Hard Rock Casino became New Jersey’s latest online casino when it opened for business in mid-2018 in conjunction with the grand opening of the actual Hard Rock in Atlantic City. With hundreds of games on offer from day one, HardRockCasino.com hit the ground running and is shaping up to be a serious player in New Jersey’s online gambling scene.
Hard Rock Casino
Hard Rock Casino
Hard Rock Casino is New Jersey's newest gambling site, operated by Hard Rock Atlantic City. Despite its relative youth, Hard Rock Online casino has a full menu of sports betting and casino games. A risk-free sports bet and $1,000 welcome bonus should prove tempting to players as HardRockCasino.com works to elbow its way in to the competitive online gambling market in New Jersey.
- Offers in-play sports betting
- Nearly 200 slots to choose from
- Large welcome bonuses
- Frequest free spins promotions
- Fully licensed and regulated by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement
- Limited selection of table games
- Only offers a handful of video poker variations
The physical Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City held its grand opening celebration on June 28th of 2018 after investing some $500 million converting the former Trump Taj Mahal into a modern, entertainment-oriented resort complete with more than 2,200 games, 2,000 guestrooms and an emphasis on booking live entertainment all year long.
Hard Rock Online held a soft launch that same weekend and then officially went live the following week. The online casino holds a license from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) and runs on a software platform provided by the Gaming Innovation Group (GiG). GiG has also been approved by the NJDGE as a casino software provider, which means the software meets all standards set by the NJDGE.
In early 2019, Hard Rock commenced online and mobile sports betting to become the latest licensed gaming site with a full-fledged casino and sportsbook all under one roof.
In classic Hard Rock fashion, this gambling site promises to deliver the type of entertainment that will “rock your world.” Today’s Hard Rock Casino review will attempt to determine if that promise holds true as we dig into the types of games on offer, customer promotions, overall sense of quality and much more.
The first thing you’ll notice upon visiting the Hard Rock Casino website is it definitely stays true to the iconic brand. From the visual design and logos to info pages full of rock-n-roll puns, Hard Rock Casino lives up to the name. The games list consists of a wide assortment of sports betting, slots, table games, video poker, instant win games and live dealer games streamed straight from actual Atlantic City tables.
The website itself takes a simple approach with the homepage displaying a list of available games, a basic navigation menu and information about current promotions. All casino games and the sportsbook are fully mobile compatible, allowing you to play online from your desktop or while on the go with your tablet or smartphone via dedicated mobile app from the app store.
Bonuses and promotions look to be a key offering at Hard Rock Casino and Sportsbook with a deposit bonus and numerous other promotions ready to rock from day one. New customers can claim a 100% deposit bonus while existing customers can take advantage of a rewards program that offers free spins on the Wheel of Rock, Hard Rock swag, hotel comps and special invitations to high-end events depending on your volume of play.
Overall, HardRockCasino.com is off to a strong start. While some other NJ online casinos started off with limited games and functionality, Hard Rock appears to have been well-prepared for its grand launch. So far, so good.
Hard Rock Online Sports Betting Review
Hard Rock Online Casino added sports betting to its menu of options in early 2019. After receiving approval from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Hard Rock Online Sportsbook went live with a full lineup of US-centric and international sports betting options.
Online wagering is offered at the casino website while mobile betting can be found within the Hard Rock Casino app for iOS and Android devices. The website and both mobile apps offer standard pre-game wagers as well as in-play betting during live events.
The Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), which also powers Hard Rock’s casino games, manages the retail sportsbook in Atlantic City as well as the online and mobile wagering options. In a press release issued prior to the launch of sports betting, GiG informed the public that it would provide “a full omni-channel solution” covering in-person betting, online and mobile wagering and betting kiosks throughout the casino.
Hard Rock initially launched sports betting in New Jersey, but the press release made it clear both companies would pursue opportunities to expand into additional states as legislation permits.
