How To Score A Seat At NJ Sportsbooks Before Football Betting Kicks Off

Most of the 10 NJ sportsbooks at casinos and racetracks have reserved seating available during football season, but some also have fan caves… for a price.

As football season quickly approaches, the New Jersey sports betting market must prepare for the busy months ahead.

Since betting on college football and the NFL are so popular, NJ sportsbooks will likely see even more betting action this season than in their inaugural year.

Yes, there are 14 betting apps in the Garden State, but there are also 10 retail sportsbooks across the state.

The majority of these land-based sportsbooks are based in Atlantic City. But all 10 of them are up and running with new permanent spaces.

Sportsbooks are a great place to spend time during the fall weekends. Gamblers can enjoy quality food and drink while being able to watch and bet on every football game played each weekend.

But what’s the plan at the sportsbooks? Will it be the same old or something new? Will there be seat reservations on those busy Saturdays or a Monday Night Football drink special?

We took a closer look at a few (not all) of the sportsbooks in NJ to see what they have in store when the pigskins start to fly.

Borgata

  • Sportsbook: Moneyline Bar & Book
  • Reservations (if available): 609-317-7249
  • Reservation price range: $75-$100 food/drink minimum at VIP tables, private VIP areas are $1,000 for 10 people
borgata sportsbook atlantic city casino

Moneyline Bar & Book has a 40-foot-wide LED video wall along with betting windows and lots of places to sit. It also features a 35-foot-long bar that includes more than 20 craft beers and a new dining menu by Executive Chef Tom Biglan.

Outside of the barstools, high-top tables and booths, there is additional seating inside the VIP lounge.

In order to sit in the VIP lounge, customers must make a reservation. The VIP tables will include a food/drink minimum ranging from $75 to $100.

Other private VIP areas run around $1,000 for 10 people.

Pricing for the VIP seating will vary depending on the specific day and which games are available for viewing. There will most likely be discounted beer and food specials that will be announced the week prior.

Fantasy football fans are welcome, too

For fans who enjoy playing fantasy football, Borgata has you covered, too. Moneyline offers several draft party packages ranging from $59 per person to $1,500 per person.

The sportsbook will provide you and your friends a personal draft day area as well as a draft board, commemorative merchandise, and much more.

Resorts

  • Sportsbook: DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts
  • Reservations (if available): 1-800-772-9000
  • Reservation price range: VIP lounge requires $50 food/beverage minimum
draftkings sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook inside Resorts in Atlantic City has plenty to offer as well. At 5,000 square feet, the book features multiple ultrahigh definition-LED video walls, including a 15-foot wall.

The sportsbook, which opened in November 2018, has 18 self-betting kiosks and five betting windows available for its customers.

Every Sunday through Thursday, DraftKings will have a happy hour from 2 to 7 p.m. It will feature $4 beers, $6 well drinks, and $1 off any food item through the entire football season.

If that doesn’t suit your football fancy, guests can enjoy drink specials every Sunday all day during regular season football games.

On Friday nights, from the start of the season until the Super Bowl, the sportsbook will have Ladies’ Night. The evening will consist of teaching the basics around sports betting as well as discounted drinks and half-priced sushi. Participants will also receive a $5 free bet.

As for game days, there is VIP seating with food and bottle service available. The VIP lounge consists of four different sections that hold up to a total of about 50 people. There is a $50 food and beverage minimum to sit in these areas.

The sportsbook also has stadium seating for around 50-60 free guests.

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Ocean Casino

  • Sportsbook: William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Casino
  • Reservations (if available): Skybox Suites, 609-783-8491
  • Reservation price range: Call the sportsbook/casino for details.

The William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Casino Resort was one of the first books to open in Atlantic City. Set up smack dab in the middle of the casino floor, it’s 7,500-square-feet of sports betting, complete with a large video wall that encompasses almost the entirety of the book.

On Sept. 7, starting at 10 a.m., the sportsbook will be celebrating the return of football with its Kick Off to Football Season 2019. After placing a wager, customers are eligible to receive a free William Hill T-shirt.

The sportsbook will offer food and drink specials all day, too. Customers can enjoy $2 hot dogs as well as Bud Lite buckets for just $30.

