Sports betting likely to give Atlantic City’s casinos a revenue boost

In this Nov. 30, 2017, photo, a man sits at a cubicle watching a simulcast horse race at the Monmouth Park racetrack in West Long Branch, N.J. With banks of TVs tuned to all-sports stations and a spacious bar, the lounge a the racetrack is a sports gamblers’ paradise-in-waiting. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

In this Nov. 30, 2017, photo, a man sits at a cubicle watching a simulcast horse race at the Monmouth Park racetrack in West Long Branch, N.J. With banks of TVs tuned to all-sports stations and a spacious bar, the lounge a the racetrack is a sports gamblers’ paradise-in-waiting. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing all states to have legalized sports betting could help Atlantic City casinos generate additional revenue.

David Schwartz, the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, expects a lot of people will go head to Atlantic City to make their sports bets.

“The reason why people come to the casino to watch the games is because they have that big game atmosphere with the TVs and you’re around a lot of other people who are also betting on the games,” Schwartz said. “So it’s very exciting. It’s really more of an entertainment thing than a dollars and cents money proposition.”

But while sports wagering gives the struggling gambling town a new opportunity to draw tourists, said public finance attorney David Fernandez, it might benefit casino companies more than the city because sports gambling could be made available online.

“It may not be the boom that they think it’s going to be if the online gambling takes off and becomes an alternative that folks might want to do instead,” Fernandez said.

Roger Gross, the publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, expects the sports betting operations in Atlantic City will be more low-key than the big sports books in Las Vegas.

“You’re not going to see huge rooms with hundreds of screens and things of that nature,” he said. “The times have changed since they built those huge auditorium type of rooms. Nowadays, you can bet on kiosks. You can bet on your mobile phones. You can bet anywhere else in the casino.”

Gross says sports wagering may help the existing casinos in Atlantic City cope with the opening of two new casinos next month.

“It does produce more revenue for the casinos,” he said. “So it gives them a little more leeway with what they can actually do and how they can survive.”

 

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