Coming Soon to Atlantic City Hard Rock Casino Sportsbook
By Ken Edwards, 13 December 2018
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the Atlantic City board walk has announced it will open its sports book and offer full sports wagering services during the first quarter of 2019.
“The forthcoming launch of the Hard Rock Sportsbook in New Jersey will mark another step towards becoming a significant player in the national and international sports betting and online gaming industry,” said Senior Vice President of online gaming at Hard Rock International, Kresimir Spajicer, in a prepared statement last week.
Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), a Malta-based gaming services company, has signed a contract to provide the technology that drive the “omnichannel sportsbook solution” for the Hard Rock International company, which will bring sports betting to Hard Rock’s Atlantic City Casino operations by next year, according to the joint press release from the two parties.
The move was not entirely unexpected considering that the GIG technology powers the existing Hard Rock online casino. However, this expanded, omni-channel agreement appears to cover both the retail land-based sports betting on site and online and mobile wagering.
The NFL relaxes its previous casino-sports cross ownership laws
Previously, because of Hard Rock International’s brand ties to the NFL and in particular, the Miami Dolphins, it was not allowed to make, nor operate its own sports book.
However, with the recent moratorium of the National Football League’s policy on commercial gaming, the NFL lifted the restriction on Hard Rock’s future sportsbook operation in Atlantic City.
According to the new policy, operators of co-owned casinos and sports books can now legally be naming rights partners of NFL venues, subject to certain qualifying conditions. Hard Rock International became the Miami Dolphins stadium naming sponsor in 2016 agreeing to an 18-year agreement to the property in Miami-Dade County.
It is just another sign of how rapidly and seismically the sports betting world has shifted since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018 and make it possible for the states to legislate on their individual sports betting laws.
Hard Rock Resort & Casino joins Ocean Resort Casino, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Tropicana Atlantic City and Golden Nugget as land-based casino properties that offer sports betting in the famous New Jersey beach getaway town.
Potential for GIG and Hard Rock International to expand into neighboring states
Specifically, GIG will supply the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City with GIG Sports Connect, GIG Trader and GIG Goal, which encompasses an overall in-house betting platform with over-the-counter wagering and kiosks online via desktop and mobile service platforms.
GiG is already providing the live platforms for Hard Rock’s website and online casino that begun its operations on July 13 2018.
“I am proud and delighted to have signed this agreement with our partner Hard Rock, our first inroad to sports betting in the exciting US market,” GiG CEO Robin Reed has announced. “It also headlines our continually strengthening partnership with Hard Rock across our iGaming ecosystem” Mr Reed said enthusiastically.
As a result, Hard Rock and GiG will be looking to expand their partnership in other states. With at least a dozen more states looking to begin legal sports betting before the start of the 2019-20 NFL season, there is enormous potential for growth.
“We are positive that the extension of our partnership with GiG together with ‘skin’ partnerships with leading international operators will enable Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City to reach its ultimate goal of becoming New Jersey’s sports betting and online gaming market leader,” Hard Rock International’s Spajic concluded.