However, like the casino floor and restaurants, there will be limited capacity at each show. Plus, Hard Rock will be implementing the strict “Safe + Sound” guidelines for each and every show.
Tickets ($29 each) are being sold for individual tables of two and four to ensure social distancing. Tickets go on sale Friday, Nov. 27, with A Motown Christmas running on select dates between Dec. 11 and Dec. 30.
Here are some of the other precautions being implemented:
One-way directed traffic patterns
Decreased venue capacity
Mandated facial coverings
Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock AC, commented on the new entertainment offering.
“We are happy to present a holiday show to raise the spirits of our guests in a very safe and sound environment,” said Lupo.
“Public demand is looking for activities, especially with outdoor temperatures keeping everyone inside. The large showrooms, with better air circulation and spacious seating, and less than 10% of normal (occupancy) can provide that safe and fun night out.”
This is the latest example of Hard Rock’s willingness to offer guests additional amenities with strict health and safety protocols.
Last month’s reopening of the Fresh Harvest casino buffet is another example of this. So far, Hard Rock AC is the only New Jersey casino to bring back the dining concept, minus the buffet stations.
What other AC casinos are doing
So here’s the bigger question: When will other Atlantic City casinos bring back live entertainment?
Well, the answer is still to be determined.
Other AC properties are slowly starting to offer other forms of entertainment.
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 that many of the regular items are still on the expansive menu.
Here is a small sampling of what’s available:
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.
NEW: Today, I’m signing an Executive Order that will allow indoor dining to resume: ☑️Effective 6:00 AM on Friday, 9/4 ☑️At 25% capacity ☑️With social distancing in place
Since betting on college football and the NFL are so popular, NJ sportsbooks will likely see even more betting action this season than in their inaugural year.
Yes, there are 14 betting apps in the Garden State, but there are also 10 retail sportsbooks across the state.
The majority of these land-based sportsbooks are based in Atlantic City. But all 10 of them are up and running with new permanent spaces.
Sportsbooks are a great place to spend time during the fall weekends. Gamblers can enjoy quality food and drink while being able to watch and bet on every football game played each weekend.
But what’s the plan at the sportsbooks? Will it be the same old or something new? Will there be seat reservations on those busy Saturdays or a Monday Night Football drink special?
We took a closer look at a few (not all) of the sportsbooks in NJ to see what they have in store when the pigskins start to fly.
Sportsbook: Moneyline Bar & Book
Reservations (if available): 609-317-7249
Reservation price range: $75-$100 food/drink minimum at VIP tables, private VIP areas are $1,000 for 10 people
Moneyline Bar & Book has a 40-foot-wide LED video wall along with betting windows and lots of places to sit. It also features a 35-foot-long bar that includes more than 20 craft beers and a new dining menu by Executive Chef Tom Biglan.
Outside of the barstools, high-top tables and booths, there is additional seating inside the VIP lounge.
In order to sit in the VIP lounge, customers must make a reservation. The VIP tables will include a food/drink minimum ranging from $75 to $100.
Other private VIP areas run around $1,000 for 10 people.
Pricing for the VIP seating will vary depending on the specific day and which games are available for viewing. There will most likely be discounted beer and food specials that will be announced the week prior.
Fantasy football fans are welcome, too
For fans who enjoy playing fantasy football, Borgata has you covered, too. Moneyline offers several draft party packages ranging from $59 per person to $1,500 per person.
The sportsbook will provide you and your friends a personal draft day area as well as a draft board, commemorative merchandise, and much more.
DraftKings Sportsbook inside Resorts in Atlantic City has plenty to offer as well. At 5,000 square feet, the book features multiple ultrahigh definition-LED video walls, including a 15-foot wall.
The sportsbook, which opened in November 2018, has 18 self-betting kiosks and five betting windows available for its customers.
Every Sunday through Thursday, DraftKings will have a happy hour from 2 to 7 p.m. It will feature $4 beers, $6 well drinks, and $1 off any food item through the entire football season.
If that doesn’t suit your football fancy, guests can enjoy drink specials every Sunday all day during regular season football games.
On Friday nights, from the start of the season until the Super Bowl, the sportsbook will have Ladies’ Night. The evening will consist of teaching the basics around sports betting as well as discounted drinks and half-priced sushi. Participants will also receive a $5 free bet.
As for game days, there is VIP seating with food and bottle service available. The VIP lounge consists of four different sections that hold up to a total of about 50 people. There is a $50 food and beverage minimum to sit in these areas.
The sportsbook also has stadium seating for around 50-60 free guests.
Reservation price range: Call the sportsbook/casino for details.
The William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Casino Resort was one of the first books to open in Atlantic City. Set up smack dab in the middle of the casino floor, it’s 7,500-square-feet of sports betting, complete with a large video wall that encompasses almost the entirety of the book.