Then at 7 p.m., there will be a pep rally at the Fire Pit at Lobby Bar. A live band along with the Atlantic City Blackjack Cheerleaders will be there to start the season of football betting on the right foot.

That suite football feeling…

But if you can’t be there on Sept. 7, don’t fret. Ocean Casino and William Hill customers can win a Suite Season Giveaway as well.

Customers can enter the drawing at the casino’s website, and once done, you become eligible to win an overnight stay for two and a VIP Hospitality Suite overlooking the sportsbook sometime during the 2019 season. That suite can hold up to six people and comes with complimentary food and beverage.

The contest ends on Aug. 31, and a winner will be announced Sept. 3.

As far as watching games at the sportsbook, William Hill offers Skybox Suite reservations for those who don’t win the contest. Customers must call to reserve pricing and suites. Each suite holds up to 10 guests.

Meadowlands

  • Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands
  • Reservations (if available): None
  • Reservation price range: Not available
fanduel march madness betting

The FanDuel Sportsbook located at the Meadowlands is one of the few land-based sportsbooks in NJ not in Atlantic City. The nearly 7,000-square-foot facility comes equipped with 30 betting windows, 20+ self-betting kiosks, and 82 TV screens.

FanDuel Sportsbook has three locations inside the Meadowlands Racetrack and has a lot to offer at each. There are high-top tables, barstools, couches, leaning rails, dining chairs, and even a VIP area.

The sportsbook features American food you’d typically expect to find at sporting events. However, unlike the previous locations, the VIP seating is not open to the public unless you are betting a total of $150,000 every 30 days.

That being said, there are no other upfront costs to enjoy a football game here. Everything else is first come, first serve.

Just be careful of those Sundays when the New York Giants or Jets have a home game at nearby MetLife Stadium.

On those days, there is a parking fee and it can be a trick to find a parking spot.

Harrah’s

  • Sportsbook: The Book at Harrah’s
  • Reservations (if available): Online at Harrah’s website or call 609-441-5800
  • Reservation price range: Call the sportsbook/casino for details.
Harrah's atlantic city sportsbook opening

Harrah’s sportsbook, known as The Book, is yet another Atlantic City destination this football season. The Book has almost 4,000 square feet of space.

There are TVs across almost every wall and extra plush seating all around the sportsbook. The Book also features food options from the AC Burger Company.

For groups looking to enjoy the games, The Book also has two additional Fan Caves that can hold up to 10 people. The caves provide a more private and upgraded viewing experience and include table service.

In order to reserve a seat or a fan cave at the sportsbook, customers must fill out a form on Harrah’s website or call 609-441-5800 to reserve.

Golden Nugget

  • Sportsbook: The Sportsbook
  • Reservations (if available): None
  • Reservation price range: Not available
golden nugget ac sportsbook nfl betting

Another Atlantic City retail sportsbook available for those NFL bets and football games is at the Golden Nugget. The Sportsbook, as it is called, showcases more than 50 TVs on five separate video walls.

There is seating for more than 100 people including barstools, chairs, cushioned seats, and couches.

However, the Golden Nugget doesn’t sell its sportsbook’s tables. As of today and heading into the football season, tables will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you happen to miss out on grabbing a table, you’re still more than welcome to eat and drink. There will be food and cocktail service within the Golden Nugget sportsbook every day.

The Sportsbook will also have food and drink specials throughout the season. These could include a discounted bucket of beer.

Golden Nugget’s sportsbook will sometimes reward bettors for making sizable wagers. For example, if someone bets over $100, they’ll receive a free drink, too.

Bally’s

  • Sportsbook: The Book at Bally’s
  • Reservations (if available): Visit the Bally’s website to reserve a table/fan cave.
  • Reservation price range: $50-$600

Located in Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino, this is by far the biggest sportsbook in AC. At 15,000+ square feet, The Book has plenty to offer when it comes to enjoying football season.

Its sportsbook is running a Fired Up For Football promotion that reserves seating inside the sportsbook for every football game.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday, Thursday, or Sunday, Bally’s is prepared for football viewing.

To reserve a table or seat, customers must go to the sportsbook’s website. Here, you’ll able to choose between several different options. The choice you make depends on how you prefer to watch the game.

