DraftKings First In Flight With Online Sports Betting In New Jersey

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DraftKings opened up its online and mobile sports book, at sportsbook.draftkings.com, to the public on Monday, becoming the first company to launch such a site in New Jersey.

“I am excited to begin this new chapter in our story by officially launching what I believe to be the most innovative, mobile sports betting product in the U.S.,” DraftKings founder and CEO Jason Robins said in a statement. “We have put immense thought and significant resources behind the development of DraftKings Sportsbook, and I’m confident that sports fans in New Jersey will enjoy using it to make the experience of watching the games even more interesting and thrilling.”

Everything you need to know for now

  • The app and website allow users to toggle between the existing daily fantasy sports site and the sportsbook. So anyone can place a traditional bet on a game — say, Eagles over Giants -6.5 points — and then swiftly shift to making a DFS lineup with players from multiple teams using the same bankroll.
  • DraftKings is a partner of Resorts Casino in Atlantic City. All legal online sports betting sites will have to have such a partnership with one of the nine Atlantic City casinos, the state’s three racetracks, or the sites of two former racetracks (Atlantic City Race Course and Garden State Park in Cherry Hill).
  • Up to 42 sites could be out there eventually. Next up likely is one from Borgata, within the next 7 to 10 days. Adam Small, our guest on the inaugural episode of USBets.com’s weekly podcast, estimates that we can expect about 20 to 25 when the dust settles.
  • You don’t have to be a New Jersey resident to bet — but you do have to be in New Jersey. How will they know? Thank the online casino gaming industry for solving geolocation issues in the state upon legalization five years ago. It works. It’s a little creepy that Big Brother knows exactly where you are. But it works.
  • You must be age 21 or over to place a sports bet, whether in-person or online — but you only have to be 18 to bet on a horse race. What can I say? It’s New Jersey.
  • So far, the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park are offering in-person sports betting (8.5 percent tax rate), and expect to have mobile sports betting (13 percent tax rate) later this month. A Freehold Raceway executive recently told me that the track would have in-person sports betting sometime during the football season.
  • 1.25 percent of gross revenues from casino sports betting goes to Atlantic City tourism and marketing programs, while the same amount from racetrack sports betting goes to the municipality and county where the tracks are located (so East Rutherford/Bergen, Oceanport/Monmouth, and Freehold/Monmouth).

Where can I bet sports in Atlantic City?

Borgata and Harrah’s in the Marina District and Bally’s and Ocean Resort (the former Revel property) on the Boardwalk currently offer sports betting in Atlantic City. Golden Nugget in the Marina should soon follow suit (though without NBA betting, as Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta owns the casino as well) and Resorts and Tropicana also are assumed to be headed there. Caesars Entertainment owns Harrah’s and Bally’s, but its decision on its Caesars casino is unclear. Hard Rock has a complicated stadium naming rights deal with the Miami Dolphins of the NFL — still a foe of New Jersey’s — but a workaround is expected.

A couple of additional facts about the casino situation:

  • A casino can offer online sports betting without a live counterpart — but only if a brick-and-mortar sportsbook is under construction, and only for up to nine months before the latter opens.
  • Unlike in Nevada, customers don’t first have to sign up in-person at a casino.
John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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