Here’s a sure bet for Super Bowl Sunday: New Jersey casino bosses will be sipping champagne while local bookies will be crying in their Bud Light.
New York and New Jersey gamblers, after waiting decades to place legal wagers on the Super Bowl, are finally getting their chance. And their tsunami of Atlantic City betting slips has New Jersey poised to eclipse Nevada in sports-betting action, experts predict.
Local bookmakers, meanwhile, will forfeit a chunk of the $325 million or so they handled in Super Bowl wagers last season, according to Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayUSA Network.
With newly-built boardwalk sports books only a 90-minute drive from midtown Manhattan, and smart-phone gambling apps accessible on the other side of the Hudson River, bettors on the Big Game will flock to the Garden State. They’ll not only lay down cash on whether the New England Patriots or Los Angeles Rams win the game, but on some 900 “proposition” wagers that range from who will win the coin toss to total yardage gained by the Gronk to the jersey number of the first touchdown scorer.
Football action in AC — in the 10 brick-and-mortar sports books, and on the 11 betting apps — will hit $113 million this weekend, one expert forecasted, which is a pretty good out-of-the-gate start for Jersey and likely to impact the nation’s other gambling Mecca.
“Last year Nevada was $158.6 million [for its Super Bowl handle],” said Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US, which has betting outlets at Ocean Resort and Casino and Tropicana in Atlantic City, and at Monmouth Park racetrack. “I am not sure if we will hit that this year.”
Gouker chalks some of it up to technology. “The apps in New Jersey are better than those in Nevada,” he said. “We expect New Jersey to surpass Nevada [in annual handle] in the not too distant future.”
Casino bosses are clearly doing what they can to amp up interest.
At the Borgata, $50,000 will be given away in drawings leading up to the 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The Golden Nugget will have a giant, pre-game brunch.
The Ocean, featuring AC’s biggest sports book, is offering free stadium snacks, drinks and T-shirts (roving William Hill reps will be on hand to walk neophytes through the betting process). It will also show the game on a 38-by-23 foot video wall in its 2000-seat Ovation Hall.
The Hard Rock, which scrambled to get a sports betting license last week in time for the Super Bowl, celebrates with a $20-per-person Epic Tailgate Party that includes wings, nachos and beer pong.
How will betting patterns in Atlantic City differ from those in Vegas?
“The east coast is more in love with the Patriots than Las Vegas is,” said Bogdanovich. “But the majority of people everywhere put their money on Tom Brady … whether it’s making completions or throwing touchdown passes. Everybody bets on Brady.”
Casino executives in Atlantic City will be betting that their customers spend mightily.
Asked about revenues generated outside of the sports books this weekend – including room charges, restaurant tabs, losses in the blackjack pit and elsewhere on the floor – Dave Tuley, senior reporter with VSiN.com, replied, “In my opinion $100 million in revenue doesn’t seem unusual for the casinos to make from the other stuff. Those things will be more profitable than the game.
Why do you think they throw Super Bowl parties?”
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