Caesars-Eldorado Merger Means Big Changes Ahead For Atlantic City

With the Caesars-Eldorado merger officially finalized, Atlantic City casinos will once again experience changes as the new company takes control.

After months of planning and regulatory discussions, Eldorado Resorts officially acquired Caesars Entertainment on Monday.

The merger creates the biggest casino and resort company in the US. It also puts a large chunk of Atlantic City’s casinos under one umbrella.

The merger needed to overcome one final regulatory hurdle: the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. After three days of testimony, the CCC unanimously approved the Caesars-Eldorado merger on July 17.

“We are pleased to have completed this transformative merger, thus making us the premier leader in gaming and hospitality. We look forward to executing on the numerous opportunities ahead to create value for all stakeholders,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, in a press release announcing the merger.

Caesars-Eldorado merger and Atlantic City

The new Caesars Entertainment will operate four of AC’s nine casinos — Harrah’s, Caesars, Tropicana and Bally’s. The latter was sold in April to Twin River Holdings, but the sale agreement is expected to close at the end of 2020.

The sale was a preemptive move by Caesars to offload one of its Atlantic City properties prior to the merger being approved.

Last week, during the three days of hearings, the Division of Gaming Enforcement and CCC raised multiple concerns about the lack of improvements made to the Caesars properties in Atlantic City.

To this end, the CCC added some mandatory conditions as part of the merger’s approval.

One requirement included putting improvements in place at each of the three casinos in AC over the next three years. Caesars agreed. As such, a $400 million capital expenditures trust account will be created.

Additionally, if the Bally’s property isn’t sold within a year, an extra $125 million will be added to that account.

The details of the requirements go even further than that. For instance, at least $150 million must be spent on improvements at Caesars Atlantic City over the next three years.

Investing and believing in AC

Eldorado and the new Caesars are also prohibited from closing any of the Caesars properties for five years after the merger is completed.

“We wouldn’t be doing this transaction if we weren’t believers in Atlantic City, because it’s so important to Caesars as it sits today,” said Reeg to the commission last week.

“We understand that we acquire the positives and negatives of Caesars, and we know that Atlantic City and New Jersey have had some difficulties with a lack of investment from Caesars, chiefly in the past, and we understand why the conditions are there.”

Representatives from Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort filed petitions with the CCC about the proposed merger’s impact on their businesses, but they were denied.

A fresh start for Caesars-Eldorado merger

A merger of such magnitude impacts not only casino employees but visitors and the city as well.

With Eldorado’s purchase of Caesars, it feels like a fresh start for all involved. The new Caesars establishes itself as a major player in Atlantic City in 2020 and beyond.

From state and local officials’ perspective, Caesars will be under the ownership of a group that seems to have the best interests in mind for its properties and Atlantic City.

And while the concerns were duly noted, Caesars will not only bring added customer benefits from the merger but also a renewed focus on offering guests the best experience.

“We’re going to really lean on both the Caesars database and the Eldorado database, and get the best customers we can to come to Atlantic City,” Brent Yunker, Caesars Entertainment’s CFO, said to The Press of Atlantic City.

“It’s obviously going to play out over a number of years because of this very unique scenario we’re in with COVID-19. But we’re going to try to do this as quickly as we possibly can, but also as safely as we can.”

Atlantic City has had an eventful year

Ultimately, the merger is the latest big change for Atlantic City in a year chock-full of ups and downs.

2020 started on a high note, but the momentum came to an abrupt stop in mid-March. That’s when all nine casinos shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

An executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy closed AC casinos for 100-plus days. Many casino employees were either furloughed or laid off as a result, with casinos depending strictly on the strength of NJ online gambling.

It wasn’t until late June that good news arrived. Caesars reopened its three casinos on July 3; Tropicana did so a day earlier.

The Caesars-Eldorado merger, however, was always on the back burner. The initial news of the acquisition reverberated throughout the gambling industry.

