DraftKings Sportsbook.

For July, the Meadowlands Racetrack reported an industry-best $9,090,100 in revenue. The majority of that number comes from FanDuel. And out of the total number, $7,323,483 came from mobile wagers.

DraftKings, operating under the Resorts license, finished a distant second, with the majority of wagering coming via the app.

Resorts Digital reported revenue of $3,721,550. The bulk of it comes from the Boston-based company, with additional earnings coming from BetStars NJ and the Resorts online sportsbook.

The DraftKings retail sportsbook at Atlantic City’s oldest casino generated an additional $544,990.

NJ sports betting by the numbers

Beyond FanDuel and DraftKings, the field currently includes 10 retail operators and 12 other apps.

This does not include theScore, which is Apple ready and projected for an August launch. The Toronto-based media company will operate under the Monmouth Park license once approved by the DGE.

But here is a look at how the other operators fared in July in comparison to FanDuel and DraftKings:

Property (Online)Online RevenueRetail RevenueJuly Total
TOTAL$13,907,494$3,977,296$17,884,790
Bally's (Caesars, 888)$236,254$256,137$492,391
Borgata (playMGM, Borgata Sports)$163,086$696,392$859,478
Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)$127,349$96,373$223,722
Hard Rock (Hard Rock online)$24,669$129,322$153,991
Harrah's-----$113,530$113,530
Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)$7,323,483$1,766,617$9,090,100
Monmouth (William Hill, SugarHouse)$1,650,179$321,694$1,971,873
Ocean Resort (William Hill)$645,956 $(59,040)$586,916
Resorts (DraftKings, BetStars, Resorts Online)$3,721,550 $544,990$4,266,540
Tropicana (William Hill)$14,968 $111,281$126,249

Gearing up for NFL betting in AC and beyond

Once football betting season arrives, fans will be packing into the retail sportsbooks and logging into their favorite betting sites in droves.

This time last year, casinos were opening with temporary facilities just to get a piece of the NFL betting action.

A year later, new sportsbooks are ready for action at all 10 sportsbooks in the state. In Atlantic City, three new permanent spaces opened this summer alone.

But with all the attention on online betting, will bettors be visiting the retail sportsbooks this fall?

Borgata’s Moneyline Bar & Book had a grand opening bash at the end of June. The market-leading property reported $696,392 in retail sports betting revenue compared to just $100,369 in June.

The other one to keep an eye on is The Book at Bally’s, the swanky new 15,228-square-foot digs at the center of the Boardwalk. Gamblers even have the option of renting out a fan cave.

Without a doubt, what may have seemed like a slow month is setting the tone for prime sports betting season.

DraftKings Sportsbook Plans To Expand Its Casino Games In A Big Way

DraftKings Sportsbook in NJ listens to player demands with a DK-branded live dealer studio, 24/7 blackjack, and the promise of more online casino games.

We all know that Atlantic City casinos never close. And as of now, neither does DraftKings Casino.

The Boston-based company is the newest NJ online gambling operator to offer live dealer games 24/7. Farewell, 15-hour days.

But that’s not all. AC is the new home to the DraftKings-branded live dealer studio. Call it the latest advantage of partnering with Evolution Gaming.

Seats are open at five new blackjack tables. Plus, a high-speed version of baccarat is coming next week.

But the live dealer studio is just one piece of an ever-growing online puzzle for DraftKings.

DraftKings Casino responding to customer demand

So, why make such big moves like these?

Jason March, head of gaming for DraftKings, said the new offerings provide players with the games that are in high demand.

“Our customers really enjoyed the Evolution live dealer product,” he said in an interview. “And we felt we had a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on that and carry over our brand that we developed with our retail sportsbook at Resorts in Atlantic City.

“It has the same look and feel. It allows us greater control of the brand, the images and look and feel of the game play.”

Games are still being played the same way, and March notes the company will have better control of the table limits.

But one of the bigger changes is that players will now see screens behind the dealer. DraftKings will use them to display images and promotions.

In fact, said March, “We plan on running multiple promotions in live dealer, which hasn’t been done yet in New Jersey.” The previously shared table setting did not permit it.

But with a brand like DraftKings, it’s hard not to think beyond just digital promotions. After all, DraftKings Sportsbook is the No. 2 app in New Jersey.

AC casinos are constantly showing live sporting events on the gaming floor. What if an online operator found a way to do the same thing? After all, the DraftKings online casino platform is built into the sportsbook app.

The company needs to get broadcast rights before considering such a move, said March. But “that is something we are going to look into.”

For now, it will be DK-branded content. Say goodbye to staring at a static wall while you’re dealt a hand of blackjack.

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The faster version of baccarat

Visit any high-limit room, and it’s not hard to notice the blackjack tables far outnumber the baccarat offerings.

