Caesars Entertainment to Open 3 Sportsbooks within 3 Weeks

Caesars Sportsbooks - Bally's Atlantic City Sportsbook - Harrah's Gulf Coast Bookmaker

Caesars will open two Atlantic City sportsbooks this week and a third one on the Gulf Coast in mid-August.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation plans to open sportsbooks in several New Jersey and Mississippi casinos in the next month, joining rival MGM Resorts in the sports gambling industry in both states. In a statement on Monday, Caesars announced it would open a sportsbook in two of its three Atlantic City casinos, as well as a Gulf Coast casino.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the Bally’s Atlantic City and Harrah’s Atlantic City casinos plan to open sportsbooks. Sometime in mid-August, the Harrah’s Gulf Coast casino plans to open a sportsbook.

All three operations will be supported by technology from Scientific Games Corp, the gaming software company best known for supplying lottery tickets in 44 US states. Caesars said this past week it might focus on mobile sports betting, if that form of gaming becomes legal.

In the UK and continental Europe, live/in-play sports betting apps are a popular way to gamble on smartphones.

Caesars Entertainment Mobile Sports Betting

Interstate sports betting is unlikely to be legalized in the foreseeable future. The 1961 Wire Act made interstate sports betting over telephone lines illegal. The 2006 UIGEA made any form of gambling that is illegal over phone lines also illegal over the Internet. At present, the US Justice Department views online and mobile sports betting as illegal, though online casinos and poker sites are legal — if a state legalizes such gaming.

Intrastate sports betting is legal in states which allow it, such as New Jersey. Setting up mobile sports betting platforms could be expensive on a state-by-state basis, though, so Caesars Entertainment might be waiting for a broad expansion before investing.

MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings

MGM Resorts got an early start on sports betting. In New Jersey, MGM’s Borgata was the first Atlantic City casino to open a sportsbook. On August 1, MGM Resorts plans to open sportsbooks in its two Mississippi casinos — Beau Rivage in Biloxi and Golden Strike Casino in Tunica. They will be the first casinos in Mississippi to have legal sports betting.

MGM Resorts also announced a joint venture with Isle of Man-based bookmaker GVC Holdings, which owns Ladbrokes-Coral Group and Gala Group. Both MGM Resorts and GVC plan to contribute $100 million apiece to a 50/50 sports betting tv broadcasts and sports betting sites in the United States. Presumably, the $200 million venture would carry the Ladbrokes brand.

Paddy Power-Betfair and FanDuel

To get a start on US operations, Paddy Power-Betfair announced a merger with FanDuel recently. Paddy Power-Betfair collected FanDuel’s 6 million US player database in the merger, allowing the Irish-UK bookmaker a strong entry into the US sports betting market.

FanDuel is going to provide sports betting-related content for Paddy Power’s TVG and TVG2 networks. Paddy Power, meanwhile, announced it would provide sports betting operations at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and (eventually) Tioga Downs in New York. Both racetracks are owned by Jeff Gural.

Meadowlands Sportsbook

In the first month of operation, Jeff Gural announced that the Meadowlands Racetrack collected $3.5 million in sports bets. At the moment, Meadowlands is the only sportsbooks within a few minutes ride from New York City’s greater metropolitan area, which contains 20 million residents.

Jeff Gural thanked the state of New York for not legalizing sports betting yet, since it provides him with a temporary monopoly on sportsbooks. If New York legalized sports betting, it would be a windfall for Gural’s Tioga Downs in Upstate New York, but it would also allow Genting Group’s Resorts World New York City to open a sportsbook.

Also in the New Jersey sports betting market, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City and Stars Group (PokerStars) have announced they would launch an online and mobile sports betting platform under the StarsBet brand. Stars Group has purchased CrownBet and SkyBet in the past six months, so it has the technical capacity and the resources to produce a world class mobile and online bookmaker site.

Caesars Entertainment’s sportsbooks will have plenty of competition.