NJ Regulators Fine Caesars, Golden Nugget AC For Taking Illegal Sports Bets

Two Atlantic City Casinos took bets on New Jersey college football games, which are illegal under NJ sports betting law, and were fined accordingly.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has fined two Atlantic City casinos for accepting illegal sports betting wagers.

According to records released by the DGE, Caesars Entertainment and Golden Nugget were both caught in September taking bets related to New Jersey college football games.

The DGE complaints were filed in November and fines were levied in December.

The two cases are the first known fines related to illegal wagers handed out by the DGE since NJ sports betting went live in June.

Illegal bets at Golden Nugget and Caesars

On Sept. 10, 2018, Caesars accepted illegal wagers on a Rutgers Scarlett Knights college football game versus the Kansas Jayhawks.

According to the DGE report, Caesars was fined $2,000 on Dec. 15 after acknowledging the error to regulatory officials.

The court filing states that on or about Dec. 11, 2018:

“Caesars acknowledged the violation and agreed with the Division’s civil penalty determination.”

In a separate ruling, Golden Nugget was similarly caught accepting 10 bets from unknown individuals on “various New Jersey College Football Games in September 2018.”

From the filing:

“Once discovered, the wagers were cancelled; however, the funds were unable to be refunded to the patrons due to their unknown identities.”

As such, Golden Nugget was fined the amount of $390 in gaming winnings owed to those 10 unknown individuals. 

NJ sports betting prohibits bets on NJ college sports

When New Jersey passed its sports betting legislation in June, it prohibited sportsbooks from accepting wagers on college sporting events involving Garden State-based colleges such as Rutgers, Princeton and Seton Hall universities.

It also excluded any college games played inside New Jersey.

From Michael Golub, Deputy Attorney General at the DGE:

“(The casinos) took bets, and we have a prohibition against those bets being taken. So they were improperly posted (and) the bets themselves were voided. If we knew who the gamblers were, those funds got returned to them.”

In the case of Caesars’ fine, the illegal sports bets were placed specifically on a Rutgers game, likely the Sept. 15 game in Kansas. Of course, Caesars AC has no retail sportsbook on the property. So the illegal wagers probably happened at Bally’s or Harrah’s

Since Golden Nugget and Caesars both have sportsbooks based in Las Vegas, it’s also entirely possible that the data feed incorrectly added the New Jersey college games.

And unfortunately, it was not caught before the bets were placed.

“From our standpoint,” Golub said, “(the casinos) are the ones that are posting (the odds), so they’re liable. So if they have any kind of issue about where it came from, that’s something that they’re going to be looking into.”

Where Caesars and Golden Nugget sports betting happens

Both Bally’s and Harrah’s opened temporary sportsbooks in the summer with permanent facilities in the works.

Caesars customers also can use the Caesars sportsbook app or web browser.

Golden Nugget opened its temporary retail sportsbook on Aug. 15 and replaced it with a permanent space on Aug. 31.  

The property currently does not offer online sports betting, but Golden Nugget does have a partnership in place with SBTech and an NJ sportsbook app is likely to happen in the future.

NJ regulators are watching

NJ sports betting is only a few months old, and it has had its share of hiccups despite a robust start to the industry.

Sports betting accounted for $330 million in handle in November and now counts nine retail and nine online sportsbooks in its arsenal.

But NJ regulators are taking nothing for granted.

As such, fines or punishments would escalate if similar problems occurred in the future at Golden Nugget and Caesars.

Casinos themselves would need to have firmer controls and systems in place to prevent such instances from occurring again.

Dustin Gouker contributed to this reporting.

Unibet Ups Its NJ Online Gambling Plans With Evolution Gaming Partnership

Unibet and Kindred extend their Evolution live dealer casino partnership into New Jersey, tightening up its future online casino and sportsbook plans.

Kindred Group solidified its NJ online gambling plans by extending its Evolution Gaming partnership this week.

