Fantasy Sports Betting Soon to be Offered in Atlantic City
New Jersey and its gambling industry have been making a lot of headlines in recent months, due largely in part to its recent passage of a law that will regulate various types of Internet-based gambling in the Garden State.
That bill was signed into law by first-term Governor Chris Christie late last month, an act for which he has been lauded by many as being a moderate whose focus remains on helping the people of his state find better financial footing in the wake of revenue declines in Atlantic City for six years running, not to mention the devastation wrought by last fall’s Hurricane Sandy.
Now Atlantic City is poised to add a new activity to its gambling roster: fantasy sports betting. While it remains to be seen whether or not patrons will be able to place fantasy sports bets over the Internet, New Jersey officials are expected to announce a pilot program on Monday of next week that will permit Atlantic City casinos to pay out winnings to players who have set up fantasy teams, which will be able to compete against other fantasy teams.
President of online gambling trade association the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, Joe Brennan, sees the move as a leap forward for the city, struggling to retain jobs and prevent resort closures as many patrons instead choose to visit casinos in nearby Pennsylvania. Last year Pennsylvania eclipsed Atlantic City to usurp the title of second-largest gambling market in the United States.
“This gives players the option to deposit money and then play daily fantasy games, where they pick three or five Major League Baseball or National Football League or National Basketball Association players and build an aggregate roster just for that one day,” Brennan said.
“Just like those leagues where you pick teams and follow them all season, you won’t have to wait till the end of the year to see who wins. You would just wait till the end of the day to see who wins the prize,” he went on to add.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement will publicize the regulations on the 15th of April, and they will take effect on the 22nd of the same month.
In related news, New Jersey is currently at odds with the US government over real sports betting, a battle whose outcome might ultimately determine the strength of a fantasy sports betting market. Real sports betting is not currently on offer in the state because in order to legally permit real sports betting, states were required to pass laws allowing for it prior to 1991, something which New Jersey failed to do.