On Sept. 7, starting at 10 a.m., the sportsbook will be celebrating the return of football with its Kick Off to Football Season 2019. After placing a wager, customers are eligible to receive a free William Hill T-shirt.
The sportsbook will offer food and drink specials all day, too. Customers can enjoy $2 hot dogs as well as Bud Lite buckets for just $30.
Then at 7 p.m., there will be a pep rally at the Fire Pit at Lobby Bar. A live band along with the Atlantic City Blackjack Cheerleaders will be there to start the season of football betting on the right foot.
That suite football feeling…
But if you can’t be there on Sept. 7, don’t fret. Ocean Casino and William Hill customers can win a Suite Season Giveaway as well.
Customers can enter the drawing at the casino’s website, and once done, you become eligible to win an overnight stay for two and a VIP Hospitality Suite overlooking the sportsbook sometime during the 2019 season. That suite can hold up to six people and comes with complimentary food and beverage.
The contest ends on Aug. 31, and a winner will be announced Sept. 3.
As far as watching games at the sportsbook, William Hill offers Skybox Suite reservations for those who don’t win the contest. Customers must call to reserve pricing and suites. Each suite holds up to 10 guests.
Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands
Reservations (if available): None
Reservation price range: Not available
The FanDuel Sportsbook located at the Meadowlands is one of the few land-based sportsbooks in NJ not in Atlantic City. The nearly 7,000-square-foot facility comes equipped with 30 betting windows, 20+ self-betting kiosks, and 82 TV screens.
FanDuel Sportsbook has three locations inside the Meadowlands Racetrack and has a lot to offer at each. There are high-top tables, barstools, couches, leaning rails, dining chairs, and even a VIP area.
The sportsbook features American food you’d typically expect to find at sporting events. However, unlike the previous locations, the VIP seating is not open to the public unless you are betting a total of $150,000 every 30 days.
That being said, there are no other upfront costs to enjoy a football game here. Everything else is first come, first serve.
Just be careful of those Sundays when the New York Giants or Jets have a home game at nearby MetLife Stadium.
On those days, there is a parking fee and it can be a trick to find a parking spot.
Sportsbook: The Book at Harrah’s
Reservations (if available): Online at Harrah’s website or call 609-441-5800
Reservation price range: Call the sportsbook/casino for details.
Harrah’s sportsbook, known as The Book, is yet another Atlantic City destination this football season. The Book has almost 4,000 square feet of space.
There are TVs across almost every wall and extra plush seating all around the sportsbook. The Book also features food options from the AC Burger Company.
For groups looking to enjoy the games, The Book also has two additional Fan Caves that can hold up to 10 people. The caves provide a more private and upgraded viewing experience and include table service.
In order to reserve a seat or a fan cave at the sportsbook, customers must fill out a form on Harrah’s website or call 609-441-5800 to reserve.
Sportsbook: The Sportsbook
Reservations (if available): None
Reservation price range: Not available
Another Atlantic City retail sportsbook available for those NFL bets and football games is at the Golden Nugget. The Sportsbook, as it is called, showcases more than 50 TVs on five separate video walls.
There is seating for more than 100 people including barstools, chairs, cushioned seats, and couches.
However, the Golden Nugget doesn’t sell its sportsbook’s tables. As of today and heading into the football season, tables will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you happen to miss out on grabbing a table, you’re still more than welcome to eat and drink. There will be food and cocktail service within the Golden Nugget sportsbook every day.
The Sportsbook will also have food and drink specials throughout the season. These could include a discounted bucket of beer.
Golden Nugget’s sportsbook will sometimes reward bettors for making sizable wagers. For example, if someone bets over $100, they’ll receive a free drink, too.
Sportsbook: The Book at Bally’s
Reservations (if available): Visit the Bally’s website to reserve a table/fan cave.
Reservation price range: $50-$600
Located in Bally’s Wild Wild West Casino, this is by far the biggest sportsbook in AC. At 15,000+ square feet, The Book has plenty to offer when it comes to enjoying football season.
Its sportsbook is running a Fired Up For Football promotion that reserves seating inside the sportsbook for every football game.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday, Thursday, or Sunday, Bally’s is prepared for football viewing.
To reserve a table or seat, customers must go to the sportsbook’s website. Here, you’ll able to choose between several different options. The choice you make depends on how you prefer to watch the game.
Table choices include:
Stadium Billiard: Includes reserved billiard table for up to four people.
Stadium Table: Includes a reserved table for up to four people.
Stadium VIP: Available for groups of five or more.
Large Fan Cave: Accommodates up to 25 people.
Small Fan Cave: Accommodates up to 16 people.
These range from $50-$600 depending on if the reservation is for a weekday or a weekend. Weekend reservations are obviously on the higher end as those are top viewing hours. Fan caves, however, are reserved for the entire day of the reservation.
