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Marco Cerino

Marco Cerino is a 2007 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and a 2017 graduate from the Master's program at Temple University. Marco is a freelance writer based in South Jersey and has worked in sports at the minor and major league levels. He now covers the NJ online gambling industry.

About Marco Cerino

Marco Cerino is a 2007 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and a 2017 graduate from the Master's program at Temple University. Marco is a freelance writer based in South Jersey and has worked in sports at the minor and major league levels. He now covers the NJ online gambling industry.

Here are my most recent posts

DraftKings creates Historic $1 Million DFS Contest for UFC 249

May 7, 2020

Despite the stoppage of most North American sports from the coronavirus pandemic, DraftKings has done arguably the best among major gaming companies. They have expanded operations to new states, rolled out new content from Freeplay pools to NJ online casino games, and even successfully launched their IPO.

And now introducing… the DraftKings MMA Million!

In the first major live sports event since going public, DraftKings has a big offer for fans. For UFC 249 this Saturday from Jacksonville, the pioneers of daily fantasy are offering a million-dollar prize pool, their biggest on a single MMA card.

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DraftKings MMA Million – UFC 249 Contest

  • $20 is the entry fee for the contest.

So those who have been waiting for “legitimate competition” or have been doing well in the freeroll events might want to get involved.

  • Top prize among the 58,823 entrants is $200,000

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New players can get involved too.

The standard $3 freeroll ticket with an initial deposit has been replaced with the $20 ticket for this special contest.

Greg Ehrenberg is DraftKings’ MMA DFS analyst.

On Thursday, he noted the DFS field is busy, despite the lack of traditional events. While many wonder if there should be a PPV in Florida during the lockdown, he believes the fans are ready to get involved.

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Greg Ehrenberg – DraftKings MMA DFS Analyst

“A lot of people are playing stuff like Korean baseball, which takes place overnight here,” he said. “As long as the event happens, there’s going to be a DFS contest.”

He expects the competition to sell out. 

UFC 249 is going on despite major concerns about travel and safety from the shutdowns.

The evening will go on without lightweight champion Khabib Nuragomedov, who was slated to defend his belt against Tony Ferguson. Instead, Justin Gaethje will enter the main event for the title.

DraftKings DFS Contest – How To Play

For those who have done DFS for other sports but not combat, it’s a bit different.

  • Pick six of the 24 fighters on the card for Saturday’s event with a $50,000 salary cap.
  • Fighters earn points for strikes, takedowns, advances, and other moves in the match.
  • However, there are more points available for quicker finishes so it’s key to weigh those objectives before selecting a lineup.

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Ehrenberg recommended players who aren’t familiar with MMA DFS should first check the odds on DK’s sportsbook. Usually, the DFS prices match up with the betting lines. Players should look at who might get an early finish. 

“A lot of times you’ll find value in terms of where a fighter has a better chance of winning, in terms of the odds they had earlier in the week,” Ehrenberg said. “Odds can swing during the week and sometimes the underdog in a bout when odds are released can become the favorite by the time the fighters enter the octagon.”

Even with the man who scared away Connor McGregor off the card, there are some recognizable names on Saturday’s lineup. Bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo will defend his title against Dominic Cruz. Former NFL standout Greg Hardy will open the PPV slate at heavyweight, while fan-favorite, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone headlines the prelims. 

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When asked for a “sleeper pick,” Ehrenberg picked Yorgan De Castro, Hardy’s opponent at heavyweight. Hardy is still green in MMA despite his 5-2 record.

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Castro isn’t giving up much weight but is 5 inches shorter. He could possibly get in on the former defensive end and control the match at short-range.

  • As an underdog, this could be the most noteworthy upset of the night.
  • Ehrenberg thinks De Castro could win by KO to move his UFC record to 7-0.

How Will Atlantic City Come Back From All This?

April 20, 2020
atlantic city reopens

My girlfriend and I tried booking a room at Harrah’s casino on the marina in Atlantic City last month. As everything around the world shut down like a depressing domino rally, we figured we could squeeze in a weekend for her friend’s birthday.

We got a great deal for two nights for under $100. 

However, the shutdown order came through and our brilliant plan fell apart. We booked on a third-party site so we have credits for our next adventure, whenever that is.

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The shutdown of Atlantic City

March, often the month where foot traffic picks up along the famous boardwalk and casinos now expect a jump in revenue from the men’s basketball tournament, was a disaster for the gaming companies.

