Hard Rock and Tropicana eye sports licences in New Jersey

17 October 2018

New Jersey’s expanding sports betting market could be set for a further boost after it was revealed that Hard Rock International and Tropicana Entertainment have applied for licences to open sportsbooks at their properties in Atlantic City.

Documents made public by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) show that both companies are seeking a “transactional waiver to commence sports pool and online sports pool operations”. Hard Rock last week announced its sportsbook would be powered by GiG and would open before the end of the year, while Tropicana is partnered with William Hill. 

Hard Rock opened its rebranded Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City in June, while the Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City is one of the largest venues in the city and this year completed a major renovation project.

Should Hard Rock and Tropicana be successful in their applications, the waivers would be valid for six months while the full process of licensure continues in the background, according to the NJ Gambling Sites website.

Tropicana’s application comes after the company this month confirmed its acquisition by Eldorado Resorts in a deal worth $1.84bn (£1.40bn/€1.59bn). The move extends Eldorado’s reach into 26 land-based properties across 12 states.

Eldorado is working with Hills on an initiative that covers its digital and land-based sports betting operations in the US, while Tropicana also started working with Hills in New Jersey prior to the deal going through.

New Jersey has so far licensed eight sportsbooks after the state legalised sports betting in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on PASPA earlier this year.

The state has enjoyed a successful start to legalised sports wagering, with the NJDGE having last week revealed that sports betting revenue more than doubled month-on-month in September.

Licensed sportsbooks took around $184m last month, up from $96m in August. New Jersey brought in $104m via digital platforms, while the NJDGE said around $336m had been wagered since legalising such activities in mid-June.

Image: Farragutful