Nothing But Net! Golden Nugget Gets Final OK To Post NBA Odds

If New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signs the sports betting bill, Golden Nugget Atlantic City will be permitted to offer NBA bets, sans Houston Rockets.

We interrupt this NFL betting period for some breaking NBA wagering news.

Golden Nugget‘s NBA betting ban lifted. NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill on Friday.

New Jersey Assembly Bill A5463 passed both houses by a 26-1 vote. Here is the summary of what the bill encompasses:

Permits owner of 10 percent or more of member team of sports governing body to place or accept wagers on certain sports events in which other member teams participate.

Click here to see the full version of the bill.

Prior to its passing and Murphy’s official signature, Golden Nugget was on the basketball betting sidelines.

Golden Nugget on the sidelines during NBA season

The original NJ sports betting legislation did not permit casino owners to offer wagering on a sport if they owned a team in that sport. This included any online skins or partners.  

Tilman Fertitta, who owns the Golden Nugget and NBA’s Houston Rockets, was the only AC casino owner impacted by this rule.

As a result, Golden Nugget and its online partners BetAmerica and PlaySugarHouse could not reap the benefits of NBA betting in New Jersey.

Eventually, SugarHouse decided to switch partners in order to offer NBA odds. It moved to Monmouth Park’s license in October 2018.

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Golden Nugget + Houston Rockets

Loosening the restrictions means Golden Nugget sportsbook and BetAmerica NJ are no longer on the outside looking in during pro basketball betting.

Under the new law, Golden Nugget and online partner BetAmerica sportsbook can accept bets on NBA games. However, those involving James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Rockets will remain off-limits.

This is similar to the restriction placed on Golden Nugget’s sports betting in Nevada.

NBA betting is still a couple of months away from tipoff.

Until then, there are plenty of US Open, college football, and MLB wagering opportunities.

It’s Another Hot Summer Of AC Casino Loyalty Club Upgrades And Cash Giveaways

Atlantic City casino promotions are creating a summer heatwave of loyalty club tier matching along with cash and car giveways at Golden Nugget and more.

Business is picking up around Atlantic City. Call it the Fourth of July to Labor Day summer rush.

With two new casinos marking one year on the Boardwalk, and plenty of other changes happening inside and outside properties, there’s a lot to consider when visiting.

As with last summer, casinos around the city are thinking up ways to keep the customers interested.

Free parking (Golden Nugget and Ocean Casino Resort) is a good starting point to be sure.

But the big giveaway offers are what brings foot traffic to the casino floor, from million dollar giveaways to massive loyalty club status upgrades and tier matching.

Here are a few examples of what’s going on at the Jersey Shore.

1. Golden Nugget tier matching

Atlantic City’s smallest property is approaching a milestone.

But the NJ online gambling leader is not ignoring the importance of attracting land-based customers.

The Upgrade Your Summer promotion is available through Sept. 2. This offer applies to new and existing 24K Select Club members.

There’s also plenty of tier matching and upgrades going on at Golden Nugget if you carry loyalty cards from other AC casinos. Below is a list of all the tier-match upgrades at Golden Nugget available now through Sept. 2.

AC Casino Reward ProgramLoyalty LevelGolden Nugget Tier Match
Borgata/MGMLevel 1 SapphirePremier
Borgata/MGMLevel 2 PearlChairman trade up
Borgata/MGMLevel 3 GoldElite trade up
Borgata/MGMLevel 4 PlatinumElite trade up
Borgata/MGMLevel 5 NoirElite trade up
ResortsLevel 1 PremierePremier
ResortsLevel 2 EpicChairman trade up
ResortsLevel 3 ParamountElite trade up
ResortsLevel 4 Red CarpetElite trade up
Caesars RewardsLevel 1 GoldPremier
Caesars RewardsLevel 2 PlatinumChairman trade up
Caesars RewardsLevel 3 DiamondElite trade up
Caesars RewardsLevel 4 Seven StarElite trade up
TropicanaLevel 1 GreenPremier
TropicanaLevel 2 CopperChairman trade up
TropicanaLevel 3 GoldElite trade up
TropicanaLevel 4 PlatinumElite trade up
TropicanaLevel 5 BlackElite trade up
Hard RockLevel 1 PremierPremier
Hard RockLevel 2 EliteChairman trade up
Hard RockLevel 3 Rock RoyaltyElite trade up
Hard Rock Level 4 XCardElite trade up
Ocean CasinoLevel 1 BluePremier
Ocean CasinoLevel 2 GoldChairman trade up
Ocean CasinoLevel 3 PlatinumElite trade up
Ocean CasinoLevel 4 BlackElite trade up

