Last Updated: March 21, 2019
Brackets will allow DraftKings customers to fill out their selections directly on the sportsbook app. Players can join public or private contests to pit their prognostication skills against others.
These contests are not necessarily a quest for bragging rights either. DraftKings is hosting a free nationwide contest that will award $64,000 in cash prizes.
New Jersey residents will have an additional option on top of that. For a $20 buy-in, Garden Staters can play Brackets for a $100,000 prize pool.
“As American sports fans during March Madness, we are all playing bracket contests with our friends, family and co-workers,” said DraftKings Chief Revenue Officer Matt Kalish, in a statement.
“By launching Brackets on DraftKings Sportsbook, we are bringing the number one-way fans engage with March Madness to the biggest stage—DraftKings’ industry-leading fantasy sports and sportsbook apps.”
Players across the country can access and fill out their brackets through iOS or Android devices. Bracket access is also available at sportsbook.draftkings.com.
Partial bracket play will keep fans interested
One problem that bracket contests face is the conundrum of upsets. The NCAA Basketball Tournament has become almost synonymous with the underdog victory.
Unfortunately, these kinds of victories can and do wreak havoc upon predictions. A first-round loss from a player’s Final Four can kill their chances of any type of success.
The 2018 NCAA tournament had a perfect example of this kind of outcome. The University of Maryland – Baltimore County’s historic win as a 16-seed over the University of Virginia doomed thousands of prognostications across the country.
Many fans will simply throw up their hands when their initial predictions go down in flames. However, DraftKings has come up with a solution that will hopefully keep customers logged in.
Instead of one single tournament, DraftKings will host smaller contests after the tournament has already begun. Players will be able to fill out new brackets for both the Round of 32 and the Sweet 16.
In its press release, DraftKings also alluded that more contests for sports bettors and basketball fans are to come. So, all may not be lost if Cinderella comes knocking.
What are the smart selections for March Madness?
Of course, the difficulty is knowing when and where an underdog will rise.
The tournament’s single-elimination format means that there are no second chances, and a flat performance from a great team can be deadly.
Nevertheless, DraftKings Sportsbook in NJ has published odds for teams it expects to go far in the tournament.
Here are some of DraftKings’ frontrunners (with odds in parenthesis) as of March 12:
To reach the Final Four
- Duke (-200)
- Gonzaga (-118)
- Virginia (+100)
- Kentucky (+200)
- Michigan State (+200)
- North Carolina (+200)
- Tennessee (+200)
To win the NCAA Championship
- Duke (+250)
- Gonzaga (+550)
- Virginia (+600)
- Kentucky (+1200)
- Michigan State (+1200)
- North Carolina (+1200)
- Tennessee (+1200)
However, these seven selections can only get players so far. In order to pick the winners, one must study each matchup intensely and make the smart statistical selection.
Or, one can simply choose their favorite mascot or school colors of each game. That works, too. Sometimes.
Over time, Super Bowl “squares” contests have become as much a workplace staple as office gossip and politics.
The game is simple in concept and adds a little extra intrigue to the sports calendar’s proverbial national holiday. Typically, an 8.5 x 11 sheet with multiple rows and columns form boxes that have numbers within them. There are a number of variations of the game that have been developed over time.
However, the usual trigger for a cash is the second digit of the score of each team at the end of each quarter matching those belonging to a square one owns.
DraftKings Super Bowl Promo: Squares
For the upcoming 53rd edition of The Big Game, DraftKings Sportsbook is putting its own unique spin on the tried-and-true favorite of Super Bowl betting. The company’s aptly named Squares is free to play and feature a prize pool in excess of $50,000. There will be more cash added by DraftKings for every 100,000 entries in the contest.
And you don’t even have to be in New Jersey to play, according to DK, but it exists only on the Sportsbook app, not in the daily fantasy sports product.
Conventional versions of squares contests typically allow participants to gobble up multiple spots on the sheet. This ups an individual’s odds and increases the overall prize pool, potentially creating a demand for additional “sheets” in the process.
However, the trade-off to DK’s non-existent entry fee is that participants only get access to one square, which remains attached to that player for all quarters, including any overtime period (s).
