Five Things To Know About NBA Sports Betting In New Jersey

With NBA sports betting now an option in New Jersey, here are some tips for placing bets at NJ sports betting online sites.

You could call it the perfect storm.

This month, the NHL, NFL, MLB, and NBA will all be in regular season or post-season operation, making for what will surely be an unprecedented month of NJ sports betting.

The quartet will be complete tonight when the NBA tips its regular season into gear.

In this primer on sports betting in New Jersey, we’ll cover some of the basics of placing a bet on NBA games, where and how you can bet, and all the possible bonus offers and partnerships that may spark your fancy.

Home-court advantage is legit

Home-sweet-home is a legitimate motto for sports bettors. For NFL and NBA games, it’s an important point to consider when placing a bet.

Five Thirty-Eight lists the following home winning percentages across the four leagues you can bet on:

  • NFL
    • Regular season: 57.1 percent
    • Postseason: 64.7 percent
  • NBA
    • Regular season: 59.9 percent
    • Postseason:64.5 percent
  • MLB
    • Regular season: 54 percent
    • Postseason: 54.2 percent
  • NHL
    • Regular season: 55.1 percent
    • Postseason: 55.3 percent

The NBA and NFL present the biggest home court advantage in the regular season and postseason, as well as the biggest jump in odds from the regular season to the postseason: 7.6 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the MLB’s home teams have a slight advantage in the regular season that only goes up 0.2 percent in the postseason.

While the NHL playoffs are quite a ways off, keep in mind that home-ice advantage goes up only 0.2 percent in the playoffs, too.

In-game betting in New Jersey

At the time of publishing, there are three main choices for in-game bets in New Jersey: DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and SugarHouse Sportsbook.

This is good news for the fast-paced action of the NBA.

DraftKings

Draftkings operates an NJ mobile betting platform via Resorts Atlantic City’s license.

It offers all the traditional betting options including in-game or in-play. Also, you can cash out instantly at any point during the game to avoid last-second losses.

Unlike FanDuel, DraftKings does not have a land-based sportsbook in New Jersey. Neither, for that matter, does SugarHouse. This means to enjoy the in-play betting options during an NBA game, you must download DraftKings Sportsbook or log in on your browser.

DraftKings, by the way, is a popular choice in New Jersey. It generated a good portion of the $8.5 million in revenue posted by Resorts in September.

FanDuel

Whereas DraftKings is available online or through a mobile device, FanDuel offers both the online/mobile and the land-based option for in-game betting.

The sports betting and DFS heavyweight has a physical location at Meadowlands Racetrack, making it one of eight tracks/casinos in the state with a physical sportsbook.

FanDuel finished second in September’s NJ sports betting revenue race, logging around $7.2 million.

SugarHouse

SugarHouse launched its iOS and Android mobile sports betting apps and online platform via Golden Nugget, arguably the state’s flagship casino for online gambling.

Granted, SugarHouse does not have a land-based presence in New Jersey, but that doesn’t matter. The site is an integrated app with both an NJ online casino and an online sportsbook.

Of the NJ online sportsbooks that allow in-game bets, SugarHouse finished third with $619,030 in revenue.

Futures bets

Futures bets allow you to place a bet on who will win a future competition. For example, you can place a bet on who you think will win the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup, the World Series, AND the NBA Finals.

Futures bets are allowed online and in-person with all eight NJ sports betting operators. But it’s best to shop around for the deals that work for you.

A futures bet at DraftKings may not be the same odds as a futures bet at FanDuel.

NBA + Golden Nugget = no bets

If you were hankering to visit Golden Nugget sportsbook and place a bet on the Los Angeles Lakers or the Philadelphia 76ers, you’re out of luck. Golden Nugget cannot accept any bets on NBA games.

The casino’s owner, Tilman Fertitta, is the owner of the Houston Rockets. The dual relationship presents a conflict of interest, barring the casino from offering NBA bets.

Look for partnerships, promos and deals

As we head into the NHL and NBA regular seasons, keep an eye out for partnerships between sports betting operators and the two leagues.

