A Post-Pandemic Look At NJ Sports Betting; Will Retail Sportsbooks Survive?

Even when New Jersey sportsbooks are ready to open, the retail book will likely look a bit different post-pandemic then it did during the Super Bowl.

With Atlantic City casinos closed, online sports betting and casino gambling have been trying to fill the void.

Unfortunately for New Jersey sports betting enthusiasts, most sporting events are staying at home with the rest of us. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however.

The major sports leagues are currently formulating plans to safely get back on the field, ice or court. We could start seeing those plans as early as next week.

Before you get too excited, though, Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and member of the administration’s coronavirus task force, says we are “not ready” for sports just yet.

Even when we are ready, it is likely that the retail sportsbook will look a bit different post-pandemic then it did during the Super Bowl.

But first things, first.

When will AC casinos open?

Before sportsbooks can reopen, Atlantic City casinos and New Jersey racetracks in the state need to open.

While some states are beginning to reopen businesses, NJ is still in lockdown mode.

This week, Gov. Phil Murphy extended NJ’s stay-at-home order until further notice. Some casinos in AC aren’t even accepting reservations until June 1.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that some sports will begin playing before NJ sportsbooks reopen.

One thing we have learned during this pandemic is that not all things are created equal.

Keep in mind that when Murphy begins to lift restrictions, those restrictions may be regional, which could delay the reopening of some sportsbooks in NJ even longer.

Reopening of sportsbooks in New Jersey

Sportsbooks reopening in NJ is only half the battle. Getting customers in the door may be the other half.

Experts believe the coronavirus will return in the fall, which likely means avoiding crowds will be a strong consideration for most people when making plans.

We know the majority of sports betting is done via NJ online gambling sites, not a betting window. That is the opposite of casino gambling, where online casinos account for only about 20% of land-based casino revenue.

In New Jersey, online sports betting accounts for roughly 80% of all betting handle. It makes sense that bettors may forgo watching sports with hundreds of their closest friends for a much smaller gathering at home.

Unfortunately, it may be a longer, more gradual road to recovery for NJ sportsbooks than other businesses in the state.

What can we expect at a post-pandemic sportsbook in NJ?

First of all, expect to see some cost-cutting measures. The key to survival for AC casinos and NJ racetracks post-pandemic will be liquidity.

Gambling companies will need to position themselves to last as long as possible as customers gradually return, and business slowly recovers.

We can’t help but dream of returning to normal. But what does that even mean these days? It is hard to know how a post-pandemic normal will look. We can, however, make some educated guesses.

Sportsbooks will probably rely more heavily on betting kiosks over betting windows to minimize human contact. Oh, and look for those disinfectant wipes sitting next to each one.

It seems likely that capacity figures will be adjusted. The layout of the sportsbook may be redesigned to create more space, making physical distancing easier.

Soon, AC casinos and NJ racetracks will have to make some hard decisions regarding their retail sports betting operations.

Where is a casino’s money best spent right now? The obvious answer is on the casino floor, which means NJ sportsbooks will get the leftovers if there are any.

The good news for the NJ sports betting market is that it isn’t reliant on its retail sportsbooks for the majority of its revenue.

What it is reliant on, though, is sports. Once sporting events are back on the board, handle will likely rebound quickly.

So, will NJ sportsbooks survive the pandemic? Certainly. It will just take a long time before things return to “normal.”

Sports Bettors Might Be The Reason New Jersey Online Poker Is Thriving

NJ sports betting fans are finding they have a lot in common with online poker players and that may be the reason online poker in NJ is thriving.

There is no question that we are living in unprecedented times. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world into a global health crisis and who knows when normal life will resume.

Sports always seemed immune to the news of the day. Sports was our escape. Yet, here we are with a blank calendar after nearly all sporting events have been canceled or postponed.

That leaves the New Jersey sports betting market with very few betting options and the avid sports bettor with an empty bet slip.

On the flip side, NJ online poker has seen a spike in traffic and massive tournament prize pools that were once only found at World Series of Poker online bracelet events.

The source of the increase may be coming from the sports betting market.

