The year 2018 may have ended, but that hasn't put the brakes on the always-evolving world of NJ sports betting. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has officially given a green light to the Hard Rock Sportsbook!
Hard Rock Atlantic City will be launching its own NJ sports betting operations with help from Hillside LLC, a partner of the British online gaming giant, Bet365. The two companies received regulatory approval from the DGE in December. This now opens the door for a Hard Rock Online Sportsbook.
The DGE has issued a transactional waiver to Bet365, allowing it to conduct operations before receiving an unrestricted NJ sports betting license. The reason the New Jersey gaming industry sees a lot of these transactional waivers each year is that processing a full gaming license can often take years.
Thanks to the waiver, Bet365 won’t have to wait for receiving its casino service industry license. And neither will Hard Rock! The Hard Rock Sportsbook is most likely to be open for business sometime early this year.
Hard Rock Sportsbook, Courtesy Of GiG
While Bet365 will be the skin of the Hard Rock Online Sportsbook, while online and retail sports betting will be powered by the Gaming Innovation Group, a business partner to Hard Rock since October.
GiG already powers Hard Rock Online Casino, although executives at Hard Rock claim that’s not the reason why they made GiG their NJ sports betting partner. The choice, the Director of Online Gaming claims, was made only after objective research of the gaming companies on the market.
Becoming the official NJ sports betting partner to Hard Rock AC was a big win for GiG.
Bet365 Sportsbook Is Still On The Table
It’s no secret Bet365 has ambitions of a breakthrough into the US casino and sports betting market. The company already has New Jersey on its list, and is on standby in New York, until regulation goes through.
In addition, Bet365 joined forces with Empire Resorts, the owner of Resorts World Catskills Casino in New York. As a result, Bet365 will be pouring in over $50 million into Empire Resorts operations and will earn 5% of its proceeds.
It’s a far more ambitious partnership than what Bet365 has with Hard Rock AC. The reason why Bet365 might have decided to put more eggs in the NY basket is the better market potential. Nothing is set in stone in NY yet, while the NJ sports betting market is already well established.
The deal with Hard Rock AC will kickstart Bet365’s presence on the US sports betting market, nonetheless. Once things get cooking in New York, however, we might be hearing a lot more from Bet365 in the future!