Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings announced a multi-state partnership on Monday that will allow the DraftKings Sportsbook access to states where Caesars Entertainment already has existing land-based casinos.
In return, Caesars Entertainment will receive an ownership stake in DraftKings and access to its customer database.
DraftKings has access to operate in 12 states
DraftKings will now have the ability to offer online gaming products like sports betting and casino games in states that have legalized those games and products. The company currently operates an online sportsbook and casino in just one state — New Jersey — while also running a retail sportsbook in Mississippi. Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment operates casinos in the following 13 states across the U.S. Unfortunately for DraftKings, they’ll only have accee to 12 states.
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
DraftKings already operates in New Jersey with Resorts Casino. The deal with Caesars is very new, so there’s no word if it will change affiliation in the Garden State.
New states for DraftKings
DraftKings will have to apply for an online gaming license in states that Caesars operates and where sports betting and online gaming are legal. Caesars operates a casino in Chester, PA, which would have given DraftKings access to the 12 million residents in the Keystone State. Unfortunately, this deal doesn’t include access to Pennsylvania. That’s most likely because casinos may only be allowed a single skin when mobile betting becomes legal in PA.
DraftKings has a sordid past with Nevada. They’re part of the reason that Nevada residents can’t play traditional daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. The Nevada Gaming Control Board requires DFS operators to have a gaming license.
The future in Nevada for DraftKings is currently unclear since the state doesn’t allow new customers to sign up for sports wagering accounts unless they do so in person at a casino sportsbook.
The Caesars side of the deal
While DraftKings will gain access to new markets, there’s another side to this deal. Caesars Entertainment now has an equity stake in DraftKings. Caesars Entertainment will earn a piece of DraftKings’ gaming revenue in states where the partnership is active.
Additionally, DraftKings will promote Caesars Entertainment as its official casino resort partner in the states where the companies work together. This will provide marketing opportunities for Caesars Entertainment to potential new customers that might not be in the existing Caesars Rewards database of more than 50 million people.
Caesars Entertainment will continue to offer their own branded sports betting and online casino apps in each of the states where they have casinos. This will continue to maintain their primary access in each state.
On an earnings call last week, Caesars Entertainment’s CEO Mark Frissora said they are upgrading their New Jersey retain sportsbooks. They will be taking The Book concept that debuted at The Linq in Las Vegas to New Jersey later this year.
New Jersey legalized sports betting is expanding at a rapid pace. The sportsbooks available in the Garden State include seven Atlantic City casinos, two racetracks, and eight mobile online products available. And there are more to come.
In this article, we’re going to focus on the mobile apps available in New Jersey. Each of the sites have their strong points, and it really comes down to personal preference and searching for the best odds.
Here is a closer look at the eight options.
Land-based partner: Resorts Atlantic City
Available via: iOS, Android and web browser
Super Bowl Promo: Free $25 (no deposit) and bet match up to $500 (no promo code needed)
DraftKings, one of two DFS heavyweights to cross over to the sports betting world, surprised many by jumping to the front of the New Jersey mobile sports betting line on Aug. 16 — a full 16 days before MGM went live.
Deposit options are limited compared to others on this list, but PayPal was added as an important option for bettors. The $5 minimum deposit is light on the wallet, but $500 will earn you the full promo amount. Withdrawals are processed via checks and the Resorts casino cage.
Although the apps are separate, users of the DFS and sports betting sites enjoy the benefit of the sites being linked, including a shared wallet.
The betting carousel is extremely user-friendly. And the geolocation technology is top-notch. If you’re not located in NJ, users will not be able to see the lobby. The app automatically logs users out after a short period of inactivity. Wagers can only be placed online as DraftKings does not have a retail operation.
For more information visit our DraftKings Sportsbook review page.
Land-based partner: Meadowlands Racetrack
Available via: iOS, Android and web browser
Super Bowl Promo: Risk-free bet up to $500 (with deposit)
FanDuel, another big-time player in the DFS world, merged with Paddy Power Betfair’s U.S. operations, resulting in the “largest online sports destination in the United States.” Name recognition is key, and so is having a strong sportsbook app.