On Dec. 12, Unibet and Evolution announced the details of a new partnership that will bring “Live Casino services to players in New Jersey.”

Kindred’s Unibet online casino product will likely make an appearance in New Jersey alongside its online sportsbook.

Kindred, Unibet and NJ online gambling

Kindred Group, the parent company of Unibet, and Evolution have an existing relationship in Europe with the Unibet Casino product.

Unibet, one of the biggest gambling and sports betting sites in Europe, is a newcomer to the US online gaming market. Evolution, on the other hand, opened its US studio in Atlantic City this past summer.

It now offers its live dealer games at Hard Rock online casino and 888 Casino.

This new deal with Kindred will help to establish the Unibet brand in the New Jersey market.

Cristiano Bianco, head of gaming for Kindred Group, said in a news release that the Unibet brand “has a strong footprint in Europe where it has enjoyed exciting growth in Live Casino, thanks in large part to our relationship with Evolution.”

“Now that Evolution has launched its U.S. studio, we look forward very much to establishing and growing the Unibet brand in New Jersey and, in due course, other U.S. states, too,”

A blend of online gambling options

Unibet is Kindred’s flagship brand and is operating in more than 100 countries. Besides live dealer games, it offers sports betting, poker, and bingo.

It should be no surprise then that Unibet won’t be just for NJ sports betting fans. Its tailored to NJ online gambling as a whole.

James Stern, director of business development and land-based sales at Evolution, also weighed in on the expanded Evolution partnership.

From the press release:

“As a long-standing Evolution partner, Unibet has witnessed and been a part of our phenomenal growth in other jurisdictions, including a number of newly regulated markets across Europe. We are delighted that they have chosen us for their own U.S. launch.”

No launch date was mentioned, but for Unibet, things are moving quickly on all fronts.

Unibet’s partnership with Hard Rock AC

In August, Kindred Group and Hard Rock Atlantic City reached a partnership agreement on offering customers Unibet-branded online gambling and sports betting.

Hard Rock is the only AC casino without an online or retail sports betting presence. (Caesars Atlantic City has an online sportsbook but does not have a retail book. It’s neighbor, Bally’s, does.)

This is likely to change next month as Hard Rock is expected to open its retail sportsbook possibly as early as January.

Meanwhile, a partnership is in place with Gaming Innovation Group to provide an “omnichannel sportsbook solution” for Hard Rock. 

Unibet would serve as one of three branded online sports betting skins permitted by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement. Hard Rock’s other known partner is bet365.

Kindred and Kambi have a deal, too

Last week, Kindred announced that it would be extending its relationship with Kambi, best known as the tech power behind the market-leading DraftKings Sportsbook.

The companies are extremely familiar with one another as Kambi was spun off from Kindred in 2014.

The agreement will provide Kindred access to Kambi’s sports betting platform in New Jersey.

Combined with the communicated agreement with SG Digital, Kindred will now be able to offer its customers “a full range of first-class sports betting and casino products under the Unibet brand.”

Manuel Stan, senior vice president of Kindred US, commented on the Kambi deal via a news release:  

“We are of course delighted to add this final piece to our product offering towards customers in New Jersey. Kindred and Kambi have a long and successful history together, which we intend to develop further as we prepare to enter the New Jersey market. I am particularly pleased that we are now ready to offer customers in New Jersey a truly great experience in a safe and secure environment..”

Resorts Atlantic City CEO: Our Online Sportsbook Coming ‘Hopefully In The Next Month’

A Resorts NJ online sportsbook has been in the works for a while, but the Atlantic City casino president hopes to launch it sooner than you think.

When it comes to legal sports betting, 2018 has been an extremely busy year for Resorts.

The oldest casino in Atlantic City launched online/mobile sports betting platforms via partnerships with DraftKings and BetStars NJ.

On the retail end, a temporary sportsbook was replaced by the permanent, 5,000-square-foot DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts.

But there is still more to come.

