Gannett, Tipico Partner In Exclusive Sports Betting Deal

Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper publisher, has entered an exclusive partnership with European sports betting operator Tipico.

Gannett, the country’s largest newspaper publisher, has entered an exclusive partnership with European sports betting operator Tipico.

The five-year, $90 million deal permits Tipico’s U.S. operations to be the sole provider of sports betting odds, analysis, and content to Gannett’s media portfolio, which includes USA Today.  Gannett publishes newspapers and operates over 200 local news sites in 46 states, including New Jersey.

Tipico Sportsbook is live in NJ via a land-based partnership with Ocean Casino Resort. 

According to a news release, Tipico is expected to be live in Colorado this fall.

Stephen Krombolz, Tipico vice president of U.S. business development and strategy, said “this historic agreement with Gannett, one of the most trusted names in global news, media, and sports.”

He adds “it will immediately bring additional credibility and trust to Tipico Sportsbook’s U.S. operations.”

Gannett, Tipico sports betting content to kickoff by NFL season

Product integrations are expected to begin in August to complement the start of the NFL betting season. USA Today Sports Media Group audiences across digital platforms will experience new integrations powered by Tipico Sportsbook’s betting odds on digital sites.

In New Jersey and Colorado, Gannett readers will “experience a seamless integration to Tipico’s Sportsbook,” according to a news release.

Michael Reed, Gannett chairman and CEO, said “our highly engaged audience of more than 46 million sports fans crave analysis, betting insights, odds, and unique features which we will provide with our Tipico alliance.”

“Tipico adds incredible expertise from their European operations and next-generation product capabilities, which offer our sports enthusiasts and local consumers a way to become even more invested in the games and sports they care about,” said Reed.

More details on the Gannett, Tipico deal

The other USA TODAY Sports Media Group sites will offer sports betting odds and content. Additionally, those sites will feature iGaming, free-to-play games, and sweepstakes.

USA Today readers and many local print newspapers within the USA Today network will find Tipico betting odds within the sports section.

Adrian Vella, Tipico U.S. CEO, views the integration  “marks an important moment as we begin our acceleration in the U.S.”

“Gannett’s best-in-class editorial operations and massive local footprint, partnered with Tipico’s game-changing technology, including end-to-end proprietary sports betting and iGaming products, will offer U.S. fans a slam dunk combination,” said Vella.

Media companies, sports betting operators joining forces

As more states legalize sports betting, media companies continue finding ways to diversify their revenue.

In May, the Associated Press and FanDuel inked a deal. According to reports, FanDuel pays the AP to include its sports odds in coverage.

Likewise, both CBS Sports and ESPN have also partnered with sports betting operators.

Fox Corp launched FOX Bet sports betting in 2019 through a partnership with The Stars Group.

And of course, there are a couple more recent examples of sports betting operators announcing rebranding plans using established magazine names.

888 Sportsbook will be taking on the Sports Illustrated name.

Then there is Sportsbetting.com, eventually entering the NJ sports betting market under the MaximBet name.

In Tipico’s case, the name isn’t changing. However, thanks to the Gannett deal, a lot more eyes will see Tipico odds come this NFL season.

How this partnership helps the company grow as a U.S. sports betting brand is to be determined.

Dreamstime Photo 

Online Casino Powerhouses Playtech, Scientific Games Team Up

Online casino players in New Jersey will be among the first to benefit from a new partnership between Scientific Games and Playtech.

NJ online casino players in the Garden State will be the first to benefit from a new partnership between two leading gaming companies.

Scientific Games Corporation and Playtech announced a mutual distribution agreement earlier this week. The deal expands the two companies’ reach in the U.S. and other regulated markets in Latin America and Europe.

Playtech’s online casino software will be available to operators via SG’s Open Gaming System (OGS). Meaning, Playtech’s portfolio of slots, table games, and live online casino will be integrated with SG’s features and promotions.

According to a news release, the rollout will debut in New Jersey with more states to follow.

SG expanding online casino market

Jordan Levin, group CEO of digital at Scientific Games, said the two gambling companies would “bring quality and exciting gaming content to the U.S. market and beyond.”