Online poker and sports betting have more in common than you might realize. And that is why the avid sports bettor would find America’s card game enjoyable.

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NJ online poker shows signs of life

Atlantic City casinos may be closed, but New Jersey online casinos are open for business. Online poker rooms are thriving as a result.

Now, that sports betting is basically sidelined, the struggling NJ online poker market is seeing a lot more activity.

Coincidence? Probably not.

Without sports to fill the weekends and stay-at-home orders sweeping throughout the nation, it seems sports bettors are turning to online poker.

Just look at the WSOP Online Super Circuit Series as an example.

After canceling its live circuit events, the World Series of Poker turned to online poker to serve up its next major tournament series.

The poker tournament just crossed the halfway mark, and it is obliterating its guarantees. The series guaranteed $1.2 million over 18 events. It only took the first seven events to generate that amount.

This is huge for a poker market that has been taking a back seat to online poker in Pennsylvania and has been on life support for a while now.

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WSOP Online Super Circuit Series

DateTime PSTEventBuy-inGuaranteeEntriesPrize Pool
Mar. 144:00 PM1 - NLH Double Stack$320$50,000570$171,000
Mar. 152:00 PM2 - NLH Monster Stack$215$50,000941$188,200
Mar. 164:00 PM3 - NLH Deep Turbo$215$50,000669$133,800
Mar. 174:00 PM4 - NLH High Roller (6-Max)$1,000$75,000290$276,950
Mar. 184:00 PM5 - NLH$215$50,000859$171,800
Mar. 194:00 PM6 - NLH$320$50,000720$217,800
Mar. 204:00 PM7 - PLO 6-Max$215$30,000454$90,800
Mar. 214:00 PM8 - NLH Double Stack$320$75,000826$247,800
Mar. 222:00 PM9 - NLH Monster Stack$525$150,000636$318,000
Mar. 234:00 PM10 - NLH Freezeout$250$30,000473$110,209
Mar. 244:00 PM11 - NLH BIG $500$500$75,000314$247,977
Mar. 254:00 PM12 - NLH$215$50,000
Mar. 264:00 PM13 - NLH 6-Max$320$75,000
Mar. 274:00 PM14 - NLH Turbo$250$50,000
Mar. 284:00 PM15 - NLH$320$75,000
Mar. 292:00 PM16 - NLH Main Event$525$200,000
Mar. 304:00 PM17 - NLH Knockout$300$30,000
Mar. 314:00 PM18 - NLH Grand Finale HR$1,000$75,000

Sports betting and online poker have a lot in common

It makes sense to attribute the increased interest in online poker in NJ to sports bettors. After all, sports bettors and poker players have a lot in common.

Successful sports bettors and poker players use their knowledge, past performances and instincts to place a bet. The wager might be on a game or a hand, but educated bets based on the analysis of a fluctuating scene is how money is made.

Sometimes those bets work in the player’s favor and sometimes they don’t. In the end, it just needs to work a bit more than it doesn’t to be profitable.

Sports bettors and poker players both:

  • Observe and spot trends
  • Understand and use statistics to make decisions
  • Understand variance
  • Bet within their limits

Sports betting and poker are both games of incomplete information. The more information a player can gather, the better his or her decision-making ability is.

The better the decisions, the more likelihood of a winning bet. Even so, things can and do go wrong. It is how a player uses that information for the next bet that often sets him or her apart.

It is the constant analysis and readjustment to the game plan that attracts a similar type of player to poker and sports betting. So it makes sense that without sports, a bettor would turn to poker.

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More huge NJ online poker tournaments coming soon

There are still seven events left in the WSOP Online Super Circuit Series.

Players from Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey are eligible to play on WSOP.com or 888poker.

What’s more, the success of the Super Circuit Series is likely to catch the attention of the other NJ online poker platforms.

For instance, it was recently reported at Online Poker Report that PokerStars NJ is moving its Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) to April. If it does, it will be the earliest start date of the series in its history.

When Will Atlantic City Casinos Open?

