Crossing Broad's Kyle Scott put together a great primer on New Jersey sports betting

Hello, Bob’s Blitz readers. Longtime fan of the site here. I’m Kyle Scott and I run CrossingBroad.com, a Philly sports blog with different allegiances but similar views on the weird world of sports (even if I hate the Mets with every fiber of my being).

One thing I’m guessing many of us can agree on is our love of sports betting. We’ve been following the developments in the recent legal landscape very closely and a few weeks ago I reached out to the Blitz and asked if I could offer up a primer to you because it’s actually kind of confusing where and how it will be implemented in New Jersey and across the country.

You sure can, they said.

As you probably already know, casino-based sports betting is up and running in New Jersey at Monmouth Park, the Borgata, Ocean Resort, and, most recently, the Meadowlands, where FanDuel opened its first sportsbook. There are plans to bring casino-based betting to Harrah’s, Hard Rock and others.

But what we really care about is online betting. There are plenty of offshore sites, which you can play at your own risk or peril, but the legal stuff is coming to New Jersey soon, and that’s gonna change the game significantly.

First, it’s good to know that the sportsbooks you use may be a front - or “skin” - for the casino backing it. In New Jersey, there’s a complex web of regulations that prevent just anyone from opening a sportsbook. And since most of the licensed casino operators in the state don’t currently run one, they’ll have to partner with an existing brand or platform to bring one to market.

DraftKings

Unsurprisingly, DraftKings CEO Jason Robbins immediately took the sports betting ball and ran with it after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a law effectively banning it. In New Jersey, DraftKings has partnered with Resorts, as well as with Kambi, a gambling platform provider. What this means is that their sports betting app will likely be ready to go by football season in New Jersey, but they’ll be using Kambi’s technology and will be backed by Resorts. My bet is that they will immediately become one of the largest players in the space given both their brand recognition and the sheer amount of email addresses they have on file. And they have some experience with modern user interface, which many modern casino apps surely lack.

FanDuel

Really interesting here. They were actually bought out by Betfair, the large European gambling company. In the US, they’ll go by FanDuel Group and keep on their same CEO. Like DraftKings, they have brand recognition and a customer base to rely on. More interesting, whereas Resorts will be working with a different provider for its casino-based sportsbook, FanDuel is powering the one at the Meadowlands, which opened on Saturday. They have already announced that their online sports betting offering will be live by football season.

William Hill

I’m somewhat surprised they aren’t already live. They were ready to go at Monmouth Park and already have an app that exists in Nevada, so it seems like it would be an easy flip of the switch. I know some companies have turned over their code to regulators to approve, so I’d imagine William Hill is one of them. They are a leader in Britain and Nevada, so they’ll be immediately compelling and have experience with in-play bets, which is a huge growth area for the legal market, but they don’t have quite the same brand recognition that DraftKings and FanDuel do.

888sport

Bet 888 is a large gambling company out of Europe that offers a range of online options, including some already in New Jersey. They are said to have their sports betting app ready to go in weeks. Despite the somewhat sketchy name, they are a major player which has their act together and seems ready to aggressively pursue the New Jersey market. They may wind up becoming a large brand you start seeing everywhere.

bet365

The biggest soccer betting platform in Britain, bet365 just partnered with the Hard Rock Casino, so you know where this is going. Unlike the other sites mentioned here, they seem to be lagging behind, so I bet they’ll bring something to market after these other sites.

Can you bet only in state?

All of these sites and apps will be geo-targeted, meaning you’ll be able to use them so long as you are PHYSICALLY located in the state, much the way daily fantasy sites do now. What does this mean for someone who works in New York or Philly? Not sure. Regulators are searching for a way to address this use-case, but to start, you will most likely have to be located within the state when placing your bets.

How expensive will the vig be?

This is the biggest question. Offshore sportsbooks have no overhead regulation to worry away, so they can offer compelling odds. Legal sports betting sites will have to deal with taxes and they’ll likely pass the cost along to the consumer in the way of worse odds. Initial feedback was that odds in Atlantic City were expensive. The industry knows, however, that it’s competing with a successful offshore market, so my guess is over time these come more in line with what we’ve come to expect.

The long story short is online sports betting is coming to New Jersey soon with several sites expecting to be up and running by football season. For those of you in New Jersey, we’ve put together a New Jersey sports betting guide that will be updated and that will review each of these sites once they go live. For everyone else, we have our best sports betting sites pages which will keep track of where these apps are live.

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