“This latest partnership once again demonstrates the key role that OpenGaming plays in opening new opportunities for gaming providers to extend their footprint within key regulated markets,” Levin said.

Scientific Games’ Open Gaming System is one of the world’s largest online casino aggregation platforms. OGS has over 2,500 games consisting of in-house titles and third-party content. It also features jackpots, free-rounds, missions, and tournaments, all containing responsible gambling tools for players

“We’re very excited to be bringing Playtech’s world-renowned games to our operating partners across the globe and providing their player base with exceptional entertainment experiences,” Levin added.

Playtech’s plan for New Jersey and beyond

Shimon Akad, COO at Playtech, thinks the deal “is set to have a major impact” on online casino play worldwide.

How so?

The Playtech exec also said increasing software distribution through “mutually beneficial” deals is a “key pillar” of the company’s strategy. The distribution deal is going to “significantly increase” SG’s presence in Latin America and Europe.

At the same time, Akad said, Playtech customers will have access to “an even richer portfolio of exciting iGaming content.”

Playtech will be benefiting from SG’s leadership domestically as the company rolls out online casino software elsewhere, he said.

Dreamstime Photo

New Jersey Sports Betting Cools Down Slightly In June With $767 Million In Bets, $5 Billion Year Well Within Reach

NJ sports gamblers legally wagered $766.9 million in June while the 19 sports betting operators reported a combined $71.3 million in revenue

The New Jersey sports betting market cooled down a bit in June but the action was still plenty hot.

NJ sports gamblers legally wagered $766.9 million last month,  according to data released Friday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. However, it’s hard to ignore the  $71.3 million in revenue from NJ online and retail sportsbooks.

While the monthly handle dropped 5.8% from May’s $814.3 million – fifth best month all-time in NJ sports betting history – the total amount wagered is still strong for what is typically a slower month. 

Year to date, NJ bettors have wagered nearly $5 billion while total revenue exceeds $368.3 million.

And this is before the 2021 NFL betting season even kicks off. It’s pretty much a sure bet that the first $1 billion month in NJ sports betting history will take place this fall.

Dustin Gouker, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNJ.com says overall New Jersey continues to perform far better than every other sports betting market in the U.S.” 

 “No market can completely overcome a lack of betting inventory, but New Jersey’s sportsbooks continue to find ways to capitalize on what the sports world is offering, most notably the NBA Playoffs and baseball,” said Gouker. 

Online, mobile still rule New Jersey sports betting

New Jersey sports betting continues to be dominated by online sportsbooks. NJ’s 19 online/mobile options consistently outperform retail sportsbooks at Atlantic City casinos and NJ’s three licensed racetracks.

Based on the NJDGE figures, $683 million (89.1%) of the monthly handle were bets placed online or via mobile sports betting app. More than $62 million (87.2%) of New Jersey sports betting revenue came from online or mobile apps.

The online partners of the Meadowlands Racetrack, which includes FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet, generated more than $44.5 million in June. That’s more than the $24.1 million generated by all nine Atlantic City casinos combined.

Meanwhile, Resorts Digital, which includes DraftKings Sportsbook, reported nearly $13 million to finish a very distant second.

Borgata rounds out the top three with just shy of $6.85 million in sports betting revenue. This is a combination of the BetMGM and the Borgata Sports apps.

New Jersey sports betting is…unpredictable

June’s results are on par with expectations. Sports betting numbers typically start trending down after March Madness until football starts in September.

But, New Jersey sports betting has been defying the odds as of late. Even April’s $750 million handle was more than double Nevada’s average for the month.

Sports, sports, and more sports in June

Several factors likely bolstered June’s New Jersey sports betting figures.

For one, two of the three regional pro basketball teams played in intriguing playoff matchups. Ultimately, the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets were both bounced in the second round.

The NHL Playoffs also ran through June, providing another bump for sportsbooks.

Likewise, the UEFA Euro 2020, the U.S Open golf tournament, and two tennis majors gave gamblers even more options in June.

And finally, Major League Baseball is in full swing. With two of the three regional teams underperforming, futures bettors have likely been looking for value elsewhere.

“While the sportsbooks in most states have been scouring the sports landscape for opportunities to drive interest, New Jersey’s books have successfully capitalized on the NBA playoffs and baseball,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com.

AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson

Barstool Sportsbook NJ Launch Still A Mystery

The anticipated launch date of Barstool Sportsbook in New Jersey has long passed but there is hope an app could be live before NFL season.

The anticipated launch date of Barstool Sportsbook in New Jersey has long passed. But, Garden State Stoolies still have no idea when the app will arrive.

Earlier this year, Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden said he was targeting an NJ online sportsbook for the end of May. That was the last public comment about a NJ Barstool Sportsbook app.

NJ Gambling Sites reached out to PNG for an update. The regional gaming operator has yet to respond.

NJ’s 19 online sportsbooks and 12 retail betting shops already offer players a variety of options. By the time Barstool Sportsbook goes live in NJ, they will be playing catch up to the market’s established leaders — FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and William Hill.

NJ neighbors already have Barstool Sportsbook

Penn National is co-owner of Barstool Sports. The company also owns half of Freehold Raceway with Greenwood Racing.

PNG and Freehold are using one of the NJ racetrack’s three online betting skins for a Barstool-branded product.

PlayUp, an Australian-based operator, will also be using Freehold’s license for NJ sports betting.

Barstool Sportsbook is currently available in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

NJ gaming regulators hold all the cards

Assuming PNG and Greenwood have all their ducks in a row, it’s reasonable to expect Barstool Sportsbook will be live in NJ by the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Ultimately, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement will have the final say. The NJDGE is notoriously deliberate and won’t rush a licensing approval simply because the biggest betting months of the year are approaching.

Welcome to the Big Leagues, Stoolie

Another fair conclusion is Barstool Sportsbook will be joining the nation’s largest sports betting market.

Since June 2018, NJ sportsbooks have taken more than $15.97 billion in legal sports wagers. Nevada’s sportsbooks have taken just under $15.5 billion in wagers over the same time period.

In May — typically a slower betting month — NJ sports gamblers wagered more than $814 million. NJ sportsbooks reported just under $53 million in revenue.

Lead image via Ameristar Blackhawk.

Rutgers Partners With Playtech, Kindbridge On Virtual Problem Gambling Study

Rutgers University will be at the forefront of studying the causes behind problem gambling and identifying virtual treatment options.

Rutgers University will be at the forefront of studying the causes behind problem gambling and identifying virtual treatment options.

Playtech, a U.K.-based gaming technology company, and Kindbridge Research Institute are partnering with the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers to create a first-of-its-kind virtual mental health clinic for problem gamblers.

Studying problem gambling, virtual disorders

The team will study the efficiency of virtual treatment for compulsive gambling and video game playing. The goal is to create a teletherapy model for gambling and digital dependency disorders.

“The research partnership with Kindbridge and Rutgers University will play a critical role in helping the sector design and deliver high-quality digital well-being and mental health support for those at-risk and affected by gambling-related harm,” said Playtech CEO Mor Weizer in a statement.

All hands on deck

The study will be comprehensive. How so? It is expected to last 18 to 24 months, according to a news release.

Casino operators, non-profits, health agencies, insurance companies, and state regulators are encouraged to participate in the program.

“The centralized approach that we are taking to offering telehealth services to the gambling community is giving us an inside look at the demographic of individuals and family members that suffer from gambling problems on a scale that should allow data scientists, academics and researchers to gain more insight than ever before,” said Daniel Umfleet, CEO of Kindbridge.

Rutgers, NJ have studied problem gambling before

Rutgers University and the Center for Gambling Studies have worked with NJ gambling regulators before.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement enlisted CGS for a three-year project. The goal was to examine the prevalence of online and land-based gambling in New Jersey.

Lia Nower is the director of CGS and the lead researcher on the study. Nower is excited about building a “standardized and effective treatment framework for problem gambling and video gaming.”

“Kindbridge is the first treatment agency in the U.S. that is exclusively focused in these areas, and delivering treatment we can test for effectiveness fills an unmet need in this time of rapid expansion,” she said.

How To Celebrate 4th Of July Weekend In Atlantic City

The Atlantic City Boardwalk, beaches, and casinos are are ready for lockdown-weary visitors coming for the Fourth of July weekend.

