Bet365 Prepares to Debut in the United States

Renowned United Kingdom-based online gambling operator Bet365 is a step closer to offering its gaming services to the growing sports betting market in the United States. Known for offering world-class gaming service, the gaming company will be making its initial debut in the US through New Jersey and to seal the deal, it has already even gone as far as signing a lease on a piece of real estate in Marlton, New Jersey and this presumably where it will be operating from. The office space sits on a 19,000-square-foot-space at the Two Greentree Center and Bet365 will have access to it for quite some time thanks to the long-term lease.

Rumors of a possible venture into the United States emerged in 2018 when Bet365 partnered with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, a local gambling operator – both companies signed a letter of intent as per New Jersey state gaming regulations before they were allowed to begin making plans for sports betting.

Dealing with Competition

Even though Bet365 has built quite the reputation for itself in the world of online gambling, this simply does not cut it in all gambling markets especially in cases where there are equally viable and reputable competitors trying to get a piece of the action. New Jersey is no stranger to gaming companies and already boasts of being home to a plethora of influential sportsbooks including 888Sport, Borgata, William Hill, FanDuel and DraftKings, all of which are considered to be quite good at the services they offer.

As such, penetrating the United States gaming market will certainly not be an easy task. This, however, does not mean that it is impossible. As a matter of fact, European gaming companies have been doing quite well in the United States thanks to the reliance on a mix of innovative gaming solutions as well as market-specific offerings that have resonated very well with US-based customers.

New Jersey is Just the First Stop for Bet365

Bet365 has had a lot of success back in the United Kingdom due to its prowess in finance and business and this is probably what will give the company an edge over competitors in the United Kingdom. It is already catching up with other established sports betting operators in the state and, as it turns out, its plans for the United States extend beyond New Jersey. The company is reportedly already eyeing expansion opportunities in New York, a move that is likely to be facilitated by the deal it recently signed with Empire Resorts.

Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino Begins Sports Betting in NJ

After receiving permission from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Atlantic City’s Hard Rock casino has begun testing its sports betting offering. If this goes well, the casino will have its sports betting services in full operation just in time for the Super Bowl. This will be confirmed in the next few days when the casino operator officially releases its statement with regards to in-person sports betting at the gambling facility. Online sports betting is also being actively pursued by the company.

The sports betting market is quite lucrative and it comes as no surprise that Hard Rock casino has finally decided to join the party – the casino will be the eighth casino to offers sports betting in the state and its online sports betting app will be the tenth sportsbook apps in New Jersey. This venture will be the Malta-based GiG’s first every foray into the United States’ sports betting market.

It is certainly not going to stop there though – as the legal and regulated sports betting market in the country continues to grow, Hard Rock and GiG will probably seek to expand their gaming partnership to other states, especially those that already have operational Hard Rock casinos. Meanwhile, New Jersey is definitely a great place to test out the potential of the gaming market. This is primarily because the state championed the abolishment of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) thus paving the way for legal and regulated sports betting across the country.

“We are delighted to have reached another achievement in our partnership with Hard Rock,” said Robin Reed, the chief executive officer of GiG. “Hard Rock has global recognition, unparalleled reach and the same high ambitions as us. We look forward to continuing to support Hard Rock’s growth in New Jersey and expansion around the world.”

New Jersey’s residents and visitors can now place on a wide range of sporting activities including baseball, hockey, basketball, football, soccer, and college sports among others on both online and mobile platforms. As it stands, over $1.24 billion has been spent on sporting events in the states since its gaming industry went lice back in June 2018

Hard Rock’s History

The casino operator is perhaps best recognized for its acquisition of the former Trump Taj Mahal on the Atlantic City Boardwalk back in 2017. After purchasing the property, Hard Rock added its branding and design as well as the world’s largest music memorabilia collection to it before finally reopening it on June 28, 2018, as Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Sports betting will, therefore, be joining the casino’s over 120 tables games 2000-plus slots.

Things Looking Up for Atlantic City Online Sports Betting

Sports betting in the United States is beginning to gain momentum as more states try to tap into the multi-million dollar industry that was just recently legitimized countrywide after the May 14 Supreme Court ruling that repealed PASPA. Atlantic City, one of the country’s gambling havens, is one of the places that are in line for significant perks that will come with online sports betting.

