The third and final Meadowlands Racetrack mobile sports betting brand partnership — or “skin” — is getting closer to being determined.
Track owner Jeff Gural told NJ Online Gambling Tuesday that it’s his intention that the skin go to SuperBook, the brand name of the iconic sportsbook that is part of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino near the north end of the city’s “Strip.”
“It’s a good addition for us, given what a big name they are in Las Vegas,” said Gural, who added that the book would go into operation pending approval from New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement regulators.
Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports operations at Westgate Superbook, declined to comment when reached by NJ Online Gambling on Wednesday.
The third skin initially was announced two years ago as Las Vegas bookmaker CG Technology (formerly known as Cantor Gaming). But when William Hill US acquired that company last fall, the skin did not come as part of the deal.
Each of New Jersey’s three racetracks and nine Atlantic City casinos is permitted up to three sports betting partnerships, and to date more than 20 agreements have been reached.
Monmouth Park has deals in place with William Hill, theScore, and PlaySugarhouse, while some operators have left a third agreement up in the air.
Sports betting as savior
Gural said last week that “sports betting has saved the day” for harness racing’s iconic racetrack, adding that the Meadowlands Racetrack otherwise “might be closed.”
Sports betting has added $1 million to purses for the harness racing season, and Gural said that number could rise depending on the fluctuations of the business.
“We’re on a hot streak lately, but that could change,” said Gural, who upon getting into the business in 2018 initially found that volatility somewhat unsettling compared to the traditional parimutuel takeout.
“We won on the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay, and really anytime an underdog wins, we do OK,” added Gural. “We got lucky in that first quarter, and now things slow down. Our best time is the first quarter and fourth quarter [of the year].”
Big numbers for Meadowlands books
The combination of FanDuel’s brick-and-mortar and online sports betting operation as well as PointsBet’s app produced a staggering $206.5 million in revenue in 2020, accounting for more than half of the state’s $398.5 million — compared to $25.4 million for Monmouth Park and its betting partners.
That said, Gural told NJ Online Gambling that much of his, and the industry’s, success is due to Monmouth Park operator Dennis Drazin.
Gural credits Drazin’s determination in leading the way to endure six years of legal setbacks in a lawsuit by the NFL and four other sports organizations to stop sports betting in the state — and all states, outside of Nevada.
“So many people don’t realize that none of this [legal sports betting expansion] would have happened if not for Dennis,” said Gural.
The ultimate victory came in May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court sided with New Jersey and voided the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (known as PASPA).
SuperBook’s potential impact
Even many casual bettors are aware of SuperBook, which hosts a popular annual NFL betting competition called SuperContest in which entrants choose five games per week against the point spread. The 2020 winner — “ODBMG2” — collected $435,623.20 as the top prize.
A partnership with the Meadowlands could attract more East Coast entrants to the competition. According to the SuperBook website, Nevada allows for a “proxy” to place bets in person throughout the year. But initial registrations “must take place in person at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, and registrants using a proxy service must have their proxy with them.”