For example, MGM Resorts International announced a partnership with the NBA and WNBA. In the wake of the announcement, MGM ran a free-play promo in which bettors could pick the over-under win totals for every NBA team. That contest ended just before tonight’s opening game, however.

Don’t think there’s a sportsbook promo right for you? Think again. BetStars NJ and FanDuel Sportsbook are churning out sports betting promos right and left.

The most recent NBA promo from BetStars is an ongoing one for fans of LeBron James. Place a moneyline bet on the Lakers, and if LeBron puts up 35+ points in a game, but the Lakers still lose, BetStars will gift you with $20 in free bets.

Future partnerships and promos are likely to continue as operators, leagues, and casinos get into the NJ sports betting spirit.

AGA: Like The NFL, NHL Will See A Big Jump In Revenue From Sports Betting

According to the American Gaming Association, a Nielsen survey indicates that legal sports betting will increase the NHL’s revenue by $216 million a year.

First, it was a team in Las Vegas. Now its more than $200 million in sports revenue.

If the projections from a Nielsen sports study are accurate, the American Gaming Association announced this past week that the NHL could see a $216 million annual boost in revenue by virtue of legalized sports betting.

Sara Slane, the AGA’s senior vice president of public affairs, called sports betting’s impact on the NHL “significant.”

“Today’s announcement reaffirms that legal, regulated sports betting will create significant new revenue opportunities for sports leagues,” Slane said. “Much like the NHL’s recent successful expansion into Las Vegas, legal sports betting will continue to expand across the country, bringing with it a $216 million opportunity for the league.”

Where the NHL sports betting revenue will come from

Of the $216 million Nielsen says the NHL could earn every year from legalized sports betting, $151 million of that will come from increased fan engagement as well as another $65 million in revenue from gambling services.

According to a summary document from Nielsen, the consumption numbers (“fan engagement”) will result from revenue jumps in media rights, sponsorship, merchandise sales, and ticket sales.

Nielsen detailed the projected increases in each of those areas:

  • Media rights: 4.3 percent, or $67 million
  • Sponsorship: 2.0 percent, or $10 million
  • Merchandise: 0.7 percent, or $1 million
  • Ticket sales: 3.6 percent, or $72 million

Perhaps what is most significant in these numbers is that the projected increases in ticket sales and media rights are higher than what the league expects through gambling services.

Also of note is that an increase in ticket sales will be, according to the projections, the single most profitable revenue category in the post-PASPA world.

Those who gamble on games will, Nielsen predicts, be more inclined to buy tickets to those games.

Trio of factors with sports betting

Nielsen said the money the NHL is projected to earn from gambling services is split into three categories:

  • TV advertising revenue: $24 million
  • Sponsorship revenue: $35 million
  • Data and product revenue: $6 million

These various categories, Nielsen said, are fees that gambling services will pay directly to the league. Obviously, NJ sports betting and online gambling would be a part of these streams.

And likely a huge part as the NJ sports betting has skyrocketed since the start of football season. DraftKings Sportsbook led the charge back in August.

Nielsen study included both bettors and non-bettors

The AGA’s summary of the Nielsen study detailed Nielsen’s methodology. In short, the company surveyed 1,000 sports fans. However, not all of those sports fans were NHL fans.

They used those 1,000 surveys to “model how a national, legal sports betting market would affect the sports consumption habits of non-bettors, casual bettors and avid bettors, and how this change in consumption would translate to increased revenue.”

So, while Nielsen extrapolated revenue pertaining to the NHL, it was by no means an NHL-specific study. In fact, Nielsen used the same numbers to project the revenue effect legalized sports betting would have on NFL revenue$2.3 billion, to be exact.

Atlantic Club To Remain Empty In AC As Stockton Deal Collapses

The pending deal between TJM and Stockton University for the Atlantic Club property dissolved after two months of negotiations fell through.

The Stockton University empire won’t be getting bigger.

This past week, both TJM Properties, which owns the Atlantic Club, and Stockton officials announced that the pending deal fell through.