A number of gaming experts have expressed their belief that the nascent online sports betting industry will go a long way in boosting revenue for both the operators and the state governments. However, this is not all. The experts also believe that the industry is certainly bound to bring in more visits to the city.

One of the experts, Rummy Pandit, the executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism at Stockton University, points out that sports betting is in essence more of a social event. He expects that people will be interested in participating in the overall experience that the Atlantic City sports books will have to offer.

“Sports betting is definitely going to drive additional traffic into the city… 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,” Pundit said. “The way I see the market segment, it is more brick-and-mortar oriented, at least initially. But convenience is going to be the driver online.”

Merging Online and Land-Based Offerings

As with most developments, not everyone is on board, but the general consensus is that there needs to be a set of guidelines to guide the process. Steve Ruddock, a lead analyst for online advocacy group says that Atlantic City casino properties have a learned a valuable lesson from New Jersey’s rollout of online gambling back in 2013. As such, instead of pushing the online sports betting product as standalone options, the casino operators in Atlantic City have opted to link their online gambling rewards to complementary offerings in the land-based properties.

“There’s a symbiotic relationship between the two,” Ruddock said. “If you asked most operators, they would tell you they’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well they’ve interacted and how beneficial online has been. Sports betting will have the same type of impact. If you can link your online sportsbook to your land-based sports books, then you can possibly bring in these newer, younger customers.”

Pandit echoed Ruddock’s sentiments saying that it is very important for the city’s casinos to connect their online sports betting to their land-based offerings. He further pointed out that such a move would develop brand loyalty for both the operators and their properties.

“If you can merge the loyalty programs and the rewards, it’s an additional driver to either bring them to the property or keep them engaged with the brand.”

Caesars Entertainment to Launch Sports Betting in New Jersey

Caesars Entertainment Corporation is about to become the latest casino operator to expand its sports betting services in the United States. The company is preparing to launch not one but two sports betting operations in Atlantic City, that is, at Bally’s Casino and Harrah’s, both of which it owns. As it stands, Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City, already had temporary sports betting facilities in place which will make the process of building the full sportsbooks within the next nine months.

Partnership with Scientific Gaming

Caesars Entertainment has chosen to partner with Scientific Games for the sports betting venture and is set to use the software provider’s technology via the OpenBet sports book. In addition to the land-based sports betting services, the casino operator also plans to launch a mobile wagering offering in the future. Unfortunately, no official launch date has been announced.

“We are excited that Caesars chose Scientific Games’ OpenBet sportsbook technology to provide the company and its players with our advanced, proven sports betting platform. This is a pivotal deal that will shape the U.S. sports betting landscape for years to come. Together, we will usher in a new era for gaming in the U.S. and welcome thousands of new players into the sports betting market. With OpenBet, our powerful and robust sportsbook platform, Caesars will have a truly open platform and end-to-end product suite that delivers the very best and flexible solutions. Our SG Digital team is excited to help Caesars build for the future, as they expand their sports betting across land-based, digital and mobile platforms into newly regulated markets,” Scientific Games’ president and chief executive officer, Barry Cottle.

As per the partnership agreement, Scientific Games will enable Caesars to utilize its industry-leading technology delivered through the OpenBet product suite. This is set to significantly improve the dynamism of the land-based casino experience for the casino’s customers and this is certainly bound to improve with the yet-to-be-launched online gaming platform. OpenBet boasts of managing more than 2 billion online bets, which, as it turns out, is the largest share of the total number of online bets in the world.

The OpenBet product suite is also considered to the world’s largest sportsbooks operator thanks to its feature richness and reliability especially with regards to its vast array of richness and reliability in managing a high volume of transactions even during the most demanding times.

“With OpenBet, our powerful and robust sportsbook platform, Caesars will have a truly open platform and end-to-end product suite that delivers the very best and flexible solutions and has proven success managing the largest share of the world’s online bets [with] more than two billion online bets annually,” Cottle added.

Ocean Resort Moves Forward with Online Casino Offering

The past month has been a very busy one for Atlantic City. About a fortnight ago, Hard Rock and Ocean Resorts opened their doors to customers and this was followed shortly by an online offering from Hard Rock. The tremendous expansion of gambling options in the Garden State does not seem to have ended though as now Ocean Resorts has also joined the online gambling operator bandwagon with its new platform. This was officially confirmed when the former Revel Casino decided to finally remove the “under construction” banner that had been resting in the place of the operator’s much anticipated online gaming offering.