Atlantic City casinos closed on Monday without knowing how long the closure will last. Now people want to know when they will open.

Atlantic City casinos closed on Monday without any indication of how long the closure might last.

In fact, most casinos across the country are now closed. Even the Las Vegas Strip turned out its lights this week.

Not even 24 hours after casinos closed down, people began asking when will AC casinos open.

The question is equivalent to the constant “are we there yet?” from a child on the never-ending road trip with the family.

Needless to say, there is no answer.

In a press conference announcing the closing of all the casinos on the Boardwalk, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made it clear that there was no end date in sight.

AC casinos will remain closed “until such time as it is deemed safe for their reopening.”

Since gambling began on the Boardwalk in 1978, the longest closure of AC casinos came in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and it lasted five days.

Well, we know this closure will be longer than five days. Dare, do we say much longer?

It is impossible to predict an opening date because there are so many unknowns.

Over the coming days, there will be a lot of theories around how long the closure of casinos in the US will last.

Don’t believe everything you read. Make sure you are getting your news from reputable sources.

Online casinos in NJ are still open for business

Atlantic City casinos may be closed for the foreseeable future, but NJ online casinos are open for business.

Casino players will find many of the same retail casino games online that they enjoy playing at their favorite casino on the Boardwalk. Games include:

  • Slots
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Video poker

For those of you who like a particular slot machine, you may be surprised to find your favorite slot game at one of the 23 online casinos in NJ.

Here is a partial list:

The longer the country stays closed for business, the more there is a need for a variety of entertainment options that people can enjoy safely.

If you are going to gamble online, please do so responsibly and ensure you are playing at a legal New Jersey online casino.

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Do your part to help AC casinos reopen

The only way the coronavirus will stop spreading is if everyone does their part. Make no mistake about it; AC casinos will only reopen when the coronavirus stops spreading.

Follow social distancing and self-isolation guidelines. When faced with a choice of staying home or going out, stay at home.

Be prepared to stay home (mostly) for several weeks, but do not give in to the panic-buying that is sweeping the nation.

Mostly, make sure you give yourself a break from the news. Take some time to escape the headlines.

Watch a movie, read a book or play an online slot machine. A little enjoyment will go a long way toward making an impossible situation more bearable.

Not Every Year Was Perfect, But Six Years Of NJ Online Gambling Sure Had Its Moments

New Jersey online casinos celebrate six years and what a crazy ride it has been. We take a look back at the changes, growth, and the ups and downs.

The sixth (6!) anniversary of New Jersey online casino gambling is upon us and what a crazy ride it has been.

There have been some dramatic changes, significant growth, and definitely some ups and downs over the past six years.

Looking at where it all started and comparing it to today, it’s hard to imagine that it has only been six years. It is akin to the memory that feels like yesterday and yet, it still feels like forever.

Well, it wouldn’t be an anniversary without a look back at the humble beginnings of the NJ online gambling market.

Leading up to the launch of NJ online casinos

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the Legislature finally came to a compromise on the differences that earned a veto on a previous version of the bill.

On Feb. 26, 2013, online casino gambling became a reality for companies partnered with brick-and-mortar Atlantic City casinos.

In preparation for the launch of online casino gambling, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) started accepting applications in July. All 12 AC casinos at the time applied for online gambling licenses.

Year One (Nov. 21, 2013-14): NJ online casinos launch

All eyes were on the NJ online casino industry as it prepared to launch. To make things fair, the DGE arranged a synchronized launch for Nov. 21, 2013.

All online operators had the same timeline to secure licensing and perform testing. And when the time came, six Atlantic City casinos flipped the switch, bringing seven online casinos and six online poker rooms in NJ to life:

  • Borgata
  • Harrah’s
  • Caesars
  • Tropicana
  • Trump Plaza
  • Trump Taj Mahal

Golden Nugget had every intention of participating in the synchronized launch. Unfortunately, technical issues prevented it from moving out of the testing phase.

It would be about three more weeks before Golden Nugget successfully passed testing. It finally came online on Dec. 13, 2013.

