888 Exits Crowded NJ Sports Betting Arena

Company planning relaunch with better-known Sports Illustrated brand

It’s the end of the road for the 888Sport brand in New Jersey, but the company could be back in the state under a new banner — the once-renowned Sports Illustrated brand — in the coming months.

On Wednesday, subscribers to the app in the Garden State, upon visiting, found a screen that read: “888Sport New Jersey is no longer accepting or offering any sports betting opportunities, as of December 15. Any customer with a remaining balance will still be able to log into their account and either withdraw any funds they might have, or use those funds at 888poker and 888casino.

“If you have any open bets on your account which have not yet been settled, we will honor those bets once the event has been completed. If your bet wins, you will be able to withdraw your winnings or use them at 888poker or 888casino. If you have any questions regarding your account, our Support team will be happy to assist you with your query.”

An 888 spokersperson elaborates

“As part of our strategic partnership with Sports Illustrated, we can confirm that we have closed 888sport.com in New Jersey as we prepare for SI Sportsbook’s launch in the market,” 888 spokesperson Raffaella Mazzella told NJ Online Gambling. “Since its launch in Colorado in September, SI Sportsbook’s differentiated wagering experience, which combines 888’s proprietary technology and one of the most influential sports media brands, has been extremely well received, with positive customer feedback from players across the state. We are now focused on launching SI Sportsbook in other states, including New Jersey, and are excited to share more details in the coming weeks and months.”

With a September 2018 launch, 888 was a fairly early addition to the busy New Jersey sports betting scene. The company also has a presence in the U.S. online casino market, including online poker, still offering both in the Garden State.

Some bettors were not distressed about the 888 news, with the professional gambler known as Captain Jack Andrews tweeting, “Looks like 888 has exited the NJ Sportsbetting scene. They won’t be missed.

Colorado the launchpad for SI brand

In June, Sports Illustrated announced its plans to debut that SI Sportsbook brand in Colorado, with 888 as its partner.

The app launched on the eve of the NFL’s opening weekend, and at the time Jill Dorson at CO Bets noted, “While 888 is already live online in New Jersey under its own brand, it has plans to roll out the SI Sportsbook in the Garden State, Indiana, and Iowa going forward.”

888Sport and WynnBet are the mobile sports betting partners of Caesars Entertainment, and through November the trio had combined for just $4.8 million in revenue. That’s seventh out of the nine casino groups in Atlantic City, ahead of only Bally’s and Golden Nugget. The Meadowlands Racetrack and partners FanDuel, PointsBet, and — as of recently — Superbook have raked in a whopping $421.8 million in the same span. That’s more than 100 times what the Caesars-affiliated books have produced.

Resorts, mainly powered by its deal with DraftKings, leads among the casino conglomerates with $147.3 million.

With nearly two dozen sportsbooks having launched in New Jersey since the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2018 ruling opened the door for Las Vegas-style sports betting in any state, market experts have long expected either mergers or dissolution of some of the smaller operators.

Image: Shutterstock


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