First In Line: Hard Rock Atlantic City Reopens Buffet With Changes

Hard Rock AC is now offering customers an all-you-can-eat dining experience at Fresh Harvest. It is the first and only Atlantic City casino buffet to reopen.

Hard Rock Casino finally has the one thing missing from the Atlantic City indoor dining season.

Any idea what it is?

After months of waiting, Hard Rock Atlantic City customers now have the option of eating lunch or dinner at Fresh Harvest casino buffet. For those wondering how a property can operate a buffet when the coronavirus global pandemic is still around, the solution involves some creativity.

Hard Rock is reinventing the concept by replacing the traditional buffet with an all-you-can-eat dining experience.

In other words, for now, forget about the long lines at the food stations. Instead, all of the “classic comforts and international favorites” are served straight to the table. The cost is $29.99 per person.

Call it the social-distance version of the popular Atlantic City buffet.

What’s on the Fresh Harvest buffet menu

Customers familiar with the Fresh Harvest menu will notice many of the regular items are still on the expansive menu.

Here is a small sampling of what’s available:

  • Sliced brisket
  • New England clam chowder
  • General Tso’s chicken
  • Italian chopped salad
  • New York cheesecake parfaits

Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday noon-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon-10 p.m.

Status of Atlantic City indoor dining

Nothing much has changed since early September when Gov. Phil Murphy cleared the path for AC casinos to bring back indoor dining.

Like the other restaurants across the state, Fresh Harvest employees and guests must follow the indoor dining guidelines mandated by New Jersey.

Hard Rock AC takes things a step further with its Safe + Sound protocols.

At this time, there is no word as to if and when Murphy will increase indoor capacity.

When will other Atlantic City casino buffets reopen?

Unfortunately, this is one of those questions that will remain unanswered, for now.

NJGamblingSites reached out to several of the other Atlantic City casinos, and “nothing new” was the response across the board.

The Buffet page on the Golden Nugget AC website includes a brief statement:

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Buffet is closed until further notice.”

The restaurant page on the Tropicana AC website still shows the words “Temporarily Closed” across the Fiesta Buffet image.

The others may be waiting to see how smoothly things go at Hard Rock before moving forward with their buffet reopening plans.

Associated Press photo

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 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)

It’s Party Time, AC! Hard Rock, Ocean Casino Ready To Celebrate Dual Birthdays

It’s almost one year to the day that the former Taj Mahal and Revel reopened as Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Casino. Check out the celebratory events!

Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Casino Resort are celebrating birthdays this month, and it’s a pretty big deal.

June 28 marks the official one-year anniversary of when these rebranded properties reopened to the public.

To be fair, Ocean is rebranded again for year two (the casino is getting top billing over the resort).

But the dual celebrations include a list of exciting events.

Eric Matejevich, Ocean’s interim-CEO shared his excitement about “celebrating this milestone:”

“The improvements and additions our team has made possible deserves the proper acknowledgement and recognition and is testament to our commitment for a successful future ahead in the Atlantic City market.”

NJ Gambling Sites has the complete rundown of what’s on tap for both Atlantic City properties.

Ocean Casino is up first

There is no need to wait until June 28. The fun begins one day earlier at Ocean (the former Revel) with a full day of festivities planned.

In fact, a daily countdown is taking place on Twitter:

It coincides with the date the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement granted approval to begin gambling operations.

Fittingly, the casino floor, featuring new slot machines, will be front and center.

Here is the full schedule:

  • Official Ceremony (11 a.m.): The celebration will kick off with the “official grand opening” of the latest improvements and experiences. Champagne toast and ribbon-cutting included.
  • Opening of 1927 Lounge + Speakeasy (7 p.m.): Royal Jelly is no longer. This all-new, 1920s-themed lounge bar (located on the casino floor) is replacing it.
  • Fireworks (9:30 p.m.): Ocean is partnering with Hard Rock AC for this “dazzling display” over the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Win a Mercedes (June 29 at 11 a.m.): The cars are on the property, and they will be going home with someone. The $250,000 giveaway will take place on the casino floor.
  • And we can’t forget about the $1 hot dogs that will be available inside of the William Hill Sportsbook all weekend long.

Mike Donovan, Ocean’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president, shared a teaser about the weekend-long celebration:

“We’re kicking things off on the casino floor, so guests can experience some of our new offerings and amenities, then taking the celebration to the boardwalk with fireworks, and continuing the festivities into the weekend with other exciting programming.”

