While Hard Rock has yet to confirm this officially, multiple sources have told NJ Online Gambling that Bet365 will be a skin utilizing the Hard Rock license, meaning Hard Rock’s own brand will likely operate with a separate provider. Similar to the relationship between Betfair and Golden Nugget online casinos, Hard Rock and Bet365 will be both partners and competitors of each other in the New Jersey online sports betting space.
Why is Bet365 different?
Bet365 is one of the world’s biggest sports betting operators, likely taking in more than $2 billion in sports betting revenue in 2017. That $2 billion number would mean the company accounts for around 11% of worldwide sports betting returns. That’s a pretty sizable chunk.
The brand carries unmatched prestige in the industry, even when lined up next to elite gaming brands like 888 and Betfair that have already landed in New Jersey.
This is Bet365’s first entry into the U.S. since the 2006 passage of the UIGEA, which convinced many European operators that the U.S. market was too legally risky at the time. And while the company may need some time to build out its U.S. operation, history indicates it is more than capable of quickly closing that gap and grabbing a formidable market share.
Announcement still pending
When the DGE letter was published, some in the industry were speculating that Bet365 could be an operational partner for Hard Rock — not just a skin. While Bet365 has not provided this kind of B2B service in the past, that doesn’t necessarily mean it never will.
This speculation can officially end, however. The relationship is confirmed to be solely between licensee and skin, and Hard Rock will be operating its own online sports book with a different provider. It could quite possibly be GIG, which is already working with Hard Rock on its online casino.
Hard Rock has also still not announced when a sportsbook will be opening on the premises, nor with whom it’ll be working in that context.
NJ Sports Betting Partnerships summary
Several other NJ sports betting partnerships have already been consummated. This is the complete list, as of the time of this writing:
- Monmouth Park and William Hill went live (B&M only) on June 14 and plan to have an online presence as well.
- Borgata also went live on June 14, in partnership with International Game Technology (IGT).
- Churchill Downs announced in May plans to run a sportsbook with SBTech under the Golden Nugget license.
- Ocean Resort Casino, which opened June 28, is already operating a sportsbook with William Hill.
- Resorts has announced a partnership with DraftKings, that will include both B&M and online presence. SBTech will provide its sportsbook solution for Resorts’ land-based, mobile, and online brands.
- Meadowlands will be opening its sportsbook on July 14, in partnership with Paddy Power Betfair.