It is essentially what sparked the sale of Bally’s in April. And it will ultimately lead to improvements at some of Atlantic City’s oldest casinos.

Changes are afoot once again in Atlantic City.

AmEx Leaps Into NJ Online Gambling As A Caesars Deposit Option

Caesars Casino & Sports app customers can now pull out their American Express card to deposit funds, a first for AmEx and online gambling.

Caesars online gambling customers in New Jersey can now deposit funds using an American Express card.

If that doesn’t sound all that exciting, note that this is something completely new to the industry. This would be a worldwide first for AmEx.

It’s one of the small pieces of news to come out of the first day of the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas this week.

This image on the Caesars Casino & Sportsbook deposit page confirms the operator does indeed allow AmEx credit card transactions.

And for now, Caesars is the only NJ sports betting or online gambling operator accepting AmEx (the option is not available for withdrawals).

How to make an American Express deposit at Caesars

Depositing funds via a credit card is far from a new concept. And adding funds using American Express card works exactly the same:

  • Login in to your account, click on “my account,” and select deposit.
  • Select MasterCard, Discover, Visa, or American Express credit card from the list of deposit methods.
  • Enter the amount and click continue.
  • Fill in the required details and click pay now to process.
  • Funds are available to use for both the casino and sportsbook.

Customers should check with the credit card company before making the transaction as the deposit could be considered a cash advance.

So the best bet is to check the cardholder agreement.

Caesars + other deposit methods

If you don’t have an American Express card, no worries.

Caesars has several options for NJ online casino depositing.

And with the sportsbook integrated with the casino app, funds are available for NFL and college football betting, slots, or any other type of wagering.

Here are the current deposit methods:

  • ACH (Electronic Check)
  • MasterCard/Discover/Visa/American Express
  • Online Bank Transfer
  • PayPal
  • CaesarsCasino.com prepaid card
  • Cash at the Caesars Atlantic City casino cage
  • PayNearMe

Neteller was previously available, but parent company Paysafe has discontinued its e-wallet payment option, at least in the United States.

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Will more NJ gambling sites add the AmEx option?

Is American Express testing the NJ online gambling waters with Caesars? It’s hard to say, but as a first step, it has merit.

Here in the Garden State, online sports betting and gambling is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Since its inception in 2013, the industry has grown from just a few sites to a multitude of brands, apps, and websites.

And credit cards are an extremely common deposit method with NJ’s 17 sports betting apps. Plus, there are more than 20 online casino and poker offerings.

Whether or not AmEx expands beyond Caesars is an unknown. For now.

Are Sixers A Good Series Bet Following Game 2 Performance? That All Depends

The Philadelphia 76ers tied the series against the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Playoffs. We check in with NJ sportsbooks on the odds of a Sixers series win.

It took about 15 minutes of playoff action before Philadelphia fans were booing their 76ers.

It’s somewhat understandable as the team that was expected to compete for a spot in the NBA Finals ended up losing to the Brooklyn Nets in their playoff opener at home.

However, the Sixers showed up in a big way in Game 2, rolling over the Nets by a score of 145-123.

Game 3 tips off on Thursday; DraftKings Sportsbook has Philadelphia favored by 3 points on the road.

But since the series is evened up, is now the right time to bet the 76ers to win the battle with the Nets?

Sixers still favorites to win series

The 76ers opened up in the neighborhood of -700 to win this series while the Nets were at +500.

However, after the split in Philadelphia where Brooklyn stole home-court advantage, the prices have changed quite a bit.

The 76ers are now -370 at Caesars Sportsbook while the Nets are at +300. The odds are similarly tight across New Jersey gambling sites. BetStars NJ and FanDuel Sportsbook have 76ers favored by -333 and -300, respectively.

And over at SugarHouse online sportsbook, the odds are close but still favor the Sixers. That is their hometown casino after all.