The nuts and bolts of the contest are as follows:
- Before the Super Bowl kicks off, a player selects a square on a blank digital “board” that emulates that of a traditional money-based squares contest.
- Once the game begins, the numbers assigned to each square will be revealed.
- If the final digit of both team’s score at the end of each quarter matches the numbers on the participant’s square, that participant wins a cash prize.
- Each square on the board naturally can and will be selected by multiple users. Each user that selected a winning square will be awarded a matching, corresponding cash prize.
Another square product for the Super Bowl
The DraftKings Squares contest evokes some memories of a similar free-to-play game rolled out by primary competitor FanDuel for Super Bowl LII.
FD’s Big Game Bingo also had Super Bowl viewers paying rapt attention during the game to see if they’d score cash or prizes. However, that game was centered on props, both football and non-football related. It also featured other prizes besides direct cash payouts — gift cards for use at contest sponsor Game Stop and an XBox One Madden NFL 18 bundle were two such examples.
In contrast, DK ‘s contest focuses solely on football-based outcomes and cash. And as was the case with Big Game Bingo, there is no paid-entry version available for DraftKings Super Bowl Squares.
Things were going so well for DraftKings’ first-ever $2.5 million Sports Betting National Championship.
It was exciting. It brought fun and competition to sports betting.
Unfortunately, DraftKings couldn’t stick the landing.
So what happened at DraftKings was…
Held in New Jersey from Friday through Sunday, the DraftKings Sportsbook event had participants vying for $2.5M in total prizes. Whoever ran their starting bankroll up the highest by the final eligible game (Eagles vs. Saints) would take home $1 million for first.
Read The Lines live blogging of the event here.
Everything was going without a hitch until the very end.
Thanks to some garbage-time scoring, the Chargers vs. Patriots game ran late, ending a few minutes before the start of Eagles vs. Saints.
Bettors who had all or a significant chunk of their bankroll in Chargers vs. Patriots needed those wagers to be settled / graded out in order to get in on the Eagles vs. Saints game.
Some bettors were settled in time.
Buuuuut some weren’t.
And therein lies the rub.
Had Chargers vs. Patriots just gone on a few minutes longer, or had all bets on that game not been settled in time for Eagles vs. Saints, no problem. That’s not what happened.
One particularly high-profile competitor, former ESPN writer Rufus Peabody, was potentially impacted the most. Peabody, who was in first place, had his entire bankroll (save .01) tied up at the start of Eagles vs. Saints.
Balance $0.01. Game: started pic.twitter.com/0uPwb9Gcn3
— Rufus Peabody (@RufusPeabody) January 13, 2019
He ended up finishing third for $250,000.
Others surely were impacted to lesser degrees.
For more details, read Legal Sports Report here.
DraftKings handled this well, right?
DraftKings did quickly put out a statement regarding the controversy:
“The first ever Sports Betting National Championship was an incredibly thrilling event. We recognize that in the rules the scheduled end of betting coincided very closely to the finish of the of Patriots-Chargers game.
While we must follow our contest rules, we sincerely apologize for the experience several customers had where their bets were not graded in time to allow wagering on the Saints-Eagles game. We will learn from this experience and improve upon the rules and experience for future events.”
This is a perfectly fine first-step response. It’s factually accurate. Leading with “incredibly thrilling event” is a little tacky considering how payout timing impacted some participants and the general “come on, DraftKings” public perception building over this miscue. And the reality is they likely have a team of lawyers massaging every word of what the next statement will be. Understandable.
The contest itself was obviously flubbed at the end, and the first response was adequate though not great. DraftKings could have been more emphatic in their remorse and forceful in fixing the situation, but the reality is they quickly had to shift celebratory shilling to disaster mode.
This all sets up an interesting few weeks ahead.
What should DraftKings do now?
This is a difficult situation. First, let’s be clear: the overall concept of the contest was great. It’s a creative and fun way to generate excitement for sports betting, content and publicity for DraftKings, and could have been used as a template in other states.
