A gambling experience that essentially offers sports betting in disguise may soon go live in New Jersey, courtesy of Resorts Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City.
In the May 6 edition of his column on ESPN.com, gambling industry writer David Purdum reported that Resorts is nearing completion of a new 1,200-square foot iGaming Lounge. When finished, the new venue is designed to host a new game known as FastPick, which offers players a house-banked fantasy sports style wagering experience.
The launch of FastPick is subject to approval by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), but per Purdum’s reporting, Resorts staff is busy installing cashier’s cages and high-definition video screens in anticipation of FastPick’s brick and mortar debut.
Under the FastPick format, players must select the winners of between three and 10 matchups involving individual players, as based on statistical performance using a standard daily fantasy sports (DFS) scoring system.
The SportAD.co website offers the following description of FastPick’s “Head to Head” gameplay format:
“In its simplest form, users make predictions on which athlete will score more from our pairings. Results are based on our rigorously formulated scoring schemas and winnings determined by the number of selections made.”
Purdum says a standalone website offering FastPick games will go live sometime this month.
FastPick is produced by the Washington D.C.-based Sport Analytics & Data Corp (SportAD).
Joe Brennan, co-founder and chief executive officer, previously operated DFS site Fast Fantasy. After pivoting to a business-to-business approach in 2015, Brennan envisioned the FastPick model as a streamlined version of DFS which would successfully toe the line between state gaming regulations and federal law.
New Jersey law was amended in 2012 to allow for paid fantasy sports within casinos, under certain conditions like the multiple selection parlay wagering offered by FastPick.
Under the terms of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006, fantasy sports are exempted from the online gambling ban – so long as they aren’t based on the performance of a single athlete.
Brennan told Purdum how his FastPick concept hews closely to both legal statutes, while predicting that DFS players would be joined by traditional sports bettors when the Resorts iGaming Lounge officially launched:
“We wanted to get something as close to a traditional single-game play as we [could], but still have it be compliant with fantasy rules. I think this is as close as you can get right now.
The opportunity here is not just with existing fantasy players. But it’s also migrating over sports betting customers to what is essentially one of the only legal opportunities that they would have that doesn’t require a major cultural shift in the way that they bet.”
During an interview with NJOnlineGambling.com which was published on May 4, Brennan spoke about FastPick’s appeal to major land-based gaming operators:
“Casinos (like Resorts) are intrigued by the audience that gravitates to DFS – young males with disposable income. They’re trying to capture that audience for their brick-and-mortar establishments.
We’re very excited to be launching with them. They’re already partnered with names such as PokerStars and Mohegan Sun Casino. We trust in them, based on their success.”
As Brennan mentioned, Resorts currently maintains three online casino and/or poker room platforms under its New Jersey interactive gaming license: Resorts, Mohegan Sun, and PokerStars.
If approved, the FastPick games at Resorts will offer a selection of 20 head-to-head contests between individual players. Gamblers must select at least three matchup winners, or any number up to 10 total, with wagering limits set at $1 through $10,000.