A Resorts-branded online sportsbook is in the works, said Resorts President and CEO Mark Giannantonio in an interview on Sunday. Timeline? Think January.

“We have been working feverishly to get it launched, hopefully in the next month or so we will be up and running at Resorts Sportsbook online.”

Resorts and SBTech plan from the beginning

Back in July, Resorts reached an agreement with SBTech to provide its sportsbook solution.

SBTech has a strong reputation in the industry that includes winning the In-Play Betting Software award three-straight years from eGaming Review.

The company also provides NJ sports betting tech to Golden Nugget properties in New Jersey and Mississippi. It will also be the tech behind Churchill Downs and its future NJ gambling sites.

SBTech CEO Richard Carter commented on the partnership in a summer news release when the deal was first announced:

“Our strategic partnership with Resorts represents the next stage of our long-planned penetration of the US market. SBTech’s renowned commitment to delivering leading-edge solutions across all channels and intelligent responsible gaming infrastructure will help us develop a sports betting offering that will benefit our partners and promote best practice and the strongest levels of consumer protection.”

Months of NJ sports betting planning

When Resorts opened its temporary sportsbook in August, the press release mentioned the addition of sports betting to ResortsCasino.com.

The launch date of said NJ sports betting site had been a work in progress with one estimate hinting at a September launch. 

Once it goes live, the property’s sports betting plate will be full. Resorts would become the first Atlantic City casino to have three online skins and a permanent on-property sportsbook.

The Resorts NJ online casino website currently has a sports tab built in that includes registration information and the FastPick game

Three is not a crowd for Resorts

New Jersey rules allow for each property to have as many as three different branded online sportsbooks. So a Resorts-branded mobile/online sportsbook would be the third and final for the property.

DraftKings Sportsbook has been live since Aug. 6. BetStars Sportsbook, from the Stars Group, launched Sept. 13.

The DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts accepted its first bet Nov. 20. Once the Resorts-branded online sportsbook is up and running, the casino will have three strong products for customers.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Giannantonio. “We have a great partner in PokerStars and the Stars Group. When we solidify ours, we think we are going to have great experiences.”

“By far, we just couldn’t be more happy with DraftKings. They are the market leader in fantasy and it has just translated to sports betting. You see by the results of their numbers online what they’re capable of doing.”

Speaking of numbers, Resorts is the leader of the pack in NJ online sports betting revenue. Resorts Digital (consisting of DraftKings and BetStars) has year-to-date earnings of more than $16.5 million through October.

A Super Bowl Champion Visits DraftKings Sportsbook For ‘Grand Opening Event’

The DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts hosted a Giant celebrity on Sunday. Justin Tuck, the former NFL defensive end, drew a crowd of hundreds anxiously waiting for him to sign a football and pose for a picture at the New Jersey sportsbook.

ATLANTIC CITY — The DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts hosted a Giant celebrity on Sunday.

Justin Tuck, the former NFL defensive end, drew a crowd of hundreds anxiously waiting for him to sign a football and pose for a picture at the New Jersey sportsbook.

Grand opening for DraftKings

The meet and greet was part of the “grand opening event” for the swanky new 5,000-square-foot space inside Resorts Atlantic City. Tuck took a moment to admire the space filled with wearing Giants, Eagles and Cowboys jerseys.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with DraftKings for a couple of years now, and they always do things top notch,” Tuck said. “This is definitely top notch. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to see my Giants beat the Redskins today,”

Whether or not he was watching, it was one of the featured games shown on the 1,000 square feet of ultra HD video screens. His Giants did win convincingly, 40-16. Those with winning tickets cashed them in at one of the five betting windows.

The late crowd saw the Cowboys defeat the Eagles, 29-23 in overtime and cover the 3.5-point spread. No matter what game patrons were watching, Tuck was the star attraction.

“I’ve been blessed that most people think I did things the right way, so usually Eagles fans, Cowboys fans and Redskins fans come up to me and say I am happy you don’t play anymore,” Tuck said.

