The Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey announced they will be opening their sportsbook earlier than expected. Atlantic City residents and visitors can expect the sportsbook to open during the first quarter of 2019.
The Hard Rock casino sportsbook has paired with the Malta-based gaming service company Gaming Innovation Group to release the sportsbook at the Atlantic City location. The deal will allow Hard Rock to offer online wagering, in-person sports betting, and self-service terminals.
An agreement was struck between the two parties following the results of Murphy vs. NCAA, a Supreme Court Decision on the issue of state lawmaking. As many people around the world now know, New Jersey won the case, and the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional.
In June of 2018, Governor Murphy signed into law a bill that now allows domestic sports betting. The bill included a stipulation that after 30-days, Atlantic City online sports betting would be available to operate within New Jersey state lines.
None of this would be possible for the Hard Rock casino if not for the National Football League (NFL) changing their policy on commercial gaming. Reports indicate that the Business Ventures Committee made up of 10 NFL franchise owners, agreed to allow casinos to sponsor teams in the league.
Hard Rock International has owned the naming rights to the Miami Dolphins stadium since 2016 when the two conglomerates entered into an 18-year agreement. The deal struck one year before the historic Supreme Court decision could have put an end to sports betting at the Hard Rock for the next 18 years, but luckily the NFL had some sympathy.
However, the NFL threw a curve football when they added that neither entity could use official logos for marketing and that casinos will not be allowed to advertise their sportsbook with the team they sponsor.
Despite the latter, the Hard Rock is happy to see the ban lifted and is looking forward to offering a sports betting experience to their players.
The Hard Rock will not be the first sportsbook on the block to begin domestic operations. Atlantic City residents and visitors can already place bets on sporting events at Ocean Resort, Bally’s, Tropicana, Harrah’s, Borgata, and the Golden Nugget.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that the sports betting market handled nearly $600 million in transactions during the first 4 months in operation.