Table choices include:

  • Stadium Billiard: Includes reserved billiard table for up to four people.
  • Stadium Table: Includes a reserved table for up to four people.
  • Stadium VIP: Available for groups of five or more.
  • Large Fan Cave: Accommodates up to 25 people.
  • Small Fan Cave: Accommodates up to 16 people.

These range from $50-$600 depending on if the reservation is for a weekday or a weekend. Weekend reservations are obviously on the higher end as those are top viewing hours. Fan caves, however, are reserved for the entire day of the reservation.

Here’s a quick breakdown of rental options at Bally’s sportsbook. Prices and availability are subject to change:

Seating TypeWhat You GetWeekdays (Tuesday-Friday)Weekends (Saturday-Monday)
Stadium Seat$50 food/beverage minimum, one seat, all-day rental$50$50
Stadium BilliardSeating for up to four at billiard tableNA$50
Stadium Table$100 food/beverage minimum, seating for up to four people$100$100
Stadium VIP$300 food/beverage minimum, for groups of five or more, all-day reservation$150$300
Fan Cave (Standard)$250 food/beverage minimum, seats up to 25, all-day rental$250$400
Fan Cave (Premium)$600 food/beverage minimum, seats up to 25, all-day rental$350$600

Customers can even reserve just a single seat if they plan on enjoying football alone. This Stadium Seat, as well as the Stadium Table for four, is paid for by a minimum spend on food and drink. But the seat is yours for the whole day.

Whatever your choice, all of Bally’s sportsbook reservations can be made online.

On a side note: Bally’s will more than likely have food and drink specials for the football season. These will be announced closer to kickoff.

Tropicana

  • Sportsbook: William Hill Sportsbook at Tropicana Atlantic City
  • Reservations (if available): Day-of call 609-340-4022; advanced and group reservations call 609-342-7785
  • Reservation price range: Call the sportsbook/casino for details.
march madness atlantic city

A lot of football fans will find themselves at William Hill’s other AC sportsbook located at the Tropicana.

This newer retail sportsbook debuted in March and has a lot for customers to enjoy. It’s packed with 180 seats as well as a bar and lounge to watch upwards of 16 games at one time.

In fact, the sportsbook has more than 1,000 square feet of video display.

Although there is no food available inside the William Hill sportsbook, the space is located right across from Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab House & Sports Bar.

Fans often grab some food and head right into the sportsbook.

General seating at the sportsbook remains first come, first serve unless a reservation has been made. Customers can sit at any of the available seats on the sportsbook floor, or they can reserve a spot in the elevated VIP lounge area.

Football betting, viewing, and NJ sportsbooks

Keep in mind that any option you choose for football viewing and betting also comes with all of those NJ sports betting apps. But those apps are just one part of the equation this year.

The casinos and racetracks aren’t resting on their laurels either. It would seem customers have plenty of options when it comes to where to bet and watch when the first game kicks off.

Borgata Hopes New Sportsbook Will Be A Smashing Success In AC

Moneyline Bar & Book is open at the Borgata, and one executive says “it looks even better in person.” Just don’t expect something off the Las Vegas Strip.

Borgata Atlantic City is betting on the moneyline.

In this particular case, however, we are not talking about taking the Philadelphia Phillies over the Atlanta Braves straight up.

Moneyline Bar & Book is the MGM-owned property’s answer to land-based New Jersey sports betting.

The official unveiling took place during Friday night’s grand opening party. Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal even made a guest appearance. But he wasn’t exactly there to bet.

shaq borgata sportsbook atlantic city

Those expecting a Las Vegas-style sportsbook are likely going to be disappointed. Borgata’s concept is completely different from the rest of the market.

The basic description is an 8,000 square foot sports bar that doubles as a sportsbook. Sorry folks, no stadium seating here.

Marcus Glover, COO and president of Borgata, took it all in at last week’s event and was quick to note that “it looks better in person than the conceptual renderings.”

Doing things the Borgata way

Let’s be clear: Moneyline is more than just another sportsbook.

Yes, bars like this 35-foot-long bar with 19 built-in slot machines centers are common at most sportsbooks.

But the restaurant setting with a waitstaff is what makes it unique. The Borgata team started discussing the plans about two years ago.