- Hard Rock Sportsbook is available in: New Jersey now; Iowa expected in Q4 2019
- Operated by: Gaming Innovation Group (GiG)
- Established: Hard Rock Online Casino launched in July 2018; Sportsbook in January 2019
- Platforms: Desktop betting at HardRockCasino.com; mobile via iOS and Android apps
- New Customer Bonus: Risk Free $100 Sports Bet
Hard Rock Sportsbook Bonus
The people at Hard Rock Online want to get you off to a positive start and will do so by making sure your first bet is a winner no matter what happens. If you make a deposit of $100 or more and then place your first bet of $100 or greater, Hard Rock will give you $100 in cash if your first bet is a loser to essentially eliminate the risk associated with your first wager.
Here’s how to claim this offer:
- Sign up for an account, visit the cashier and select the Risk-Free bet offer
- Make your first deposit of at least $100
- Visit the sportsbook and select your first wager of at least $100
- Select the “Risk-Free bet” option in your betting slip before submitting your wager
- If your wager is a winner, keep the winnings and have fun
- If your first wager is a loser, Hard Rock will drop $100 into your account
The Hard Rock sports betting bonus is open to all customers, new and existing, as long as you haven’t already claimed this offer. Existing casino customers can still claim this offer even if you’ve already claimed the new player casino bonus.
Terms and conditions on this bonus are minimal. There are no wagering requirements or other hoops to jump through. The most important thing to know is you must claim your risk-free wager within seven days of opting in.
Sports Betting Options at Hard Rock
The sportsbook at Hard Rock covers all the mainstay sports in the US and an on the international stage. In addition to the key US sports leagues, Hard Rock offers tennis betting, soccer, rugby, boxing, MMA and more.
While Hard Rock Sportsbook covers all the primary sports from around the world, the selection here isn’t quite as extensive as some of the other, more established betting sites on the market. For instance, SugarHouse Online and PointsBet both cover a larger selection of international soccer leagues.
Hard Rock also tends to stick with the major sports in general. Niche sports such as darts and cycling are nowhere to be seen. However, the biggest miss may a complete lack of cricket betting. That being said, the options at Hard Rock should satisfy the vast majority of US-based bettors.
Sports covered at Hard Rock Online:
One thing Hard Rock Sportsbook does well is offer plenty of markets for singular events. For example, a single NBA game recently had roughly 75 individual wagers on offer. This included the standard array of moneyline, spread and point total wagers along with dozens of alternate spreads and totals, halftime results, quarter results and more.
Hard Rock NFL betting is much the same with coverage of all games plus dozens of markets for individual games. While there are a handful of props offered for NFL games, much of the variety comes down to alternate lines (i.e. backing the Patriots at -2, -2.5 or -3 at varying odds).
The types of wagers you can find across all sports include:
- Point spreads
- Alternate spreads and totals
- First half / second half outcomes
- Round robins
Parlays are managed by Hard Rock Casino through the site’s integrated betting slip and can be constructed to your desire. Just select two or more wagers to add them to the betting slip and then hit the “parlay” option on the slip to add them to a parlay.
For example, you can see in the betting slip pictured here that I have picked the Rams to beat the Patriots and the point total to be under 56.5. With those two options combined, Hard Rock gives me odds of +301 if both outcomes pan out as predicted.
Hard Rock Sports App and Website Interface
Hard Rock Casino offers sports betting as an integrated offering within its existing casino website and mobile apps. You can find the sports betting markets by heading to HardRockCasino.com on any desktop or by downloading the casino app for iOS and Android devices.
The Hard Rock website is clearly designed with mobile users in mind as well with a minimalist interface, large buttons and plenty of white space. If you have any problems downloading the app, you can visit the website for your phone and still have full access to all sports, wagers and live betting.
Navigation for the most part is simple, although the website and mobile apps appear to take after the Apple approach to design with some of the menu items lacking context. However, playing with the app for a few minutes should be enough to get the basic hang of how to find the various sports leagues and wagering options.