Here’s a quick breakdown of rental options at Bally’s sportsbook. Prices and availability are subject to change:
What You Get
$50 food/beverage minimum, one seat, all-day rental
Seating for up to four at billiard table
$100 food/beverage minimum, seating for up to four people
$300 food/beverage minimum, for groups of five or more, all-day reservation
Fan Cave (Standard)
$250 food/beverage minimum, seats up to 25, all-day rental
Fan Cave (Premium)
$600 food/beverage minimum, seats up to 25, all-day rental
Customers can even reserve just a single seat if they plan on enjoying football alone. This Stadium Seat, as well as the Stadium Table for four, is paid for by a minimum spend on food and drink. But the seat is yours for the whole day.
Whatever your choice, all of Bally’s sportsbook reservations can be made online.
On a side note: Bally’s will more than likely have food and drink specials for the football season. These will be announced closer to kickoff.
Sportsbook: William Hill Sportsbook at Tropicana Atlantic City
Reservations (if available): Day-of call 609-340-4022; advanced and group reservations call 609-342-7785
Reservation price range: Call the sportsbook/casino for details.
A lot of football fans will find themselves at William Hill’s other AC sportsbook located at the Tropicana.
This newer retail sportsbook debuted in March and has a lot for customers to enjoy. It’s packed with 180 seats as well as a bar and lounge to watch upwards of 16 games at one time.
In fact, the sportsbook has more than 1,000 square feet of video display.
Although there is no food available inside the William Hill sportsbook, the space is located right across from Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab House & Sports Bar.
Fans often grab some food and head right into the sportsbook.
General seating at the sportsbook remains first come, first serve unless a reservation has been made. Customers can sit at any of the available seats on the sportsbook floor, or they can reserve a spot in the elevated VIP lounge area.
Football betting, viewing, and NJ sportsbooks
Keep in mind that any option you choose for football viewing and betting also comes with all of those NJ sports betting apps. But those apps are just one part of the equation this year.
The casinos and racetracks aren’t resting on their laurels either. It would seem customers have plenty of options when it comes to where to bet and watch when the first game kicks off.
The new NJ sports betting digs will have a prime location on the North Tower Casino floor adjacent to Chickie’sandPete’s Crab House & Sports Bar and 10 North.
Unnamed sports celebrities are expected to join executives from the Trop, parent company Eldorado Resorts, and William Hill NJ.
Steve Callender, senior vice president of operations, commented on the exciting new addition.
“At Tropicana, we are always looking to bring our guests more exciting experiences, and this new venue will bring a new level of fun and entertainment to the property.”
Callender added that guests will be able to enjoy a VIP area, drink specials, and bottle service, as well as delicious eats at the sports bars throughout Tropicana.
The sportsbook will be one of the largest among the eight Atlantic City sports betting locations. The interactive space is billed as an “immersive sports betting experience” and includes:
Nearly 200 linear feet and 1,654 square feet of video display
Watch 16 games at one time plus the odds
Eight betting windows
One high-limit window
Four betting kiosks
180 seats, including bar and lounge-style seating
Elevated VIP seating
Months in the making
Tropicana and William Hill first delivered the NJ sportsbook news via its Facebook and Twitter accounts last month.
The announcement included the words “coming March 2019” and “Sports Betting Redefined.”
Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, was similarly excited to launch its third sportsbook in New Jersey.
“The new sports book at the Trop is proof of our collective commitment to provide our customers with the best possible experience,” Asher said. “Powered by our industry-leading sports betting product, it will bring added excitement to sports fans that want to watch and wager at the Tropicana.”
And talk about perfect timing.
The first round of the NCAA Tournament starts March 21 and 22, when there could be as many as four games taking place at the same time. Can you say March Madness?
The first week of sports betting action at the new Tropicana sportsbook will include NCAA Conference tournament games, including the Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference, and Pac-12.
Callender and the rest of the Tropicana/William Hill team are ready for the big NJ sports betting dance to begin.
“Considering the popularity of the NCAA tournament, we expect to see the number of visitors grow exponentially. With the addition of this new venue, we now have more to offer our new guests and we are eager to share this new space with them.”
Replacing Tropicana’s temporary sportsbook
Until it opens, Tropicana AC customers can still place all of their legal sports bets at the William Hill temporary sportsbook located in the North Tower Casino.
24 odds boards
16 TV screens
Six betting windows
The space opened Oct. 25.
Once the new Tropicana space is finished, William Hill will have three permanent NJ sportsbooks. The other two are at Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino.
William Hill Sports Book at Tropicana Atlantic City
Tropicana, and its new owner, Eldorado Resorts, both established relationships with William Hill US ahead of its application filing. The co-branding of the sportsbook follows the precedent set by William Hill’s connections to Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino.
