Mark your Calendars, Trump Plaza Implosion Set For Feb. 17

The former Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City will be imploded at 9 a.m. on Feb. 17 and new charity auction has been announced.

The former Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City will be imploded at 9 a.m. on Feb. 17.

The shuttered Boardwalk casino hotel once owned by former President Donald Trump was originally scheduled to be brought down on Jan. 29. However, demolition delays and a minor dispute with the building’s current owner pushed the date back.

“This has been a tedious process, working with all the professionals,” Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. said during a news conference Thursday morning from City Hall.

Will there be a safe implosion viewing area?

Leading up to the implosion date, several businesses on the Boardwalk will have to close for safety reasons, Fire Chief Scott Evans said.

“This implosion will affect the surrounding neighborhood,” Evans said, adding there will be specific areas that are exclusion zones, evacuation zones and areas where residents must stay indoors. 

So while getting a front row seat may be difficult, there  will be a public viewing area. Bader Field is located about two miles from the center of the AC Boardwalk.

More details, including the parking fee, are expected soon.

New online auction to benefit AC Boys & Girls Club

Thursday’s announcement came just days after a charity auction tied to the implosion was canceled at the behest of the property owner, billionaire Wall Street investor Carl Icahn. Proceeds from the auction were to go to the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. The winner, or winners, would have pushed the button to start the implosion.

Instead, an auction for 10 front-row seats at One Atlantic Events inside the Playground Pier is now open. Winning bidders will not only get an indoor, unobstructed view of the implosion but also an overnight stay and dinner at either Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City or Ocean Casino Resort.

The Boys & Girls Club will still receive the auction proceeds. 

Icahn agreed to contribute $175,000 to the non-profit, the amount of the highest bid before he nixed the plan.

Small, who wanted to raise $1 million for the youth club he once attended and worked at, thanked Icahn for the “generous donation.”

Background on Trump Plaza implosion

Trump Plaza opened in 1984 and closed in 2014. Icahn acquired the building in 2016 when he purchased the debt of the thrice-bankrupt Trump Entertainment Resorts.

Following a storm in the spring where pieces of the building’s facade flew off and crashed below on the streets and Boardwalk, the city declared the Plaza a safety hazard. The city later filed a complaint with the courts to force Icahn to either remediate or tear down the building.

However, the savvy investor’s team said the demolition process was already underway.

‘One shot’ to redevelop Trump Plaza lot after demo

The last Atlantic City casino to be imploded was the Sands in October 2007. And that one took place at night with fireworks, music, and a big crowd. The lot remains vacant today.

The mayor is hoping to avoid a similar fate once the Plaza is gone. Small said the city is already in discussions with Icahn about developing the prime real estate sitting at the base of the Atlantic City Expressway.

“This city only has one shot with this land,” he said. “It’s not often that center-city, waterfront space opens up in a city like this.”

Dreamstime Photo 

NJ Warns Online Gaming Operators: Stop Asking Players To Reverse Withdrawals

NJ regulators issue advisory bulletin to online gaming operators to cease the forbidden practices of soliciting pattrons to reverse withdrawal requests.

Soliciting or incentivizing gamblers to reverse withdrawal requests from their online gaming accounts is a big no-no, New Jersey state gaming regulators say.

A Jan. 13 advisory bulletin signed by state Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck warned online casino operators to immediately cease the forbidden practices or face the music. 

“The Division has determined that the current rules, taken as a whole, prohibit the practice of soliciting, either overtly or covertly, the rescission or reversal of withdrawals once requested by a patron,” the memo stated.

Online gaming operators who violate the rules could be fined or subject to regulatory action.

Faster online payments for players

In another win for online gamblers, Rebuck also advised operators to stop delaying payments to players. 

The state gaming regulations do not specify a timeframe for operators to process withdrawals. However, operators can only delay payments to customers for the length of time needed to verify identity and perform anti-fraud or anti-money laundering checks.

“Patrons who request withdrawals have the right to receive their funds as expeditiously as possible,” Rebuck wrote. “The Division has determined that a solicitation of the reversal of a withdrawal to be an impermissible delaying tactic.”