There are several deposit and withdrawal options at FanDuel Sportsbook, making it easy to get in the action. The promo bonus is enough to attract attention, but several others are offering higher amounts.
Bettors can wager on all of the popular sports, and those not quite as popular. The full menu of betting options includes everything from moneyline to round robins, and of course the previously talked about in-play betting.
The live scoreboard feature allows users to track wagers and updated odds, with easy links to in-game bets. Sports betting rookies can take advantage of the informative FanDuel training camp.
For more information visit our FanDuel Sportsbook review page.
Land-based partner: Resorts
Available via: iOS, Android; web browser in the works
Promo: New players earn up to $500 in free bets
The sports betting product is the newest under the Stars Group umbrella, joining the already established PokerStars NJ and PokerStars Casino.
The eight deposit methods ($10 minimum) include VISA, MasterCard, PayNearMe, eCheck, and casino cage, offering plenty of customer convenience. There are five withdrawal options.
Wagers are accepted on all the popular sports — football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer — and less popular sports such as tennis and cycling. Besides the popular wager options, there are in-game betting and cash out options. Odds boosts are available daily.
Users of the multiple Stars Group platforms have access to a shared wallet available to use in poker/casino and sports betting apps.
The iOS PokerStars NJ app highlights popular games with betting options and other sports posted above. The downside is bets cannot currently be placed via the web browser.
For more information, visit our BetStars how-to guide.
Land-based partner: Caesars Atlantic City
Available via: Android, iOS and web browser
Super Bowl Promo: Upt to $300 in free bets on first deposit (Use promo code BETFREE10)
One thing missing from the Caesars Atlantic City property is a retail sportsbook. But sister properties Harrah’s and the connected Bally’s do have one. The flagship property took a different route by rolling out its mobile/online product first, and it’s combined with the previously existing casino app.
Besides the eight deposit methods, the lobby features a full menu of sports wagers grouped by sport, MLB, NBA and NCAA football games take center stage, but it’s easy to filter personal preferences.
Bettors will find money lines, point spreads, parlays, futures, teasers, and props, but in-game and cash out features are not included at this time.
Total Rewards members will enjoy the added perk of earning tier credits.
Land-based partner: Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Available via: Android, iOS and web browser
Promo: First deposit match up to $250 (Use promo code PLAY250)
The brick-and-mortar SugarHouse calls Philadelphia home, but the digital version is holding its own in New Jersey thanks to its strong affiliation with the Golden Nugget — the state’s Internet/mobile gaming leader. As an added bonus the sportsbook is built into the previously existing casino app (featuring more than 450 table games and slots) for an all-in-one package with a shared wallet.
Users will enjoy the 10 deposit options — four of which can be used for withdrawals. All of the popular American sports are on the board with a variety of betting options available — jackpot parlay included. Everything is easily accessible via the very busy looking lobby, which may be distracting to some as a result of the rotating promo ads and news feed.
Operator Rush Street Interactive has played up the strength of its live betting options for football games with more than 300 offers available the first week of the NFL season. Cash Out option is available, too.
For more information, visit our SugarHouse how-to guide.
Land-based partner: Caesars Atlantic City
Available via: Android and web browser (iOS coming soon)
Promo: $10 Free Bonus (no deposit needed); First deposit match up to $500
888 Holdings continues to go all in with its New Jersey mobile/online offerings as 888sport joins 888poker and 888 Casino. 888 bills its sports betting platform as “among the finest in the world.” It was the seventh sports betting platform to go live in NJ. Users have access to a shared wallet between sports betting, poker, and casino.
Customers can choose between eight deposit options along with five withdrawal methods. The welcome promo is currently among the best being offered.
There is a full menu of popular pro and international sports all types of wagers available, in-game betting included. Everything is easily accessible from the lobby that includes a running scoreboard of current games.
iOS users will need to wait a tad longer as the web browser still has the “coming soon message.”
For more information, visit our 888sport how-to guide.
Land-based partners: Monmouth Park and Ocean Casino Resort
Available via: Android, iOS and web browser
Promo: $50 cash after reaching $50 in total bets
William Hill is investing heavily in New Jersey with retail operations at Monmouth Park (where New Jersey’s first legal sports bet was accepted) and Ocean Casino Resort, with another one in the works at the Tropicana.
