Across the United States, individual states are legalizing sports betting. Lawmakers are realizing the industry is big business and want a piece of the action. Sportsbooks are popping up at casinos while some states are opting for online as well. Tennessee is the first state to legalize mobile-only sports betting, due to no casinos in the state. One of the states to see the most success is New Jersey and newly launched operators are spending big bucks to get in on the action. Two new books in the mix have cost over $20 million to create.
To be successful in New Jersey, casinos have to be well-rounded. In today’s market, they require casino games, poker options and sports betting, along with dining, entertainment and hotel accommodations. Sports betting is the newest industry to launch in the state, offering players the opportunity to bet on their favorite teams or players.
Operators are spending a ton of cash to launch land-based and online options as they know sports betting is lucrative. The Borgata has spent $12 million to create a new sportsbook in Atlantic City called the Moneyline Bar & Book. Bally’s spend just a little less at $8.4 million to open their new sports betting venue.
Both casinos opened sportsbooks last summer but they were only temporary as larger facilities were under construction. Both projects are much larger and a complete upgrade to what they were offering previously.
Officials in the sports betting industry as well as analysts feel that sports betting is going to grow significantly in land-based form but more so online. During a recent conference in Atlantic City, executives reported that they feel as much as 90% of sports bets placed in the United States will be done online or via mobile within a five to ten year time frame.
Despite the belief that mobile will be the desired choice for players, casinos are still investing in their land-based offering. Operators are now relying on the experience rather than just sports betting actions. Fans of sports teams want to be able to watch the games and take part in physical interaction with other fans or even their rivals. Visiting a land-based sports book allows fans to visually experience the game they have wagered on in person, enjoying drinks and socializing with friends.
An example of an experience would be what Bally’s is offering. The casino has added private rooms to their sportsbook known as fan caves. In the caves, video screens can be broken up into four separate sports games. This way, fans can have a private room, enjoy drinks and food, plus wager on more than one game and catch all the action in one place. The casino also added a unique beer pong bar which is the first self-serve beer bar in the region.
At the Borgata, the casino decided to go for a more high-end look, calling their space Level One. The facility will not only offer sports betting but also host other events when business slows down.
The casinos in New Jersey wanted to offer something more than a simple transaction experience. Players want more interaction than just paying for their bet and then they are done. Having an area that provides experiences and social interaction ill have players coming back time and time again to place their bets and have fun.
It will be interesting to see how the two new venues are accepted by players and just how much business they see for the remainder of the year.