The North Tower Casino is where the action is at; however, the sportsbook is still temporary. Elsewhere on the property, William Hill and Tropicana are building a 5,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art sports book on the property.
Tropicana General Manager Steve Callender ahead of the opening said:
“A brand new venue is being created to host sports betting in the North Tower Casino, with kiosks located throughout the property. We are excited to share more details about Tropicana Atlantic City’s sports book in the coming weeks.”
For now, though, sports bettors can choose between a full list of betting options and watch games in sports-friendly environments including:
Chickie’s & Pete’s
A Dam Good Sports Bar
Rí Rá Irish Pub
Tropicana’s first sports bet
Atlantic City resident Victor Groynom, placed the first bet at the new sportsbook. He wagered $20 on the money line for the Los Angeles Lakers to beat the Denver Nuggets on Thursday’s night NBA game. The Lakers pulled out the win, and Groynom collected $47.
Tropicana is betting its sportsbook will appeal to its local casino customer. It also hopes to attract a new demographic. Callender spoke to that in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“I think it brings a new customer, especially the millennials who grew up playing fantasy sports and might not want to play slot machines or table games, but they’ll bet games. And there’s an existing market that will give people something else to do. We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
Philadelphia Eagles‘ games will undoubtedly be the biggest draw for the sportsbook. Launching well into the NFL season caused the sportsbook to miss seven of its games.
Preseason optimism was at an all-time high for the Super Bowl champions. That optimism is tempered now that the Eagles are sporting a 4-4 record.
There is still plenty of play, though. The Eagles have three primetime games during the last half of the season, including one with the Dallas Cowboys.
NJ still has some sportsbooks to launch
It’s been four months since New Jersey legalized sports betting. Additionally, it has been two months since the last sportsbook opened.
Now, that Tropicana is live, look to Hard Rock Atlantic City to join the party sometime before the end of the year.
Around the same time of applying for its sports betting license, Hard Rock joined forced with Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) to power its sports betting platform.
That only leaves Caesars without plans for a retail sportsbook. Of course, two of the company’s other Atlantic City casinos, Harrah’s and Bally’s, already have sportsbooks operating.
Additionally, Caesars launched online sports betting in early September. So, it might be content to sit out a retail location at its Caesars’ property.
While there are only two retails sportsbooks left to launch, the online sports betting landscape is a little more open. There are four online sportsbooks with firm plans:
Golden Nugget Sportsbook
Not to mention, there are an additional four that are likely to launch online sports betting in the near future:
That will make New Jersey home to 16 online sportsbooks.
With one, maybe two, more retail locations and eight online sportsbooks left to launch, New Jersey sports betting news won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
More than two months since the last retail sportsbook opened in New Jersey, Tropicana will reportedly open the doors to its operation 11 a.m. Thursday.
Tropicana works at a rapid pace
According to The Associated Press, Tropicana received approval from state regulators to begin its NJ sports betting operations. The earliest possible date, Thursday, will be utilized by the Trop.
Placing its sportsbook in the North Tower casino, as indicated by Tropicana general manager Steve Callender when the casino partnered with bookmaker William Hill US last month, the Trop will also scatter kiosks throughout the property.
Within the past few weeks, Tropicana has come under new ownership (Eldorado Resorts), which quickly partnered with William Hill. That set the stage for the Trop to also bring the British bookmaker into its corner, giving William Hill three partnerships with NJ properties. It also operates under licenses with both Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino.
Last week it was discovered that Tropicana, along with Hard Rock Atlantic City, submitted petitions to acquire transactional waivers in order to offer sports betting. According to NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement records, Tropicana did so within the first two weeks of October.
Tropicana, like sister site Virgin, has a wide selection of online casino games, but where it really shines is in the table games department. Blackjack, Pai Gow, and 90 Ball Bingo are just a few games we love. With a $100 cashback offer for new players, Tropicana certainly ranks among the best online casinos in New Jersey.
Who’s still on the outside looking in?
For more than two months, New Jersey settled into its standing as a sports betting leader outside of Nevada. The last retail sportsbooks to open, at Golden Nuggetand Resorts Atlantic City, did so in mid-August.
With Tropicana entering the fold, New Jersey will feature nine retail sportsbooks, including seven in Atlantic City. The Garden State also boasts eight mobile sportsbooks that have already surpassed retail in terms of handle and revenue.
Now the Trop will have a chance to get a cut of the action, a month after September featured $184 million in handle and $24 million in revenue. All told, New Jersey has accepted over $336 million in wagers.
Still without a horse in the race, though, are Hard Rock AC and Caesars. As noted, Hard Rock submitted a petition to begin offering sports betting. Caesars, meanwhile, has sportsbooks at both Bally’s and Harrah’s and offers mobile sports betting service via its online casino.