New Jersey Sports Betting
Thursday June 14th, New Jersey followed Delaware to become the second non-Nevada state to offer legal sports betting. Two operations were open and ready for business. Monmouth Park, whose sports book is run by William Hill, and Borgata who is owned by MGM Resorts, who offers their own lines. The legalization of sports betting is a big deal in general, but I was looking for the sportsbook experience I’ve only found in Las Vegas. Delaware Park had offered all of the lines I was looking for, but none of the amenities.
Monmouth Park – Comfortable and Convenient
First stop was Monmouth Park. Very conveniently located for me personally, in Oceanport, NJ. A quick stop down the Garden State Parkway and I was able to visit a beautifully maintained older racetrack full of charm and now able to place a wager on sporting events. William Hill branding was everywhere and they were signing people up for their Sports Rewards program where they will track the volume of one’s bets and players can earn free bets over time. This card and program will also be available at Ocean Resort in Atlantic City, opening June 28th with William Hill as their sports book operator.
Having the William Hill app (NV) on my phone, I noticed no differences in lines offered in NV or NJ. I was told the app used for betting in Nevada would not work in NJ, and I should expect a NJ app to be available in approximately 30 days.
Wanting to hang out and watch a few innings, I found the William Hill Race and Sports bar to be friendly and inviting. Plenty of seats, tvs, and a decent selection at the bar. Not the Las Vegas experience, but comfortable and convenient.
Borgata Race and Sports Book
About an hour further south on the Garden State Parkway I found myself at Borgata. They had the last existing race book in Atlantic City. The room is relatively small to begin with and also had a large amount of race bettors as well. I understand they will be building out a new sports book, but this was tight and difficult to enjoy watching a game at. Placing bets was more difficult than I had anticipated. Lines at the window were long and the staff was in need of more training. The plus side is all of the other amazing amenities found at Borgata. I was able to secure the coveted drink tickets with each wager and felt as though all was right in the world.
Related: My Favorite Las Vegas Sports Books
The Perks of Borgata Mlife Status
Wagers made and drink tickets in hand, I looked for a place to sit, have a drink and watch a game. The place was far too busy for that and with it being that crowded, I would have preferred to watch the game at home. Then I remembered…I’m at Borgata and my wagers are already made. I handed off my drink tickets to an acquaintance at the bar and I went to the Amphora Lounge. Players with Mlife Rewards Gold status or higher are able to enter for $12.50 in express comps and have access to one of the nicer player’s lounges there is. Alcohol is included and they have a great bar to sit and watch the game at. Nice buffet, game on the tv, and higher end alcohol and I was really in business.
Comparing East Coast Options
After the game was over I tipped my bartender, cashed my winning tickets and went home. Had I been able to stay over, I would have really taken advantage of the bar and the other amenities at Borgata. While the sports book itself at Borgata was by far the least comfortable, and the employees most in need of experience and training it was a superior experience overall. Leveraging the Borgata experience with a sports book was by far the best experience in the East. Delaware lines were sharper, Monmouth Park had a better loyalty program, but Borgata has the best of it, at least until Ocean Resort opens on June 28th.
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