Hard Rock AC has rockin’ plans, too

Hard Rock (the former Trump Taj Mahal) is quickly establishing itself as an entertainment and gambling destination.

Of course, the big plans will include a little of both.

However, before getting into the scheduled events, Hard Rock International remains extremely pleased about how things are going in Atlantic City.

Jim Allen, chairman and CEO, elaborated via a statement:

“I could not be more proud of our talented team members for their hard work and dedication to providing world-class service during last year’s opening.

“We are very happy with the growth of the Atlantic City market and look forward to another great year.”

The June 28 festivities will kick off with a city proclamation and charity announcement. From there, the real fun begins:

  • Hard Rock Anniversary Parade (4 p.m.): Hard Rock will commemorate the special day with a parade down the world-famous wooden walkway. Navy Veterans and the Atlantic City Blackjacks cheerleaders are among the confirmed participants.
  • Tim McGraw (8 p.m.): The country music superstar is booked for a two-night engagement at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena.
  • Jersey Boys residency (opens June 25): The hit Broadway musical is set for a four-week run inside the smaller Sound Waves venue.
  • Millionaire promo (all summer): Starting at 8 a.m. on June 28, players can earn entries playing their favorite slots and table games online ( or on the casino floor. The guaranteed winner of $1 million will be announced Sept. 1.
  • 10x free play: This anniversary-day deal will be available for all slot players from noon-8 p.m.

Add the June 20 opening of the Balcony Bar, and it’s shaping up to be a birthday party that never ends.

Team North Beach: Casinos, Businesses Join Forces To Promote A Slice Of AC

Atlantic City’s oldest casino, two of its newest, and a host of local businesses are teaming up to promote the new North Beach AC district.

Atlantic City’s oldest casino, two of its newest, and a host of local businesses are teaming up to promote one end of the Boardwalk in a brand new way.

Resorts Casino & Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Ocean Casino Resort, and a group of other local businesses have come together to re-brand the district surrounding the north end of the Boardwalk as North Beach Atlantic City.

They’re promoting it by throwing a community-oriented block party on Thursday, June 20. And continuing every Monday starting June 24, a live music series will entice visitors with specials at the participating businesses and casinos.

The partnership aims to put a new spotlight on the north end of a busy resort town.

The team behind North Beach Atlantic City

Outside of the casinos, the local businesses partnering in the effort include:

  • Absecon Lighthouse
  • MADE Atlantic City Chocolate Bar
  • Showboat Atlantic City
  • Steel Pier
  • Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall
  • The Iron Room

The group claims North Beach AC has developed into the city’s cultural epicenter over the past year.

In fact, Hard Rock, Ocean Casino, and the Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall have all opened in the area in the past 12 months. And the two casinos will soon celebrate their first anniversary with a huge celebration of their own.

The group is also encouraging visitors to the area to tag photos with the #NorthBeachAC hashtag on social media.

More about the North Beach Block Party

The North Beach Block Party on June 20 will run from 4 to 8 p.m.

As a part of the festivities, Absecon Lighthouse is offering block party attendees $1 off admission and entry into a draw with a grand prize valued at $500.

Hard Rock AC is hosting music at Hard Rock Cafe Backstage, Beach Bar, and Lobby Bar. Plus, a series of specials and giveaways on the Boardwalk offer guests the chance to win show tickets, dinner for two, spa experiences, and more.

MADE Atlantic City Chocolate Bar will offer samples while Ocean Casino will feature a live DJ and giveaways from William Hill Sportsbook. Ocean is also hosting a sidewalk sale with various retail discounts.

Resorts Casino & Hotel has partnered with Bacardi Ardi to provide music on the Boardwalk with DJ Eric. Smokey Starr will also perform at the Fins Bar at LandShark Bar & Grill. Resorts is also hosting a beer hoisting competition inside the property with games, food, and photo ops.

Showboat Atlantic City’s Surf Bar will have a DJ, entertainment, and various drink and food specials.

Steel Pier will feature live music and a variety of discounts on rides, food, and drinks.

The Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall, which will have a mini pop-up destination in front of Resorts, plans to play Monopoly with visitors for various prizes. The beer hall also plans to host an after party from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring live music from Homespun Trio.

Finally, The Iron Room will preview the coffee it will serve at its new North Beach location.