William Hill’s hard push in NJ comes as no surprise being that they bill themselves as “America’s sports betting leader.” Besides operating 100-plus sportsbooks in Nevada, the company rolled out the New Jersey version of its Android and web browser platforms in time for the NFL season. The iOS app was launched in late September 2018.
The deposit and withdrawal methods are a bit limited compared to some competitors, but William Hill has been doing this for a long time, so the system is working. All of the major sports are on the board with a full variety of betting options, live betting included. Everything is easily accessible from the lobby.
The welcome promo is not as attractive as others — $50 in free money compared to much larger deposit matches at 888sport, BetStars and DraftKings.
Web browser users may experience some confusion if connected to the informational williamhill.us/new-jersey website, which includes links to the Nevada version of the app. Customer service representatives are in hand to help resolve the issue. Instead of searching Google Play, Android users will have an easier time downloading the app via nj.us.williamhill.com/betting/en-us.
Land-based partner: Borgata
Available via: Android devices
Promo: None at this time
The Borgata is the top-performing casino in Atlantic City and is regularly ahead of the pack with its offerings. The MGM-owned property was ready to go with its retail operation the first day sports bets were accepted in New Jersey. Some were likely surprised that the playMGM Sports Android app was not the first to launch. For now, it’s completely separate from the casino and poker apps.
While MGM has name recognition, the app seems extremely basic compared to the Las Vegas version that is designed with strong graphics. The betting options are displayed within the individual sports menus. Users will not be able to access the lobby without creating/logging into account — another difference from the Las Vegas version. No deposit is required to check out the app.
Seven available deposit options make it easy to get in the game.
The biggest remaining question is when, as in when will the app be available to iOS and web browser users? Combined with a lack of a promo offer, bettors may find others options on this list more attractive.
Of all the major sports leagues, the National Football League always had taken the most draconian public stance against gambling, and more specifically, sports betting.
The NFL has come a long way, baby.
Aside from the issuing of injury reports as its wink-wink, nudge-nudge recognition of sports betting, the NFL hasn’t been kind to those with an affinity toward gambling. This is the same organization which lobbied for and supported the UIGEA, and just a few years ago put the kibosh on Tony Romo’s fantasy sports fan expo in Las Vegas.
With the repeal of PASPA, it was only a matter of time before the NFL got into the sports gambling action. That it got in so aggressively and quickly is somewhat a surprise for the NFL, but it also makes sense.
And after watching its rival MGM ink deals with the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, Caesars going all-in with the NFL seemed like a given. With familiarities between their respective management teams, the road to a smooth and speedy integration exists, as does significant financial upside for both.
What’s the potential impact for consumers?
This deal is wide-reaching for Caesars. Along with their 10 Vegas properties, Caesars operates in 13 states. This provides the NFL with regional properties for fan-based events and promotions, something in Caesars best interest as well as it can drive new, likely younger, customers into properties.
On that note, the likely biggest benefit for Caesars’ customers begins and ends with loyalty programs and points. Caesars Total Rewards could be used for NFL game-specific promotions and contests. Providing incentivized tier credits around NFL promotions would benefit Caesars customers (rewards) and Caesars corporate (building the database).
Further, as stated in the NFL release:
Beginning with the upcoming 2019 NFL playoffs, this multiyear sponsorship is focused on Caesars providing unique experiences for NFL fans by using its casino properties, celebrity chefs, premier music artists and a wide range of entertainment elements.
This creates some interesting potential content plays. Think Gordon Ramsey during a FOX broadcast releasing exclusive recipes, interactive property-centric deals for show tickets, or game/team specific bets all pushed through the Caesars app.
The ability for the NFL to leverage Caesars properties for fan events during an opening weekend, the playoffs and Super Bowl opens the door for interesting fan experiences as well. The Strip (or at least Caesars properties on the Strip) could turn into immediate fan hubs, with music acts and a New Year’s Eve-like feel, with exclusive access for certain events driven through rewards points.