For New Jersey, the shutdown of AC’s casinos means more than dollars and sense. It strikes to the core of a community already on the verge of major upheaval.

Wednesday saw the grim numbers released by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. After closure on March 16, the casinos saw their gaming revenue drop over $130 million from last March.

  • Casino win was down over $137 million, while sports betting revenue fell over $18 million.

The rise in NJ online gambling helped bring in over $64 million for the month, a pittance of what could have been.

The American Gaming Association believes a two-month shutdown would cost the state $1.1 billion in economic activity.

How long will we wait?

About 33,000 casino workers are at home now, waiting. My dad used to be part of that group for over 20 years. His colleagues have changed over the years, with more coming from Asia and Latin America to forge a better life in the United States.

Many now work multiple jobs at different casinos to make ends meet.

Atlantic City and the communities that support it are hurting right now. The city itself has been under state control since 2016, as the erosion of casino activity caused five to close.

A vote to reorganize the municipal government from a nine-member council with a mayor to five councilmembers and a manager was scheduled for March 31 but got moved to May 12 by Governor Murphy.

The 2010s were not kind to the seaside resort. However, things started to turn around in 2018. The opening of two new casinos at the boardwalk’s north end in two vacated locations brought new life back, as did the surge of sports betting.

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AC will rise once again

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Fans came out to concerts, parties, and big sporting events watched at the books. Revenue began to rise and new jobs were filled. That can happen again.

NJ Sports betting, which has gone heavily online since the digital books opened in August 2018, will bring back customers. Fans will show up for the return of sports, especially if the Sixers and/or Flyers get on a playoff run. Summer nights with baseball may take a backseat if Carter Hart and Joel Embiid dazzle in the postseason. 

While Atlantic City is a destination like Las Vegas, it has a smaller window to visit. People are tired of being cooped up at home on quarantine and are dreaming of the warm summer days with a cooling breeze from the ocean. Seasonal business was a concern for the Jersey Shore but if things go back to normal by June, expect a busy summer.

  • The state and federal governments will do a lot to help AC get back on its feet.
  • The industry and unions that represent workers have lots of friends in Trenton.

While a lot of attention will go to the NYC suburbs after all the loss of life and business that has happened up there, the Legislature will not forget to help Atlantic County.

While we haven’t seen much out of Congress in specifics, the area has a major ally in Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ 2). The former state senator may have ruffled feathers when he changed parties but he’s always been a staunch advocate for Atlantic County.

  • When the budget crunch threatened another shutdown in 2018, he was part of the charge to make sure casinos stayed open during July.

Right now, industry and legislative leaders are holding their cards close to their collective vests in terms of recovery plans. Like hotels and other travel companies, gaming corporations are taking a major blow from this pandemic. Across the country, gaming venues are closed and losing millions daily.

Like so much of this crisis, we don’t know what we don’t know and that’s a major concern. There’s no consensus of when we can expect a return to business as usual.

  • Likely, casinos will be near the bottom of priorities for restarts, despite the history of the current Commander-in-Chief. 

However, there will be a need for people to congregate in groups eventually.

  • Either through the government’s coercion or our own inherent need to be together, concert venues and dance clubs will fill again.
  • People will want to hit the beaches and boardwalks.

Also, unless you have a mixologist or really good bartender quarantining with you, what are the chances you’re getting a free cocktail while you gamble online?

When the casinos and hotels reopen, I’m sure we’ll all be ready.

Atlantic City will glow from afar as patrons pack the trains and highways to visit.

We’ll probably be back in greater numbers because as much as we may not admit it, we miss being there.

DraftKings Offering Free-To-Play Pools & Prizes: This Is The ‘REAL’ Deal

April 8, 2020
draftkings reality tv pools

Still waiting for sports to come back? Me too. DraftKings is apparently feeling that same way. Luckily, they’ve got some interesting FREE-TO-PLAY pools, where you can win REAL prizes.

Introducing DraftKings reality TV pools. Wait, what?

FYI: You should NOT be gambling during all this downtime just to fight boredom. These pools from DraftKings Sportsbook aren’t gambling at all – they are 100% free-to-play pools with chances to win some sweet prizes.

These fun-for-all pools offer some new ways to get involved with all the reality TV shows you have been binging on.

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Don’t deny it, you love every minute of trashy reality TV.

Here’s a rundown of some of the fun, free and non-gambling action on top reality TV shows from one of the nation’s best NJ gambling websites:


Chopped 4/7:

If you or someone you know loves cooking competitions, this is a great contest to enter. Maybe go on-demand or to a streaming service and catch up with the Food Network series about chefs preparing amazing dishes from unusual circumstances.