Music Row Mondays

The live music series kicking off on June 24 is being called Music Row Mondays.

Each property will have live music and food and drink specials running from 4 to 10 p.m.

More information and the planned entertainment will be available on the North Beach Atlantic City website.

Working together to promote a slice of AC

Resorts President Mark Giannantonio told the Associated Press it makes sense to work together to promote the part of town these businesses call home.

“No doubt about it, it’s a new way of looking at things. It will raise all boats.”

Eric Matejevich, acting CEO of Ocean Casino, added that the casinos and local businesses are all working together for the first time to highlight what they feel is a great experience in North Beach.

Matejevich said that guests can have three totally different casino experiences with close to 40 different restaurants within a 10-minute walk in the area.

For Hard Rock AC, the entertainment slant of the project was a no-brainer. The casino, after all, is well-known for its music acts and shows. When it first opened, it promised 365 days of entertainment.

Hard Rock President Joe Lupo said the group would be spending tens of thousands of dollars in an effort to increase revenue and visitation for area properties.

Lupo added that revenue from NJ sports betting and NJ online gambling has helped boost all three casinos’ bottom line. However, he also said a lot of that revenue is going to third parties.

But the ultimate goal of the North Beach Atlantic City team is to share and attract customers who come to the resort town. Casinos and non-casinos alike can share in the fruits of a changing AC landscape.

One Year After Launching, Hard Rock AC Is Hitting All The High Notes

In a city crowded with nine casinos, Hard Rock Atlantic City is keeping up with the more well-known casinos. But in the second year? Hard Rock has plans.

June 28 is going to be a very big day in Hard Rock Atlantic City history.

Besides marking its one-year anniversary, the property is keeping up with the other Atlantic City casinos.

The big fireworks celebration is slated for June 27 at 9:30 p.m. And just like last summer, Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort will be celebrating together.

Both properties will announce additional special events soon.

But unlike Ocean, Hard Rock (located on the site formerly known as the Trump Taj Mahal) opened its doors with international brand recognition. Factor in 365 days of entertainment, and there is no doubt the property has drawing power.

But behind all of the rock ‘n’ roll glitz and glamour, including Elvis’ Rolls Royce, how is the property performing?

For the answers on this topic and others, we sat down with property president Joe Lupo.

In a nutshell, Lupo said, “we are really happy with the results.”

Highlights include being No. 2 in terms of table game drop and No. 4 in the overall casino revenue.

“And we are on the heels of some of our competitors who have been in the market for 20 years and have databases 10 times the size of ours,” said Lupo.

“Again, I think that speaks to the brand. We have taken a very aggressive approach. I think we have to to ensure we build a database. And thus far we are very happy.”

Hard Rock AC and the summer ahead

Typically, the weeks between Fourth of July and Labor Day are considered Atlantic City’s prime season.

Last summer, on the other hand, opening the property took priority for Hard Rock.

This time around, Lupo said, it’s going to be “a completely different summer for us.”

“We’ve been able to refine our processes. We are obviously prepared for the summer versus prepared for opening. Two different things.

“With our team in a little bit different place, I think it’s going to be a great summer. We have a big promotion that we are going to unveil in about a month. We have a great lineup we’ve been able to work on for a longer period of time to get ready.”

This includes the Hard Rock Beach Bar, which is currently open Fridays through Sundays.

Sports wagering and NJ online casino gambling can even be done from one of those comfy beach chairs via the Hard Rock online casino and sports app (Wi-Fi signal may be a little tricky).

Speaking of online, partner Unibet launches

Make that Unibet Casino, too.

The app officially launched on Tuesday and provides Kindred entry into the NJ market. Unibet is the company’s flagship brand and the latest NJ online casino app (now 20-plus in total). Customers will have access to a shared wallet once the sportsbook launches later this summer.

The app includes slots and table games (minus the live dealer) such as blackjack and roulette.

Manuel Stan, senior vice president Kindred US, elaborated on the launch via a press release.

“We are thrilled to announce that Kindred can now offer New Jersey customers a truly great gambling experience on a top technology platform in a sustainable, safe and secure environment.

“We have been preparing for this first and important step very thoroughly for a long time and we are excited to take another step into what will most likely become the largest betting market in the world.”

The line on NJ sports betting to date

The opening of HRAC just happened to coincide with the NJ sports betting launch. The first legal wager in Atlantic City was placed at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on June 14.