Technical issues continued to plague the industry, mostly in the form of geolocation software. In fact, geolocation continued to be a problem through much of the first year.

In January, three notable events took place:

  • Virgin Casino comes online under the Tropicana license.
  • WSOP.com hosts the first major online poker tournament, the New Jersey Online Championships.
  • Borgata Casino paid out the first online jackpot of more than $150,000 from a progressive slot machine.

Much of the first year was uneventful, or as uneventful as launching a new industry can be. That all changed in September.

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Within one week, both Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal shut down leaving several online casinos without a home.

Ultimate Casino and Ultimate Poker shut down when Trump Taj Mahal failed to pay them. Betfair Casino and Betfair Poker, originally partnered with Trump Plaza, temporarily moved to Caesars’ license until a permanent partner was found.

Betfair secured a deal with Golden Nugget AC just days before the one year anniversary of the market. Additionally, this was the time Pala Casino came online, the first online casino operated by a Native American tribe in NJ.

At the end of Year One, the online casino market racked up $104.3 million in revenue and paid $15.6 million in taxes to the state.

On Nov. 20, 2014, and heading into Year Two, there were:

  • Eight online casinos
  • Five online poker rooms

Year Two (Nov. 21, 2014-15): Bad actor no more

Year Two does not start off well. On Dec. 1, 2014, Betfair Poker closes its virtual poker room.

Online poker then takes center stage when 888 Poker and WSOP.com ring in the new year by pooling liquidity.

This strategic move catapulted WSOP and 888 into first place among online poker rooms in NJ. It also stepped up the competition against its main rival, the Party Poker-Borgata network.

Following the boost to the online poker scene, Resorts Casino finds its way online minus a poker room.

Resorts is aligned with PokerStars NJ, which has been prevented from launching due to the “Bad Actor” clause in the legislation.

The next big news again focuses on poker, only this time it is outside of New Jersey. In March, Nevada and Delaware begin combining player pools across state lines.

Unfortunately, it will be several years, before New Jersey makes the duo a trio.

In the summer of 2015, Golden Nugget joins forces with NYX Entertainment and undergoes some significant software enhancements. Looking back, it is easy to see these enhancements setting the stage for Golden Nugget’s eventual market domination.

Around the same time, Mohegan Sun Casino came online under the Resorts’ license.

The fall of 2015 welcomed the popular e-wallet PayPal to the market for deposits and withdrawals at New Jersey online casino sites. It is still one of the more popular ways to fund an online casino account in the Garden State.

Additionally, PokerStars NJ finally wins its approval from the DGE. Its initial launch was scheduled for November, but it wouldn’t come online until Year Three.

At the end of Year Two, the online casino market racked up $141.1 million in revenue. That is an impressive increase of 35.3% over its first year in operation. Plus, the state collected another $21.2 million in taxes.

On Nov. 21, 2014, and heading into Year Three, there were:

  • 12 online casinos
  • Four online poker rooms

Year Three (Nov. 21, 2015-16): Hit me, dealer

It was March of 2016 before the next big news hit the market.

PokerStars NJ is finally online. Players in NJ were waiting a long time for the global brand to come to the Garden State.

Then several months later, the online casino industry would change forever. On Aug. 11, Golden Nugget launched live dealer games to provide an online casino experience similar to that of a brick-and-mortar one.

Live dealer games become hugely popular. Along with its computer upgrades from the year previous, it is said to be the main reason Golden Nugget enjoys its market leader status today.

It’s September before the next online casino launches. SugarHouse Casino crosses the Pennsylvania state border to launch an online casino in the Garden State under Golden Nugget’s license.

That brings us to the end of Year Three. The online casino market earned $188.4 million in online gaming revenue. That figure is good for a 33.5% increase over the same period from the previous year.

The state is getting wealthier, too. It added another $28.3 million in tax revenue to its coffers.

On Nov. 21, 2014, and heading into Year Four, there were:

  • 15 online casinos
  • Five online poker rooms

Year Four (Nov. 21, 2016-17): Poker players can almost taste shared liquidity

The beginning of Year Four was relatively quiet.