Game 3 will be critical. If the Nets win, we could see this series move into the neighborhood of a pick, although the 76ers are still likely to be favored by about -150 or -175.

If the 76ers win, they’ll move back into the -700 or even -800 neighborhood where they originally opened.

Here’s a closer look at the 76ers series odds against the Nets at NJ online sports betting sites:

 DraftKingsBetStarsFanDuelCaesarsSugarHouse
Philadelphia 76ers vs. -335-333-330-370-335
Brooklyn Nets+240+260+250+300+240

Three things to consider when placing your bet

Game 2 may have ended on a happy note for Philadelphia, but not everything is as it seems when it comes to placing your Sixers bet in New Jersey.

Here are a few things to consider as we head into Game 3:

Embiid’s knee injury a concern

Bettors have to be concerned with the fact that 76ers star center Joel Embiid just isn’t fully healthy.

He’s played no more than 24 minutes in each game, which is well below his season average. We know he’s been laboring down the stretch of the season, playing in just 10 games since the All-Star break.

Furthermore, when you take a look at the schedule, there aren’t many breaks for Embiid. There are two days off between Game 2 and Game 3, and then there are two days off between Game 4 and Game 5. The rest of the time it’s just one-day breaks.

If his knee is, in fact, in rough shape, he could fade as the series progresses.

Bad game or bad quarter?

That’s what bettors need to figure out.

The 76ers led 64-63 at the half of Game 2, so they weren’t exactly in control. However, they exploded for 51 points in the third quarter en route to the win.

It’s worth noting that the 76ers were outscored 36-29 in the fourth quarter, so the Nets are left wondering if it was just a bad quarter or if it’s truly a turn in the series?

The importance of 3-point shooting

As the playoffs got underway this past weekend, one interesting stat came to light: Every team that won Game 1 of their series made more three-pointers than their opponent.

The Nets hit 15-of-36 threes in Game 2 compared to just nine-of-23 for the 76ers and have now outscored them 78-36 from beyond the arc.

If the Nets can continue to thrive from three, they’re going to be in this series for a while — and possibly win it.

Free player prop picks for Sixers-Nets Game 3

Caris LeVert Points Scored

Over/under 14.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook

I’ll be looking for Caris LeVert to have a better performance in Game 3.

He had 23 points in Game 1 but fell back 13 in Game 2. He had 13 points in just 20 minutes in Game 2. So if he sees more action in Game 3, he’ll likely get over the 14.5-point total.

The other factor here is that LeVert played better at home than on the road during the regular season. He averaged 15.7 points while shooting 44.9% from the field and 39.2% from three at home compared to 12.2 points on the road with 41.3% from the field and 23.7% from three.

Bottom line: Bet the over 14.5

Embiid Points Scored

Over/under 26.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook

This line seems a bit off. Embiid is banged up and played just 24 minutes in Game 1 and 21 minutes in Game 2.

That’s well below his norm as he’s typically up in the 33-minute range. We know he has a knee injury, which is why he was doubtful for Game 1. He scored 23 points in Game 2 and 22 in Game 1, so he’s well below the 27.5 he averaged in the regular season.

The Nets’ Ed Davis limited Embiid in Game 1 but got in foul trouble in Game 2, only playing six minutes. If he stays out of foul trouble and Embiid is still banged up, which I expect him to be, under looks good.

Bottom line: Bet the under 26.5.

DraftKings And Caesars Join Forces, But What Does That Mean For New Jersey?

DraftKings and Caesars have announced a multi-state agreement to expand the companies’ reach outside NJ online gambling and sports betting.

Monday’s big sports betting news, believe it or not, was not Oscars betting in New Jersey.

DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment stole the spotlight by announcing a multi-state agreement.

According to the press releaseCaesars will offer DraftKings market access for its online gaming products. The deal is exclusive to Caesars across certain states in which the company operates casino properties.

DraftKings, in turn, will promote Caesars Entertainment as its official casino resort partner while Caesars will receive DraftKings equity.