But there are still players who like the game. The demand caught the attention of DraftKings.

March said the new table will open on Monday. He notes the biggest difference is the cards are dealt face up. The game is typically played with the cards being dealt face down then turned face up.

“This will allow for a much quicker game and more hands per hour for the players,” March said.

Plus, the table limits will be lower than those being offered at the DraftKings-branded blackjack tables. The latter ranged from $15 to $250 on a Friday morning.

Is DraftKings building its own casino games?

There are currently more than 40 games at DraftKings online casino. Compared to some of the bigger sites, it is a small library. But March notes there’s a reason for that:

“We want to make sure we are offering exactly what our players want on a regular basis. Now we are doing weekly game releases and that will continue to get 100 games out by the first week of the NFL season.”

The goal is to release the new games in batches. That may seem like a stretch to get to 100 in the next month, but DraftKings has something up its sleeves.

The company is currently building some of its own games. Details are in the works on that front, but other partners will be providing games at the site as well.

What can players expect from all this? Well to start, a progressive slot offering and Halloween roulette (yes, you are reading correctly) are a couple of games in the works by DraftKings.

A ‘methodical’ approach

Many of us are familiar with DraftKings daily fantasy sports and NJ sports betting offerings.

The addition of online casino gambling, however, caught many by surprise. It brought the DFS company into a robust NJ online casino world.

Instead of rolling out everything at once, the company continues to take a “methodical, launch in small phases approach.”

Here is a brief look back at how DraftKings Casino got to where it is today:

  • Dec 17, 2018: DraftKings adds blackjack as a test to its online sportsbook.
  • First week of January: Four more games are added (roulette, video poker, and two slot titles).
  • Feb. 5: Live dealer games are rolled out via a partnership with Evolution.
  • Summer: A DraftKings-branded live dealer studio opens.

The approach is quite different from competitors who prefer going with a full library of slot and table offerings from the start.

Being a tech company, DraftKings starts by doing a lot of analytics “to make sure it’s a stable environment,” said March. “We are not going to just throw up 500 games and see what sticks.”

Gaining ground in the online casino market

The monthly online casino revenue numbers from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement continue to paint a picture of how well the DraftKings Casino/Sportsbook model is working.

It falls under the Resorts Digital umbrella (the online arm of Resorts Atlantic City).

Yes, there are other brands operating under the license, but the spike in earnings coincides with the DraftKings Casino launch.

In January, Resorts reported an internet gaming win of $6,446,599. For comparison purposes, the previous month’s number came in at $4,353,648.

Fast-forward to June, and Resorts Digital was a key contributor to NJ online casinos hitting $38 million in revenue. The company reported $6,927,140 — an eye-opening 106.3% increase year over year.

Year-to-date, the number comes in at $43,612,874 — a 93.9% increase. It’s good enough for second behind Golden Nugget ($78,641,276).

Now with live dealer tables open around the clock, and more games to come, DraftKings Casino revenue will likely see another upswing.

How A Visit To A Former NJ Racetrack Revealed Some Sportsbook Secrets, But Not All

The former New Jersey racetrack is now a shopping district in Cherry Hill, but a visit to Garden State Park shows a likely spot for a future sportsbook.

Cherry Hill doesn’t exactly come to mind as a spot for a future sportsbook.

And we’re not talking about the 14 sports betting apps. Because all of them work perfectly fine around town.

This conversation centers around actual sports betting operators based in New Jersey.

Cherry Hill isn’t exactly Hoboken where DraftKings recently unveiled its new gaming hub with great views of New York City.

However, via a quick drive, I discovered there are three local ties to this booming $3 billion-plus NJ sports betting industry.

The not-so-secret Garden State Park sportsbook

Yes, there is a real possibility Cherry Hill could become home to the state’s first standalone sportsbook.

But don’t expect to be checking out the NFL point spreads before grabbing a bite at the nearby Zinburger this football season.

Garden State Park’s developer continues to be tied up in a lengthly legal battle with the track’s former owners. The big issue is whether or not a retail operation can be built where the former racetrack oval existed.

The latest twist in this saga actually triggered an idea.

I decided to scout out the potential space. Sure enough, there is a nice-sized vacant spot directly behind the burger joint.

standalone sportsbook cherry hill new jersey

Now, this is the spot I found on my visit; it is not THE spot. Nothing is confirmed. But it seems the most likely as it is within the old racing oval.

Granted, there were no coming soon signs. And contractors seemed to be taking a very long lunch break.

But I found it odd that this random ladder was just laying around.

garden state park sportsbook

If there are illustrations of the space, they have not been made public yet. The most anyone has seen of the concept is a blueprint of the floorplan from SOSH Architects, available at ROI-NJ.