The first real big news came in May when Betfair adds live dealer games to its portfolio. Golden Nugget and Betfair will continue to be the only NJ online casinos to offer live dealer games until 2018.

Then during the summer of 2017, Pala Poker opens its poker room. It surprises everyone by forgoing the opportunity to share liquidity with Borgata and Party Poker.

Pala Poker has struggled to meet guarantees and draw players to its network from the beginning.

In late summer, two more online casinos launch:

  • Scores Casino (Under the Borgata license)
  • BetMGM Casino and Poker

Besides the arrival of PokerStars, the big news online poker players were awaiting was the opportunity to join Delaware and Nevada in sharing player pools.

New Jersey finally signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) with the two states on Oct. 13. However, it will still take several months before shared liquidity happens.

At the end of Year Four, NJ online casinos generated $239.8 million in revenue. It, again, saw double-digit percentage growth of 27.3% over the year prior. The industry paid an additional $35.9 million in tax revenue to the state.

At the end of Year Four, there were:

  • 17 online casinos
  • Seven online poker rooms

Year Five (Nov. 21, 2017-18): New Jersey saves the day

Little did we know at the start of Year Five what a momentous year it would be. However, it wouldn’t take long to understand that history was in the making.

On Dec. 4, 2017, the State of New Jersey challenges the legality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. A SCOTUS Blog watch would commence a few months later.

And while NJ sports betting has its own milestones to celebrate, there is a correlation to the launch of online sports betting in June 2018 and the continued growth and success of online casino gambling in the Garden State.

Of course, casinos and casino games continued to grow throughout the year. Live dealer games spread to eight casinos by summer and a second live dealer studio opened up thanks to Evolution Gaming.

And finally, what all poker players were waiting for became a reality. Just before the first “shuffle up and deal” of the 2018 World Series of Poker, player pools finally combined between three states:

  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Nevada

The timing was just right to allow New Jersey online poker players a chance to win one of four WSOP gold bracelets offered for online events. In fact, a New Jersey player would go on to place one of those gold bracelets on his wrist.

Even with the sports betting news and the implementation of shared liquidity, the biggest news for Atlantic City came in June when two shuttered casinos on the Boardwalk came back to life.

Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino opened their doors on June 28, just a few weeks after the first sportsbook opened its betting windows. Both Hard Rock and Ocean Resort would launch online casinos shortly after.

Then after being the first online sportsbook to launch in NJ, DraftKings Casino began offering blackjack.

What was notable about this news wasn’t that DraftKings became the daily fantasy sports operator turned sportsbook turned casino. It’s the integrated online sportsbook and online casino app prioritizing the customer experience.

Once the Supreme Court decision was handed down, the rest of the year flew by in a blur. Revenue for the online casino market grew by 18.5% year over year to $284.1 million. The state collected its share, which equated to $42.6 million.

At the end of Year Five, there were:

  • 19 casinos
  • Seven poker rooms
  • Nine online sportsbooks

Year Six (Nov. 21, 2018-19): Another record-setting year

It didn’t seem possible to keep up the pace of the second half of 2018. But as 2018 came to a close and the beginning of Year Six began, a new normal in New Jersey online gambling was being established.

More online casinos would launch, more cross-selling between sportsbooks and casinos would occur, and more revenue records would be set.

To ring in 2019, DraftKings becomes the latest online casino to offer live dealer games through a partnership with Evolution Gaming. On the other end of the spectrum, six-month-old Ocean Resort is struggling financially and goes up for sale.

It is renamed Ocean Casino in early 2019.

An Eldorado and Caesars merger is heating up and Eldorado moves to sell a few properties to clear the way. Consolidation seems to be the latest industry buzzword.

This year ushered in four new gambling sites:

  • BetAmerica (Golden Nugget)
  • Unibet NJ Casino (Hard Rock Atlantic City)
  • Bet365 Casino (Hard Rock Atlantic City)
  • Parx Casino (Ocean Casino Resort)

Now that we’ve reached the end of NJ online gambling’s sixth year, there are:

  • 23 casinos
  • Seven poker rooms
  • 17 online sportsbooks

And it doesn’t quite feel like the market is done yet. There’s a reason New Jersey is a model state when it comes to online gambling.