The agreement is subject to the passage of applicable laws and the parties securing gaming licenses in those states.

Mark Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment, elaborated on what the deal means for both companies.

“Caesars’ agreement with DraftKings, their first multi-state partnership, brings together the established leaders in gaming, daily fantasy sports and sports betting to provide customers more options.

“This alliance is the latest initiative by Caesars to capitalize on our database, generate a new revenue stream in a growth market and raise our profile in sports, in part by creating new sports-themed guest experiences at our resorts across the country.”

King of NJ sports betting

DraftKings Sportsbook made NJ sports betting history on Aug. 6  by becoming the first to the mobile market, beating PlayMGM Sports by 16 days.

This was after it had sealed a partnership with Resorts to gain access into the burgeoning NJ online gambling market.

Since its launch, DraftKings has consistently led the way in mobile sports betting revenue.

In January, online sports betting accounted for nearly 80 percent of the total sports betting revenue.

Meanwhile, the 5,000-square-foot DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts Atlantic City opened on Nov. 20. It draws standing-room-only crowds for big events, including Super Bowl Sunday.

While neither company is sharing specifics of how the deal will impact the Atlantic City casino market, the deal paves the way for new and exciting opportunities for both DraftKings’ sports betting app and the expanding DraftKings online casino.

Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings, shared his thoughts on the deal:

“Partnering with such a world class gaming organization will expedite our national roll-out process and give us the opportunity to work alongside one of the largest and most established industry leaders in the world.

“We look forward to collaborating with Caesars Entertainment on creating the most innovative and engaging sports and entertainment products and events for our customers.”

DraftKings + Resorts = a mystery

But now that DraftKings has a multi-state agreement in place with Caesars Entertainment, how will it impact the current partnership with Resorts?

While neither company is talking about parting ways, we have seen it happen in the first year of legal NJ sports betting.

The SugarHouse Sportsbook app originally launched under the Golden Nugget license on Aug. 23 but jumped ship to Monmouth Park in the fall. The move allows the company to offer NBA betting.

Golden Nugget and its partners are not permitted to offer NBA betting as a result of Tilman Fertitta owning both the Golden Nugget and the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

It has also happened in the NJ online casino market, albeit for different reasons. Betfair originally launched under Trump Taj Mahal’s license, but when that casino closed its doors, Betfair found a permanent home with Golden Nugget.

The future at Caesars’ properties in AC

If you look at the three Caesars-owned properties in Atlantic City, sports betting is more of a work in progress.

Caesars Atlantic City does not have its own sportsbook, and likely won’t. But it does offer online sports betting via the Caesars Sportsbook app powered  by Scientific Games.

888 Sport also operates under the Caesars license.

Bally’s and Harrah’s both have temporary retail sportsbooks at their respective properties and have been open since the summer. Once Tropicana and Hard Rock Atlantic City open their permanent spaces, they will be the only two AC casinos without complete sportsbooks.

Under the deal, according to the release, Caesars can continue to offer self-branded sports betting and online casino apps in each of these jurisdictions.

In addition, the company will maintain its own primary access in all states according to regulation under the agreement.

But from a Caesars/DraftKings standpoint, this deal opens the door to new revenue streams.

As long as legislatures in the market allow for additional online brands a la New Jersey, DraftKings Sportsbook will have an opening into the wider world of legal US sports betting. And Caesars will have found a way to expand its reach, too.

Last Chance To Bet On The Oscars For Free Thanks To Caesars Sportsbook

The 91st Academy Awards is just a few days away, but Oscars betting is still available and you can get $10 free with Caesars Sportsbook bonus code.

Yes, you can bet on the outcome of the 2019 Academy Awards in New Jersey, and you can even place a bet for free.

Caesars Sportsbook has posted six Oscars betting lines ahead of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony. The big night happens this weekend on Sunday, Feb. 24.

