FanDuel Finally Getting In On Atlantic City Casino Sportsbook Game

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FanDuel’s partnership with the Meadowlands Racetrack has given the daily fantasy sports giant by far the leading sportsbook in New Jersey.

But somehow, FanDuel — though it has had an online sportsbook deal with Golden Nugget since 2018 — hasn’t had a brick-and-mortar presence in Atlantic City in this third football season of legal betting in the state.

However, that will change by the time the NFL and NCAA playoffs come around just after the end of the calendar year.

On Wednesday, FanDuel announced that it has reached an agreement with Rhode Island-based Twin River Worldwide Holdings to operate a sportsbook in Atlantic City. The new sportsbook will be located at Bally’s — which might confuse a few Boardwalk regulars.

AC properties changing hands

Bally’s currently has The Book, the largest of the city’s eight casino sportsbooks.

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But a sale of Bally’s from Caesars Entertainment to Twin River is nearly complete, and part of that deal hands over The Book, in the Wild Wild West section, to the adjoining Caesars casino.

Caesars Entertainment has purchased Tropicana, another Boardwalk property, and selling Bally’s helps the company avoid possible regulatory alarm bells from having four of the city’s casinos under one umbrella. The other Caesars property is Harrah’s, in the Marina District.

Following in the footsteps of the majority of the city’s casinos in 2018, FanDuel is expected to open a temporary sportsbook on the first floor of Bally’s, before launching its permanent book in the heart of the casino floor in the spring of 2021.

William Hill has partnerships for sportsbooks with Tropicana, Harrah’s, and the one-time Bally’s location that will now be part of the Caesars casino. The venerable British bookmaking company this summer completed a merger with Eldorado, and now all three “New Caesars” casinos will feature the same brand.

Ocean Casino Resort’s sportsbook, also under the William Hill brand, became the first such site on the Boardwalk in mid-2018 — coming aboard a few weeks after Borgata, which is located in the Marina District.

William Hill also is the brand at the Monmouth Park racetrack.

Other AC gambling partnerships

DraftKings — FanDuel’s DFS arch rival — has a partnership with Resorts, Atlantic City’s first casino, which opened in 1978. The Borgata sportsbook has been rebranded this year from Moneyline to BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar.

As for FanDuel, it already has a partnership with Twin River in Colorado.

“They are great partners and we are thrilled to work with them in another exciting, gaming-centric market like Atlantic City,” George Papanier, Twin River’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The permanent sportsbook location is going to be one of the many exciting changes we have in store for the Bally’s property, a unique location just steps away from center Boardwalk, where millions stroll by annually.”

The Meadowlands Racetrack has reported $118.7 million in revenue in the first nine months of 2020, mainly from its sports betting partnership with FanDuel — and particularly the latter’s mobile betting app.

Resorts Digital, which has DraftKings as its chief mobile partner, is next at $56.2 million. Borgata is a distant third at $17.6 million, and Monmouth Park at $14 million topped the rest of the Atlantic City casinos in sports betting revenue so far in 2020.

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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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