New chairman members (2,500 credits) will receive:

  • Opportunity to earn more cash back and comp dollars.
  • One free bingo board card per cardholder plus an additional card for guest.
  • Special discount at The Buffet for up to three guests.
  • 15% discount at participating retail locations.

Besides earning the highest level of offers, Elite (top tier, 12,500 credits) benefits are similar. Cardholders earn an extra bingo board and a 20% discount.

2. Ocean making a splash

Ocean Casino, fresh off its dual birthday celebration with Hard Rock Atlantic City, is offering tier matching, too.

New members who join the Players Club program at Ocean AC can bring premium cards from competitors (along with a valid ID) to get a tier match. The offer is available now through Dec. 31.

However, that’s one of several new promotions under the casino-first marketing approach that came about when the property changed its name earlier this year.

The chance to drive away in a new Porsche or with extra cash is a much bigger draw. And that’s all part of the $250,000 Summer of Porsche.

Players earn entries via slot and table play (poker is excluded). Qualifier drawings are held every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m.

Five winners will be announced every hour. The prize is $1,000 in free slot play along with a grand prize entry.

The grand finale drawing is taking place at 11 p.m. Aug. 31. The two winners will face the tough decision of choosing between cash or car.

  • First place: 2019 Porsche Macan or $35,000 cash.
  • Second place: 2019 Porsche Boxster or $35,000 cash.

3. 1 million reasons to visit Hard Rock

Yes, it’s true. The SWAT team recently made a $1 million delivery to Hard Rock AC.

The cash is being safely stored in the cage until one guaranteed winner goes home with it on Sept. 1.

No need to take out a marker at the blackjack or craps table. Like Powerball, it all comes down to the luck of the draw.

Hard Rock Wild Card members have until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31 to earn entries. They come via slots, table games or HardRockCasino.com play. Every $10 comp dollars equals one entry.

The winner will be announced at 6 p.m. on Sept. 1.

Wild Card tier matching, too

Hard Rock is offering new members with premium cards from other casinos some added incentives to upgrade. The higher tiers are Elite or Rock Royalty.

And there are some perks, too. They include:

  • Complimentary hotel stay
  • Two tickets to Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club
  • $100 bonus free play (Rock Royalty only)

Can Golden Nugget AC Hit This Milestone For Online Gambling?

Golden Nugget’s land-based and online revenue numbers are adding up to a win-win as the property closed out May in the No. 2 spot among AC’s nine casinos.

Golden Nugget has been the king of online gambling in New Jersey since 2016.

And ever since then, its monthly revenues have garnered headlines. It was an amazing day when online revenues hit $5 million for the casino. Then it surpassed $8 million. And then $10 million. And then $14 million.

Golden Nugget (with the help of its online partners) now holds a 37% market share.

But here is another fact: The May 2019 revenue data from the Division of Gaming Enforcement shows just over a $3 million difference between Golden Nugget’s land-based revenue ($17,137,676) and online casino revenue ($14,078,208).

That total gaming revenue puts it in the No. 2 spot for the month of May among all Atlantic City casinos.

But can that online number surpass its land-based number in the future? All signs point to yes, and here’s why.