The DraftKings pool for Tuesday’s episode features 12 prop questions for a share of $1,000. The questions have 2-6 options and are fairly easy to grasp. Log in and lock in the answers before the 9 PM EST airing.


MTV Challenge 4/8:

draftkings reality tv pools

This is the “reality” of where we are today in the world of NJ online gambling.

(Get it? I said, “reality” because it’s a reality show. Ok, you don’t get it, or you would have laughed.)

Those of us who are old enough to remember when MTV only ran SOME reality shows probably remember when Real World and Road Rules participants started to face off in the Challenge Show on MTV. It’s still on the air.

Guess some contestants don’t wanna go back to regular lives.

The concept is pretty straightforward: People are assigned teams and compete in challenges of brawn and brain (mostly brawn considering its reality TV). Those who do well avoid elimination.

Eventually, people get sent home and the last one standing wins money but usually comes back to do more seasons.

This pool has 13 questions and a $1,000 prize for Wednesday night. Most of the questions are multiple-choice, with the exception of asking if Johnny Bananas will make a toast. I’ve started watching him on 1st Look, the show that runs after Saturday Night Live in my market. I prefer to sleep.

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Survivor 4/8:

This summer will mark the 20th anniversary of network television’s original reality elimination contest. Yes, that makes us old.

The show is still on Wednesday nights on CBS and is still going. Whether we’ll need it after the pandemic ends is a question for later. For now, there’s $1,000 at stake by answering 12 questions on the show. Enter by 8 PM EST on Wednesday. 


Real Housewives 4/9:

Even by reality television standards, this show is polarizing. The various editions have offered a glimpse into the lives of wealthy women across the country and showing money can’t buy happiness, or class, or even civil social interactions.

Thursday’s 12 questions focused around the NY series, for a $1,000 FREE pool. These are all two-option questions, which include a total on crying and whether drinks will be thrown or threaten to be thrown. It’s almost absurd and chaotic enough to make one want to watch.


Top Chef 4/9:

People are trying to learn to cook better while this pandemic rages. This is a good idea. I posted dinner last night on my Gram and thought I was being clever with tagging #quarantinecuisine. Turns out that’s an account already and well trending.

Top Chef has created some megastars in the food world and launched big careers in the restaurant industry. The pool for Thursday night’s show will offer $1,000 for anyone who can answer 15 questions on the show’s results, the largest menu on the prop board.


Weather 4/9:

Arnold Rothstein, the main gambler associated with the Black Sox scandal of 1919, was so scrupulous and involved a bettor it was said the only thing he didn’t wager on was the weather. That was the only thing he couldn’t fix.

Well, there’s a pool on the weather for Thursday. Guess the over/under for highs in 14 American cities for a shot at a $1,000 prize.


Harry Potter Popularity 4/12:

The girlfriend and I watched the first six movies over the course of a week while they were free on-demand. I never got into it since I figured it was kids’ stuff. They’re not bad, if a bit long.\

This is the shortest pool with 10 questions and a $1,000 prize. However, unlike reality shows or the weather, these involve the answers from entrants. Go with your heart or guess which option is most popular to win.


NFL Pools 6/1:

While we have no idea when we’ll have live games, the NFL has promised us we’ll at least have the draft later this month. Also, April is usually when the league releases schedules. Hopefully, they keep with that, regardless of the uncertainty around when games will play.

This is more like what sports betting fans know: answer 12 questions on prediction for division winners and playoff results.

We have a good idea of what will happen with free agency. The draft will likely answer some questions but present new ones.

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DraftKings Brings Back Free Super Bowl Squares Contest: $54K Guaranteed

January 27, 2020
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The calendar is close to turning to February, which means it’s almost time for the Super Bowl. It also means it’s time for all the fun of betting on the big game, including the DraftKings Big Game Squares contest.

DraftKings Big Game Squares’ Rules:

draftkingsa super bowl squares 54,000

There’s a variety of contests out there from offices, social groups and even houses of worship. DraftKings hosts its a squares contest, with one difference: It’s free.

For new and existing account holders, a share of $54,000 is up for grabs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

It’s Hip to Pick a Square

Getting started is easy. Players can access the contest through promotions on the app or the book’s browser page.

Players don’t need to be in a legal sports betting state. However, the contest is only available through the sportsbook app. It’s not available on the DFS service.