When you hold events with gaming authority oversight, the very first things you must ask yourself is: “OK, what could go wrong here? And if something do goes wrong, what’s the fix?”
DraftKings might have asked themselves those questions, but they certainly didn’t have any implementable answers.
They’re stuck in impossible situation because of it.
They simply can’t issue Rufus Peabody a “make-good” settlement as that opens up a huge can-of-worms. First, you must trust that Rufus, or anyone else, is telling the truth over whatever wager was going to be placed. It’s possible not entering wagers in the final game was the best thing that could have happened to Rufus or others.
Here’s one suggested route for DraftKings to follow:
- Apologize profusely. Their initial statement, while all true and accurate, lacked a level of contrition for those negatively impacted or understanding of how this situation could snowball.
- Fix the contest rules. This is a given and was already hit upon by DraftKings, but if DraftKings is ever going to be allowed to hold such an event in New Jersey (or elsewhere) again, they must have contest rules that consider all worst-case scenarios and “emergency, break-glass” solutions. There’s a reason why people are playing BetStars and not BetTilt in New Jersey today. It’s because PokerStars had (among other things) an emergency plan it case things hit the fan. Hard lesson learned. DraftKings will hopefully issue their “how we’ll keep this from happening again” in short order.
- Be proactive with NJ Department of Gaming Enforcement. While maybe not this flippantly, DraftKings needs to have their Otter moment with New Jersey gaming. Reasonable people understand we’re all traveling into new frontiers with sports betting in America. In a situation like this, how you handle it usually determines the eventual outcome. Fess up, be proactive, offer solutions, collaborate, move on.
- Wait on NJ for answers. Unfortunately for those impacted, this is the safest route for DraftKings to take. You fall on the sword of New Jersey Gaming. Yes, still be proactive regulators, but ultimately let them dictate the solution. They’re the boss. As long as they’re working with regulators, DraftKings will likely have a say in the final outcome anyway. This is the safest and smartest path to follow.
While a mess, everything preceding the settlement issue was a positive showcase for sports betting. Hopefully, DraftKings gets the next steps right and is afforded a second chance.
It’s safe to say that 2018 was about as good of a year for sports betting in the U.S. as it could get (Assuming you like sports betting, which if you’re reading this site, it is a safe assumption.).
Can 2019 be better?
Here are 10 bold predictions for the new year. In short, expect more of what made 2018 great.
10. No less than nine states pass sports betting legislation
Why not start with one of the biggest ones?
Of all the states that have introduced sports betting bills, no less than nine will pass legislation in 2019. New York, Massachusetts, and Kentucky (via a Churchill Downs push) will lead the way, and these states should follow.
9. But California won’t be one of them
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 147 times, shame on me.
Whoever can finally get the competing California gaming interests to get on the same page needs to work on Palestinian-Israeli relations. The online poker push in California had many starts and stops thanks to card rooms, tribes, tracks and operators never getting on the same page.
The sports betting revenue pie exceeds online poker’s revenue greatly, and there’s real progress being made in the state legislature, but don’t expect California to pass a bill until 2020.
8. The next non-golf, made-for-betting event will be esports
The Match provided the template. Where can it go from there?
They’ll partner with an esports team, draw large viewing from a live stream and draw bettors in-house for real-time wagering on their mobile device.
7. ‘In-stadia’ betting gains momentum
On that note, “in-stadia” betting will gain steam. It won’t just be from whatever smart casino employs in-stadia betting for their esports event.
Las Vegas has shown the way, with the Knights and Lights bringing mobile betting into the arena/pitch.
As other states pass sports betting bills, teams will recognize the enormous potential for fan engagement with in-stadia betting. This won’t be a revenue mover for teams, necessarily, but will provide fans with new content and ways to interact during games.
6. Fiat-to-crypto onboarding solved
The single biggest impediment to crypto adoption on gambling platforms is the fiat-to-crypto onboarding process. There’s a bridge needed for the gap between gambling and crypto enthusiasts.
This issue will be solved in 2019, paving the way for holders to fund gaming accounts with cryptocurrency on a broader scale and more extensive adoption.