Expanding live dealer games

One of the things that separated Golden Nugget from its NJ online casino competitors is the live dealer studio located right on the property.

They were the first of the AC casinos to roll out this novel concept and reaped the benefits. Golden Nugget was often quick to point out that its live dealer games were a gold mine.

But the company continues building on those initial plans.

Earlier in June, Golden Nugget online casino expanded access to its live dealer games. The studio is now open 24/7. This change in hours (eliminating the 3 a.m. closing time) means the popular games are available any time of day.

As more and more customers get wind of this, online numbers could continue to increase. Plus, there are several more seats at the live dealer tables these days.

The amount of tables has more than quadrupled in size going from three to 13 tables. Increasing from eight to 24 hours is good for business, too.

Of course, several other operators followed in Golden Nugget’s footsteps, including its own online partners Betfair Casino and PlaySugarHouse NJ.

A new Evolution Gaming studio opened at Hard Rock Atlantic City last year and with that came live dealer games at DraftKings Casino, Resorts and Borgata to name a few.

Instead of fearing the competition, Thomas Winter, senior vice president and general manager of online gaming for Golden Nugget, sees a prosperous road ahead to the tune of “close to $100 million” wagered at the Golden Nugget studio in June alone.

” … We strongly believe that live dealer will eventually account for more than 20 percent of the online casino market, so there‚Äôs still plenty of room for innovation and growth.”

The popularity alone, therefore, likely is one reason Golden Nugget’s online revenue will continue to grow.

Golden Nugget online vs retail revenue

Strong online gambling partners

There is more to the online success story besides the live games.

New Jersey regulators permit license holders to have deals with multiple partners, and each has taken full advantage of that rule. Golden Nugget is well aware that it’s online growth is not solely due to its own success.

“You can‚Äôt really compare land-based and online revenues because online combines revenues from different skins,” said Winter.

In Golden Nugget’s case, there are four brands, or skins:

The SugarHouse brand in and of itself is an extremely recognizable one to customers residing in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area.

Besides having a land-based casino located nearby, the platform has casino games and sports betting. (The latter operates under the Monmouth Park license.)

And right now, PlaySugarHouse benefits from renewed interest in the region. A sister Pennsylvania site was the first of the sports betting apps to hit the market there. Its PA online casino is targeted for a mid-July launch.

But that’s just one slice of the pie.

The Betfair-FanDuel connection

Betfair, besides being around since 2013, is one of the many brands that established itself in the UK before launching in the Garden State.

But the bigger story here is that parent company Flutter Entertainment (previously Paddy Power Betfair) also owns the market-leading FanDuel Sportsbook brand.

It means customers have access to a shared wallet and there are strong opportunities for cross-selling. FanDuel customers are currently being offered $10 in free play if they sign up for a Betfair account.

Churchill Downs’ BetAmerica launched earlier this year, and like other brands, the NJ online sportsbook and casino are integrated into a shared wallet.

No matter which app customers are using, they are all contributing to Golden Nugget’s overall online revenue picture.

Retail customers vs. online customers

What’s important to note is the customers using these platforms are not necessarily the same ones gambling on the casino floor.

Golden Nugget is known for attracting an older crowd. Online gambling, on the other hand, caters to a much younger crowd.

Upcoming appearances by Little Anthony & The Imperials and Tommy James & The Shondells are not going to necessarily attract the online casino customer.

Winter notes the online player is 15 years younger than the typical land-based player. In essence, there are “two distinct demographics.”

While it’s hard to pinpoint an exact number, online casino customers are still visiting the land-based operation.

Winter explains:

“Of course there is some overlap, but our data shows that land-based patrons who start playing online don‚Äôt stop coming to the physical casino.

“If anything, they tend to increase their land-based play, not reduce it. Online gaming competes with other forms of digital entertainment, like Netflix, not with land-based entertainment, which is by nature a social experience while mobile is a solitary, time-killing one.”

The NJ online sports betting dilemma

There’s still a couple wild cards to Golden Nugget’s revenue equation.