Plus, anyone older than 21 and inside New Jersey who signs up for a new account with Caesars Casino & Sports will immediately get a free $10 bet they can use to wager on the Oscars.

Caesars NJ online sportsbook gives you the opportunity to bet on the Academy’s big six categories:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Director
  • Best Actor
  • Best Actress
  • Best Supporting Actor
  • Best Supporting Actress

Plus, Caesars Casino & Sports has a seventh option that allows you to bet a parlay consisting of the three Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress favorites.

Basically, you can bet Roma (Best Picture), Rami Malek (Best Actor) and Glenn Close (Best Actress) all to win Oscars at +100.

Of course, the first thing you need to do to bet on the Oscars is to sign up for an account with Caesars Sportsbook.

Signing up with Caesars

Just follow these step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be ready to make your 2019 Oscars bets in no time:

  • Visit Caesars Casino & Sports.
  • Hit the “Play Now” button.
  • Choose your login details and hit NEXT.
  • Enter your personal details and hit NEXT.
  • Update all contact information.
  • Enter the Caesars Sportsbook bonus code BETFREE10 underneath where it reads “Did you receive a bonus code to join? Enter it here. (optional)”
  • Check the boxes accepting the terms and conditions, certifying that all information is correct and you are not prohibited from betting, acknowledging that it is prohibited to allow someone else to use access your account and choose if you want to receive promotional offers.
  • Click on the “Join Now” button.

As long as you entered the Caesars Sportsbook’s bonus code BETFREE10 you’ll receive a free $10 bet you can use to bet on the Oscars.

Betting on the Oscars

Betting on the Oscars at Caesars Casino & Sports is a simple process.

The nominees in each available category have moneyline odds posted on whether they will win the award. Just browse through each category and start picking winners.

If you’re right, Caesars NJ gambling site will pay off the wager at the odds posted at the time you placed the bet.

For example, look at the odds in the Best Picture category as of Feb. 20:

  • Roma -275
  • The Green Book +350
  • The Favourite +1500
  • A Star is Born +4000
  • BlacKkKlansman +2500
  • Black Panther +2500
  • Bohemian Rhapsody +2500
  • Vice +10000

This means you’ll need to bet $320 on Roma to win $100 plus your bet back. It also means a $100 bet on The Green Book will get you $400 plus your bet back if it wins.

Plus, you can bet a long shot like Vice with your $10 free bet and you’ll get $1,010 back if it manages the big upset at the Oscars this year.

Betting on the Oscars at Caesars Sportsbook is that easy — really.

But remember, you’ve only got a few days left to do it ahead of the Feb. 24 Oscars ceremony beginning at 8 pm EST.

Oscars odds at Caesars Sportsbook

Keep checking the Oscars odds on Caesars NJ sports betting app over the next few days to see if anything changes at the last minute.

Plus, seek out inside information before you make your picks, like what films have already taken home various guild awards this year. These are almost always great predictors as to who will win an Academy Award.

Finally, don’t forget there are upsets at the Oscars every year.

That means you can bet a long shot at Caesars’ online app and turn your $10 free bet into something really substantial if you correctly predict the Cinderella story coming out of the 2019 Acadamy Awards.

Here’s a look at the longest Oscars odds on Caesars Sportsbook (as of Feb. 20):

  • Place a $10 bet on Vice, and you’ll win $1,010 if it manages to win Best Picture.
  • Put $10 down on Viggo Mortensen or Willem Dafoe, and you’ll get $410 back if the one you bet on wins Best Actor.
  • Place a $10 bet on Melissa McCarthy or Yalitza Aparicio, and you’ll win $510 if the one you bet on wins Best Actress.
  • Put $10 down on Cold War director Paweł Pawlikowski, and you’ll earn $510 if he takes home the Oscar for Best Director.
  • Make a $10 bet on Sam Rockwell, and you’ll earn $510 if he wins Best Supporting Actor.
  • Put $10 on Marina de Tavira, and you’ll win $260 if she wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Inside The Fines: New Details Emerge About Caesars Illegal NJ Sports Bets

A public records request sheds some light on exactly what unfolded behind the scenes at Caesars when it accepted illegal bets at its NJ sportsbooks.