Picking wagers and looking them offer is assisted with a simple betting slip that appears any time you add a selection. With the betting slip, you can see all wagers that you’ve picked, confirm how much you stand to win or lose and build parlay wagers.
Desktop Interface Screenshots:
Hard Rock Sportsbook introduced in-play betting on launch day and has been going strong since. All the major North American sports are offered with in-play wagers along with a contingent of international sports, tennis and others.
There are two ways to find the latest in-play betting markets. First, you can visit the “Live Zone” menu item to see a list of events that are all running right now. Additionally, look for the “Live” icon next to any matchups displayed in the main sports betting area.
Hard Rock deserves kudos for offering an in-depth live betting interface from day one with extensive wagering options and a handy in-play display that shows possession, live scoring data and lots of stats.
This is one of the most comprehensive in-play betting sites to launch in the US to date. Hard Rock could stand to cover more events in-play, but the ones it does cover are done very well. It seems likely Hard Rock will be adding more events to the menu over time.
Hard Rock Casino Bonuses and Promotions
Hard Rock Online Casino set a precedent early on of holding promotions designed to reward new and existing customers alike. New players can sign up today for free spins and a deposit bonus worth up to $1,000 while other promotions frequently offer players the chance to win free spins in small batches or even an entire year’s worth of free spins.
100% up to $1,000 Welcome Bonus
Signing up for an account and making your first deposit will get you a 100% match bonus worth up to $1,000. Whatever the amount of your first deposit is the amount Hard Rock will give you in bonus funds, up to a maximum of $1,000 in extra bonus money.
For example, a $20 first deposit will get you $20 in bonus funds while a $500 deposit will get you $500 in bonus funds. If you deposit $1,000 or more, you’ll max out the bonus to get an extra $1,000.
Claim your bonus today at:
Hard Rock will also give you 50 free spins in return for completing the signup process and verifying your identity. After you have successfully registered an account, 50 free spins will be added to your rewards account in increments of 10 free spins across each of your first five days as a casino customer.
Each batch of free spins is awarded for specific slots as follows:
- Day 1: 10 free spins for Starburst
- Day 2: 10 free spins for Gun N’ Roses
- Day 3: 10 free spins for Divine Fortune
- Day 4: 10 free spins on the Jimi Hendrix slot
- Day 5: 10 free spins on Finn and the Swirly Spin
Other Promotions and Loyalty Program
Claiming your Hard Rock Casino bonus is just the beginning when it comes to promotion. In addition to an extensive loyalty program that offers members swag, free spins and invitations to in-person events at Hard Rock Atlantic City, you’ll find a constant rotation of other short-term promotions.
For example, there’s one promotion running right now granting players 20 free spins for switching to Hard Rock Online from a different NJ casino. After you sign up for an account, you can send in a picture of your player’s card or a screenshot of your screenname at a different online or real-world NJ casino to get 20 free spins in return for switching over to Hard Rock.
Hard Rock Casino has an extensive slots collection and a limited offering of table games, video poker and instant win scratch cards. In many cases, you’ll find the same games online that you would see on the casino floor at the actual Hard Rock in Atlantic City.
Slots offer the greatest diversity by a long shot with games from a multitude of providers while the other categories of games are still limited in variety. This is a trend we’ve noticed recently among New Jersey casino sites. While many of the online casinos in New Jersey have a big selection of slots, they are almost all extremely limited when it comes to table games, video poker and other game types.
Hard Rock is no different with 175 slots to choose from, but just three table games, five video poker variations and four instant win games. The games they do offer are high quality, but Hard Rock could seriously stand to add significantly to its list of table games.
The casino website also states live dealer games are coming soon. According to the Hard Rock website, they’ll be providing live video streams from actual tables in Atlantic City with real, human dealers who manage the cards and pay out bets right in front of you in real time. The website also explains it will be offering bet-behind capability, which means you can still bet on the outcomes of the games even if other players have already taken all available seats.
