How To Score A Seat At NJ Sportsbooks Before Football Betting Kicks Off

Most of the 10 NJ sportsbooks at casinos and racetracks have reserved seating available during football season, but some also have fan caves… for a price.

As football season quickly approaches, the New Jersey sports betting market must prepare for the busy months ahead.

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.

Borgata

  • 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
borgata sportsbook atlantic city casino

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.

Resorts

  • Sportsbook: DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts
  • Reservations (if available): 1-800-772-9000
  • Reservation price range: VIP lounge requires $50 food/beverage minimum
draftkings sportsbook

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.

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Ocean Casino

  • Sportsbook: William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Casino
  • Reservations (if available): Skybox Suites, 609-783-8491
  • 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.

Meadowlands

  • Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands
  • Reservations (if available): None
  • Reservation price range: Not available
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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.

Harrah’s

  • 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 atlantic city sportsbook opening

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.

Golden Nugget

  • Sportsbook: The Sportsbook
  • Reservations (if available): None
  • Reservation price range: Not available
golden nugget ac sportsbook nfl betting

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.

Bally’s

  • 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:

Seating TypeWhat You GetWeekdays (Tuesday-Friday)Weekends (Saturday-Monday)
Stadium Seat$50 food/beverage minimum, one seat, all-day rental$50$50
Stadium BilliardSeating for up to four at billiard tableNA$50
Stadium Table$100 food/beverage minimum, seating for up to four people$100$100
Stadium VIP$300 food/beverage minimum, for groups of five or more, all-day reservation$150$300
Fan Cave (Standard)$250 food/beverage minimum, seats up to 25, all-day rental$250$400
Fan Cave (Premium)$600 food/beverage minimum, seats up to 25, all-day rental$350$600

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.

Tropicana

  • 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.
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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.

It’s NJ Sports Betting Madness! Tropicana To Open New William Hill Sportsbook On Friday

Tropicana Atlantic City announced that its new permanent NJ sportsbook will open Friday, March 8. The 5,000-square-foot space is one of the biggest in AC.

It’s official.

Tropicana in Atlantic City plans to open its permanent sportsbook just in time for March Madness betting.

The opening ceremony for the new 5,000-square-foot William Hill Sportsbook at the Tropicana is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, March 8.

The company shared the news via a press release.

The new NJ sports betting digs will have a prime location on the North Tower Casino floor adjacent to Chickie’s and Pete’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.

It includes:

  • 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.

Tropicana’s New Sportsbook Brings The NJ Tally To Nine

Tropicana Atlantic City gets in the game at long last. On Oct. 25, Tropicana officially opened its retail sportsbook powered by William Hill.

Tropicana Atlantic City gets in the game at long last.

On Oct. 25, Tropicana officially became the ninth retail sportsbook in New Jersey.

The Atlantic City casino applied for its NJ sports betting license in the first half of Oct. and opened its sports book just a few weeks later.

Seven of the nine sportsbooks are in Atlantic City casinos; two are at venues outside of the city. Sports bettors can have their pick of locations:

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
  • Hooters
  • 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:

  • Resorts Sportsbook
  • Golden Nugget Sportsbook
  • Bally’s
  • Harrah’s

Not to mention, there are an additional four that are likely to launch online sports betting in the near future:

  • Hard Rock
  • Ocean Resort
  • bet365
  • Unibet

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.

Tropicana Joining NJ Sports Betting Landscape On Thursday

After much speculation, Tropicana is opening its NJ sportsbook on Thursday, Oct. 25, leaving Hard Rock as the only AC casino without a betting option.

It’s never too late to get in on the action.

Tropicana Atlantic City is about to prove that.

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.

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Tropicana

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 Nugget and 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.

Photo by Roman Tiraspolsky / Shutterstock.com

Tropicana Sportsbook The Latest Innovation In Casino’s 37-Year History

Tropicana Atlantic City reportedly plans to open its new sportsbook this week, as the Tropicana Sportsbook will be the next big thing for the AC casino.