Unlike other contests, the numbers have yet to be assigned. All entrants before kickoff will see the full board once the game starts.

The correct squares at the end of each quarter will win prizes. For the first and third quarters, the amount is $8,100. Halftime is worth $16,200, while the final is $21,600.

Play DraftKings Big Game Squares Now!

draftkings sb squares

If the game is tied at the end of the fourth quarter, that, unfortunately, earns nothing. Any money earned will go toward the account balance and is good for DraftKings Sportsbook or any linked DFS accounts.

For those who want to have a private contest with their buddies can bring them to DraftKings.

Everyone with an account can join. Just go to “Contests” and set it up like any other players’ league. Players can enter as many contests as they desire, but there’s only one square allowed per account.

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Meet NY Giants Legend at William Hill Monmouth Park – Plus More This Weekend

November 20, 2019
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For fans looking for something to do this weekend, Monmouth Park Sportsbook by William Hill is hosting an action-packed lineup of special guests, giveaways, events and more.

Meet n Greet With NY Giants Legend

william hill events Monmouth Park Sportsbook

  • Sunday, November 24 at 1:00 PM EST

Former Giants RB Rodney Hampton will be at the William Hill Sportsbook at Monmouth Park. For fans of a certain age, that’s a name remembered for some excellent seasons in the 1990s. Hampton was a first-round pick in 1990 and was on the Super Bowl XXV champs.

However, he was injured during the season and his replacement Ottis Anderson won the MVP in that heart-stopping game in Tampa. Hampton came back and rushed for over 1,000 yards in five straight seasons. His 6,897 yards in just eight seasons was a team record until Tiki Barber eclipsed it.

Hampton’s appearance highlights what will be a busy weekend at the Central Jersey book. Yeah, it’s cold and windy this time of year in Monmouth County but the schedule put out by William Hill has some hot action. 


NJ Devils Watch Party

william hill events

  • Friday, November 22 at 7:00 PM EST

Friday night is a watch party for the Devils-Penguins game. Former New Jersey Devil Grant Marshall, who won the Stanley Cup with the 2003 team and the 1999 Dallas Stars, will be there to meet fans. There will be giveaways, along with specials on Magic Hat’s “Woo Brew”. Hey anywhere with a burger and beer for $10 and wings with a pitcher for $20 is pretty good, especially a microbrew.


Deontay Wilder vs Luis Ortiz – No-Cover at William Hill

  • Saturday, November 23 at 9:00 PM EST

Saturday night, fans can watch the world heavyweight boxing championship rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz for free. Yeah, no cover like most bars and restaurants will have. Plus you can actually bet on the fights from your seat, legally.


Coors Light Giveaways

  • Sunday, November 24 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM EST

Sunday will feature Coors Light giveaways from 1 to 3 PM, along with food and drink specials. Hampton will take pictures and autograph items for fans.

Bet and watch NFL games  on the 40-plus HDTVs

Giants legend along with his Super Bowl ring will be in the house! That’s pretty cool.

Heres How To Win Eagles vs Patriots Club Box Seats For This Sunday 11.17.19

November 14, 2019
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Week 11 brings perhaps the most anticipated match-up for the Philadelphia Eagles home schedule. The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots come to the Linc in a Super Bowl LII rematch.

Win FREE Club Seats & $250 Cash

PlaySugarHouse.com has a fantastic offer for players who want to see the game live (they can bet at the game now, of course). Introducing, the South Philly Sunday Sweeps.

For every $50 bet online: you’ll earn a chance at two FREE club-level seats & $250 cash.

South Philly Sunday Sweeps – Eagles vs Patriots

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How To Enter & Win – Eagles vs Patriots Tix

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  • Every $50 real-money sports bet online EARNS ONE FREE ENTRY
    • So, a $100 bet on the Steelers-Browns line will earn you two entries
    • Add a $50 bet on Temple beating Xavier on the hardwood for another chance.
  • More bets, more chances to win.
  • ALL BETS MUST BE MADE AT PlaySugarHouse.com.
    • (Live bets don’t count)
  • All qualifying bets must be made by Friday, November 15th at 4 PM EST
  • A winner will be drawn on Friday at 6 PM EST (One hour to claim the prize or another winner is chosen)
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    • So if you want to use that cash at the Linc during the game, make sure you withdrawal your winnings
  • IMPORTANT: all eligible bets must go to the end of each game to qualify for the contest.
    • Any cashed-out bets will void your entry

Don’t know which bets to make?