Unnamed guilty online gaming operators

According to the 3-page advisory bulletin, state regulators received numerous player complaints about long delays in processing online account withdrawals.

In looking into the complaints, the DGE discovered certain online gaming operators were even offering incentives. 

“In the period between a withdrawal request and the actual release of funds to the customer, patrons reported contact from providers encouraging or enticing them to reverse the withdrawal request and wager the funds,” Rebuck wrote. “It has been reported by some patrons that they were even offered bonus money to reverse a pending withdrawal request.”

Rebuck’s advisory bulletin does not identify any online gaming operator by name. It makes no mention of specific NJ online casino or sports betting operators.

Dreamstime Photo 

PlayUp, New Jersey Devils Team Up To Start NHL Season

The New Jersey Devils and PlayUp announce a multi-year agreement that includes the soon-to-launch operator serving as a presenting partner of the NHL club.

Two days after securing an online sports betting license in New Jersey, PlayUp has partnered with the Garden State’s NHL team.

The multi-year agreement, announced today via press release, includes PlayUp becoming the presenting partner of the Devils’ newly redesigned PlayUp Studio.

Fittingly, the New Jersey Devils will open up the 2021 regular season tonight, hosting the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center in Newark (puck drops at 7 p.m.).

More on PlayUp + Devils partnership

PlayUp is a premium Australian-owned online betting  betting and technology group. The brand is a known commodity in Australia, India, and New Zealand. Play offers online sports betting, horse racing , and daily fantasy sports.

In terms of the partnership with the Devils, here are some additional details:

  • Serve as  presenting partner of the Devils’ season preview show, as well as the Pre-Game Live Show before all home games
  • An in-arena activation location, called the “PlayUp Sports Lounge,” for its soon-to-launch online sports betting app
  • Branding will appear on a TV-visible dasherboard, corner in-ice logo and virtual signage

With the NJ sports betting app being close to launch, Laila Mintas, PlayUP USA CEO, said “engaging New Jersey sports fans is extremely important for us.”

“This unique, digital-focused partnership provides PlayUp with several opportunities to connect with New Jersey Devils fans,” said Mintas.

Devils hope to score with digital audiences

The Devils had record-setting fan engagement on digital and social media platforms this offseason, said Adam Cross, a senior vice president for the team’s owner, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.

Cross said PlayUp shares their vision for amplifying those experiences.

“PlayUp is a partner that shares our commitment to providing top-notch and progressive digital experiences for each and every fan,” he said. 

The Devils were among the first U.S. major professional sports teams to embrace sponsorship deals with gaming companies.

For the 2018-19 season, the team partners included:

  • William Hill 
  • FanDuel
  • Caesars Entertainment

The Devils also have a sponsorship deal with Unibet.

And that deal was announced right after the app launch.

Welcome to NJ, PlayUp

PlayUp  was recently approved to operate online sports betting in New Jersey and Colorado.

According to the press release, PlayUp will be launching its new app and website within the next few weeks.

The online sports betting skin will arrive  via a land-based partnership with Freehold Raceway. And at the moment, it looks they will be the first for the Monmouth County racetrack.

The license holder is a newcomer to the NJ sports betting game. The Parx-branded retail sportsbook started taking bets last fall. Freehold is a joint venture between Greenwood Racing and Penn National Gaming.

But for now, this deal with the Devils will help with introducing the product to an already crowded market.

There are currently 19 NJ sports betting apps.

 

 

NJ Sets All-Time Record With $6 Billion In Yearly Sports Wagers

Technically, the Garden State took in $1 billion in December NJ sports betting wagers. The $996.3 million handle makes it five straight months of records.

A monumental final month of 2020 helped New Jersey set an all-time annual record of more than $6 billion in total sports betting handle last year.

Gamblers placed more than $996.3 million in total wagers with Garden State sportsbooks in December, according to data released Wednesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement

This is yet another all-time monthly record for any legal U.S. sports betting jurisdiction, Nevada included.

December NJ sports betting revenue came in at $66.4 million.

Online sports betting still big winner

Like previous months, the bulk of the action came via the 19 NJ sports betting apps. They accounted for more than 93% ($929.3 million) of the total monthly handle in December. 