As sports betting in New Jersey continues to reach new heights, one longstanding property has yet to enjoy the rewards.

Emphasize “yet.”

The NJ sports betting industry, thanks in large part to football season, has blossomed. Atlantic City casinos old and new have tapped into the market for additional revenue streams while using it as the foundation for AC’s revitalizationTwo months after the most-recent retail sportsbook opened along the Boardwalk, one more appears on the way.

Tropicana Atlantic City will reportedly open its William Hill US sportsbook later this week.

And for the casino, legalized sports betting is another step farther from its former despair.

Tropicana’s humble beginning

The Trop opened in 1981 as part of a barrage of casinos taking root in Atlantic City, coming after the likes of Resorts, CaesarsBally’s and Harrah’s.

Two years earlier, Ramada purchased Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas for $70 million to Ramada. The new parent company developed its AC property and opened in November 1981.

Another expansion in 1988 included an indoor amusement center that led to the renamed TropWorld Casino and Entertainment Resort. After Aztar Corporation, a division of Ramada, took control, a new wave of demand warranted another rebranding.

As a 600-room hotel tower rose in the mid-’90s, Aztar renovated the casino area to make room for poker, keno, and horse race simulcasting. The amusement center became collateral damage and closed. As such, and with more focus on the gaming side of things, the property again was renamed, this time as Tropicana Casino & Resort Altantic City.

Even more expansion took place within the first few years of the new millennium. Another 500-room tower, along with a spacious parking garage and 22,000 square feet of convention space, was added to the property. A shopping mall cropped up. All to compete with newcomer Borgata while attempting to establish a Vegas-like atmosphere.

What goes up, however, must eventually come down. For Tropicana, the descent soon began.

New ownership, new problems

Columbia Sussex officially acquired Aztar for $2.75 billion in 2007. From the outset, Trop’s standing began to quake.

Within a few months after finalizing the purchase that January, Columbia cut its Tropicana AC staff by 15 percent. By November, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission began the process of renewing Tropicana’s casino license.

A month later, however, the commission denied the application for renewal, citing management’s “abysmal” regulatory compliance and “a lack of good character, honesty, and integrity.” The commission’s denial became the second time it had done so in 29 years.

The Tropicana company began battling bankruptcy.

Carl Icahn then rode in on his valiant steed.

New life comes to the Trop

Billionaire investor Icahn finalized controlling stake in Tropicana in 2010. He attempted to do the same with Trump Taj Mahal in 2016, though financial woes led to its closing and ensuing sale, setting up the eventual opening of Hard Rock Atlantic City.

The Trop was on the verge of destruction with woeful building conditions, insect infestations and waves of layoffs, on top of the loss of its casino license.

Icahn stepped in, grabbed the reins and poured $200 million into upgrades. By 2017, the Tropicana appeared back on track, becoming the area’s No. 2 casino in terms of gambling revenue.

“Tropicana was bankrupt and desperately needed new leadership,” Icahn told the Press of Atlantic City earlier this month.

“At that time, we identified this undervalued asset as being a perfect situation to deploy our modus operandi, by which we seek to acquire undervalued assets, nurture, guide and improve their condition and operations, and to ultimately greatly enhance value for all shareholders.”

A new era for Trop

The Icahn era ended in 2018. The billionaire investor sold to Reno-based Eldorado Resorts for $1.85 billion, which finalized in September.

Shortly after, though before it began slashing Tropicana’s online casino staff, Eldorado partnered with William Hill US to offer sports betting. As expected, Tropicana then followed suit.

One of three Atlantic City properties without a retail sportsbook (along with Hard Rock and Caesars, which has books at its two other AC locations), Tropicana is about to change that.

As part of the announcement, Tropicana General Manager Steve Callender divulged the casino’s sports betting plans.

“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.”

Last week, it was revealed that Tropicana (as well as Hard Rock) submitted a petition to obtain a transactional waiver to immediately begin retail and/or online NJ sports betting operations.

If approved, as Trop certainly anticipates considering the near-finished sportsbook, Tropicana would open Atlantic City’s seventh retail sportsbook.