Hard Rock Casino Download
No download is necessary to play Hard Rock Casino from your PC or Mac desktop. Just head over to HardRockCasino.com, sign up for an account and you’ll be able to play every game on the list through your browser.
Hard Rock Online does require a download for mobile devices, which is a major miss because they only offer an app for Android devices as of this review. Attempting to play from an iPhone was unsuccessful because the in-browser games do not work via mobile device – you must download the app.
We expect an iPhone app to be released shortly as other New Jersey casinos have done, but for now iPhone users are completely out of luck. Hopefully this issue is resolve quickly. Aside from that, the Hard Rock Online Casino software functions fine. We had no issues with disconnections or other errors.
Hard Rock Online Slots
The slots collection at Hard Rock Casino offers players a great deal of variety with 175 games of all different types including traditional mechanical-style slots, latest-generation video slots and games with large jackpots.
You’ll find a variety of rock-n-roll themed slots (as you would expect from a casino named Hard Rock), popular online titles such as NetEnt’s Bloodsuckers II slot and Starburst, games ported over from the real-world machines and everything in between.
Variety is further enhanced by Hard Rock’s policy of providing slots from multiple software providers such as NetEnt, NextGen, IGT, SG Interactive, Side City Studios, NYX and more. There are so many slots to choose from, that simply sorting through them all to find the one you want can be a chore.
The Hard Rock website does offer a search feature, but it is only useful for searching for slots by name. With this many slots on offer, it would be nice if there was some way to sort slots by types of features, whether or not they have bonus games, by payout rate, whether they are low variance or high variance and so on. As it stands now, the website requires a bit of digging unless you already know exactly what you want.
Then again, it’s almost a compliment that our chief complaint regarding Hard Rock’s slots is that there are too many of them to sort through. It could be a lot worse than having a ton of slots to choose from. That being said, Hard Rock Online should seriously consider adding additional search/sort features.
Table Games and Video Poker
And now we move to the one glaring flaw found at Hard Rock Casino: table games and video poker. The variety here is paltry with just three table games and five video poker variations. Sadly, this isn’t just a Hard Rock Issue; nearly every New Jersey casino we have reviewed to date has extremely limited table game and video poker options.
For table games, Hard Rock Casino offers 3 Wheel Roulette, Double Bonus Spin Roulette and Blackjack. The graphics on these games are excellent and gameplay is smooth. The three wheel roulette game offers additional layers of fun over the typical roulette game with every spin actually involving three spinning wheels that provide unique betting options and some very high-paying wagers.
The video poker games are super basic in look and style but do a good job at keeping things moving quickly. If you’re a video poker pro and want a fast-moving game, this is the casino for you. If you prefer to embrace the ambience and style, I would look elsewhere because these games are extremely plain from a graphical standpoint.
The list of video poker games includes:
- Five Play Draw Poker
- Game King Bonus Poker
- Game King Double Bonus Poker
- Game King Double Double Bonus Poker
- Game King Jacks or Better
Hard Rock Casino Deposit Methods
After you have a verified account with Hard Rock Casino, you may fund it via:
- ACH Bank Transfer: A transfer of funds straight from your bank account to your online casino account
- Visa and MasterCard: Use your Visa or MasterCard branded card to fund your online account just like making any other purchase online
- PayNearMe: PayNearMe is a cash-based option that allows you to print or save a payment ticket that you can take to a nearby 7-Eleven. Show the cashier your ticket, pay with cash and your casino account will be credited with that amount.
- Neteller: An online wallet similar to PayPal. Fund your Neteller account via a wide variety of payment methods, and then transfer that money to your casino account instantly.