Here are some pictures of the sportsbook:

The DraftKings Sportsbook Experience

The DraftKings Sportsbook brand continues to be a model of success in NJ sports betting. The retail sportsbook launched in November.

The stadium-style seating area combined with bar area equipped with tabletop video poker is large enough for 300 guests. The VIP space in the back can hold about an additional 100 people. Bets can be made at one of the 12 kiosks, equipped with the same live betting options offered on mobile and online devices.

The DraftKings Sportsbook app, powered by Kambi, works, too. Bets are easy to track via the large monitors and the ticker located above the sportsbook entrance.

DraftKings is the latest of the permanent sportsbooks to open in Atlantic City. Resorts CEO Mark Giannantonio talked about the finished product.

“I couldn’t be happier with our partner DraftKings. They’re professionals in every aspect of the ball. Our collaboration to build the best sportsbook in America, honestly, has been a great collaborative effort.”

The effort officially went live on Aug. 6 when DraftKings became the first company to offer legal online sports betting in New Jersey. Resorts opened a much smaller, but temporary retail space in mid-August.

Home of the Giants

Tuck was not the first former Giant to appear at the DraftKings Sportsbook, and he likely will not be the last.

Hall-of-Fame linebacker Harry Carson made an appearance just before Thanksgiving to officially open the space. He placed the first official bet: New York Yankees to win the 2019 World Series.

Giannantonio, who is a Dallas Cowboys fan, said DraftKings leads the way with lining up the special appearances.

“We are in the middle of the market. We appeal to Giants fans, Eagles fans and Jets fans,” he said, “At our grand opening we had Harry Carson, which was a great event. Now we have Justin Tuck.

“Today just speaks for itself. The amount of people that have come through here, whether it’s our VIPs or just the general public, it’s really remarkable.”

Here’s Your Chance To Party With DraftKings Sportsbook At Resorts On Sunday

It’s been a couple weeks, but DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts Atlantic City plans to party with former NY Giant Justin Tuck on Sunday at noon.

Justin Tuck knows a thing or two about the rivalry between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins.

The former defensive end spent 11 seasons in the NFL, including nine with the Giants. Football fans visiting the DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts Atlantic City on Sunday, Dec. 9, may ask the former defensive end his thoughts about Sunday’s game between the two NFC East squads.

Tuck, who played in two Super Bowls with the Giants, will be in town for the “grand opening event” starting at noon. Fans, even those rooting on the Philadelphia Eagles, will have the opportunity to meet Tuck.

The party at DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook officially opened on Nov. 20. And former Giants are regulars at the celebrations.

Last month, Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson placed the ceremonial first bet. He picked the New York Yankees to win the 2019 World Series.

Fans will have to wait until Sunday to see if Tuck picks a winner in the Giants/Redskins game.

As of Thursday, the DraftKings Sportsbook app had the Giants listed as a 3.5-point favorite on the road. The Redskins have lost two starting quarterbacks to injury and are now relying on Mark Sanchez, who Tuck played against during his NFL career.

Sunday will likely be filled with several hours of NFL talk, but the celebration is just the latest example of the fruitful partnership between DraftKings and Resorts.

DraftKings an NJ sports betting powerhouse

DraftKings made history as the first company to offer legalized online sports betting in New Jersey in August.

Several months later, DraftKings remains the market leader in terms of online/mobile revenue.

Resorts Digital (DraftKings plus BetStars NJ) produced close to $5.1 million in sports wagering revenue for October. That’s just shy of 60 percent of the online/mobile totals in the Garden State.

Resorts had a temporary sportsbook

A temporary Resorts-branded retail sportsbook opened on Aug. 16. The space consisted of a 15-foot video wall, six betting windows, and an interactive lounge area.

A grand opening and ceremonial first bet was held for that space, too. But Resorts had bigger plans in the works.

From the original press release:

This sportsbook will act as a temporary sports betting location, with a larger, permanent sportsbook opening in the near future.

