On August 6, 2018, New Jersey became the first state in the country to allow legal online sports betting when it permitted and licensed DraftKings to launch their online and mobile sportsbook app, DraftKings Sportsbook.
Now, Atlantic City is hoping to get in on the action with many casino owners believing online sports betting will not only boost revenue for casinos, but some gaming experts have added it may also contribute to higher visitation to the casinos as well.
Rummy Pandit, the executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton University believes online sports betting while bringing in revenue for all the casino.
“Sports betting is definitely going to drive additional traffic into the city,” said Pandit. “And online sports betting will not just drive sports betting revenue, it’s going to drive revenue to brick-and-mortars through rooms, food and beverage, entertainment and shows.”
Pandit added betting on sports is typically a social event and predicts most people will want to take part in the complete experience a casino sportsbook can offer.
“The way I see the market segment, it is more brick-and-mortar oriented, at least initially,” said Pandit. “But convenience is going to be the driver online.”
However, not all experts agree on sports betting, online or not, will boost revenue or increase annual visits.
Wayne Schaffel, a public relations consultant, and former Atlantic City casino executive call sports betting a “non-event” and when compared to bets placed in Las Vegas, sports betting has smaller profits percentage-wise.
Schaffel doesn’t think brick-and-mortar or online sports betting will drive traffic to Atlantic City, stating it’s “unlikely due to the fact that every state will soon have sports betting, negating any advantage Atlantic City might have.”
Schaffel added there is one area where the Atlantic City brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks could look to jump out ahead of the rest of the pack and benefit greatly: eSports.
“Sponsor, sign exclusive deals or just go out and buy something that will have a monopoly in Atlantic City,” said Schaffel. “That’s a winning bet.”
However, experts who agree and those who disagree with the future of online sports betting being beneficial to Atlantic City do believe the casino operators should be in a race to have an online sports betting platform up and operational as soon as possible, since it could be crucial to their long-term success because of the recent regulatory news and potential revenue to gain from the upcoming football season.
New Jersey acted swiftly in regards to sports betting once Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was overturned, granting state lawmakers the power to pass new legislation on sports betting to allow both brick-and-mortar and online sports betting across the state.
After passing the bill, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the sports betting bill into law on June 11, 2018, allowing people age 21 and over to place bets at any of the Atlantic City casinos, racetracks, and former racetracks or from companies who had been approved for an online license.