The list of brick and mortar sportsbooks accepting bets along the Atlantic City Boardwalk grew by two last week, with the opening of permanent venues at the Golden Nugget and Ocean Resort casinos.
Before transitioning the bet shops to their new homes, both casinos had previously operated sportsbooks out of temporary locations.
On June 27, Ocean Resort became the first casino on the Boardwalk to accept legal wagers, via temporary betting windows, joining several other operations.
The Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks launched shortly after legalization went into effect on June 14, followed by a temporary venue opening at The Borgata. Harrah’s AC began accepting bets at a permanent facility on July 30, two days after Bally’s AC opened a temporary book. Resorts Casino opened its own temporary book on August 15.
The Golden Nugget’s initial temporary betting windows went live on the same day, 90 minutes ahead of Resorts Casino’s launch.
At the time, general manager Tom Pohlman promised bettors a bigger and better venue would be delivered by the end of August – and he delivered in spades on August 31.
Dubbed “The SportsBook,” the new venue – which replaced the former Golden Nugget poker room – occupies 2,500-square feet, complete with four large high-definition TVs and 53 smaller screens. The SportsBook also includes nine self-service betting kiosks to complement four dedicated betting windows.
In a public statement, Pohlman described The SportsBook as the most convenient and comfortable bet shop on the Boardwalk:
“There couldn’t be a better time for The SportsBook’s debut.
Just in time for one of the busiest weekends of the year, players will feel like they are watching their favorite sporting event live from the comfort of the most luxurious setting New Jersey has to offer.
“The SportsBook is innovative take on live sports betting, with some of the first self-service betting kiosks in Atlantic City.”
In late July, the Golden Nugget secured a partnership with European-based gaming industry provider SB Tech to run both the brick and mortar and eventual online operations for its properties in New Jersey and Mississippi.
Rising from the framework of the defunct Revel casino, Ocean Resort opened its doors on June 27, with a temporary sportsbook already onsite.
The book was operated by William Hill U.S., the American wing of U.K. sports betting titan William Hill.
At the time, Joe Asher – who serves as chief executive officer for William Hill US – issued a statement celebrating the company’s debut in the Garden State:
“William Hill offers the most sports betting options in the state of New Jersey, and, with our loyalty program, we are proud to offer the best sports book experience in Atlantic City.”
But despite the humble beginnings, both William Hill U.S. and Ocean Resort owner Bruce Deifik had a grander vision in mind.
When the permanent sportsbook went live – with a grand opening ceremony timed for Thursday Night Football’s NFL season opener on September 6 – bettors were greeted by 360-degree video walls outfitted with 45-foot Uniliumen LED TV screens. The facility sits directly in the heart of the sportsbook, offering entry points from all angles to a pair of bars (downstairs and upstairs), seven ticket windows, and several self-service kiosks.
Deifik recently outlined his innovative ideas for the center stage sportsbook in an interview with NJ Gambling Sites:
“I was either going to have a great place for sports betting, or I was going to have a great place to watch a football game or a baseball game. We just got lucky.
It’s different (than a Las Vegas) sports book but I like to think it’s the best of what a sports book can be.”