Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa became the first Atlantic City casino to accept a legal sports wager under new sports betting regulations in New Jersey. The historic wager comes just three days after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill passed unanimously by the State Legislature, creating a regulated environment where licensed casinos may establish legal sports books.
“This is a proud day for Borgata and a proud day for New Jersey,” said Marcus Glover, President & Chief Operating Officer of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. “Today opens a whole new era in New Jersey sports entertainment. One we anticipate will bring new interest, excitement, and economic benefits to our community. Borgata is proud to list today’s first among the many innovative firsts we’ve accomplished as we celebrate our first 15 years in Atlantic City.”
The honor of placing the first sports bet at an Atlantic City Casino went to Hall-of-Fame basketball legend Julius Erving. The gifted star of the Philadelphia 76ers and a long-time Borgata guest, Dr. J was invited by the resort to place the historic bet. The Philadelphia NBA legend maintained his allegiance to his team’s home city but crossed-over from basketball to football when making his first bet at Borgata.
“I bet on the Eagles to repeat,” said Mr. Erving, holding up his ticket after placing a $5 bet on the Philadelphia NFL team to win the pro football championship. At the time of the wager the Borgata betting line for the Eagles to repeat as champions was 8 to 1.
Alongside Dr. J at the next betting window, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, who was instrumental in passing the state’s sports wagering legislation, made a $200 bet on the Green Bay Packers to win the pro football championship.
While both men proudly displayed their first tickets for customers and media gathered for the occasion, Dr. J asked President Sweeney about his bet. Upon learning Sweeney made a competing bet on the Packers, Dr. J remarked, “Then you’re going down.”
As the only Atlantic City casino with an existing race book, Borgata was uniquely prepared to begin operations quickly. The Borgata Race Book has been renamed Borgata Race & Sports Book and will remain in its established location.
Plans for significant additions to complement existing Borgata Race & Sports Book facilities are in final stages of design. Details and timeline of those enhancements will be announced in the coming weeks.
As a part of MGM Resorts International, Borgata brings the wealth of that company’s Sports Book experience to its new operation. MGM Resorts International possesses more than 25 years of sports wagering operations experience in Nevada, where the company’s resorts combine to write more than 4 million sports wagers each year with an annual handle in excess of $1 billion.
Sports and sports betting are key entertainment experiences that drive ongoing consumer engagement. “As Borgata celebrates 15 years as both leaders and innovators in the Atlantic City market, we are committed to delivering a best-in-market sports book environment for our customers to enjoy. Having spent decades successfully operating sports books in Nevada and building trust with both customers and regulators, Borgata and MGM Resorts are well-positioned to be a leader in sports wagering,” said Mr. Glover.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa continues to raise the bar in Atlantic City, 15 years after its momentous debut, offering guests the biggest names in entertainment, exclusive culinary experiences, as well as unique casino promotions and special events.
Mr. Glover added, “Since entering the market in 2003, Borgata has made it our mission to grow and invest in not only our property and product, but our team members and guests; offering an unrivaled experience to anyone who walks through our doors.”