“We knew we didn’t want to build a traditional sportsbook like you would see in Las Vegas,” Glover said.

“We felt we needed something to anchor, one, this side of the property, but something that could also anchor seven days a week, 24 hours a day. That’s what you see in this space.”

While there are plenty of food and drink options on the menu, customers have the option of placing bets and watching the games. There are shuffleboard and foosball tables, too.

Race & Sports or Moneyline?

Those seeking more of a traditional sportsbook setting still have the Race & Sports Book across the way. Horse racing and betting tends to dominate that room.

It’s the same space that served as Borgata’s temporary sportsbook. And it’s where the first legal bet in Atlantic City history took place.

Tom Gable, director of race and sportsbook operations, explained the difference between the two spaces.

“You have the traditional handicapping room for the Race and Sports Book. … Now we have this room that is obviously a very social atmosphere.”

And “social” might be putting it lightly.

Moneyline offers the sports betting crowd a chance to eat, drink, bet on, and watch the games. There is a bar across the way, too, but the entertainment experience is just a tad different.

Plus, Borgata unveiled the new Level One Cocktail Bar & Lounge nightlife experience, complete with blackjack tables, that connects to Moneyline.

“We have two totally opposite end of the spectrum experiences, but it’s really great to offer them under one roof,” Gable said.

Borgata sportsbooks: comparing spaces

There will be plenty of curious customers looking to check out Moneyline, especially when the NFL preseason gets underway on Aug. 1.

Others may prefer to stick with the more traditional wagering setting. Here are the highlights of the two spaces:

Race & Sports Book

  • 100 seats with individual flat-screen monitors
  • 10 betting windows
  • Kiosks available for horse racing bets
  • Video wall with screens to view live events
  • A completely nonsmoking atmosphere
  • Boot & Whip, an in-venue bar

Moneyline Bar & Book

  • A 40-foot wide by 11.5-foot tall LED video wall
  • 144 seats
  • Self-betting kiosks
  • Full-service food and drink menu
  • 17 additional 98-inch and 86-inch displays
  • Banquet seating in the VIP lounge
  • Six betting windows

NJ gaining upper handle on Nevada

The opening of Moneyline comes at a very exciting time in NJ sports betting history. Yes, celebrating year one of the first legal sports wager in the Garden State was a pretty big deal.

However, the bigger story was last week’s news that New Jersey took the sports betting crown from Nevada. We are talking a handle of $318,940,677 for NJ versus $317,380,281.69 for the Silver State.

The Borgata executive team knew the day would eventually come, just maybe not one year into the game.

marcus glover borgata ac sportsbook

Had somebody walked up to Glover on June 14 of last year with such a prediction, his likely response would’ve been: “I wouldn’t have thought that it would’ve happened that fast.

“I would have thought it inevitable that it would occur. It has taken off. We have a population density to really take advantage of an offering like sports wagering. “

Stepping up its NJ sports betting game

The opening of Moneyline puts Borgata on a level playing field with the rest of the NJ sports betting crowd.

It joined Harrah’s Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City in unveiling new spaces during the prime season at the Jersey Shore. (Here is a comparison of the three sportsbooks.)

It’s no secret FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook are leading the pack. However, opening a new sportsbook and heavily promoting the new BorgataSports app are signs that Borgata is upping its ante.

“It’s funny,” Glover said. “Our permanent space wasn’t open. We had the Racebook somewhat masquerading as a sportsbook, probably in a more traditional fashion.

“I still think we held our own in land-based operation in terms of volume compared to the rest of the market where they had their permanent operation going.”

Borgata is now showing its full sports betting hand in which customers have multiple ways of placing bets.

Besides the two sportsbooks, there are PlayMGM sportsbook and the previously mentioned BorgataSports apps, which launched on May 14.

Glover has every reason to think that the Borgata sportsbook will be on a new trajectory come the fall.

“Now that we have our full complement of offerings, we feel very good about our circumstances heading into what we feel is going to be the most luminous time of the year in terms of betting transactions for us,” Glover said.

Comparing The New Sportsbooks Opening At Borgata, Bally’s, And Harrah’s

Bally’s, Borgata and Harrah’s are getting ready to unveil new retail sportsbooks in Atlantic City this summer. What can you expect from the new spots?