All New Jersey online casinos usually undergo a soft launch phase prior to being launched officially and Ocean Resort is no exception. The casino’s soft launch phase will have restricted gameplay hours but this is a measure that has been put in place simply to ensure that the final product will be something that customers would love and appreciate.

Huge Gain for GAN

The Ocean Resort online casino offering is being launched with GAN, a B2B internet gaming software developer, and provider. GAN has been quite up and about in the United States striking deals and integrating with various services and while this makes its partnership with Ocean Resorts less of a surprise it certainly is a welcomed development. Ocean Resorts casino also happens to be the first brick-and-mortar casino in New Jersey to partner with GAN.

Among the benefits that the software developer and provider will be bringing to the table are its impressive turnkey managed services that comprise of software development, regulated consultancy, payments management as well as customer services. In addition to this, GAN’s Ocean Resort Casino-licensed patent will also enable the operator’s clients that are part of the Ocean Premier (Ocean Resort Casino’s loyalty program) to sign up online and link their rewards card to their accounts.

“Ocean Resort Casino is a fabulous casino property, unarguably offering the best quality gaming & hotel in Atlantic City, which has now been optimized for success by the new ownership and leadership. We’re privileged to bring this immense property to life online, just as it relaunches in the traditional retail casino market. We’re excited to deliver not just another ‘me too’ Internet casino, but to also bring online for the first time the capabilities unlocked only by GAN’s convergence Patent which may give casino patrons in New Jersey a compelling economic rationale to play online with Ocean Resort Casino rather than established incumbent casino operators already online in this fast-growing market. Ocean Resort Casino is anticipated to be material to GAN’s revenue and earnings in H2 2018,” GAN chief executive officer, Dermot Smurfit said about the partnership.

At launch, the online gambling site will offer over 50 slots, table games like blackjack and roulette as well as eight different versions of video poker.

Hard Rock Casino Debuts Online Casino Days After Reopening

New Jersey’s gambling industry is just starting to get back on track especially with the reopening of two new casinos in the last week. Hard Rock and Ocean Resorts casinos both went live in massive grand openings a little over a week ago and while they have certainly begun to return Atlantic City to its former glory, both operators are already planning their next ventures. In fact, one of them, Hard Rock Casino, has already taken the step forward by launching an online gambling website which is now a pretty significant addition to the state’s already thriving online gambling industry.

Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino’s real money online gambling platform officially and subtly went live last Tuesday (July 3) becoming the state’s 26th legal online gambling site. After its launch, the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, confirmed that Hard Rock had passed all the necessary equipment and systems tests before they were cleared for launch and operation on Tuesday.

Hard Rock joins six other New Jersey online gambling licensees, who include Borgata, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Resorts and Tropicana, and Caesars Interactive-NJ, which includes Caesars and Harrah’s. the state regulator has also approved other gambling companies that are known partner of Atlantic City casinos.

“Our online gaming team has done an amazing job launching one of the most dynamic online gaming experiences in the industry,” Hard Rock’s Atlantic City president, Matt Harkness said. “We’re excited to extend the Hard Rock brand beyond the Boardwalk and let casino players (play) across the Garden State.”

The number of online casino licensees in the state is also expected to grow further with one not being far behind – Ocean Resort Casino is reportedly preparing to offer online casino services. According to Rebuck, the operator’s gambling operation is still in its testing phase with the state regulators.

Tiding GiG Over

Hard Rock’s online gambling operation was in conjunction with Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) which was also recently awarded a provisional license by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. GiG will be using this license until it is awarded its first full-fledged US operating license.

GiG and Hard Rock Atlantic City made their partnership public earlier this year with both operators making it clear that they were going at a piece of the online gambling pie.

“We are delighted to now be going live with Hard Rock in New Jersey, a first step in our mutually ambitious plans to take market share in the regulated online gambling market in the US,” GiG CEO Robin Reed said in a press release. “Hard Rock has ambitious plans to become a global leader in iGaming, and we are proud to have been selected to help them. We get to partner with one of the world’s best-known brands to make a standout new online casino. It is really an exciting time at GiG.”

