Applications for New Jersey sports betting surge for NFL start

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — New Jersey regulators have received five additional applications from gambling companies seeking to start offering sports betting before football season starts in September.

David Rebuck, director of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, told The Associated Press that his agency received two new applications from brick-and-mortar facilities, and three applications for mobile sports betting by a deadline he set of Monday evening.

He would not identify the applicants, saying it’s up to the companies to identify themselves.

“Everybody wants to be fully functional by the end of August,” he said. “We’ll see.”

Meeting the deadline means state regulators expect to be able to consider their applications in time for the outlets to begin sports betting by the start of football season at the beginning of September, should everything be in order.

Not meeting the deadline, however, does not mean an applicant will be frozen out of the entire NFL season; applications that arrive later will still be considered, although they might not be acted upon before the start of the season, Rebuck said.

Caesars Entertainment applied for permission to offer sports betting in person at Harrah’s casino, as well as at Bally’s casino, which also would service the adjacent Caesars casino. The company also applied for permission to offer mobile sports betting affiliated with all three of its Atlantic City casinos, according to Kevin Ortzman, the company’s Atlantic City regional president.

The Golden Nugget applied for in-person and mobile sports betting, according to its executive vice president, Tom Pohlman. Other potential applicants did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

So far, two casinos, the Borgata and Ocean Resort, and two horse tracks, Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands, offer sports betting in New Jersey.

Rebuck says the division has not heard from three potential applicants.

There are 14 potential sports betting licensees: the nine Atlantic City casinos, the three functioning racetracks (Monmouth Park in Oceanport, the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, and Freehold Raceway in Freehold), and two former track sites (Atlantic City Race Course in Mays Landing and the former Garden State Park site in Cherry Hill.)

Rebuck said he expects the division will approve additional sports betting operations in the coming weeks.

“I fully expect that by Aug. 1 we will see additional properties up and running,” he said.

Sports betting took in $16.4 million at Monmouth Park, the Borgata and Ocean Resort during the first two weeks it was offered in June.

New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in May that cleared the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they so choose.

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