One of the largest online gambling companies in the world is set to enter the NJ sports betting market through a deal inked with Hard Rock Atlantic City. Bet365, which employs some 3500 people and is one of the UK’s largest private companies, has reached an agreement to launch a sports betting service in conjunction with the Hard Rock Casino for customers in New Jersey.
Eric Ramsey of PlayNJ spotted a letter published on the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) website signaling the Hard Rock’s intention to team up with Bet365 for NJ sports betting.
The letter, which is signed by NJDGE Director David Rebuck, states that the Division has completed its review of the Hard Rock and Bet365 request to operate sports betting in New Jersey and has granted the joint venture temporary approval good until July 31st, 2018.
The short time period for which the temporary approval is valid seems to indicate a full license is imminent. There is still no word on when, exactly, Hard Rock Atlantic City will begin taking sports wagers, but casino officials have said they plan to make an announcement on that front shortly.
Hard Rock Atlantic City opened for business just last week and followed that up with the launch of its online casino earlier this week.
Hard Rock AC President Matt Harkness said this regarding the launch of the online casino:
“Our online gaming team has done an amazing job launching one of the most dynamic online gaming experiences in the industry. We’re excited to extend the Hard Rock brand beyond the Boardwalk and let casino players (play) across the Garden State.”
The Hard Rock Casino has made no statements regarding online sports betting, but that too looks like a distinct possibility over the short term. The soonest any NJ casinos may commence sports betting is sometime after July 11th due to a mandatory 30-day waiting period between the start of real-world sports betting and the start of online betting.
Bet365 in the New Jersey Market
Hard Rock Casino has chosen well in selecting Bet365 as its partner for NJ sports betting. Bet365 is highly experienced in both real-world and online betting, casino gaming and more. The Bet365 website went live in 2000, but the family that operates the company was involved in running physical betting shops across the UK for years prior to that.
When it comes to online sports betting, Bet365 is a dominant force in other major markets such as the UK, Australia and Italy among others. The Bet365 name has a positive reputation in other parts of the world as a reputable place to bet on sports or play casino games online – and they will undoubtedly continue to build on that reputation in the US market.
The extent to which Hard Rock Casino and Bet365 will collaborate remains uncertain at this point. The letter published on the NJDGE website refers to a Letter of Intent signed by the two companies on June 19th and states the temporary authorization “will be for the narrow scope of approving only Article 3 of that agreement.”
Bet365 will be joining other major international gaming brands in the US market. Fellow UK bookmaking company William Hill has been present in Nevada for years and also operates the sportsbooks at Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino in New Jersey.
The Paddy Power Betfair group is likewise active in the USA as the company that runs the TVG betting network. More recently, Paddy Power Betfair reached an agreement with FanDuel to expand into regulated sports betting across the US and will be operating the sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack, which is expected to launch on July 14th.