New Jersey sports betting is about to celebrate its one-year anniversary. And if you thought this past year was crazy, just know that there are plenty more still to come.

By now it’s well known that 14 sports betting apps complement 10 retail books. And of those 10 retail books, more than half of them have new digs that replace the temporary ones.

This summer, new retail sportsbooks are opening at Bally’sBorgata and Harrah’s

Once completed, the words “temporary sportsbook” will never be used again when referring to Atlantic City casinos. But how do the new spots stack up against one another?

Borgata unveiled the details last week, and here’s an inside look.

Caesars Entertainment shared news of its expanded sports betting rooms in early May. And the one inside of Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino is looking like one of the big dogs in the market.

And as we patiently await the grand openings and ceremonial first bets, here is a breakdown of what we know so far.

Place a bet, grab a set, watch the game

Look at the monthly revenue numbers, and it’s clear NJ sports betting continues to post big returns.

But the majority of the handle (80%) is coming in via the 14 apps currently available in the Garden State. Retail sportsbooks need to be a viewing experience that attracts customers.

The number of seats along with the size of the space and screens are crucial, especially on Sundays during NFL season.

Here is a look at how the three new spots will stack up against one another:

ac summer sportsbooks opening

The Book at Bally’s

  • Opening date: Set for mid-June soft opening
  • Size of space: 15,228 square feet (the largest in Atlantic City)
  • Number of betting windows: 10 (along with one high-limit area)
  • Will there be self-betting kiosks?: Yes
  • Seating: 102 seats, 30 VIP seats, and seating for 28 at the bar rail (video poker slots, included).
  • Viewing experience: The main area is being billed as a “haven for sports viewing.” The ultra-comfortable, theater style recliner seats will have a direct view of the 98 foot by 18 foot, high-resolution LED television wall with surround sound. And three to 12 games can be shown simultaneously.

The Book at Harrah’s

  • Opening date: Now open (soft opening)
  • Size of space: 3,800 square feet
  • Will there be self-betting kiosks?: Yes
  • Viewing experience: The highlights of the space include high-quality resolution LED televisions and extra plush seating. (Note: We were unable to verify the number of seats or betting windows available at Harrah’s sportsbook.)

    Moneyline Bar & Book at Borgata

  • Opening date: June 29
  • Size of space: 8,000 square feet
  • Number of betting windows: Six
  • Will there be self-betting kiosks?: Yes
  • Seating: 144 seats (along with a 35-foot-long bar with 19 built-in slot machines)
  • Viewing experience: The highlight will be the 40-foot wide by 11.5-foot tall LED video wall. There will be 17 additional 98-inch and 86-inch displays around the room.

What’s on the menu?

Atlantic City casino hotels have food courts, burger joints, and celebrity-chef run gourmet restaurants. But don’t worry. Food will be available to order right from your sportsbook seat, too.

Harrah’s customers can enjoy food service by AC Burger Company — a sit-down restaurant just off the casino floor.

Bally’s space is located footsteps away from Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint (from Food Network personality Guy Fieri) and the AC Snack Shack. Food service will be available from both outlets.

Borgata is billing Moneyline as its newest “destination bar.”

And the menu will include a dining program by executive chef Tom Biglin. Braised-sirloin chili, signature Moneyline burger, and fried fish tacos are just a few of the items. The food can be paired with one of the 24 craft beers on tap.

Fan caves, beer, and cocktails

Some customers may make a wager and head to the casino floor. At least with these new projects, there are numerous reasons to hang around. And it goes beyond collecting on the moneyline or parlay. 

At Bally’s, pending regulatory approval from the Division of Gaming Enforcement, customers will be able to enjoy 16 different brews on tap.

But it comes in the form of a self-serve beer wall. The setup will be the first of its kind in AC.

Those seeking a more intimate and private NJ sports wagering experience have the option of reserving one of 10 fan caves (large enough for a party of 10).

Each will include high-resolution televisions capable of being split into three different screens. There will be a foosball table, game consoles, and table service, too.

fan caves bally's sportsbook atlantic city

The Harrah’s version includes two fan caves, and each can hold up to 10 guests with table service.