The developer is not talking due to the ongoing litigation. So the operator behind the sportsbook plans is still a mystery.

Well, hello Stars Group

But wait, there’s more.

My walk around Market Place & Towne Place at Garden State Park revealed an unexpected (but well-known) name.

It seems The Stars Group has its NJ office hidden within this shopping and residential complex. It’s the parent company of BetStars NJ and PokerStars NJ.

cherry hill towne place nj sports betting

Do not try and search for it from the outside as there are no signs. I found them via the list of tenants in building 921.

betstars nj cherry hill office

And there is no front desk reception area.

A quick search on The Stars Group website revealed the company does have job openings at its Cherry Hill office. All three positions have to do with the soon-to-be-rebranded Fox Bet NJ sports betting app (which will soon replace BetStars).

Meet their neighbor, William Hill

If you continue heading west toward Philadelphia, you will likely drive right past one of William Hill’s NJ offices. It’s hidden within an expansive business complex called Executive Campus.

If you pull into the parking lot, good luck finding the office.

The buildings are numbered, but getting the actual list of businesses requires going into the lobby. The truth is, this writer took the shortcut by sending an email to William Hill’s offices in Las Vegas.

william hill office building cherry hill

However, the only business clearly identifiable from the outside of 3 Executive Campus is Lockheed Martin.

But without an appointment, I didn’t venture further than the lobby. Then again, not much to see here, folks. The 20 people based at this office are primarily the customer support team.

When a problem arises while using the William Hill app, you might just be talking to someone in Cherry Hill.

So there is no need to waste time driving through this complex. If you really want to see what the company is all about, take a drive to Monmouth Park, Ocean Casino Resort, or Tropicana AC. William Hill operates all three retail locations.

Which one will be the headliner at Garden State Park?

But all this sleuthing had me wondering: Could a fourth William Hill retail spot be in the works? Or will it be the first Fox Bet-branded standalone sportsbook in New Jersey?

Or maybe the Cherry Hill connection of both companies means absolutely nothing and Garden State Park has something else up its sleeves.

The answer could come before the Philadelphia Eagles soar to the 2020 Super Bowl. But all depends on that lawsuit that’s currently keeping most things at a standstill for Cherry Hill.

For now, any of the eight sportsbooks in AC are ready for football season with plenty of seats. And there are those apps…

Will The Eagles Soar To The 2020 Super Bowl? SugarHouse Odds Make It A Strong Possibility

Can Carson Wentz lead the Eagles back to the Super Bowl in 2020? “Die-hard fans are putting money down” at SugarHouse on the possibility of it being yes.

The Philadelphia Eagles officially opened training camp today. The first game of the regular season is still more than a month away.

And the high expectations surrounding the team are clearly evident among PlaySugarHouse customers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Rush Street Interactive indicated via a press release that Eagles fans “are already putting money down on how they think the season will shake out.”

Betting breakdown at SugarHouse Sportsbook

The pull of the Eagles, of course, includes Super Bowl betting.

And the futures market has the Eagles listed at +500 to make it to the big game — the third lowest on the board.

Here are the current odds to make it to the 2020 Super Bowl posted on the SugarHouse NJ online sports betting site:

NFL TeamMoneyline
New England Patriots+315
Kansas City Chiefs+400
Los Angeles Rams+400
New Orleans Saints+400
Philadelphia Eagles+500
Cleveland Browns+700
Indianapolis Colts+700

As far as winning the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami goes, the early line on Philadelphia is +1300. Tom Brady and the defending champs lead the field of contenders:

NFL TeamMoneyline
New England Patriots+700
Kansas City Chiefs+850
Los Angeles Rams+1000
New Orleans Saints+1000
Philadelphia Eagles+1300
Cleveland Browns+1400
Indianapolis Colts+1400

Betting on a healthy Carson Wentz

Of course, one of the big questions heading into Eagles training camp is the health of starting quarterback Carson Wentz.

He has shown glimpses of being an elite NFL quarterback, but has faced his share of injuries, too.

Two seasons ago, Wentz was recovering from a torn ACL while Nick Foles led the team to its first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Foles, a fan favorite, stepped back into the starting role again last season when Wentz suffered a fractured vertebra. But Foles, the new starting quarterback in Jacksonville, is no longer around to play the postseason hero.

The Eagles added several key additions during the offseason, including bringing back former star wide receiver Desean Jackson.

Along with other new additions on the offensive side of the ball, Wentz may just have the pieces he needs to give Eagles fans another parade.

But could Wentz end up leading league MVP honors?

He is certainly worth considering from a wagering standpoint. At +1400, he has the fifth-lowest odds among all players.