First, its self-branded NJ sports betting app has yet to really take off. You may or may not have noticed the lack of marketing of its mobile app, at least the sports wagering part of it.

Keep in mind, the Golden Nugget platform didn’t launch its mobile sportsbook until Feb. 19 (missing the entire NFL season).

Plus any brands operating under the Golden Nugget license (retail and mobile) are not permitted to offer NBA betting. This is a result of owner Tilman Fertitta holding a majority stake in the Houston Rockets.

But the NBA betting ban could be lifted by the time the 2019-2020 season rolls around.

A proposed bill in the NJ Assembly would essentially permit wagering on any games not involving the Rockets.

The combination of NFL and NBA wagering plus a heavy dose of cross-selling could generate a big revenue boost that has yet to come into play.

For now, Winter is taking the wait-and-see approach.

“NBA is, of course, an important part of sports betting and not having it meant we couldn‚Äôt compete on a level playing field. This is why we didn‚Äôt rush to launch our mobile sports betting last year and why we haven‚Äôt actively advertised it since launch.

“If the New Jersey legislation is amended to prohibit team owners from offering bets on their team, as opposed to all games of the league, which has worked well in states like Nevada or Mississippi and is enough to protect sports integrity, then we‚Äôll, of course, reconsider our investments in online sports betting.”

Golden Nugget currently has two of its three allotted online sports skins filled. There is no word on if and when a third platform will be coming.

Opening the door to cross-selling

Speaking of cross-selling, there is a possibility customers will start seeing some cross-selling between the Golden Nugget casino and sportsbook platforms.

It follows the trend set by market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook.

Winter notes, however, cross-selling from casino to sports is less significant than the other way around.

Summertime at the Golden Nugget

The other element to consider in any revenue discussion is the seasonal nature of Atlantic City.

During those prime summer weeks between Fourth of July and Labor Day, it’s highly unlikely mobile customers will take a summer break.

But the Golden Nugget is the only AC property with its own marina (some may remember the property formerly known as Trump Marina).

And like previous summers, there are special events booked for The Deck, including next month’s FakeFest. The H2O Pool is open for the summer, too, so land-based customers do have reasons to book an extended stay.

If we look back at July numbers from last year, Golden Nugget reported $20,105,343 in casino floor revenue and $9,328,814 in online revenue, the latter of which was a 49.8 percent year-over-year increase.

August 2018 produced $8,172,508 from online gambling. Combined, that is more than $17 million in NJ online revenue when the beach and Atlantic Ocean are the prime attractions.

However, during those same two months, land-based revenue exceeded $40 million.

Will we see the day when Golden Nugget’s internet gaming revenue matches or even surpasses that of the casino floor? Likely not during the current season.

However, the additions of 24/7 live dealers, more cross-selling opportunities, strong partnerships, and the possibility of NBA betting are setting up a very interesting scenario.

The gap is tightening, and it’s only a matter of time.

Golden Nugget’s Frown May Turn Upside Down If NBA Betting Ban Lifts

The NJ sports betting bill would change the policy that prohibits bets on a league if the casino held a 10% stake in a team, as Golden Nugget’s owner does.

Golden Nugget could soon have NBA betting at its sportsbooks and those of its online sports partners in New Jersey.

The state’s¬†Assembly Appropriations Committee on¬†Tuesday approved a proposed bill that allows any casino owner who holds a stake of¬†10% or more¬†in any sports franchise to accept wagers on events within those leagues.

Simplified, Golden Nugget, whose owner Tilman Fertitta runs the  Houston Rockets, would be allowed to add NBA wagering to its NJ sports betting portfolio.

On Thursday, the bill passed the NJ Assembly. A companion bill in the Senate awaits action.

More on the proposed bill

Previously, the state did not allow casinos to offer betting on leagues in which owners held at least 10% of a stake in franchises competing in said leagues.