Hard Rock (aka the former Trump Taj Mahal) opened two weeks later.

But there was one thing missing from the festivities: sports betting, both retail and mobile. Hard Rock did kickoff just in time for Super Bowl betting, but bigger, expanded plans are coming soon.

hard rock sportsbook atlantic city

Lupo and the Hard Rock team are taking a more patient approach. It’s all about the timing.

“I think it got up so quickly that there wasn’t the proper time to market. This fall will kind of be our opening. This fall will be a different animal.

“We are taking a lot more time to create, and we are working on football right now. It’s all about football. Three hundred days a year, the Sportsbooks are empty. That’s why we didn’t build a big one.”

He is referring to the 3,800-square-foot space that opened in early April with limited seating (50 seats). From a mobile perspective, the property is one of only two Atlantic City casinos about to have all three of its online skins slots filled.

Bet365 NJ is expected to launch by the fall, joining Unibet (July) and the Hard Rock-branded app from Gaming Innovation Group. 

Resorts (DraftKings Sportsbook, BetStars NJ and Resorts) currently has all three skins live.

365 days of live entertainment in AC

Before Hard Rock even opened its doors, entertainment, more specifically 365 days of live entertainment was a big part of the marketing rollout and brand recognition. Plus, there are multiple venues in which guests can enjoy a concert or comedy show:

  • Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena 
  • Sound Waves 
  • Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club

Jersey Boys residency, Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire and Tobey Keith are booked for the summer.

The Etess Arena is the largest venue at an AC casino property.

Lupo elaborated on what it means for Hard Rock’s business.

“… When that show lets out and prior we do a lot of great food and beverage business, and casino business after the show. It’s just a big amount of people.”

And Jersey Boys is set for a four-week run with the potential to draw another 1,200 people per show.

“So we could theoretically have 7,000 people coming to the property for entertainment.”

At the same time, the year-round entertainment model provides a foundation for a strong customer database.

“We are a new property without a database here in Atlantic City,” Lupo said. “Being able to cultivate that many people in the building, introduce them to the property, get them into the database [and note] whether they like to game, food, entertainment or spa.”

And based on that info, Hard Rock can offer promotions geared toward customers.

The view from outside the Hard Rock casino

Here’s the bigger question: Is the Hard Rock entertainment-centric model working in a seasonal Jersey Shore town?

Several of the current AC casino showrooms are dark on many nights, especially during the off-season. At the same time, they are not the Hard Rock brand.

Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levinson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism, said visitors to AC aren’t just looking for gambling.

“Visitors traveling to Atlantic City are coming for an experience beyond what they can have through an online casino or mobile sportsbook.

“Hard Rock, in providing 365 days of live music and an entertainment centered approach to the consumer experience, is giving visitors a reason to leave their homes and experience the city.”

But more importantly, other than a hurricane or snowstorm that may scare customers from coming, these offerings are not weather dependent.

“As other businesses in the city develop products insulated from the weather we should expect to see Atlantic City’s season extend beyond the traditional summer and continue to grow the shoulder season and year-round visitation.”

Atlantic City and the right number of casinos

Atlantic City is now a nine-casino town. It marks a slight increase from the previous seven but is still lower than the previous high of 12. 

The nearby Showboat is a hotel only, but the idea of adding casino gambling is at least being considered behind the scenes.

But what is the right number of casinos for Atlantic City? This depends on who you ask.

Lupo said he is not sure what the right number is. He notes that the other seven properties that were open last year are down in revenue.

“When you look at just slot and table revenue, it’s a different story than online where it’s all growth and been very positive. But it’s not making up the difference because a lot of that money is going to a third-party provider,” Lupo said.

David Schwartz, head of the Center for Gaming Research at University of Nevada Las Vegas, says it depends on the market’s strengths.

“I think the right number of casinos for Atlantic City is what the market can support. People thought Las Vegas was overbuilt in 1955; adding more casinos led to more growth.

“A huge investment in new casinos in the 1990s led to incredible growth. Yet the market is not infinite, so there has to be a limit.”

But Hard Rock AC is confident

Hard Rock casino will have several big announcements to share with customers in the weeks and months ahead.

The focus is, of course, building on the strong growth from year one.

Looking at the total gaming revenue numbers for April, provided by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the newcomer on the Boardwalk is doing just fine.

