Caesars, MGM Resorts Bet Big On Success Of New Jersey Sportsbooks
New Jersey is entering its second year of legal sports wagering on a "high note," and Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts Int'l have "opened high-end, permanent books at their New Jersey resorts within the past four months," according to Todd Prince of the LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL. The investment by the two companies totals $23M. New Jersey wagering has "surpassed expectations, beating out Nevada for the title of U.S. sports betting capital both in May and July," and the state "could do so again in August." Caesars began operating Atlantic City’s "largest sportsbook in June at the Wild Wild West inside Bally’s but held its official, splashy opening" Sept. 8 to "coincide with the NFL’s first weekend." The 15,230-square-foot space "resembles a movie theater with more than 100 leather recliners laid out in rows before a 98-foot-wide and 18-foot-tall screen." The area is "similar in size to the sportsbook at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas." The Bally’s sportsbook has "extensive space around its perimeter that can be used to engage visitors." Caesars also opened a new book at Harrah’s in Atlantic City in May that is "about one-quarter the size of the Bally’s sportsbook." It features "more than 50 plush seats, about a dozen screens and two Fan Caves." Harrah’s offers "food service for guests at the book." Caesars Exec VP/Gaming & Interactive Entertainment Christian Stuart said that the casino spent $11M on the "two books." MGM "took a different path with its new 8,000-square-foot sportsbook at the Borgata." The Moneyline Bar and Book "features a 35-foot-long circular bar with video poker surrounded by 18 screens, including one that stretches 40 feet wide" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 9/14).
LET IT RIDE: In Newark, Brent Johnson noted New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a bill into law that paves the way for the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City to "accept wagers on NBA games, as long as they don’t feature" the Rockets. The Golden Nugget is owned by Tilman Fertitta, who also owns the Rockets (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 9/15).