ShareThis Page
World

Jerseys on, wallets open as sports betting meets NFL season

| Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, 6:00 p.m.
Football fans watch the action on wall-mounted video screens in the sports betting lounge at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., where an hour-long line of gamblers waiting to place bets stretched onto the casino floor as kickoff approached on Sunday Sept. 9, 2018, the first full day of NFL football since New Jersey began offering sports betting in June.
Football fans watch the action on wall-mounted video screens in the sports betting lounge at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., where an hour-long line of gamblers waiting to place bets stretched onto the casino floor as kickoff approached on Sunday Sept. 9, 2018, the first full day of NFL football since New Jersey began offering sports betting in June.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Football fans had their jerseys on and their wallets open as pro football season arrived in places where sports betting is newly legal.

New Jersey won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in May that clears the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they choose.

There was an hourlong wait in line to place bets at Atlantic City’s Ocean Resort Casino as kickoff approached Sunday.

Chris Matthews of Clementon, New Jersey, put $50 each on the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers, reasoning that all three have strong defenses. Their defense was good last year, even though they didn’t win a game, and they were on TV this preseason, and I think that has them fired up,” he said, referring to the HBO football themed series “Hard Knocks” that featured the Browns.

“The Patriots are angry they lost the Super Bowl last year, so they’ll come out strong today, and the Packers have Aaron Rodgers back this year after being hurt last year.”

Robert Stovall of Rahway, New Jersey, put $100 on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Clad in a throwback Keyshawn Johnson jersey, he rattled off statistics and predictions for almost the entire Bucs roster in rationalizing a $100 bet on them to win despite being 10-point underdogs.

Phil Henderson of Mahwah, N.J., put $500 on the other side of that game, picking the New Orleans Saints to win. It was his first legal bet on football, and he said he likes doing so with a regulated casino better than with a bookie, whose offer of credit can easily get gamblers in over their heads.

“The money’s all up front here; you know what you’re betting and you’re not running an account or a tab, losing money you don’t have,” he said.

Other states where sports betting is currently being offered include Nevada, Delaware, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

Bruce Deifik owns the Ocean Resort Casino, and was encouraged to see how full the new sports book was on Sunday. He said the casino is already seeing a ripple effect from people who come primarily to bet on football, but then stay for lunch or dinner and drinks, go to the spa or play in a golf simulator.

“In terms of bringing people into contact with other amenities — playing in the casino, food and beverage, maybe getting a hotel room and staying over, this is a big deal,” he said.

Sports betting took in $40.6 million in wagers in New Jersey in July, the first full month it was legal.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me