Borgata is going more the nightlife route with its Level One Cocktail Bar & Lounge. The 3,600-square-foot space with 104 seats is being billed as an “intimate venue for high-end gaming, curated entertainment, and high-end cocktails.”

It will connect to Moneyline through an escalated corridor.

And like other nightlife amenities at MGM-owned properties, there will be plenty of ways to enjoy the evening.

Besides the live music and DJ entertainment, the space will offer experimental cocktail programming and table service packages. And on big game nights, the lounge becomes a more intimate space to watch and wait for your bet to win or lose.

Betting hours

The betting windows are open daily, but hours may vary based on the sports calendar. Here are the current operational schedules:

Bally’s

  • Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m.-12 a.m.
  • Sunday: 10am to 11:30 p.m.

Borgata

  • Monday–Friday: Opens at 11 a.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday: Opens at 9 a.m.

Harrah’s:

  • Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m.-midnight
  • Saturday: 10 a.m.-midnight
  • Sunday: 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m.

However, keep in mind that the self-betting kiosks at each property will be available 24/7 and are often located outside the sportsbook.

Welcome To The Party: Borgata Makes It 14 NJ Online Sportsbooks

Borgata’s online sportsbook joins the NJ sports betting market on the anniversary of PASPA’s repeal, making it 14 total sportsbook apps in New Jersey.

Make it 14.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa now has two online skins up and running. The newest addition to the NJ online sports betting club is BorgataSports.com.

And the new digital platform is available for download on iOS and Android devices as well as on desktop browsers.

The Borgata Sports launch coincides with a historic occasion.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) being overturned. The US Supreme Court deemed the 1992 law unconstitutional on May 14, 2018, giving sports betting the green light.

Twelve months later, New Jersey’s sports betting industry now features 24 sportsbooks — 14 online and 10 retail.

More about the BorgataSports NJ app

The Borgata Sports app joins the playMGM NJ app under the company’s mobile sports betting umbrella. Each licensee is allowed three online skins.

GVC Holdings and Borgata are partners on the latest offering.

Much like the rest of the market, Borgata Sports features similar betting options, sports, and promotions. Those options coincide with the Borgata Race & Sports Book at the Atlantic City casino.

Here is what we know about the platform from the press release:

  • Straight bets
  • Parlays
  • Futures
  • Live in-game bets
  • Daily boosted parlays
  • Multiple deposit methods including Neteller and PayNearMe

borgata sports online new jersey

Borgata + sports betting expansion

And there is no need to worry about creating a new account or funding another wallet. This applies to existing Borgata Casino and Borgata Poker customers.

All three apps are nested on the same platform.

Borgata Sports online new jersey

Marcus Glover, president and COO for Borgata, explains the “seamless transition”:

“With our customers in mind, we have delivered the ability for existing BorgataCasino.com and BorgataPoker.com account holders to use their current credentials to sign in and access all platforms, allowing for a seamless transition between products.”

Borgata is the market leader in AC casino revenue. And the property continues to make serious investments.

Sports betting is a huge part of the casino’s summer plans. And it will come in the form of a  new $11 million permanent sportsbook. The venue will “integrate an entertaining bar experience with sports wagering.”

The opening date, however, is as unknown as what exactly the new sportsbook will feature.

Sign up at Borgata online casino and get $20 free.

Borgata + launch of AC sports betting

Borgata made AC history on June 14, 2018, by accepting the town’s first legal sports bet. Former Philadelphia 76er Julius “Dr. J” Erving placed the ceremonial first wager at the Borgata Race & Sports Book.

That came just three days after Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill that officially made sports betting legal in the state.

And just like that, a regulated environment in which licensed casinos could establish legal sportsbooks arrived.

DraftKings Sportsbook (Aug. 6) got the mobile sports betting game rolling. The launch of the playMGM Sports NJ app followed on Aug. 22.

But Borgata Sports is likely just the start of many more NJ gambling sites to come in 2019.

We are talking expanding from 13 to 20 by the start of NFL season.

Well, make that 14 to 20. Who’s next?

A Call For More AC: Five Atlantic City Events To Look Forward To This Summer

Atlantic City and NJ sports betting are closing in on a big milestone. And the one-year anniversay is just the top of the summer events on the horizon.

Summer in Atlantic City, traditionally Fourth of July through Labor Day, is prime season for slots players and sports bettors alike.