It has not always been easy, but NJ and the DGE have efficiently navigated the ups and downs that rapid growth brings to any business.

It’s impressive to review the changes from one year to next. One can only imagine what 2020 will bring.

6 Changes Worth Noting In 6 Years Of New Jersey Online Gambling

As the New Jersey online gambling market celebrates six years, we take a look back at the six biggest changes to the market since those early days.

New Jersey online casinos opened for business with seven casinos and six online poker rooms in a coordinated launch on Nov. 21, 2013.

But it took a little work and almost three years to get there.

Protecting Atlantic City casinos, adhering to the Wire Act, and educating the public about what online gambling really meant, resulted in a veto and rewriting the legislation.

Eventually, a bill legalizing online gambling in New Jersey was approved in a bipartisan effort on Feb. 26, 2013.

Former-Gov. Chris Christie followed with his signature, making New Jersey the third state to legalize online gambling behind Delaware and Nevada.

New Jersey may have been third to legalize online gambling, but it is the state other states look to for guidance in crafting legislation.

As the New Jersey online gambling market celebrates six years, we take a look at the six biggest changes to the market since those early days.

1. Size matters when it comes to NJ online casinos

On Nov. 21, 2013, seven online casinos and six online poker rooms began a weeklong testing phase. Five days later, all 13 were approved for full-time operations.

Today, New Jersey is home to:

  • 23 online casinos
  • Seven online poker rooms
  • 17 online sportsbooks

The first year of operation saw a limited number of games and technical challenges that slowed down the industry’s initial growth.

Six years later, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is a well-oiled machine. Online casinos, plus the technology involved, have advanced tremendously. While technical glitches still happen, they are usually short-lived.

During December 2013, the first full month of operation, the online gambling market earned $7,388,672.

Compare that to today. In October 2019, the latest NJ online casino revenue numbers available, online casinos generated $45,214,555 of income.

Since the launch of online casino gambling, the industry brought in $1.4 billion and the state benefited to the tune of $2.1 million.

In 2019, seven out of the 10 months produced record revenue, the most recent record-setting month coming in October. Even more impressive is the massive year-over-year growth of 69%.

Last year at this time, many people started asking the question, when will the online casino market stop growing?

Well, 2019 is not the answer. By the look of things, neither is 2020.

2. Live dealer games liven up online casinos

Live dealer games in New Jersey are probably the biggest innovation to online casinos over the years. Golden Nugget online casino first launched live dealer games in August 2016.

In those days, Golden Nugget offered one table each of:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Baccarat

Betfair Casino, under the Golden Nugget license, was the next online casino to offer live dealer games in May 2017.

It was almost another year before Borgata added live dealer games to its casino portfolio.

Bringing the experience and excitement of the casino floor to online sites was a gamble that paid off big time for Golden Nugget.

That addition is often credited for catapulting Golden Nugget to market leader, a position it still holds today.

Today, players can enjoy more games at more NJ online casinos, including:

  • Baccarat
  • Blackjack
  • Casino hold ’em
  • Roulette
  • Three-card poker

Live dealer games are as popular today as they were three years ago when they first came into the market. A majority of websites in the state now have a live dealer library.

They are a must if an online casino wants to make it in the highly-competitive New Jersey market.

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3. NJ sports betting’s impact on online gambling

There is no doubt one of the biggest changes to online gambling in New Jersey was the introduction of NJ sports betting apps.

When online sports betting launched in August 2018, online casino gambling was hovering around the mid-$20 million range. Since January 2019, online casinos in NJ have not posted revenue of less than $30 million.

Yes, some of that is due to innovations like new games and new online casinos such as:

  • BetAmerica
  • Unibet NJ
  • Bet365 Casino
  • Parx Casino

However, a lot of that revenue can be attributed to online sports betting and bringing new customers into the casino.