5. The NCAA takes a hardline stance
If there’s one potential glaring monkey wrench to trip up sports betting in the U.S., it’s in the college ranks.
The NCAA is rightfully concerned. While professional athletes have too much at stake, in most cases, to be persuaded in bribes or providing confidential information, that’s not the case with unpaid student-athletes.
Expect the NCAA to draw a line in the sand on this issue…
4. … and propose some form of revenue sharing
The model to use gambling as a means of subsidizing education isn’t new. The state of Georgia has used lottery proceeds to fund college scholarships going back to the early ’90s. While the NCAA should take a hardline stance, expect discussions around positive use of sports betting proceeds to further educational opportunities (via scholarships) this year.
3. But don’t expect athlete compensation to be discussed
OK; this isn’t very bold. But that’s not happening.
2. The NFL gets on the integrity fee wagon
The NFL is consistently progressive in making changes and adapting. That has not been the case when it comes to sports betting, as the NBA and Adam Silver have been real advocates and drivers there.
However, that will begin to change in 2019.
The NFL is ruthless in its efficiency in squeezing a dollar out of any and every opportunity, and it’s not going to let the sports betting rocket ship go into orbit without taking a seat in the cockpit with the other leagues. Look for the NFL to push for the most apparent monetization play, integrity fees, in 2019.
1. New Jersey eclipses Nevada in total wagers
We’re going super bold on the last one, as New Jersey has a ways to go still, but hear this out.
New Jersey has a unique pocket of singularly owning the northeast. The northeast is a sports fanatic hotbed, and the total population around New Jersey (when including just New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware) is approximately 39.5 million. That equals the approximate 39 million visitors to Las Vegas a year.
The college basketball season tipped off this week with more than 100 teams in action across the country. Before the season started most bettors were focused on getting down futures wagers for the team that will win the NCAA basketball championship in 2019. Now that there’s game action, the focus on betting is changing.
College basketball fans and bettors are now looking to wager on the many games that will take place until a champion is crowned at March Madness. This will be the first college hoops season where people outside of Nevada can wager on the games.
Since the repeal of PASPA, states have created different regulations for sports betting. Placing wagers on college basketball games this season will be different depending on where you watch and wager on the games.
Different rules for different states
Delaware and Mississippi do not allow sports bettors to wager online from a computer or mobile device. Gamblers must physically be inside of a sportsbook to place a wager in these two states.
New Jersey allows bettors to wager in a sportsbook and on a computer or mobile device. Nevada allows bettors to wager in a sportsbook and on a mobile device. Even though both states allow mobile betting there’s a difference on which games they can wager on.
No college sports betting on home teams in New Jersey
New Jersey residents can wager on college sports as long as the game doesn’t involve a university or venue in the state. Seton Hall, Princeton, and Rutgers fans in New Jersey won’t be able to place wagers on their team unless the leave the state.
Likewise, college basketball fans won’t be able to wager on the Air Force Reserve Boardwalk Classic in Atlantic City on Dec. 15 or the Boardwalk Battle on Dec. 21 and 22. Of course, bettors who need action can drive 90 minutes to Delaware Park Casino.
Missisissipi, Delaware, and Nevada don’t have restrictions on betting on college sports.
Betting on college hoops in Nevada
Nevada college basketball fans and bettors have the best scenario. Anyone with a mobile sports wagering account can wager on all college sports. Bettors can even wager on college sports while watching the games in person.
UNLV and University of Nevada games are just the tip of the iceberg for betting on college basketball in Nevada. Once again Las Vegas will be home to the Pac 12, West Coast Conference, Mountain West, and WAC conference tournaments. Conference tournament week in a casino is great. Being able to watch and wager on some of those games in person is even better.
It’s said that they wouldn’t erect giant casinos in the desert if the public knew what it was doing.
For one Sunday, at least, the public massively proved that maxim wrong.
Las Vegas sportsbooks took historic losses on Sunday’s NFL games.
According to David Purdum at ESPN, Vegas sportsbooks lost between $7-10 million on Sunday’s NFL slate. Given the modeling and advanced analytical information at bookmaker’s fingers, how did this happen?