And just like previous summers, the nine casinos around town are preparing for some pretty big events. Several of those events have a distinctly NJ sports betting connection.

Here are five Atlantic City events worth putting on your radar:

1. Borgata + NJ sports betting anniversary

Rewind to June 14 of last year. This, of course, is the date of the first legal sports bet in Atlantic City.

Borgata has yet to announce any special celebrations to signify the first anniversary. But the MGM-owned property does have something exciting coming this summer: an $11 million permanent sportsbook.

It’s one of three new retail spaces coming to Atlantic City (see below for the other two).  The location will be across from the current Borgata Race & Sports Book, which had a standing-room-only crowd for Kentucky Derby betting.

There is no doubt that sports betting is popular at Borgata.

Earlier in March, the Atlantic City crowd filtered into the Central Conference Center for Brackets at Borgata. It was one big March Madness betting party.

The new digs couldn’t come at a better time. The 2019 NFL season opens on Sept 5. The playMGM Sports app currently has the Chicago Bears posted as a 4-point favorite over the Green Bay Packers.

2. New sportsbooks from Bally’s + Harrah’s

Many of us have been wondering what Caesars Entertainment’s big sports betting plans are for Atlantic City.

The Las Vegas-based company did open temporary retail locations, aka The Book, at Harrah’s and Bally’s last summer.

Well, there are bigger and better things on the horizon.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, the company is close to opening not one, but two permanent retail spaces. The price tag is a combined $11 million investment.

The word from Caesars is that the Harrah’s version could have its soft launch as early as Friday, but it’s not set in stone.

Here is what we know about the space:

  • 3,800 square feet
  • High-quality resolution LED televisions spanning across the walls
  • Plush seating
  • Foodservice by AC Burger Company 
  • Private fan caves for up to 10 guests 

Going wild at the Wild Wild West

Meanwhile, the sister property, Bally’s, will soon be able to boast having Atlantic City’s biggest and possibly best sportsbook.

Slated for a soft opening in mid-June, the “immersive and socially driven experience” is so large that a couple of the nearby locations will be able to fit inside of it.

We are talking 15,228 square feet of sports betting space.

Here are a few details:

  • 102 seats (30 VIP seats)
  • Seating for 28 at the bar rail with the latest video poker slots
  • Atlantic City’s first-ever self-service beer bar with 16 different brews on tap (pending regulatory approval)

3. Coming soon: Mobile sports betting expansion

Are 13 NJ mobile sports betting apps not enough?

Don’t worry; there are many more on the horizon.

Based on recent comments from David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, we could see it expand to 20 by the start of NFL season.

Exact launch dates are still pending, and some apps still need to go through the licensing process.

But anticipate the following to hit the market soon:

4. Ocean Casino has a fresh look

In case you hadn’t heard, Ocean Casino Resort (aka Ocean Resort Casino) is sporting a casino-first mentality these days.

You may have gotten a glimpse of the new marketing campaign centered around the naming flip-flop of Ocean Casino Resort.

And, as the property closes in on its first anniversary (June 28), there are a lot of changes taking place. For one, there are new elevators:

Adding direct casino access to Ocean’s William Hill Sportsbook is a good start. But there is much more to come:

  • An additional 200 new slot machines on the casino floor.
  • New overhead music and a casino lounge that features live bands and DJs.
  • Separate smoking and nonsmoking areas.

Eric Matejevich, Ocean’s interim-CEO, expanded on the coming attractions via a press release.

“We are excited about the future of Ocean Casino Resort.

“Our new management team has made several positive operational changes and we are already seeing those results. There are more changes planned and we are committed to making significant capital improvements moving forward.”

Luxor Capital Group, the private investment firm based in New York City, is in the process of taking over the property.

5. Hard Rock celebrates one year in AC

Hard Rock Atlantic City shares the same birthday as Ocean.

It was just last summer when the two properties brought new life to what resembled a ghost town in the uptown section of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.

While Ocean experienced its share of turmoil and struggles in its first year, Hard Rock arrived with an international following. And a lot of brand recognition.

In terms of revenue, it sits happily in the middle of the pack.

But like anything else, don’t expect the rock ‘ n’ roll-themed property to rest on its laurels.