Hard Rock, Ocean Resort Finally Go Live in Atlantic City

The long-awaited grand openings of two of Atlantic City’s revitalized entertainment establishments that were set for Thursday, June 28, came a little earlier than expected when both Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino opened their doors to customers a day earlier. On Wednesday, both casinos were given the go-ahead to proceed with full operations by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and they did just that while still pleading with the people to come back for the festivities that were planned for Thursday. There will also be a weekend beach concert which will contribute to the close to one million visitors that the city is expecting to host over a four-day stretch.

“Atlantic city is truly back in the game,” said Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam, speaking at the second casino grand opening. “This is truly a collaboration of folks, realizing that (this) is an important part of not only Atlantic City history, but world history.”

Ocean Resort Casino owner and Chairman, Bruce Deifik, expressed a lot of joy on Wednesday after the Division of Gaming Enforcement cleared the casino – his joy is perhaps the reason why the casino went live a day before its initial launch date.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved in this process — particularly the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, which has been an extremely helpful and collaborative partner throughout this process — and am excited to now start welcoming guests to the new Ocean Resort Casino,” Deifik said.

The former Revel casino held a ribbon cutting on the Boardwalk that was attended by actor, singer and die-hard New England Patriots fan Mark Wahlberg.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, on the other hand, held a mass guitar smashing ceremony inside its concert arena. This was attended by almost 8,000 fans and helping to christen the ceremony was “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan.

“Today is the bridge to the revitalization of Atlantic City,” Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, said right before the ceremony begun. “We believe this project will create a new day in the evolution of Atlantic City. We have spent $500 million renovating this building. We promised you we wouldn’t just paint it and put up a guitar.”

The past two years have been somewhat of an extended stretch of brutal occurrences for Atlantic City – during this period, five of its 12 casinos closed down and now online nine (including the reopened ones) remain. There is a lot of optimism following the rejuvenation and reopening of Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Casino.

Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Casino Granted Gambling License

With a little less than a week till its June 28 grand opening and after two days of testimony, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission has finally approved Ocean Resort Casino’s application for a gambling license. The hearing took two days and featured Bruce Deifik, the owner of the former Revel Casino, giving a close to two-hour testimony where he outlined his plans for the casino as well its role in the city’s resurgence.

Deifik further pointed out that it took them 13 long and hard months to get the casino license granted and thus the decision by the state gambling regulator to award Ocean Resorts Casino a license was a “dream come true for myself and my entire family.”

The gambling license was granted with a list of 26 conditions to boot – these were laid out by the state regulators at the Division of Gaming Enforcement. These 26 conditions primarily addressed the casino’s financial resources as well as its relationship with JPMorgan Chase, one of its lenders. The goal here was to ensure that Ocean Resort Casino is not afflicted by the same economic challenges that led to the deterioration and ultimate closure of its predecessor.

“I am placing a great deal of confidence in Mr. Deifik, his family and his assembled team to market this property and draw old and new customers to come and experience what Atlantic City in general and Ocean Resort, in particular, has to offer,” the New Jersey Casino Control Commission Chairman James T. Plousis said in a statement after the vote.

Prior to the meeting, the regulator’s commissioners admitted to having a number of serious concerns most of which were shared by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“But after listening to the very extensive, and personal testimony of the past two days, my concerns have been eased,” Commissioner Alisa Cooper commented.

During their testimonies, Deifik and Alan Greenstein, Ocean Resort Casino’s chief financial officer, elaborated on their vision for the luxury casino hotel, their finances as well as the changes that they made to the property. Frank Leone, the casino’s chief executive officer also testified on Ocean Resorts’ strategy and plans to attract and keep guests. He firmly believes that they will not make the same mistakes that their predecessor did.

“I can assure you that we’re going to speak loudly and clearly to the core casino audience,” Leone said. “Our promise is to have an unwavering commitment to exceeding guests’ expectations.”

The casino is going to employ nearly 3,300 people, a good number of whom will be Atlantic City residents with prior casino experience. These employees will be assigned to various sections of the 1,399 rooms and 130,000- square-foot casino floor that features close to 2,000 slots machines, over 100 table games, and eight poker tables.

Ocean Resorts Gets Special Hearing for Casino License

With just less than a week before the former Revel Casino reopens its doors as Ocean Resort Casino, the operator’s management is already taking the necessary steps to make sure everything goes according to plan. The casino has also been granted a June 20 hearing that if goes well will see to it that it is granted the necessary paperwork ahead of its planned June 28 launch date.