Three games really decimated the books
Three public and popular picks made it a bloodbath for Vegas. The Minnesota Vikings (-5.5), Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5), and Kansas City Chiefs (-8) were all bet heavily. There wasn’t much suspense in any of those games.
The Chiefs as an 8-point road favorite particularly left a mark, with close to 90% of the action on them covering (they won 37-21, the outcome never really in doubt).
Purdum quoted Jay Rood, MGM’s VP of race and sports, as saying, “We were pretty much done at that point.” Rood also said it was in his personal “Top 10” list of worst NFL Sundays.
While three games created most damage, it wasn’t limited to just those contests. Teams that took the majority of spread bets went 11-0 ATS on Sunday. That simply doesn’t happen often (if ever).
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) November 5, 2018
Three weeks in a row of this
Even more surprising, this Sunday’s battering caps off a three-week run of losses for Vegas books. The losses stretched beyond the Silver State, as newly opened sportsbooks in New Jersey and Mississippi took hits as well.
“In a great weekend of NFL matchups, the players had their best week of the season as it was one of the worst weeks for sportbooks in recent memory,” said Mattias Stetz, COO at Rush Street Interactive, which runs PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook in NJ. “Our worst result by far was the Chiefs covering vs. the Browns. The Chiefs are now 8-1 against the spread and have consistently been outperforming oddsmakers and attracting heavy betting interest.”
The pendulum on these things tends to swing and eventually lands back in the sportsbook’s favor. September of this year saw record numbers for Nevada, with sportsbooks winning over $56M for the month.
Expect a market correction for November and some articles on TheLines about the public giving those winnings right back to the casinos.
A day after MGM Resorts released its own online sportsbook, SugarHouse has entered the online sports betting market. In fact, SugarHouse just became the first New Jersey gambling site to integrate its sportsbook into its online casino.
The announcement came as a bit of a surprise, to be sure. However, the flood of activity in the nascent New Jersey market means that companies are pumping out their sports betting products as quickly as possible.
The most striking thing about the new sportsbook is how seamlessly it appeared on the playsugarhouse.com site. A casual visitor might not even see the navigation option at the top of the site.
However, sports betting on SugarHouse is underway, and the new sportsbook features a wide variety of wagers for players to choose. Some of the types include:
SugarHouse is also implementing an in-game cashout system for players to use on open bets. This system seems to be similar to the live ticket system at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Essentially, players can cash out their tickets at any point throughout the game. The site will automatically calculate a running cashout total and display it prominently on the screen for each bet.
Obviously, players pay a premium if they pull the trigger on the cashout. In other words, the amount of the cashout will be a percentage of what the bet would actually pay upon completion.
SugarHouse integration leads to more opportunities for players
Because SugarHouse integrated the sports betting feature with its online casino, it is considerably easier for players to switch back and forth to their favorite games. SugarHouse is a well-developed site, with over 450 slots and table games on the casino side.
The integration also extends to bonuses and the player’s wallet. Adding sports betting means that SugarHouse can offer more targeted combination promotions to players, leading to happier customers and more loyal play. Players can also receive rewards points for any type of bet onsite.
SugarHouse operates in New Jersey by virtue of a partnership with Golden Nugget Atlantic City. Like its land-based host, playsugarhouse.com features live dealer gaming along with its purely online gaming.
Gaming operator Rush Street Interactive owns both the online casino and sportsbook. The Pennsylvania company also owns four land-based casinos. Obviously, players can earn rewards online that are redeemable at these locations:
- Rivers Casino – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- SugarHouse – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Rivers Casino – Des Plaines, Illinois
- Rivers Casino – Schenectady, New York
New Jersey sports betting market changes and grows almost daily
The SugarHouse debut makes it the second online sportsbook to go live in New Jersey this week. The releases ended DraftKings Sportsbook’s de facto monopoly on online sports betting, which lasted three full weeks.
That said, the release is part of an almost feverish amount of flux in both New Jersey and the entire United States. Partnerships have formed at breakneck speed during the last two months.