The Atlantic City Boardwalk, beaches, and casinos are already packed as lockdown-weary visitors are flooding the seaside resort for the Fourth of July weekend.

Independence Day events were nearly non-existent in Atlantic City last year due to COVID-19. Because of that, the entire city is ready to celebrate freedom and wish a happy birthday to the good ol’ U.S. of A.

“Atlantic City has everything visitors could want to experience this Fourth of July weekend, from great beaches and fireworks to exciting events and entertainment, to quality dining and shopping,” said Michael Chait, president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber.

“This Independence Day will feel very different from last year’s celebration, and we can’t wait to welcome visitors back to Atlantic City and enjoy all that this beachfront resort destination has to offer.”

Big holiday weekend for Atlantic City casinos

Atlantic City’s nine casinos are beyond excited for this weekend.

More importantly, all of New Jersey’s COVID-19 restrictions will be gone by July 4, including the temporary indoor smoking ban. The list also includes no more:

  • Mask wearing
  • Social distancing
  • Table game partitions
  • Disconnected slot machines

Basically, it’s 100% go time in Atlantic City casinos.

“We are excited to welcome back our valued guests after a difficult year and return to a sense of normal. Atlantic City is the place to be this summer, and we are committed to offering visitors a world-class experience during their stay,” Terry Glebocki, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and CEO of Ocean Casino Resort.

Atlantic City Fourth of July weekend rundown

Fireworks

AC is home to South Jersey’s best fireworks show.

And those familiar with the Fourth of July weekend in AC  know all about the show at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and world-renowned Fireworks by Grucci. After a one-year hiatus, it will once again light up the night sky on the Fourth of July. The show starts promptly at 9:20 p.m. and will last exactly 20 minutes.

Public viewing is available from the Borgata’s surface lot. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Wait, there is more.

Tropicana Atlantic City will have July 4th fireworks starting at 10 p.m. (a slight change from the typical free Saturday night show).

Entertainment

Live entertainment is a big part of what makes Atlantic City the World’s Playground.

Outside of the casinos, the Super American Circus and Circus Risque are both taking place next to Showboat Hotel. The Super American Circus is a friendly-family affair, while Circus Risque is only for adults.

And live entertainment is back at Bally’s Atlantic City as Motown Forever begins its weekly Saturday night run this weekend. Showtimes are 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Comedy Club at Borgata has live acts Saturday and Sunday nights.

Over at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Vibe Dining is now available Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. before The Pool After Dark transitions to nightlife from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City has the marina rocking all Fourth of July weekend, with live concerts every night outside on The Deck and inside at Rush Lounge.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is always ready to jam. The music-centric casino will have over 29 live acts this weekend on various stages throughout the property.

International superstar DJ Steve Aoki will be mixing at HQ2 Beachclub on Sunday at Ocean Casino Resort. Brian McKnight will perform inside Ovation Hall on Saturday night. And it’s only the beginning of more live entertainment to come.

LandShark Bar & Grill, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and Bar One at Resorts Casino Hotel will have live entertainment every night this weekend.

Eating & drinking

Atlantic City is a food-lover’s paradise.

The list of great places to get a good meal or a few drinks is nearly endless.

But, for the sake of brevity, here are a few places worth the visit both inside the casinos and off the beaten path.

Since open containers are now legal in AC, spend a few hours bar-hopping in the Orange Loop. The business district of New York and Tennessee avenues and St. James Place is home to some of the best bars in the city, including:

  • The Irish Pub
  • Bourre
  • Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall
  • Pic-a-Lilli Pub

American Bar & Grille at Borgata is a new restaurant inside the luxury Marina District casino. The menu consists of traditional American fare with seasonal inspiration.

Dougherty’s Steakhouse & Raw Bar in Resorts is operated by the owners of AC’s Knife & Fork Inn and Doc’s Oyster House. In other words, South Jersey restaurant royalty is behind this new concept inside AC’s first casino.

Over at Bally’s, Jerry Longo’s Meatball & Martinis is a quintessential Italian comfort-food restaurant. Except this one has blackjack tables, pictures of Tony Soprano, and the best meatball and homemade ricotta in town.