Along with the other eight casinos in town, it’s time to turn the AC up because summer in Atlantic City is gonna be hot.

Borgata Is Ready For The Mane Event Of Kentucky Derby Betting In Atlantic City

When it comes to horse racing and the Kentucky Derby, Borgata is the pacesetter of the casino pack. Atlantic City’s only racebook is still going strong.

Want to bet on the Kentucky Derby in Atlantic CityThe Race & Sports Book at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is the only place to do it.

And if you plan on going, don’t bother reserving a seat. All of the seats for Derby Day (May 4) are booked and have been for several weeks.

Tom Gable, director of race and sportsbook operations for Borgata, spoke with NJ Gambling Sites about the big weekend ahead.

“The Kentucky Derby is the biggest weekend in racing in terms of handle, number of tickets written and just number of customers that come through the room.

“All of the Triple Crown race weekends are busy along with the Breeders Cup, but the Kentucky Derby is on another level.”

Borgata is preparing for a standing-room-only crowd. The 282 seats at Borgata Race & Sports Book along with its signature room (used for the overflow crowd) will be filled.

Commitment to horse race betting

Other Atlantic City casinos did have racebooks at one time. But Borgata is the only property still writing tickets in this new NJ sports betting era.

Those thinking the launch of sports betting apps would wipe it out, guess again. During the Atlantic City debut of March Madness betting, several customers could be found betting and cheering on the ponies.

Gable said Borgata remains committed to its horse racing business.

The team members and loyal customers (many who have been coming for 15-plus years) are the two things that keep it going strong. And many of the regulars are greeted on a first-name basis.

“The bonds that have developed between the customers and the team members is really something special to witness.”

The result is a strong connection. And it’s one that extends beyond Kentucky Derby betting.

“A lot of our customers come monthly or even weekly so the familiarity and the closeness is just something that occurs naturally.”

Inside Borgata Race + Sports Book

Borgata holds the distinction of being the first AC casino to offer retail sports betting.

On June 14, 2018, the first official bet took place. Former Philadelphia 76er Julius “Dr. J” Erving placed that bet on the same day sports betting launched at Monmouth Park.

For now, the racebook doubles as a temporary sportsbook. The space features:

  • 100 seats with individual flat-screen monitors
  • 10 betting windows
  • Kiosks available for horse racing bets
  • Video wall with screens to view live events
  • A completely nonsmoking atmosphere
  • Boot & Whip, an in-venue bar

Borgata sportsbook status check

But something exciting is coming this summer. Borgata’s new $11 million sportsbook is under construction.

And it means horse racing is staying where it is. The NJ sports betting crowd will settle into the new space footsteps away.

Gable is not sharing details on an opening date just yet. But he added, “We are on track to open in the summer, and we are very excited for it.”

The new room will offer the convenience of self-betting kiosks for sports as well.

Kentucky Derby + NJ sports betting

The Kentucky Derby is the top sporting event on tap this weekend, but far from the only one.

Here are other games likely to attract betting action on Saturday:

  • NBA: Warriors vs. Rockets Game 3
  • MLB: Phillies vs. Nationals (aka Bryce Harper’s former team)
  • NHL: Avalanche vs. Sharks Game 5
  • NHL: Blue Jackets vs. Bruins Game 5

Wagers can be made on these games using the playMGM sportsbook app. Or any of the 13 legal NJ online gambling sites available for sports betting.

But retail-wise, Gable said there is a crossover audience between the Derby bettors and the sports betting crowd.

“What we have also seen are customers who maybe haven’t come in for years but are now coming in to bet sports and they may stick around to bet a few horse races as well.”

Another Borgata sports betting first

The Kentucky Derby is looked at in a different light compared to March Madness betting and Super Bowl betting. This is the first year customers could legally bet on both events at the MGM-owned property.

And because it has never happened before, Gable said it’s tough to say what impact the scenario will have in terms of dollars or handle.

Being Atlantic City’s only race and sportsbook puts Borgata ahead of the field on Derby Day.

“The big advantage Borgata has next weekend is we are the only place in Atlantic City you can bet on the Kentucky Derby, which will naturally drive people to our book.

“So there definitely will be some residual business gained in sports just due to the volume of customers.”