As one might imagine, the US Supreme Court‘s dismissal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, generated a great deal of excitement in the country. Suddenly, legal sports betting seemed to be coming somewhere near everyone.
Now, two months later, there are seven states with legalized sports betting. Four of them are already accepting wagers.
Many more states are expected to legalize in the next five years. One swing of a gavel can sometimes change the whole world – at least in the world of gambling.
Earlier in August, daily fantasy sports industry leader and newly minted sports betting provider DraftKings one-upped a bevy of more established names in becoming the first operator to offer online sports betting in New Jersey. The DraftKings SportsBook had a “soft launch” beginning Aug. 1 and officially went live Aug. 6
Now, two-plus weeks later, they have some company. The playMGM sports betting app – which utilizes one of the MGM-owned Borgata Casino online sports betting licenses – made its debut Wednesday afternoon. Currently, the app is the only digital option for Borgata customers, as there is not yet a web-based counterpart. Moreover, it’s only available for Android users at present, although an iOS version is reportedly imminent. Residents must be at least 21 years of age to create an account and make deposits.
Notably, Borgata Casino was even more ahead of the curve when it came to launching land-based sports betting in New Jersey. The Atlantic City casino joined Monmouth Park as one of the first two operators in the state to begin accepting wagers back on June 14.
Full array of wagering options/sports offerings
The Garden State version of the playMGM sports betting app will be very similar to the more established Nevada edition in certain aspects. However, according to reports, there will be notable differentiation between odds offered in New Jersey and those offered to Silver State customers.
There is synergy when it comes to the types of wagers offered. These include:
- Point Spreads/Run Lines
- Money Lines
- Proposition Betting
- Live In-Play Wagering
As expected, wagers will be accepted on all major team-based and individual sports, including:
- NASCAR and other motor racing events
- Soccer (various leagues)
- Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts
Below you’ll find the step-by-step instructions for downloading the playMGM app for Android devices:
- Visit the playMGM website and download the app. Make sure you allow playMGM to use your device’s location so it knows you are located in New Jersey.
- Follow corresponding instructions for making an initial deposit. Deposits are accepted via bank transfer and credit card.
Leave it to those pushy Northeasterners to try and set the pace for everyone else.
It seems that the combination good old-fashioned homerism and a few bucks in New Jersey has had a far-reaching, topsy-turvy effect on Super Bowl odds all the way out in the desert. A recent PIX11 report spotlighted the flurry of activity that Monmouth Park, Borgata and Ocean Resort Casino have all seen in Big Game futures bets on the Giants in particular.
Unsurprisingly, the defending champion Eagles, with their fervent North Jersey following, aren’t far behind. The lowly Jets are seeing brisk action in their own right, too – even the goofy kid is getting a little lovin’.
Oddsmakers having to adjust on the fly
Bookmakers have had to adjust accordingly in their properties out west.
William Hill has come down from their original 40/1 odds on the Giants winning the Super Bowl LIII to 25/1, largely because of the volume of tickets written in New Jersey.
MGM, which also had 40/1 odds on the G-Men back in late January, has followed suit and made an even more drastic cut – bettors now have to settle for 15/1 if wagering on Big Blue to go all the way. And that sneaky longshot that once was the Jets at 100/1? Those odds have been sliced almost in half due to the Garden State’s flurry of tickets, now sitting at a slightly less appealing 60/1.
The ripple effect has been predictable, but given that Nevada has essentially had sports betting all to itself for decades, also unprecedented prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to eradicate PASPA.
Hints of regional bias had already started emerging earlier this summer. Unsurprisingly, traditionally Lakers-leaning Vegas sportsbook patrons have been plunking down plenty of cash on LA in terms of NBA Finals futures; however, the Celtics hold the distinction of top dog in New Jersey on those same wagers, even post LeBron-signing.
A sign of the times, and it’s likely to continue
These types of circumstances are likely to become increasingly commonplace, at least in states that boast both legalized sports betting and a proximate professional team or two. Bookmakers that operate multiple properties around the country may be in “tweak mode” from time to time as a result, especially while the number of states taking action remains relatively sparse.
