Online sportsbook FanDuel will have its first in-person casino sportsbook in New Jersey at Bally’s Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, following the $25 million sale earlier this year of the seaside, boardwalk property.
Twin River and FanDuel officials expect Bally’s Atlantic City sportsbook to go online in spring 2021. Gaming regulators – the Casino Control Commission and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement – still have to approve the move.
“We currently already have a FanDuel Sportsbook app and online experience in Colorado at another TRWH property,” Twin River Chief Executive Officer George Papanier said in a Thursday statement. “The permanent sportsbook location is going to be one of the many exciting changes we have in store for the Bally’s property – a unique location just steps away from center boardwalk where millions stroll by annually.”
Bally’s has two locations: The 1,214-bed seaside hotel in Atlantic City and another in Las Vegas.
As part of the $25 million sale from Caesars Entertainment to Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Twin River will change its name to Bally’s Corp. as of Nov. 9.
Caesars will get $6 million and VICI Properties will get $19 million from the deal.
“The Bally’s brand embodies a rich history in American gaming and entertainment, aligns perfectly with our current and future growth strategy and is ripe with untapped innovation potential to help us launch future entertainment services,” Twin River board Chair Soo Kim said in a Wednesday statement.
FanDuel has a physical sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, which is a 10-mile drive from New York City.
The state’s sports betting market has become a lucrative, multi-billion dollar industry since the Murphy administration rolled out its legalization in June 2018.
Online sports wagering, and more broadly online gambling, have remained casinos’ chief money-makers after all nine brick-and-mortar Atlantic City establishments had to shutter their doors for three months at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And with casinos operating at 25% capacity, that could remain a reality for months to come.
Sports betting has beat its own record for several months in a row, bringing in a record-high $678.7 million in September, compared to a then-record high $602 million in August. Patrons bet half of that at the online sportsbooks a year ago in August 2019 – $249.2 million – according to the NJDGE.
“The FanDuel Sportsbook is the clear market leader in New Jersey and we are excited to expand our retail footprint in the state to now include Atlantic City,” FanDuel Group CEO Matt King said Thursday.
FanDuel said the Bally’s retail site will feature “an incredible game day atmosphere with wagering options available for professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey and more.”