In an interview with the Press of Atlantic City, TJM seems to put the blame on Stockton for passing on a sweetheart deal.

“Our organization feels that Stockton University will bring great economic development to Atlantic City, therefore [we] offered them a deal unlike any other, which unfortunately did not and will not happen moving forward,” TJM President Terence McCarthy said.

The university planned to knock down the casino and hotel and, according to reports, utilize the property’s parking garage.

Stockton deal third to fall through in past two years

The Atlantic Club property is, judging by the amount of interest in it, a desirable asset.

Over the past couple of years, three deals — Stockton included — failed to make it through the negotiation process.

Before the Stockton deal, R&R Development from Ventnor City wanted to build a water park on the property. The attraction would have been named Dolphin Village and would’ve boasted the following stats:

  • 100,000-square-foot property
  • 300-room hotel
  • Dining and entertainment venues
  • Rides
  • Wading pools

The attraction was deemed a haven for high rollers’ kids, but the deal went bust and Atlantic City never got its water park.

A third deal fell through in 2016 when another development group wanted to create a multi-purpose facility in which there would be a water park, shopping, and other attractions.

According to reports, the development group, Endeavor Property Group, couldn’t put together the funding it needed to finalize the deal.

Reason for third breakdown unknown

The property seems to have bad luck, as funding has fallen through twice. Interestingly, there has yet to be a solid theory as to why the Stockton deal fell through.

As mentioned earlier, quotes from TJM seems to indicate the fault is on Stockton. The university, in the meantime, offered cordial quotes about the back out.

“We appreciate all the time and hard work that has gone into this effort, and are particularly grateful to TJM properties,” Stockton Universty President Harvey Kesselman said. “Rest assured, we remain committed to Atlantic City and expanding our presence there. This is our future, and we will continue to try to make the best investments we can there.”

Stockton in Atlantic City

Stockton University’s presence in Atlantic City is grounded in its Gateway campus, a one-block property between Ventnor and Atlantic and across the street from O’Donnell Memorial Park.

The university’s website brands the Gateway campus as “beachfront living and learning” where students can “live, learn and enjoy the best of Atlantic City.”

In 2017, there was talk of Stockton acquiring the Revel Casino property for its Atlantic City campus but the deal never materialized. Ocean Resort Casino stands in its place now.

With the deal for the old Atlantic Club out the door, Stockton is likely back to square one with its plans to expand in AC.

Thumbs Up: Rating Agency Moody’s Likes The Direction Atlantic City Is Headed

Moody’s gave Atlantic City’s future two thumbs up in the wake of the state’s report. The state takeover and its proposals are a positive for the city.

Are AAA’s in the future for Atlantic City?

While rating agency Moody’s may not bestow the highest score for Atlantic City’s financial standing, the company says recent news that the state will continue overseeing the city’s finances is a positive sign for AC’s credit rating.

Good news and bad news for Atlantic City

Moody’s ratings are a way for investors to quickly understand the stability, of, in this case, a city’s financial profile.

What Moody said this past week about the city’s financial health was a statement, but not an official rating. The last time Moody’s rated Atlantic City was March 28 of this year.

At that time, they gave the city a Caa3 rating with a positive outlook, which means that they foresee the city’s financial stability getting stronger.

However, for the time being, the credit rating isn’t a good one.

According to the Moody’s website, a “Caa3 underlying rating reflects the city’s continued, albeit reduced, financial and economic distress. The affirmation also incorporates the positive impact of the takeover by the state.”

While the agency’s positive outlook is encouraging — a sign that whatever the state is doing is working — Atlantic City still has its share of financial hurdles it needs to overcome in order to get a better rating from Moody’s.

The report noted the following steps could be taken to improve the city’s finances:

  • Improved liquidity and reserve position
  • Further reductions in expenditures
  • Diversification of the economic base
  • Material improvement in tax base and resident wealth and income

City’s financial problems go back years

In 2016, Atlantic City was in a crisis. It was two years removed from the infamous casino contraction of 2014, in which five NJ casinos closed.