Additionally, a shared wallet between the sportsbook, casino and poker sites has helped companies such as DraftKings make a bigger splash on the market.

It is now easier than ever for a bettor to take a slot out for a few spins while watching and betting on a game.

Speaking of DraftKings, the successful pivot from daily fantasy sports (DFS) to sports betting for DraftKings Sportsbook and its DFS-turned-sportsbook rival, FanDuel Sportsbook, is also worth noting.

Both companies had a strong brand presence and access to a large database of customers with a history of betting on fantasy outcomes.

It is certainly easier to convert a fantasy player to a sports bettor to a casino gambler than it is to acquire a brand-new customer without a history of gambling online.

There is no doubt that legal sports betting in NJ is one of the main reasons online casinos continue to set revenue records in the Garden State.

4. Cross marks the sweet spot

Cross-selling, cross-border traffic and casinos crossing into the Garden State has certainly dominated the headlines over the last year.

It seems everyone, and that includes players and gambling companies, wants an invite to the party in New Jersey.

As a way to expand their reach, we’ve seen SugarHouse Casino cross the Pennsylvania border into NJ to set up shop — even before online sports betting was available in the Garden State.

More recently, Parx found its way across the border. After six years of online gambling, and still the NJ market continues to grow at a double-digit pace, is too enticing not to want a piece.

Even Native American tribes are getting in the action. Specifically, the Pala Tribe from California and Mohegan Sun Tribe from Connecticut operate casinos in NJ and have since the early days of online gambling.

We touched on the importance of cross-selling between sportsbooks and casinos above, but now, FanDuel and DraftKings are cross-selling their product between:

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Indiana
  • West Virginia (DraftKings only)

One app, one account and one wallet that geolocates you to the state your in and provides you gambling options in that state.

It’s true, Indiana has not legalized online casinos yet. West Virginia has legalized them but has not launched them.

Even so, setting up the infrastructure to cross-sell products across borders will be a key to the success of online betting apps in the future.

When sports betting first launched, New Jersey benefitted from the lack of legal sports betting in the region. Bettors from New York and Pennsylvania would head to the nearest truck stop on the border to place their bets.

While New York is still not online, Pennsylvania is. Will cross-border traffic decline? It is too early to tell, but it most likely will to some degree.

Even so, there are still enough bettors without access to sports betting apps in their states to keep cross-border traffic as a contributor to online gambling revenue.

5. Partnerships, mergers and consolidation, oh my

While partnerships and mergers existed before the launch of legal sports betting in the US, the deals accelerated as more European companies moved into the US market and the sports leagues looked to capitalize on a new revenue stream.

With 23 online casinos and 17 online sportsbooks, we already see the consolidation of the majority of income within a few brands.

In October 2019, the top two online casinos generated as much income as the entire NJ online casino market in October 2018. Sportsbooks show a similar story.

As income starts to consolidate, company consolidation will certainly follow. In fact, we already see it with Flutter’s recent acquisition of The Stars Group (TSG).

And in case you forgot, Flutter was the result of a merger between Paddy Power and Betfair, which acquired FanDuel in 2018.

The other news dominating headlines are the latest partnerships between gambling companies and:

  • Media outlets
  • Advertisers
  • Sports leagues

It’s not just big deals with big names, either. FanDuel signed a deal with the NHL, not for sports betting but for DFS. The Stars Group has a sponsorship deal with the UFC.

Deals are being signed at record speed. It is changing how companies evaluate markets and prepare for online gambling launches.

Take the recent Yahoo and BetMGM deal.

Yahoo, a media company, rolls out an NJ sports betting app powered by BetMGM. While technically, Yahoo is sending the customer to BetMGM; from a customer perspective, Yahoo has a sportsbook.

Two years ago, that would be crazy talk. Six years ago, there would be plenty of incredulous laughs. Today, we barely bat an eyelash.

Word of caution for those gambling companies taking a wait-and-see approach. If they wait too long, they will likely be left out in the cold.

6. Gambling as entertainment is more widely accepted

It wasn’t that long ago where someone might be ashamed to admit that they spent a day in a casino. Or worse, spent a few hours online playing the slots.