Here are the top performers from the most recent revenue report:

  • Borgata: $58,857,986
  • Golden Nugget: $29,343,761
  • Tropicana: $27,785,827
  • Harrah’s: $27,254,134
  • Hard Rock: $25,050,289

Three of the properties experienced year-over-year percentage drops, and the market-leading Borgata was only up 2%.

Pandit said the infusion of two new properties “has created significant cross-pollination within the market” — or customers wanting to experience the new properties.

“This has resulted in revenue fluctuations for the existing properties, and they in turn are aggressively marketing their amenities and properties to attract the consumer in a highly competitive marketplace.

“In the long-term enhanced service levels, amenities and property upgrades will make future growth and success possible.”


Unibet Makes Its NJ Start, And Bet365 Sportsbook App Is Coming ‘Pretty Soon’

Hard Rock AC’s sports betting partners Unibet and Bet365 could launch soon, said casino president Joe Lupo. In fact, Unibet Casino is beta testing now.

Yes, it’s late May, but Hard Rock Atlantic City is gearing up for football season.

Those plans will likely include the launch of two new NJ mobile sports betting platforms before the NFL’s first regular-season game is played. (That’s the Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears on Sept. 5, for those keeping tabs.)

NJ Gambling Sites sat down with Hard Rock AC president Joe Lupo last week at the Lobby Bar. He shared a “hopeful” launch timeline for the casino’s NJ sports betting partners Unibet (from Kindred) and Bet365:

“We hope to see Unibet here pretty soon. I will just say in the next 30 days. And we hope to see Bet365  before football season.

“We are extremely excited about both. They are working with us. They are working very hard as well to get up and going before fall hits.”

And a few days later, after a testing period, Unibet did officially launch in New Jersey. It became the 21st online casino in NJ and the first in the US for Kindred.

More on the Unibet online casino launch

Unibet’s announcement follows a beta testing period in NJ that kicked off

A Twitter message obtained by NJGS last week confirmed Lupo’s timeline. Here is a snippet from the message about an NJ-exclusive beta test:

“Unibet Online Casino is launching in New Jersey, and we just need some testers to come play on our site …”

But the site is only an online casino… for now. The online sportsbook for Unibet NJ is still in the works.

Unibet hinted at a July time frame for that part of the NJ online gambling site.

And once the sportsbook officially launches, customers will have access to a virtual shared wallet.

Hard Rock’s full quota of NJ sportsbook apps

When Bet365 does launch alongside Unibet, Hard Rock will have all three online skin slots filled, as permitted by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The other belongs to the Hard Rock-branded sports app powered by Gaming Innovation Group. That one has been online since Jan. 26 and shares a wallet with Hard Rock online casino.

Something exciting is in the works with the Hard Rock app, too.

Lupo is not willing to go into the specifics just yet, but he did provide NJGS with a little teaser.

“We have a couple things we are going to probably speak to in  about 30 to 60 days that will really be new to the market. And we are really excited about it.”

Hard Rock, NJ sports betting and the NFL

For those Hard Rock sports betting customers desiring more than what the current 3,800-square-foot space offers, be patient.

Fans were able to take a seat at the tail end of March Madness betting season (sports wagering windows opened days before the Super Bowl).

But like the new sportsbooks opening at Bally’s, Borgata and Harrah’s, Hard Rock is working on something special behind the scenes. And like the big one-year anniversary plans for June 28, customers will have to wait a tad longer to learn more.

Pencil in NFL and college football season for the big reveal. And the focus will be on “providing a better viewing experience.”

Here are the details Lupo was willing to share at this point:

“We are working on a different phase where we will be able to show more games here on property.”

In other words, he is talking about those football fans coming to watch the games on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. The idea is to keep these customers on property.

“There is room to expand (the current space). We are coming up with another idea to have a lot more viewing for football,” Lupo said.

Like the app launches mentioned above, we’ll simply have to stay tuned.

Will TheScore join Unibet and Bet365 this fall?

The current NJ sports betting app count is at 14. BorgataSports is the newest addition to the party (launching May 14).

But Unibet and Bet365 may not be the only additions to the NJ sports betting party this fall.

TheScore (from Bet.Works and partner Monmouth) continues to make a big social media push that references a pending launch.

We reached out to the company for a status check, and a spokesperson said there is “no firm timeline to share publicly.”

But if Unibet, Bet365, and TheScore all launch before football season, hitting 20 this year could still be a realistic possibility.