More than $5.53 billion, or 92%, of the 2020 annual sports betting handle was from online wagers.

NJ enjoyed record-breaking 2020

December was the fifth consecutive month that New Jersey set a U.S. record in sports betting handle. Here’s a look at the recent monthly handle:

New Jersey’s 2020 sports betting handle is $1.4 billion more than the $4.58 billion reported last year, an increase of 24% year-over-year. Even more remarkable is that there were no major professional or collegiate sports to bet on in April, May and June of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NJ sports betting revenue saw an increase of 33.1% over 2019. The 2020 total came in $398.5 million versus $299.3 for ’19.

FanDuel Sportsbook crushed the competition

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

The Meadowlands reported $33.2 million in December. It is NJ Gambling Sites’ understanding that FanDuel accounts for the bulk of the reported revenue.

To put that number into perspective, the nine Atlantic City license holders reported combined revenue of $28.9 million for the same period.

For the entire year, the Meadowlands and its online partners generated more sports betting revenue ($206.5 million) than every Atlantic City casino and their online operators combined ($166.3 million).

In terms of other license holders, Resorts Digital (DraftKings Sportsbook, Fox Bet, and Resorts) placed a distant second with $100.9 million for the year.

Inches away from first $1-billion month

NJ barely missed $1 billion of monthly sports betting wagers in December, but the milestone is not impossible to reach.

With the NFL Playoffs, the recently completed NCAA College Football Playoff championship game, plus NBA and NHL regular-season action in January, NJ sportsbooks have a $1 billion month squarely in their sights.

The wild card for NJ sports betting is just how much of an impact regional competition will have. Pennsylvania’s online sports betting market is growing and New York appears ready to enter the fray.

But in 2020, NJ was king of the sports betting hill.

AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

DraftKings Offering No-Brainer Bet For NFL Wild Card Weekend

DraftKings is offering new and existing users a chance double their money if any team scores a touchdown during Wild Card Weekend.

DraftKings Sportsbook is making sure every player walks away a winner this weekend when the NFL playoffs kick off.

For wild card games Saturday and Sunday, DraftKings is offering a no-brainer bet: double your money if any team scores a touchdown.

The promo is available to new and existing users. The max wager is $25.

Free money is a no-brainer, every time

This is not the first time DraftKings has offered a no-brainer bet.

In September, bettors had the opportunity to wager on a +101 point spread for the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the season opener against Houston Texans.

Last season, the no-brainer bet was whether the Philadelphia Eagles would score a touchdown in Week 1.

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How to take advantage of DraftKings’ promo

Getting a piece of the latest DraftKings no-brainer action is simple. Existing users need to log in and click on the promo link at the top of the page. 

New users can create an account by clicking the above link. You will need to deposit funds to cover the wager. 

Here are additional terms to the DraftKings no-brainer:

  • Offer applies to NFL Wild Card Weekend. 
  • Opt-in is required.
  • Bettors will be issued one single-use odds boost to use for “any team to score a touchdown.”
  • Boosted price is +100.
  • Bet must be placed prior to kickoff on Jan. 9 at 1:05 p.m. EST.
  • User must select the boost from their bet slip before placing a wager.
  • One qualifying bet per user.
  • Excludes live bets, parlays, free bets, cash-out bets and voided bets.

Wild NFL weekend on tap

There are six games on the NFL schedule this weekend. All times listed are Eastern Standard.

Saturday

  • Indianapolis Colts (+6.5) at Buffalo Bills, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
  • Los Angeles Rams (+4) at Seattle Seahawks, 4:40 p.m. (FOX)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5) at Washington Football Team, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday

  • Baltimore Ravens (+3.5)  at  Tennessee Titans, 1:05 p.m. (ABC/ESPN)
  • Chicago Bears (+10) at New Orleans Saints, 4:40 p.m. (CBS)
  • Cleveland Browns (+6) at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)

All point spreads listed are from DraftKings as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

So with a total of six games and 12 teams, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that Wild Card Weekend will include plenty of TDs.

One is all it takes to cash in that bet slip.

AP Photo/Isaac Brekken