And for a casino that has experienced and endured some of the biggest ups and demoralizing downs, for a property that still operates one of the more successful online casinos in New Jersey, the sports betting market could help Tropicana from once again taking a nosedive.

Tropicana, Hard Rock AC Submit Petitions To Offer NJ Sports Betting

Heads up, Atlantic City: Tropicana and Hard Rock are one step closer to opening sportsbooks with recent NJ sports betting petitions sent to regulators.

New Jersey is not done expanding its sports betting industry.

As such, the group of Atlantic City sportsbooks could swell to eight within a matter of weeks and 10 overall in the Garden State.

According to documents made public by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, both Tropicana Atlantic City and Hard Rock Atlantic City have submitted petitions to obtain transactional waivers to immediately begin retail and/or online NJ sports betting operations.

NJ sports betting continues to expand

According to the DGE, these petitions were among 16 filed to the regulating body between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15.

Tropicana and Hard Rock AC each submitted petitions for transactional waivers, which essentially resemble temporary licenses to offer legalized sports betting. These waivers are awarded after a preliminary vetting process and are valid for six months as the process of full licensure continues.

While no timeline was offered for when wagering operations can commence for either property, we can extrapolate from previous petitions.

Looking at past petitions

Throughout the summer, the cropping-up of retail sportsbooks throughout New Jersey seemed weekly, at times even daily.

As a reference point for the potential openings of sports betting operations at Tropicana and Hard Rock, however, we’ll examine recent petitions that were approved.

According to the DGE, Harrah’s submitted a petition to offer sports betting July 31. The casino opened its sportsbook the very next day. Conversely, Golden Nugget sent in its petition Aug. 9 before debuting its temporary retail location six days later. (The permanent spot opened Aug. 31.)

Mobile and online sports betting products take a little longer to roll out, considering the in-depth testing needed before giving the OK. For example, Resorts Digital, obviously tied to Resorts Atlantic City, submitted a petition July 18. The result: DraftKings Sportsbook with a soft-launch on Aug. 1.

What to expect at Trop and Hard Rock Atlantic City

As both properties inch closer to joining the NJ sports betting field, what can you expect at either facility?

Tropicana

In early September, after Eldorado Resorts neared finalizing its acquisition of the casino, Tropicana AC officially partnered with major British bookmaker William Hill. Eldorado did the same just a few days before.

As far as retail, Trop general manager Steve Callender laid out the casino’s plans:

“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.”

Tropicana already operates an online casino, powered by Gamesys. The casino’s newest owner, however, quickly made its presence known by slashing the online casino staff. Several NJ online casinos, such as SugarHouse and Caesars, have integrated sports betting with online casinos.

That said, Trop’s partnership with William Hill could be the quickest way to the NJ mobile market. The bookmaker already operates a mobile sportsbook via partnerships with Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino.

Hard Rock AC

Hard Rock AC has arguably remained the most silent when it comes to offering sports betting in New Jersey.

Casino higher-ups have hinted at entering the fold. Hard Rock’s then-president Matt Harkness, during the AC property’s June 28 opening, said that Hard Rock was “not opening with sports betting but it’s something we’re taking a very hard look at for the future.”

Additionally, Hard Rock International chief executive Jim Allen told the New York Times that he “expected sports bets to provide a modest boost to the casino’s profits and to draw people in during big events like the Super Bowl.”

Yet the casino stayed in the shadows. That is, until recently.

On Oct. 12, Hard Rock brought in Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) to provide the casino’s NJ sports betting offerings. It seemed an appropriate and obvious move, as GiG already powers the Hard Rock online casino.

Within the press release announcing the deal was this little nugget:

“Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has signed a Letter of Intent with Hard Rock International (Hard Rock) for the provision of an omni-channel Sportsbook platform in the newly opened New Jersey, US market at its Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

The intention of the LOI is to execute an agreement and launch the Sportsbook in New Jersey in Q4 2018.”

As for plans for a retail sportsbook on the Boardwalk, as it has throughout the last few months, Hard Rock remained mum.