Then-Mayor Dick Guardian and his city councilmembers were struggling to come up with solutions for the city’s financial frailty. Then-Gov. Chris Christie gave Guardian and his colleagues an ultimatum: Fix your budget or submit to a state takeover of your books.

Guardian submitted a budget for 2016-2017, as well as a five-year plan to eliminate the city’s debts. However, Christie wasn’t satisfied and didn’t consider the budget a plausible one.

In November 2016, he announced that the state would send in a team to take over Atlantic City’s finances. Within six months, the state-led team came up with a plan to balance the budget that included cutbacks and lay-offs.

The state’s first major victory came when it was able to settle an outstanding $165 million property-tax refund with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa for $72 million.

Atlantic City state report and the future

This past month, Gov. Phil Murphy’s special counsel in charge of the state takeover of Atlantic City, Jim Johnson, recommended that the oversight continue through 2021.

The extension of oversight was the result of a 64-page report titled “Atlantic City: Building a Foundation for a Shared Prosperity.” 

In the report, Johnson said that the city needed to continue to build its infrastructure and strengthen its relationships with various state agencies if it wants to have long-term success.

“The citizens of Atlantic City deserve to have their local elected officials control their destiny,” said Mayor Frank Gilliam. “I am very optimistic that this is a huge step in the right direction for Atlantic City and its future.”

Moody’s, apparently, is similarly optimistic.

Report: State Oversight Of Atlantic City Needs To Continue Through 2021

This past week, a new report on the Atlantic City state takeover said that New Jersey officials would continue to oversee the city until things improve.

The training wheels aren’t coming off.

In a report published last week, Gov. Phil Murphy’s special counsel, Jim Johnson, recommended that the state continue to oversee Atlantic City’s operations through 2021.

Despite the continued oversight, Mayor Frank Gilliam of Atlantic City remains optimistic:

“The citizens of Atlantic City deserve to have their local elected officials control their destiny,” said Gilliam. “I am very optimistic that this is a huge step in the right direction for Atlantic City and its future.”

Oversight continues for Atlantic City

The report, titled, “Atlantic City: Building a Foundation for a Shared Prosperity,” is the result of “five months of fact-finding, consultation and analysis.”

Johnson’s report begins with an overview section in which there’s some explanation as to why it’s important for the state-led coalition to continue to oversee Atlantic City’s daily operations:

“Atlantic City must chart a new course, which involves strengthening the fundamentals of local government, investing in a broader economy with jobs with high earning potential and addressing longstanding social challenges. … The strategy must seek to build people, particularly the youth, not just places.”

The report, which totals 64 pages, reviews countless data points and provides recommendations across many different areas including:

  • State and local councils
  • Civic associations and local NGO’s
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Funding

Here are the report’s conclusions:

“Atlantic City is in the midst of a promising renewal and has many assets that can be brought to bear to ensure that progress endures. Success will depend on collaboration among stakeholders who should have a willingness to understand and confront some of the most chronic problems. That understanding will help create a vision of shared opportunity. The tasks outlined in this Report offer important steps on this common journey.”

Key tasks to complete for Atlantic City

The tasks mentioned above include a list of key recommendations that AC officials would need to execute in order to spur changes in the state takeover.

Those key recommendations include:

  • Investing in its own people. The city needs to train employees properly and provide them with technology.
  • Supporting the key drivers in its economy, specifically the casinos.
  • Cleaning up the city. AC must provide a more inviting place for people to live in and want to move to.
  • Building on the strengths ingrained in the city’s fabric including leveraging civic and arts organizations. This will help facilitate a stronger sense of community.
  • Building relationships with other institutions, including the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Department of Community Affairs, and the Economic Development Authority.
  • Providing access to health, housing, and job opportunities for poor residents.

The review team behind Johnson’s report also proposed creating a state coordinating council to help implement the tasks and hold people accountable for results.

AC state takeover in a nutshell

Atlantic City was in the throes of a dismal economic morass in 2016.

The city’s bond rating was in the tank, it owed a massive tax refund to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and the city council was on a tight deadline to come up with a feasible budget that would, at the very least, provide a balanced bottom line for the next five years.

