When the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting was announced, I knew everything in my world would never be the same.
I knew that as sports gambling evolved out of the shadows and into the mainstream, opportunists would be popping up everywhere to jump on the bandwagon. I knew the demand for good information would be greater than ever before, as everyone looked for that elusive edge. And I knew that Las Vegas would now face competition from states all across America, attempting to wrestle away the sports betting monopoly that Nevada had held for decades.
What I did not expect, was that in just one year, New Jersey would surpass Vegas as my No. 1 go-to for the best action. Without a doubt, the competition between the new blood sportsbooks has made New Jersey a bettor’s market.
New companies want new business and are willing to bend. The sign up bonuses and daily booster bets being offered in New Jersey took me back to 20 years ago when you could make a nice income strictly from these type of bonuses being offered offshore.
PointsBet, for example, offers over a dozen different promos and boosters (i.e. -105 on NFL games.) There are more ways to bet a game in New Jersey, including alternative side and total wagers coupled with proposition bets, just to name a few.
Bally’s Wild West is the hub of the Caesars brand and has a very nice operation and the supervisor I spoke with, Michael Giraldi, couldn’t have been more helpful. He explained to me that on their app they have a free $300 bet promo going where the first bet you make up to $300 they will pay you double your amount if you win.
This book is spread out with lots of space and comfortable chairs. Plus it’s non-smoking and they give drink tickets to customers. It may not sound like a big deal, but trust me, most books in AC that are run by outside companies don’t give customers free drinks no matter how much you bet.
I can’t leave out Golden Nugget, for they are one of my favorite spots and you can pick up a copy of Gaming Today there.
Most importantly, in New Jersey, I can bet the games I want one sportsbook at a time. This is crucial for my business given the volume I am getting down. In Nevada, the second I place a bet at let’s say The Westgate or South Point, not only does their line move, but so does the line at a few of the other sportsbooks that follow their lines -- before I have a chance to get to them. This does not happen in Jersey, as the sportsbook lines are not listed on a line service for others to see and adjust when large action hits one of them.
Now, before I get banned from my current hometown, don’t get it twisted -- in terms of gambling destinations, Las Vegas still owns the title. While all the casinos in Jersey have clearly spent a ton of money promoting their brand, they have a long way to go with their customer service.
Making a wager through a glass partition at one of the spots made me feel like I was visiting my Uncle Tony in prison, not making a bet with a teller. Surprisingly, even though it was the opening weekend of college football, the books around Atlantic City were very quiet. Currently, 80 percent of New Jersey betting is app based. And as the weather gets colder and the wind starts to whip down the boardwalk, that number could rise even higher.
Don’t worry, I’m not ready to move back east and I am certainly a loyal Vegas local now, tried and true. That said, New Jersey is off to a great start in the race to get a piece of my action every year.