Sports betting in New Jersey is not exactly off to a smooth start for Caesars Entertainment and its Atlantic City casinos.

Documents acquired via a public records request shed some light on exactly what unfolded behind the scenes at Caesars and the illegal sports bets it accepted in September.

NJ Deputy Attorney General Jennifer K. Russo-Belles sent a letter to Caesars Entertainment dated Nov. 20, 2018.

It reveals details behind last month’s $2,000 fine handed out by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

A big no-no: NJ sports betting on Rutgers

According to the letter, the Sept. 10, 2018, football game between Rutgers and Kansas triggered the illegal sports betting alarms. The DGE interviewed Vicki Guveiyian, Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s (CIE) director of gaming technology and innovation, on Sept. 18.

Here is a snippet of the details from the letter:

“While CIE’s Las Vegas Trading Team noticed the game had been incorrectly loaded and removed it from availability within an hour of its posting; CIE’s New Jersey Trading Team did not.

“It was not until the division notified CIE’s New Jersey Trading Team on Sept. 14, 2018, four days later, that CIE voided the bet.”

The patron who placed the $10 wager was refunded the wager amount and credited an additional $10 as a “goodwill gesture,” according to the document.

A second illegal listing on Monmouth-Princeton game

But that’s not all.

It seems, according to Guveiyian, that CIE’s Las Vegas Trading Team “had failed to send out notifications when it discovered the illegal listing because it was unaware of New Jersey’s compliance standards.”

On Sept. 14, according to the letter, Jeff Davis, CIE’s manager of hub operations, sent out an internal memorandum to his staff reiterating “it was illegal to offer New Jersey collegiate games for sports betting.”

But another incident followed eight days later

Caesars offered wagering on the Monmouth-Princeton football game on its SG OpenBet Platform, aka the Caesars Sportsbook app.

Within that one game were two separate prohibited events: The game involved two New Jersey colleges and it was played inside New Jersey.

The wager window was open for 90 minutes before it was disabled. But in this instance, Caesars did not accept any wagers, according to the report. Additionally, Guveiyian notified the DGE.

A rare illegal bet in a young sports betting market

For the most part, despite a few hiccups, it’s smooth sailing with sports betting in New Jersey. This includes NJ online gambling sites such as DraftKings Sportsbook.

While FanDuel Sportsbook had a few growing pains in the early days of its sportsbook, the overall feeling is that things are working as they should.

To date, seven out of the nine Atlantic City casinos have operational retail sportsbooks. Caesars is one of the two properties without one (Hard Rock Atlantic City, for now, is the other).

Caesars customers use the sportsbook at the connected Bally’s Wild Wild West casino, its sister property. Meanwhile, Caesars also accepts bets at its sportsbook app. And it has an online partnership with 888 Sport NJ, too.

The bigger picture is that to date, only one other casino has been hit with a NJ sports betting fine. Golden Nugget was the other.

The Marina District property was flagged by the DGE around the same time for accepting 10 illegal bets from unknown individuals on “various New Jersey college football games in September.”

Golden Nugget was slapped with a $390 fine.

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DGE keeping an eye on Caesars

Caesars sports betting continues under the watchful eye of the DGE.

No additional penalties or fines outside of the two incidents have come to light. But at the same time, additional compliance measures are now in place.

More details from the letter:

“Caesars shall immediately ensure that proper training and procedural controls are implemented to prevent any further prohibited events from being displayed, especially those involving New Jersey college teams or any NCAA events played in New Jersey.”

And at this point, there is no room for error. The DGE is watching.

“… permitted wagering on prohibited sports events may result in more formal regulatory action.”