Here are the others in the mix:

NFL PlayerMoneyline
Patrick Mahomes+600
Andrew Luck+900
Drew Brees+1200
Aaron Rodgers+1200
Tom Brady+1400
Carson Wentz+1400

In terms of over/under for touchdown passes for the season, that number is 28.55.

Trying to figure out which side to play? He threw 31 touchdowns during the Super Bowl season prior to his ACL injury.

Philadelphia Eagles and total wins in 2019

The Eagles are currently a heavy favorite heading into Week One of the NFL season.

They are hosting the rival Washington Redskins on Sept. 9. The home team is a 9-point favorite at SugarHouse Sportsbook as camp begins. The moneyline is -110.

One of the other popular future markets is total wins. That number, of course, fluctuates among sportsbooks. SugarHouse has the number listed at 10 wins.

If you think the Birds are going to win 10 or more games, then it’s a wager worth considering. The Eagles went 9-7 in the regular season last year.

Here’s a comparison of total wins markets for the 2019 Eagles regular season at SugarHouse, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetStars NJ:

 SugarHouseDraftKingsFanDuelBetStars
Total Wins for Eagles10109.59.5

Garden State Park Still Champing At The Bit For A Standalone Sportsbook

Cherry Hill Towne Partners filed a legal brief this week in its attempt to open a standalone sportsbook at the former Garden State Park in New Jersey.

The ongoing saga of Cherry Hill’s desire for a standalone sportsbook in New Jersey continues.

In response to a judge’s request, Cherry Hill Towne Partners, LLC, filed a legal brief on Monday in the latest attempt to open a sportsbook at the former Garden State Park racetrack.

Brown & Connery, LLP, is the firm representing Cherry Hill in its ongoing legal battle against GS Park Racing and Greenwood Racing.

One of the bigger issues centers around land usage.

However, attorney William Tambussi argues that “the state’s licensing requirements must be considered independently of any alleged restrictions upon the land.”

“Simply put, the rules and regulations governing licensing eligibility are completely divorced from the restrictive covenant at issue in this case, and should have no bearing on whether Plaintiff is entitled to a sports wagering license.”

You can read the full document sent to Judge Renee Marie Bumb here.

No secret about Cherry Hill’s sports betting plans

Jack Morris, a controlling member of CHTC, has shared small details about the vacant space at Market Place & Towne Place at Garden State Park.

The proposed site is located in the oval of the former racetrack, as required by NJ sports betting legislation.

Being a part-owner of Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, Morris is familiar with the licensing process.

The casino launched its mobile and retail sportsbook operations earlier this year with partner Gaming Innovation Group. Plus, additional sports betting apps from Unibet NJ and Bet365 NJ are coming soon.

In other words, Morris is ready to get the ball rolling at GSP, too.

And a sportsbook partner?

According to the court documents, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has conducted a preliminary site inspection of the proposed facility.

“… CHTC has commenced the build-out of the facility and is prepared to complete the build-out of the facility.”

The names of potential partners have not been revealed… yet. But CHTC is in “active discussions” with two sports wagering operators.

Both companies are fully licensed by DGE and operating in the Garden State.

For the record, the Stars Group (aka BetStars NJ) and William Hill have offices in Cherry Hill and already have a huge presence in online and retail betting in NJ.

But to be fair, they are two of several companies that could be in the running.

The standalone facility will be located behind Zinburger and near the Cheesecake Factory and Nordstrom Rack. It could be operational in approximately 90 to 120 days, according to the filing.

That means we won’t see anything in time for football season.

Not so fast, Jack

The GSP retail betting story is one that’s been tied up in legal limbo for months.

GS Park Racing and Greenwood Racing, the defendants, want to prevent CHTC from “opening and operating a sports wagering lounge or engaging in the business of sports wagering at or within GSP property.”

The former owners claim that they have full rights to deciding when or if a sportsbook will open at the former racetrack.

The last live horse race at Garden State Park took place in 2001.

But New Jersey sports betting law includes a licensing loophole in which the state’s two shuttered racetracks are eligible to apply for a sports betting license.

The old Atlantic City racetrack is the other site, but it’s been quiet as a church mouse on that front.

NJ sportsbook battle lines are drawn

Garden State Park is located fewer than 10 miles from Philadelphia. Adding a new sportsbook would certainly make things easier for retail customers who live or work nearby.

Garden State Park Racing, the track’s former operator, and Greenwood Racing, which owns and operates Parx Casino in Pennsylvania, have different views on the issue.

But only one side will win eventually.

Over in Pennsylvania, Parx recently launched its sports betting app and online casino. Plus it has its own retail sportsbook up and running.

As to whether or not retail sports betting comes to Cherry Hill, call it a work in progress.

Until then, wagering is available on 14 sports betting apps.

Photo courtesy of Towne Place at Garden State Park.