ICYMI: New Jersey Online Gambling And Sports Betting Had A Crazy Busy Week

Sports betting, pro sports teams, and legendary brands all made headlines this week in the expanding NJ sports betting and online gambling markets.

When it rains, it pours.

And that’s very true of last week in the world of sports betting and online gambling.

A flurry of news surfaced relating to New Jersey casinos, NJ online gambling, NJ sports betting operators as well as professional sports teams including the New York Jets, New Jersey Devils, and Philadelphia 76ers.

So before more partnerships and gambling news erupt onto the scene (like this one between the NHL and FanDuel this morning), here’s a quick rundown of some of the big NJ news bits.

Sports, casinos and a bunch of gambling partnerships

Perhaps the biggest news of the past week was the dual announcements from NJ casino companies about sports betting partnerships with professional sports teams.

MGM Resorts International struck a partnership with the Jets, in which they would be the official gaming partner of the storied franchise.

In a press release from the gaming giant, CEO Jim Murren expressed his excitement about the groundbreaking deal:

“We could not be more excited to join with the New York Jets for a first-of-its-kind partnership in the NFL. We look forward to working with the Jets to innovate gaming, increase our customer base through cross marketing opportunities and provide NFL fans with a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.”

MGM owns Atlantic City’s flagship casino, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and will surely increase the visibility of their Jets partnership at the casino’s sportsbook.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment announced it entered a deal with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.

In their press release about the partnership, Caesars’ Chief Marketing Officer Chris Holdren emphasized the launch of Caesars Club, a premium experience in the Prudential Center, the Devils’ home ice in Newark.

“Caesars Entertainment has enjoyed a long relationship with the New Jersey community,” Holdren said in the release. “With the introduction of the Caesars Club Sports Lounge, we’re excited to expand our relationship and deliver our world-class hospitality and entertainment in a new part of the Garden State.”

MGM, Golden Nugget make moves in PA online gaming

Next, we move to our neighbor Pennsylvania.

This past week, MGM and Golden Nugget were the only two out-of-state “qualified gaming entities” (QGE) to submit petitions for Pennsylvania online gambling licenses.

The state had 39 of these licenses to hand out to its 13 casinos and racetracks, with each casino able to secure licenses for online slots, online table games, and peer-to-peer online games such as online poker.

Casinos in the state swept up all but 11 of the licenses, allowing QGEs — gambling operators in other states, for example — to swoop in to buy the remaining licenses. Prices for the licenses were $4 million for a single license and $10 million for all three.

One of the interesting angles here is that Golden Nugget is the undisputed king of online gambling revenue in New Jersey. Their move into the PA online gambling market will no doubt strengthen their position atop the revenue in online casinos.

What remains to be seen is how much revenue they’ll be able to generate in PA, as no online casinos have gone live yet.

Churchill Downs has NJ sports betting, online casino plans

The third slice of big news in online gambling and sports betting comes from Churchill Downs Inc., aka CDI.

CDI, the company behind the fabled Churchill Downs horse track in Kentucky, revealed they had solidified a partnership with Golden Nugget AC and would be opening an NJ online casino and sportsbook later this year.

CEO and director William C. Carstanjen talked about the partnership in the company’s Nov. 3 earnings call, through which CDI will use Golden Nugget’s skin to run their online operation.

“In New Jersey, we have entered into what is known as a skins agreement with the Golden Nugget casino to gain access to the New Jersey iGaming and sports wagering markets,” Carstanjen said. “We do not have a casino in New Jersey to enter the market directly but have an arrangement with Golden Nugget, which will allow us full management and control of our own site.”

The company also noted they’re finalizing a sports-betting deal with Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle Downs.

Future Churchill Downs NJ Online Casino Will Feature Popular NetEnt Games

Horse racing giant Churchill Downs has inked a deal with online casino game supplier NetEnt to feature NetEnt games when its NJ gambling site launches.

Horse racing giant Churchill Downs Inc. continued to ramp up its effort to launch an NJ gambling site this week, inking a deal with New Jersey’s top online casino game supplier.

Churchill Downs and Swedish-based casino software and game supplier NetEnt have entered into a supplier agreement. The deal will see NetEnt supply games to Churchill Downs in the New Jersey regulated online casino market.

NetEnt and NJ online gambling

Of course, NJ online casino players are already quite familiar with NetEnt’s library of games. In fact, there isn’t an NJ online casino that doesn’t offer them.

NJ gambling sites feature more than 70 NetEnt games. This includes a huge variety of online slots and various online table games.

The most popular NetEnt game is likely the Divine Fortune progressive jackpot online slot.

In August, a New Jersey woman won a Divine Fortune-record $287,945 jackpot playing the game at SugarHouse online casino app. Two days later, a Betfair Casino player won a $314,341 Divine Fortune jackpot, breaking the slot’s record yet again.

Erik Nyman, managing director of NetEnt Americas LLC, said NetEnt hopes to be a catalyst for Churchill Downs’ NJ online casino growth:

“We are excited to start delivering our popular game titles to Churchill Downs, probably most known for its iconic flagship horse-racing event, the Kentucky Derby. With our thrilling game titles, I am confident that we will be an important contributor to growth in online casino for Churchill Downs.”

Ian Williams, president of Churchill Downs Interactive, said offering NetEnt games is key to a high-quality customer experience:

“There is no doubt NetEnt games have proven to be player favorites in every market they have been deployed. We are looking forward to adding hit titles Jumanji, Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest to offer the best possible experience to our players.”

Churchill Downs NJ online casino

It’s not clear exactly when customers will get to experience a Churchill Downs NJ online casino.

Churchill Downs announced in May 2018 it had signed an agreement with Golden NuggetThe deal will see it enter the NJ online gambling and NJ sports betting markets under Golden Nugget’s licenses.

At the time, Churchill Downs said it would be targeting the first quarter of 2019 for launch.

Churchill Downs is already in online gambling in one capacity. The company’s TwinSpires.com online horse betting site is the largest legal online horse racing wagering business in the country.

Churchill Downs calls Louisville, Ky., home. It’s perhaps best known as the company behind The Kentucky Derby horse race. Plus, the host track for the derby takes its name from its parent company, Churchill Downs Racetrack.

However, the company also owns and operates several other racetrack and casino properties across the US.