- Online Banking Transfer: Similar to an ACH transfer – sends funds from your bank to your Hard Rock account
- Cash at Cage: If you’re in the area, stop by the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City and visit any cashier’s cage to fund your online account
When you’re ready to collect your winnings, you can withdraw via bank transfer, ACH, check or at the cashier’s cage at the Hard Rock casino. All deposits are processed within 2 business days.
Hard Rock Casino State-by-State Operations
Hard Rock operates casinos in seven states today and will have little trouble pursuing sports betting in any of those states if the proper legislation is in place. Additionally, Hard Rock has managed to secure partnerships with some very well-known online betting providers to date to bolster its operations.
Below we look at the full list of states in which Hard Rock has land-based operations in place and the ability to launch sports betting now or in the future. Hard Rock may very well manage to squeeze its way into other states for online betting depending on the types of laws passed, but the states below are its most likely targets over the near and medium terms.
Hard Rock New Jersey
- Sports Betting Availability: Mobile betting and retail sportsbook available now
- Retail Sportsbook: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Hard Rock Casino is one of Atlantic City’s newest casinos having opened in June 2018. The casino wasted little time getting involved in online sports betting and gambling with the launch of HardRockCasino.com that same year. A retail sportsbook is also open for business at Hard Rock Atlantic City.
In New Jersey, Hard Rock Casino has formed partnerships with two well-known online betting providers. The first was a deal with the UK’s Bet365 and the second was with the Kindred Group, parent company of Unibet NJ.
Hard Rock Mississippi
- Sports Betting Availability: Retail sportsbook now open
- Retail Sportsbook: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi
Mississippi legalized in-person sports betting in 2018 and Hard Rock Biloxi has since launched a sportsbook complete with 30 large TVs, cold drinks and hot food. If Mississippi passes additional legislation to authorize mobile betting, Hard Rock should have no trouble launching online betting for its MS customers.
Hard Rock Florida
- Sports Betting Availability: None
- Potential Retail Sportsbooks: Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood and Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
The odds of Florida legalizing sports betting any time soon are iffy, but Hard Rock will be well-prepared to take advantage of the opportunity if anything changes with two casinos in operation.
Hard Rock Nevada
- Sports Betting Availability: Retail sportsbooks and mobile betting
- Retail Sportsbooks: Hard Rock Lake Tahoe and Hard Rock Las Vegas
Hard Rock Casino operates a pair of casinos in Nevada with a sportsbook at each. Hard Rock does not offer mobile betting itself, but does invite players to download mobile apps operated by its Nevada-area partners. The Hard Rock Las Vegas betting app is managed by CG Sports while the Hard Rock Lake Tahoe app is managed by William Hill.
Hard Rock California
- Sports Betting Availability: None
- Potential Retail Sportsbook: Hard Rock Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain
Legalizing sports betting in California has been surprisingly difficult thanks to a complicated set of gaming interests including tribes, card room operators, anti-gambling groups, lawmakers and more all demanding to have their say in the future of any gambling legislation.
However, the new Hard Rock just north of Sacramento will give the company an easy path to sports betting should it be legalized in California. The biggest hurdle right now is simply getting lawmakers and the varying special interests groups all on the same page.
Hard Rock Iowa
- Sports Betting Availability: Retail sportsbook confirmed; mobile betting likely coming soon
- Potential Retail Sportsbook: Hard Rock Sioux City
Iowa legalized sports betting in 2019 with a bill authorizing casinos to operate retail sportsbooks and up to two individually-branded mobile betting apps. Hard Rock later confirmed the construction of an $895,000 sportsbook at its Sioux City location but has not expounded on its plans regarding online betting.
Hard Rock Oklahoma
- Sports Betting Availability: None
- Potential Retail Sportsbook: Hard Rock Tulsa
Legal sports betting is not imminent in Oklahoma right now, but lawmakers and tribal groups have been holding serious discussions regarding the issue and will most likely introduce legislation at some point. When that happens, Hard Rock will be ready to go with its Tulsa location.