From the regulations:

“The direct or indirect legal or beneficial owner of 10 percent or more of a sports governing body or any of its member teams shall not place or accept any wager on a sports event in which any member team of that sports governing body participates.”

This new bill makes a subtle change. It simply deleted “or any of its member teams.”

Rather than casting a wide net and banning regulated betting on entire leagues in which casino owners have ownership interests, this bill narrows the focus.

A long-awaited NJ sports betting amendment

As a result of state restrictions, Golden Nugget, and its online sports betting partner BetAmerica, have gone without NBA action in its operation.

Interestingly, in Nevada, Golden Nugget is only prohibited from accepting wagers on games in which the Rockets play.

When New Jersey neared, and ultimately launched, regulated sports betting last summer, Golden Nugget hoped to convince legislators to craft similar rules.

Obviously, that did not happen.

Now, a year later, a proposed bill ‚ÄĒ¬†which has mirroring legislation referred to the state Senate’s Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee¬†‚ÄĒ would do just that.

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Restriction already played a role in the market

Fertitta’s property went without NBA wagering since its retail sportsbook opened in¬†August 2018. Additionally, Golden Nugget’s online sportsbook, which launched earlier this year, falls under the same restriction.

The regulatory reach extends to partner brands, as well, which includes BetAmerica Sportsbook.

As such, for the entirety of the 2018-2019 NBA season, Golden Nugget’s NJ online gambling revenue did not include NBA betting. Golden Nugget’s sports betting revenue was less than $30,000 in May 2019 when the NBA post-season was in full play.

Recall that an original online sports betting partner of Golden Nugget, SugarHouse Sportsbook, jumped ship and teamed with Monmouth Park last fall.

According to reports, such a decision came down due to the state’s prohibition of NBA wagering imposed on Golden Nugget and its partners.

Successful Golden Nugget Online Live Dealer Games Now Available 24/7

Golden Nugget Online Casino’s live dealer casino games won’t shut down at 3 a.m. tonight because the Golden Nugget Live Dealer Studio¬†is now open 24/7.

The live dealer games on Golden Nugget Online Casino will not shut down at 3 a.m. tonight. In fact, they will not shut down anytime in the foreseeable future.

That’s because the Golden Nugget Online Casino live dealer studio¬†in Atlantic City is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

That means players can access the traditional casino/online casino hybrid games around the clock.

The first live dealer games

Golden Nugget became the first NJ gambling site to offer live dealer games three years ago when it launched live versions of:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette; and
  • Baccarat

These were versions of traditional table games played out the same way they are in brick-and-mortar casinos across the US. The difference was the action was streamed online and viewers were able to bet using an online interface.

Golden Nugget soon allowed other NJ gambling site operators access to the games. Then it added more.

First came the Texas Hold’em-style table game Live Casino Hold‚Äôem in January 2018. Then it was Live Casino Floor Roulette in March 2018, streaming the action right from the Golden Nugget Atlantic City casino floor.

Finally, Golden Nugget launched Live Unlimited Blackjack in June 2018, allowing an unlimited number of players to bet on the same live blackjack hand.

Live dealer games go 24/7

Since Golden Nugget Atlantic City is a 24/7 operation, so was Live Casino Floor Roulette. It was the first live dealer game to run 24/7.

Now, Golden Nugget has extended the hours at its live dealer studio on the property so all the live dealer games are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Golden Nugget’s Online Gaming SVP and General Manager Thomas Winter said player demand drove the change:

“We continue to demonstrate the never-ending commitment of GoldenNuggetCasino.com to providing New Jersey online casino players with the best online gaming experience. Our patrons asked and we delivered by opening our live dealer studio around the clock.”

Golden Nugget rises to the top

Golden Nugget Online Casino launched in November 2013, and it has grown into the top-grossing online casino in the state. Not coincidentally, it also boasts the largest selection of games online in NJ.

Winter has previously indicated live dealer games are some of the most popular on the site. He has also claimed live dealer games have helped drive a 150% increase in online table game revenues.