And it may not necessarily be limited to futures bets, of course. We could certainly see similar night-to-night — or in the case of football, week-to-week — patterns emerge as each major sport goes through its first full season in a post-PASPA world. To that end, the 2018 NFL campaign should be one of the most intriguing ever from a sports betting perspective, even with only a handful of states accepting wagers.
It could develop into a phenomenon somewhat akin to All-Star Game fan voting, where “popularity bias” often ruins a good thing for someone else. In that scenario, it’s typically a deserving player that gets shut out of an honor due to another’s name recognition and past accomplishments.
The sports betting equivalent — sharp players missing out on potentially bigger scores due to bookmakers mitigating risk on certain underdogs more than they normally had to in the past.
All because some J-E-T-S fans think there’s at least a smidgen of a chance they can ride on Josh McCown’s shoulders all the way to February — and a massive payday.
Maybe Eminem was wrong. Maybe you DON’T only get one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment. Maybe you do get another shot after missing your chance to blow. Just maybe, more than one opportunity comes once in a lifetime.
Just ask New Jersey.
After all, the Garden State took a stab at legalizing sports betting back in 2014, only to be brought to court by the Big 4: NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL. New Jersey filed an appeal and was shot down. It appealed again and was flattened like the chair then-Gov. Chris Christie sat in.
Let’s check in with Eminem to get his reaction to that number of opportunities.
New Jersey was not even the first state to legalize sports betting. That honor went to Delaware. Hi. I’m in … Delaware. Yet like Rudy against Georgia Tech, the game jersey went to Jersey. The Garden State now has a well-deserved and fitting honor to be the first at something, as New Jersey becomes the first state outside of Nevada to roll out mobile sports betting.
Filling up on apps
Whose favorite sports documentary isn’t Rudy? Heresy, if it ain’t. In a way, New Jersey’s drawn-out battle for legalized sports betting is mirrored in the film, particularly with the title character, who may have been a “5-foot nothin’, 100 and nothin'” bumbling Notre Dame football wannabe, but offered quotes with which Jersey can certainly relate:
“We’re gonna go inside, we’re gonna go outside, inside and outside. We’re gonna get ’em on the run boys and once we get ’em on the run we’re gonna keep ’em on the run. And then we’re gonna go go go go go go and we’re not gonna stop til we get across that goal line.”
Rudy also took one thing to heart, something his ol’ buddy Pete offered: “Well, you know what my dad always said: Having dreams is what makes life tolerable.”
New Jersey clinged to its dream of regulated wagering. Not only is it now a reality, but the state is now at the forefront of a new era in a still-young world of sports betting.
DraftKings unveiled its mobile DraftKings Sportsbook on Wednesday after the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement approved the application of the daily fantasy sports giant and Resorts, whose sports betting license DraftKings used to get a foot in the door.
That came mere hours after Caesars Entertainment announced plans to launch its merged Caesars Casino & Sports app (“coming soon,” the company says) to take sports betting online in time for football season.
And that was a day after MGM Resorts International became “the official gaming partner” of the NBA at a press conference that concluded with MGM CEO Jim Murren, as an aside, noted that “we’ll be taking mobile bets from Borgata and playMGM in New Jersey” by the end of this week. (“OK, yeah, thanks for coming, guys. Don’t forget to grab a snack on your way out, Parker here needs a ride home, and also mobile sports betting is coming. K, Byyyyyye.”)
Within a few days, three companies were knee-deep in mobile wagering. Forget “Lose Yourself.” Jersey’s got only one Eminem song on repeat: “Remember Me?”
Welcome to the new age
No world has ever existed like it does today. For sports betting, New Jersey has the machete and is hacking away at the jungle ahead.
For years, the state has been at the forefront of the fight for regulated wagering. It earned all 49 states (not including Nevada) an opportunity to integrate the industry into their economies. Delaware — friggin’ Delaware — stole the spotlight like a neglected middle child begging for Mommy’s approval by becoming the first non-Nevada state to debut sportsbooks.
Now, New Jersey finally has its chance to shine. Enjoy that sack, Rudy. Now off you go.