William Hill, FanDuel reopen retail shops

The day has finally come to the Garden State for casino players, sports bettors and handicappers.

Thursday will mark the first day that casinos, sportsbooks and another racetrack can re-open in New Jersey after close to four months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Monmouth Park in Oceanport, which has been closed to fans since March 16, will re-open for simulcast wagering and sports betting at the William Hill Sportsbook on Thursday after Governor Phil Murphy gave approval for the track to do so as part of the state’s Stage 2 loosening of restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

Monmouth Park, home of the Haskell Invitational on Saturday, July 18, will open its 75th season of live racing Friday (first post time set for 2 p.m. PT) and will be opened to spectators at 25 percent capacity.

Free parking and free admission will be offered to patrons (except on Haskell Day) and spectators will not be allowed to bring in their own food and beverages at all this year. Fans are expected to social distance, wear masks and undergo a temperature check as they enter through the main gates.

The 37-day live Monmouth Park meet will run through Sunday, September 27.

After a 12-week layoff, The Meadowlands in East Rutherford re-opened for its harness meet on June 5 without spectators. On Thursday, it will also reopen to fans, along with the FanDuel Sportsbook. Freehold Raceway, the state’s other harness racing track, also re-opens for simulcast wagering on Thursday, with its live meet to open on Friday, August 28. Freehold Raceway Mall, a shopping destination across the street from the racetrack, re-opened Monday.

The majority of casinos in Atlantic City are also scheduled to re-open its doors this week with safety protocols and procedures being instituted on each property. Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s Resort all will re-open on Friday.

On its gaming floors, all three casinos have rearranged slot machine banks to allow for social distancing, and fewer seats will allow for better spacing at table games. Additionally, all hospitality offerings and restaurants will reopen at reduced capacity in adherence with social distancing practices.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, including the Moneyline Sportsbook, was supposed to re-open its doors on July 6. But due to Gov. Murphy’s executive order to postpone indoor dining on Monday, Borgata changed course and is following the order to delay its opening. Monday was Moneyline’s first anniversary.

In Pennsylvania, Parx Racing in Bensalem, home of the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday, September 25, re-opened its thoroughbred meet on June 22 without spectators. Parx Casino re-opened its doors on Monday. Welcome back New Jersey and Pennsylvania!

The new Patriot

The news Sunday night that former Carolina Panthers quarterback, league MVP and free agent Cam Newton signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots sent shockwaves throughout online sportsbooks here on the East Coast.

On Sunday morning via William Hill, the Patriots were tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts for the 10th-lowest odds at 25-1 to win Super Bowl 55. They were also tied with the Bills for the third-best odds to win the AFC at 10-1.

Fast forward to Sunday evening after the acquisition. New England’s Super Bowl futures moved to 18-1 (tied for seventh) and its AFC futures dropped within single digits to 8-1.

The Patriots’ price to capture another AFC East went from 3-2 (+150) to 7-5 (+140), with the Bills remaining the 5-4 (+125) favorite. The Patriots’ win total remained at nine, though the over is now favored at -125 from +120.

One New Jersey bettor placed $1,050 on Patriots over 9 wins (-105) Sunday night for a potential total payout of $2,050.

Newton has also generated action on some player props.

Another New Jersey bettor placed $200 on Newton (10-1) to be named the 2020-21 Comeback Player of the Year for a potential total payout of $2,200. Newton is currently stands at 4-1 in this market, just behind co-favorites Rob Gronkowski and Ben Roethlisberger at 7-2 (+350).

BetRivers.com and PlaySugarhouse.com in New Jersey and Pennsylvania saw the Patriots’ championship odds move from +2200 to +1700.

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