Resorts sent out another press release on Nov. 16 announcing the details of the DraftKings Sportsbook.

The new space features an ultra-high definition video wall, VIP area, five betting windows, and 12 self-service kiosks along with food and beverage options. Wagers also can be made from the stadium-style seats via the DraftKings Sportsbook app, in-game betting included.

For DraftKings, the retail sportsbook marks another first. Here’s what Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and co-founder of DraftKings, had to say:

“We are tremendously excited to launch our first physical presence in the state with such a trusted partner, and to service their loyal patrons.”

What about a Resorts online sportsbook?

While the retail sports betting offerings are complete, a Resorts-branded online sportsbook could be added soon.

Over the summer, Atlantic City’s oldest casino announced a partnership with SBTech “to offer its sportsbook solution to sports fans.”

There was talk of a September launch, but it remains a work in progress. Casinos and racetracks are permitted to have up to three online partnerships apiece. DraftKings, The Stars Group, and SBTech would make it three.

Resorts Digital currently offers two of the eight legal NJ online sports betting options.

FanDuel Sportsbook Makes History, Pays Out All Alabama Bets To Win National Title

In a surprise move, NJ sports betting’s FanDuel Sportsbook paid out all futures bets on Alabama to win the college football title a month in advance.

FanDuel Sportsbook did something this week that is unheard of in the sports betting world: Pay out futures on Alabama to win the College Football Playoff National Championship.

And this was done more than a month before the yet-to-be-determined teams take the field on Jan. 7.

The decision comes before No. 1 Alabama played in today’s SEC Championship Game against No. 4 Georgia (Alabama won, 35-28). The Crimson Tide were still awaiting official word that they would be one of the four teams selected to play in the College Football Playoffs.

Sounds too good to be true, right? There is no fine print here.

“Alabama’s historic and seemingly inevitable march to Levi’s Stadium deserved a history-making gesture to our customers,” said Mike Raffensperger, CMO of FanDuel Group, in a press release.

“While the college football season has not had too many surprises, we wanted to surprise our customers today, thank them for their loyalty, and prove there are More Ways to Win on FanDuel.”

Collecting the early payout at FanDuel Sportsbook

Any singles futures bets on Alabama were paid out to customers on Nov. 30. Any future wagers placed on the Crimson Tide after 5 p.m. on Nov. 30 are not eligible for the early payout.

Retail customers of FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack, with a physical bet slip dated prior to Nov. 30 can now redeem it for the full amount.

From the press release:

The early payouts apply to anybody holding a physical ticket on a bet placed at the Meadowlands or on its online sportsbook. In fact, FanDuel indicated that it already credited bettors accounts on the mobile app.

So yes, this is just for NJ sports betting fans.

FanDuel said when taking into account the Alabama championship futures that are involved in parlays, the early payout could be in the ballpark of $400,000.

Raffensperger commented:

“FanDuel is a customer first company and innovations like an early payout of a major sporting event is a great example of what can be done in a legal and regulated sports betting market to benefit the consumer. Even if Alabama loses its next game or doesn’t win the national title, this was something that we wanted to do to celebrate our customers and show why we are the most innovative and fun sportsbook in the United States.”

Bettors at FanDuel rolling with the Tide

FanDuel’s move is unheard of in the US sports betting world… at least so far as we know. But it’s something that happens every now and then in Europe.

One day, years down the road, there may be a trivia question about the first legal sports betting operator in the US to pay out future wagers more than a month before the final game is even played.

To be fair, the numbers have all signs pointing toward another Alabama national championship season. It would be their third in four years and sixth since 2009.

The odds to win another are currently heavily in Alabama’s favor. FanDuel had the 12-0 Crimson Tide at -280 to win the National Championship (the bettor had to wager $280 to win $100).

In FanDuel’s updated Friday night futures, Alabama remained way out in front of the pack at -250 while Clemson was next at +380 followed by Notre Dame at +1,400. Georgia and Ohio State were both at +1,800.