The hearing which was announced and scheduled by the New Jersey Control Commission will begin at 1 p.m. – in case there are any pending issues, the commission also allocated time for a second hearing the following morning.

“This isn’t just a technicality. Being awarded a casino license is a very major step,” said Daniel Heneghan, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission’s spokesperson. “We will hear testimony and they will discuss their plans to attempt to meet the burden of operating a casino, after which the commission will deliberate and make a decision.”

The Ocean Resort Casino management team is confident that the hearing will go well and that the launch date will be every bit as epic as recent reports and a media tour have brought us to believe. If the casino is approved for the casino license on June 20, then it will proceed to hold operation tests – this will involve the participation of a select number of guests who will get to test the different areas of the casino floor in front of the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a year from the transaction to purchase from Glenn Straub, and this is the final capstone. It’s been a long journey, but we’re very excited to see the finish line and open the property and bring a great venue back to Atlantic City,” Jordan Deifik, the Ocean Resort Casino CEO said.

Sports Betting to Be a Major Highlight

It has been confirmed that a sportsbook is right in the middle of the Ocean Resort Casino gaming floor. This is not a usual thing but the team behind the revamped casino believe that it presents a whole new dimension that will appeal to both customers of low-income levels and the big spenders.

“Quite frankly, the energy around a sportsbook is arguably the most exciting component of any casino,” Seth Schorr, the Ocean Resort Casino advisor said. “As a person who grew up in the Las Vegas casino business, it’s often hard for me to even imagine a casino without a sportsbook. I think that Atlantic City will benefit greatly to having that added experience to all of its casino resorts.”

Ocean Resort Casino will also include a 100 table games and 2,200 slots machines on its 138,000 –square-foot gaming floor, six swimming pools, 16 different dining options, and a 160,000-square-foot indoor meeting space among many others. All this considered, there is definitely so much to look forward to.

Hard Rock Approved for Atlantic City, NJ Casino License

Hard Rock casino is back on scheduled to go live on June 28 following the approval of the operator’s casino license by New Jersey gaming regulators. The approval of the license by the state’s Casino Control Commission will see the global gambling, hotel, and entertainment company reopen the former Trump Taj Mahal. The move is also set to help Atlantic City recover from a string of gambling hall closures on the property that was once owned by President Donald Trump.

According to Hard Rock International chief operating officer, Jon Lucas, the casino will “be a boost for the reinvention of Atlantic City.” Apparently on June 28 when the casino will be reopening, another shuttered Boardwalk casino, the former Revel, will be reopening as Ocean Resort Casino. Both projects are anticipated to restore as many as 6,500 of the 11,000 jobs that the city lost when five of its 12 casino operations closed shop since 2014. Hard Rock, for instance, receives as many as 50,000 applications for its 4,000 jobs and this proves how much the city needs the casino business to get back on their feet.

James Plousis, the Casino Control Commission’s chairman, prior to giving the final vote pointed out that the commission’s decision was primarily influenced by Hard Rock’s financial stability, successfully casino operations in other places as well as the operator’s commitment to the Atlantic City market.

“I, for one, am placing a great deal of confidence in you, Mr. Allen, and your team,” Plousis said during the meeting. “We all know Atlantic City needs to broaden its appeal and bring people here for a lot more than just gambling. It appears that you and Hard Rock will try to do just that.”

The operator budgeted $30 million for its first year of entertainment which will begin with Carrie Underwood and Pitbull as opening acts for the casino on June 29 and June 30 respectively.

“The brand itself is about entertainment,” said Hard Rock International’s chairman, Jim Allen. “Within these amenities, we certainly offer hotel, dining, and other experiences. But there is one universal language, and that’s music. We are the only brand that works to bring people together through music.”

When it finally opens, the property will feature a 119,657-square-foot gaming floor that will host 2,144 new slot machines and up to 120 table games. In addition to this, there will be a 402-seat Hard Rock Café with 16 bar top slots adjoining the casino floor. The hotel, on the other hand, will have 500 suites 1,972 rooms, 1,472 of which will be standard, all completely renovated. Finally, there will be 11 food and beverage options that will include a 553-seat buffet, a 328-seat seafood restaurant as well as a 172-seat Asian restaurant.

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