Today, more Americans accept gambling as a form of entertainment.

According to a survey commissioned by the American Gaming Association (AGA), nearly half of all Americans think of the casino industry favorably and two-thirds think casinos are a form of high-quality entertainment.

Additionally, 49% of those surveyed believe casinos are beneficial to their local communities. Specifically, they contribute to the local economy and create jobs.

It is those numbers that are driving more states to bring online gambling legislation to the table.

“The favorability of our industry has never been higher,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the AGA.

“As gaming expands across the US and more Americans engage with our industry’s offerings, they see firsthand gaming’s positive impact on local economies and its value as a community partner.”

NJ online gambling is just getting started

Looking at this list of six changes to online gambling over the past years shows the potential for the next six. As more states come online, we can expect to see more growth, more innovation and yes, more healthy competition, too.

The percentage of Americans that look favorably on the industry will grow, as will the number of Americans that visit a casino, whether online or in person.

So, here’s looking at you, New Jersey. May you continue to lead the charge. We can’t wait to see what the next few years bring.

Are FanDuel Sportsbook’s Same Game Parlays A Good Bet?

FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey recently introduced a new parlay betting option. Same Game Parlays allow bettors to bet on multiple outcomes in one game.

If you have been on FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey recently, you may have noticed a new parlay betting option — the Same Game Parlay.

The lure of any parlay bet is the potential for a big payout. That big payout comes at a cost, though. In this case, the cost is a parlay bet that is difficult to win.

It is not easy to pick several winning bets from different games to combine into a parlay and have them all win.

Same Game Parlays are different, though. A Same Game Parlay combines bets from, well, the same game.

The big question is whether the Same Game Parlays are a good bet. Like with most things related to sports betting in New Jersey, the answer isn’t a simple “yes” or “no.”

What is a Same Game Parlay?

Before you can decide if Same Game Parlays are something you want to try, you should understand what they are.

The Same Game Parlay links individual game outcomes into one bet. For instance, a bettor can create a parlay from one matchup that includes:

  • Point spread
  • Over/Under
  • Half-time result
  • Home team points
  • QB passing yards

Because the bets are correlated, the odds are adjusted to avoid too much of an edge for the bettor.

Correlated odds are simply when the outcome of one bet impacts the outcome of another.

The Same Game Parlay is designed for the bettor with the knowledge and focused interest on one team.

And, at the very least, the Same Game Parlay will liven up any game-day watch party.

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How to place a Same Game Parlay at FanDuel

FanDuel Sportsbook makes placing a Same Game Parlay bet easy.

  1. Find your matchup and click on the Same Game Parlay tab.
  2. Evaluate your options and select your bets.
  3. Track your bets on the “Live Bets” tab.
Same Game Parlay at FanDuel Sportsbook

Are Same Game Parlays a smart bet?

Same Game Parlays sound like fun, but are they a smart bet? Well, they can be.

Same Game Parlays may give the illusion of benefiting the bettor with a lot of background on a specific team. But like all bets, if it is offered on a New Jersey sportsbook app, such as FanDuel, it is because the book believes it has an edge.

This doesn’t mean an adept bettor can’t use their knowledge about a team and create a Same Game Parlay that produces a winning ticket.

Why bet on Same Game Parlays?

If you are hoping to pay your mortgage with your winnings, then a good rule of thumb is don’t bet on Same Game Parlays.

But if you are looking for some entertainment value from a specific game, then a Same Game Parlay may be just the ticket.

There is no denying watching a game is a lot more fun with some skin in it. If you look at a Same Game Parlay as an entertainment cost instead of income, you will win either way.

You can reduce some of the risks of a Same Game Parlay bet by looking for bonus bet and promotional opportunities. When an online sportsbook perceives it has an edge, they often encourage bettors to try their luck with promotions that can include:

  • A form of insurance
  • Bonus bets
  • Cash back

The bottom line is it comes down to doing your homework.

Studying the team that you are betting on and looking for promos will certainly help move that house advantage a little closer to your side of the ticket.