May 2019 Division of Gaming Enforcement figures were released last week. They showed Golden Nugget posted more than $14 million in revenue last month.

That represents close to a 37% NJ online gambling market share. It also means more than $1 out of every $3 bet online in NJ is wagered at Golden Nugget.

Everything Is Still Golden At The Top Of April’s Revenue For NJ Online Casinos

With Golden Nugget still on top, NJ online gambling revenue cleared the $30-million mark once again, for a year-over-year increase just shy of 60 percent.

The magic number is $30 million.

New Jersey online gambling¬†revenue hit the mark for the first time¬†in January. And Atlantic City’s¬†internet casino operators have not looked back since.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released April numbers on Tuesday, and the seven online license holders reported revenue of $36,582,934.

It doesn’t top¬†March’s record in which the totals ballooned to almost $40 million,¬†$39,134,380 to be exact.¬†But it’s still a¬†58.9 percent¬†year-over-year increase.

Plus, April’s overall performance is still good enough for second best all time.

NJ online casino revenue numbers

All five licensees that were operational this time last year reported double-digit increases.

Through the first four months of the year, the total revenue is at $141,060,432, good enough for a 52.4 percent increase.

Here is a complete breakdown of each casino operator and its internet gaming revenue:

Online Casino Licensee2019 April Revenue2018 April Revenue% Change
Borgata$5,463,153$4,591,30019%
Caesars$4,579,094$3,508,8230.5%
Golden Nugget$13,854,527$8,133,02470.3%
Hard Rock$1,554,913----
Ocean Resort$308,409----
Resorts$7,137,480$3,612,72697.6%
Tropicana$3,685,358$3,172,89116.2%

No record, but Golden Nugget still tops

Golden Nugget continues to be front and center, at least from an online gambling perspective.

The Marina¬†District¬†property reported $13,854,527, by far the best among all operators. And that’s a¬†70.3 percent increase from the same period last year.

But in terms of all-time numbers, April’s figures are slightly off from March’s record performance of $14,227,820. The latest number is still good enough for second best in Golden Nugget history.

And for the year, the license holder is now at a mind-blowing $50,963,562. For comparison purposes, Golden Nugget’s revenue from the casino floor is $63,627,733.

Resorts Digital continues upward climb

Resorts, like Golden Nugget, is one of the smaller properties in town. Yet, both companies seem to be making the most noise in the NJ online casino world.

Resorts Digital, the online arm of the land-based casino, reported $7,137,480 in revenue. But the bigger number is the 97.6 percent year-over-year percentage increase.

And having the still growing DraftKings Casino as part of its portfolio is playing a big part in this substantial growth.

The platform is integrated with the DraftKings Sportsbook, which is a huge part of the NJ sports betting story.

From the looks of things, cross-selling between sportsbook and casino is having a big effect for Resorts.

You can read more about April’s sports betting numbers here.

Hail Caesars Interactive

All three of the Caesars Entertainment-owned properties reported losses on the casino floor. The flagship Caesars Atlantic City reported the biggest loss at 24 percent.

But the tone switches to a positive one when bringing¬†Caesars’¬†slate of online casinos¬†into the equation. The operator reported $4,579,094¬†‚ÄĒ¬†a 30.5 percent year-over-year increase.

The portfolio consists of three brands:

No signs of slowing down

The healthy growth of the NJ online casino industry coincides with the success of the NJ mobile sports betting industry.

More than 8o percent of the monthly handle comes via apps and web browsers. And many of the current operators either have their respective mobile platforms integrated with the casino app or do cross-sell.

And four straight months over the $30-million mark show it’s working.

Plus this win-win is contributing to the bigger Atlantic City story: 11 straight months of growth. April alone comes in at a 16.9 percent increase from 2018.

No matter how you spin it, the AC gambling picture is looking bright and sunny. Just in time for summer at the Jersey Shore.