ATLANTIC CITY — In the span of about an hour, two casinos opened sports books Wednesday morning.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City and Resorts Casino Hotel both opened temporary sports books, joining Bally’s Atlantic City, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino in offering the new gaming amenity. Caesars Atlantic City, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Tropicana Atlantic City do not currently offer sports betting.
The first sports wager placed at both Golden Nugget and Resorts was on the New York Giants to win the Super Bowl this year at 40-to-1 odds.
Neil Calise, 43, of Staten Island, New York, placed a $100 wager at Golden Nugget, his casino of choice in Atlantic City. Calise said he was glad to see sports betting as a legitimate gaming option.
“It’s nice to not have to feel that you have to hide behind the scenes (anymore),” he said. “Hopefully, (sports betting) is something that brings Atlantic City back.”
Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Resorts, said his team “spent a lot of time and effort” on training employees working at the sports book in order to provide a quality experience for guests.
“We really want to stand out in this market,” Giannantonio said. “We are embracing sports betting. We think it’s great for the city, we think it’s great for New Jersey.”
Resorts and its sports book partner, DraftKings, were the first to launch a mobile and online platform at an Atlantic City casino.
With the exception of Ocean Resort, all of the land-based sports books in Atlantic City are temporary structures. Ocean Resort and its sports book partner William Hill U.S. are in the process of expanding. Bruce Deifik, owner and chairman of Ocean Resort, said he expects the final product to be completed in two weeks.
Warren Steven, senior director of product and operations for online gaming at Golden Nugget, said the casino will have a permanent sports book open by the end of the month. Giannantonio said Resorts’ permanent sports book would be ready “sometime in the near future.”