The state-takeover threat was a real possibility at the time, with many experts in the industry well-aware that then-Gov. Chris Christie wanted control of the city.

However, Christie gave the city’s leaders an out: provide a balanced budget and you can control your destiny.

The city submitted it’s fiscal plan but, after reviewing the plan, state officials decided that, while the budget was optimistic, it didn’t have the concrete details in place to make the bottom line a reality.

So in November 2016, the state takeover began.

‘Working together’ to change AC’s future

Atlantic City’s fortunes have since changed for the better. The city appears to be enjoying new life with its nine casinos, legal NJ sports betting, and an increase in tourism.

But optimism aside, the report indicates there’s still a long way to go.

“We can do tremendous things in Atlantic City, but only if we do them working together and only if we focus on broadening the economy,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.

FanDuel Sportsbook Changes Its Tune, Pays Out ‘Erroneous’ NFL Tickets

After much bad publicity, FanDuel Sportsbook announced last week they’d pay out the prop bets made on glitch odds during an NFL game.

FanDuel Sportsbook came to their senses.

This past week, FanDuel announced it would pay out an $82,000 winning ticket (and all other glitch-related bets) placed via a prop bet on a Sunday game between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos.

Some bettors saw 750-1 odds on the game’s outcome, took the bet, and won.

“We are committed to ensuring sports betting is reliable and fun for everyone, and we don’t want an 18-second error to define anyone’s experience,” FanDuel said in a statement. “So let’s have fun.”

Quick background on the glitch bet at FanDuel

The Broncos vanquished the Raiders via a 36-yard field goal from kicker Brandon McManus.

For about 18 seconds before the kick, FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands offered 750-1 odds on the kick, which was an anomaly considering there was an 85 percent chance McManus would make the kick.

At first, the company said the odds were a glitch considering the high likelihood that McManus would make the kick. FanDuel told the bettor as such and then offered him a consolation prize.

After some hefty backlash across the NJ sports betting world, the media, and Twitter, FanDuel decided to pay out the 750-1 tickets.

FanDuel statement displays regret, good intentions

The long-shot prop-bet scenario was the second “glitch” the north New Jersey sportsbook endured so far this year and, in both cases, the company made things right by paying out the money that was due.

In the first scenario this past July, the sportsbook didn’t have enough cash on hand to pay out winning bets on a few MLB games, one of which finished after the cages were supposed to close.

Just like this most recent episode, FanDuel Sportsbook paid the winners and, in doing so, kept things on the level with customers.

What makes its recent decision even more valuable to its reputation is that not only did it pay the winning bets, but it also used it as a marketing tool over the weekend.

“We’re giving away $82,000 to our customers, by adding $1,000 to the account of 82 lucky users,” FanDuel’s statement said. “Any person who has a FanDuel Sportsbook online account as of 10 a.m. ET this Sunday will be eligible for random selection.”

House rules and misunderstandings

FanDuel’s statement also addressed the shortcomings in the context of New Jersey’s young sports betting market.

Experienced bettors would understand that a betting glitch wouldn’t pay out, per house rules. This is what’s known in the sports betting world as a palp.

FanDuel’s house rules, as approved by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, stated the following:

“In the case of any blatant errors in prices transmitted (including for example where the price being displayed is materially different from those available in the general market and/or the price is clearly incorrect, depending on all of the circumstances), bets will be settled at the correct price at the time of acceptance.”

In this situation, FanDuel said, they chose to forego house rules and pay out the winning tickets. The reason? Not everyone understands the NJ sports betting market or sports betting in general.

From the statement:

“We realize a lot of our customers are new to sports betting and were not familiar. We want FanDuel to be a sportsbook for all bettors, and we want sports betting to be fun. So, this one’s on the house. We are paying out these erroneous tickets and wish the lucky customers well.”

In the end, FanDuel may have had a change of heart. But the bottom line, according to the sportsbook, is that the tickets were “erroneous” and a glitch was still the cause of the error.