NJ fantasy sports

During the past three months, sports betting in New Jersey has grown dramatically.

What began as something of a novelty with the legalized industry’s birth in June has since evolved into a rocking power in the Garden State.

The state started with three retail sportsbooks in June. Now, eight operate within the borders. The mobile wagering aspect of New Jersey’s regulated market began in August, and already seven online operators have sprouted. Additionally, the state’s first mobile operator added a key piece to remain competitive.

The past few weeks have been loaded with news for NJ sports betting. These are the headlines.

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FanDuel, William Hill betting apps now available to all

DraftKings Sportsbook ruled the NJ mobile sports betting market for much of August, until playMGM and PlaySugarHouse joined the fold near the end of the month.

When the calendar flipped to September, two more mobile services cropped up, including one from DraftKings’ chief daily fantasy sports competitor.

On Sept. 1FanDuel Sportsbook received the green light to soft-launch its mobile wagering product. Quietly doing the same was William Hill US, the American arm of the major British bookmaker.

Both platforms have since become fully activated as FanDuel Sportsbook (courtesy of a partnership with Meadowlands Racetrack) and William Hill (operator at both Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort Casino) look to become market leaders in the mobile world.

From a press release announcing FanDuel’s “official” launch on Sept. 7, FanDuel Group CEO Matt King said, “FanDuel is creating a new genre of entertainment, and sports betting is another way we can bring fans closer and more engaged to the games and teams they follow.

“We’re leveraging our experiences building the Sportsbook at the Meadowlands and the global footprint of Paddy Power Betfair to build an online sports betting experience that fans want, love, and can rely on.”

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Caesars sneaks in with sports betting app

Not even a week passed before another mobile wagering product rolled out.

Integrating its online casino with online sports betting, Caesars Entertainment introduced its Caesars Casino & Sports app on Sept. 6 for browser, Android and iOS.

With retail sportsbooks at Bally’s and Harrah’s, which opened within a few days of each other, Caesars debuted an app that includes a variety of sports:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Boxing
  • Mixed martial arts

The Scientific Games-powered mobile sportsbook includes moneylines, totals, futures, point spread, and parlays. In-play wagering is currently not posted though it is expected in the near future.

“Since New Jersey decided to allow mobile sports betting, we have been working diligently to create the most engaging and fun mobile platform which provides users with the ability to place bets on their favorite sporting events,” said Mark Frissora, CEO and President of Caesars. “This launch further solidifies our investment into this exciting space.”

888 Sport debuts

Mere days after Caesars’ launch, 888 Sport entered the NJ mobile sports betting market.

European operator 888, which has been a partner of Caesars since New Jersey legalized online casinos and poker in 2013, introduced the mobile product on Monday. Still in a five-day soft-launch period, per state regulations, 888 Sport operates under limited hours and is available to only a small group of users.

“The launch of 888sport.com in New Jersey is a major milestone for the company in our ongoing expansion across the regulated US online gaming market,” 888 Chief Executive Itai Frieberger said in a release, “and provides 888 with a unique and truly multi-product proposition in what is currently the largest regulated US state.”

888 Sport merges with the company’s existing NJ online casino and online poker platforms operating within the state. With traditional and in-play betting available for a wide range of sports, and also featuring live scoring for events, 888 Sport is available on desktop and Android with an iOS release pending.

DraftKings takes step forward with PayPal

New Jersey’s first mobile sportsbook recently made a significant step forward to stay on par with the competition.

In an email to users Sunday, DraftKings Sportsbook made clear it would add PayPal as a deposit option for bettors.

After weeks of accepting credit cards and online bank transfers, and with several big-name banks refusing transactions with companies associated with casinos and poker, DraftKings needed another option if it wanted to level the playing field with an ever-expanding mobile market. After all, of the other six mobile products, four already accept PayPal.

The addition is noteworthy considering a report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming indicated that, by volume, credit cards account for just 20 percent of mobile payments at NJ online gambling sites. The remaining 80 percent stem from alternative electronic options — that and a some-50-percent decline rate for credit cards, as noted by Legal Sports Report.

Despite recently accepting its one millionth wager in New Jersey, DraftKings needed another deposit option to remain competitive. The addition of PayPal fills that void.

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