Of course, ideas are one thing, execution is another. There are a lot of moving parts here, but it is in both the NFL’s and Caesars’ best interest to get it right and deliver a little something extra for fans and consumers.
Pro sports leagues (pre-May 2018): Sports betting is the scourge of the earth and will ruin the integrity of our games.
Also pro sports leagues (post-May 2018): How fast and in how many ways can we get paid on this sports betting thing?
The latter is the new normal in a post-PASPA landscape. The cash grab initiative actually predates the May 14 Supreme Court decision. The request for the now infamous integrity fees first popped up in an Indiana sports betting bill back in January. The league would attempt to incorporate them – along with official data fees – in the bills for numerous other states.
They’d unanimously be rebuffed.
Leagues, teams getting more intertwined with gambling
Having repeatedly run into a legislative brick wall on that front thus far, the leagues are starting to adjust on the fly. In the spirit of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”, the NBA and NHL have already struck partnerships that include remuneration for official statistical data with MGM Resorts International.
As it turns out, that was only the tip of the iceberg. Individual teams in states with legalized sports betting are also getting in on the action with their own deals.
This month also saw:
- The NFL’s New York Jets — which play their home games in sports betting-friendly New Jersey — signed a sponsorship deal with 888 Casino.
- Caesars Entertainment found willing partners in both the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers for its own marketing deal. In the case of the Devils, the agreement includes a second sports betting lounge inside the team’s Prudential Center arena. The first will be William Hill-branded in a deal signed the week prior. Fans will be able to make bets through the respective sportsbooks’ apps within the lounges.
- The Jets signed a second deal during the week, this time with MGM Resorts International as their official gaming partner. The relationship will include a free-to-play predictive game within the Jets’ official app entitled “I Called It” that will offer prizes and other giveaways.
- To cap off things off, the focus fittingly was on the “O.G.” of U.S.-based sports betting — Nevada. Caesars Entertainment signed a 15-year agreement that makes it an initial founding partner of the forthcoming state-of-the-art home of the Las Vegas Raiders. The stadium is expected to be ready by the start of the 2020 season.
Money, as it always has, talks
Leagues and teams only occasionally flirted with the gaming industry as a whole prior to the eradication of PASPA. A few teams did have sponsorship agreements with local casinos. However, with sports betting essentially limited to just Nevada, the possibility of a marketing agreement with a sportsbook was a moot point — there weren’t any outside of the Silver State.
Therefore, the leagues had the luxury of pretending that point spreads, over/unders and the like were more or less dirty words that were never uttered or thought about. Yet all the while, an unquantifiable but relevant chunk of the audience on each of their games had some action riding on the contest, whether legally or not.
As it turns out, the progressive legalization of sports betting is not only bringing the public’s widespread craving for the activity out of the shadows — it’s shining a light on the voracious appetite the leagues and their teams have for it as well. In the latter case, the appeal comes in the significant amount of revenue and cross-promotion that the agreements they’re inking at a breakneck pace can bring.
Perks and features of new deals to be felt at fan level
And some of the details in these newly-forged alliances have the potential to reshape and enhance the way that fans experience both their local teams and local casinos. The Devils’ implementation of two sports betting-themed lounges with televisions and odds boards is one such new amenity.
MGM’s agreement to extend “expanded hospitality offerings” at their properties to Jets season ticket holders is another. The thought of Gang Green superfan Fireman Ed getting a complimentary aromatherapy massage to relieve the stress of attending games at MetLife Stadium brings quite the chuckle.
The Vegas stadium deal for Caesars takes things to a whole other level. Select Caesars customers and members of the casino’s Total Rewards program will have a chance for VIP dinners on the field, access to a Caesars-branded suite situated overlooking midfield, tours of the stadium and entry into special events at the team’s training facility.
And of course, while none of these new partnerships involve a physical sportsbook being placed inside a team’s arena or stadium, the possibility already exists for fans to place wagers on their mobile devices while at the events themselves in states where it’s legal to do so.
The fact that they’ll often be in sensory overload with respect to the signage, billboards and other forms of exposure for sportsbooks that these marketing deals enable should only help encourage that extra level of engagement.