Visit our NFL BETTING TIPS page on NJBetting.com for the most up to date odds, lines, and expert tips.


Eagles vs Patriots Club Seat Giveaway

For those who have not sat in the club level at Lincoln Financial Field for an Eagles game or another event, these are some of the best seats in the house. Along with great views along the sidelines, the club level has the BEST food and beverage options.

Yeah, you can get a hot dog and some tallboys. But you can also get some gourmet snacks from some of Philadelphia’s best restaurateurs, and premium cocktails expertly poured.

It’s a different level of luxury, and it’s a great option on what should be a frigid Sunday afternoon late kickoff.
(Disclaimer: I used to sell club seats for the Eagles.)

NFL Game Of The Week

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Fall is the biggest season for all NJ sportsbooks, and both of these teams drive significant business. The Pats have dominated the AFC and have a strong ATS record.

Historically, they’re outstanding coming out of the bye and after a loss. The Eagles get a lot of action as the home team. While their performance has been inconsistent this year, fans are starting to see signs of life as the team contends for the NFC East.

A win in the Super Bowl rematch would convince many skeptics this team could go on another magical run.

Must-See TV

This will not be a game to miss. In the last regular-season meeting, the Eagles had three return TDs, and Jordan Matthews 4th quarter score proved the difference in a 35-28 upset at Foxboro.

Bill Belichek will look to exact some retribution on the team and coach who scored the most points in a postseason game in the three-plus decades he’s been either a head coach or defensive coordinator. Want to be there in person?

Jump on PlaySugarHouse.com and make your picks.

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Top Weekly Sports Betting Trends Around The Leagues

October 9, 2019
NJ sports betting trends

Welcome to what might be the most fun time of year for handicappers, when the top NJ sports betting trends are forever changing. All Big 4 sports are in play, in some capacity. Baseball’s in the postseason, basketball is in the preseason, while football and hockey are just getting started in the regular season.

October is a busy month for the books, shifting back to team sports following a summer full of events like golf and tennis. For players, it’s time to work systems and scrutinize the stats.

There’s a lot going on so let’s see if we can help you sort through all the info and prices. Here are some of this week’s biggest sports betting trends.

Playoff baseball is back!

Sorry to everyone in Minnesota but there are still seven teams in contention for the World Series. The divisional round will have two – possibly three – deciding game 5s.

According to vegasinsider.com, six of the top 10 betting trends currently are around Game 4 of the Astros-Rays series. Tampa staved off elimination on Monday night, can they win another and force a winner-take-all in Houston?

A lot of the money was flowing towards the Astros and the over. They are favored, have the best record in baseball, and are looking for their second world title in three years.

For players who grind through baseball’s marathon of a regular season, this is time to make money. Sharps can find pricing advantages or go against the public who might look more at seeds than matchups.

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It’s hockey night tonight!

The NHL season is in the first full week. One team drawing a lot of bets Tuesday night is Pittsburgh, who face Winnipeg at home.

The Pens will miss one of their big guns in Evgeni Malkin for a good stretch at the start. The Russian power forward is nursing an injury.

Pittsburgh might be a team to bet against as the team finds their identity without Geno. Yeah they still got Crosby, but they’ve lost some people from their consecutive Stanley Cup runs. 

The season start can be tricky as teams bring in new players and coaches. Those who follow the offseason closely could benefit.

New team atop the NFC East

DraftKings changed one major future pricing after Week 5 action with local import. The NJ powerhouse flipped the favorite to win the NFC East.

Dallas entered Week 5 as the division leader and lowest price at -132. Their loss at home to Green Bay dropped them to +110 and second choice.

Who’s the new leader? The Eagles, of course. Philly went from +135 to -110.  So make sure you check out the top NJ sports betting bonuses before making your bets.

The two teams will meet in Week 7 at Jerryworld and again in Week 16 at the Linc. By then, the positions should flip-flop and the prices will change a few times. Keep an eye on this race.

Prices Shorten for Niners, Colts

DraftKings only swapped one division leader on their price board. However, a few teams saw their odds drop while they maintained second choice status.

The Colts win in KC restored a lot of confidence in the team that may have gone away when Andrew Luck suddenly retired. Their futures price dropped from +275 to +175, getting some space from the Titans and Jaguars while inching closer to the Texans.

In the NFC, the 49ers dominance dropped their odds to win the NFC West from +225 to +165. This coupled with the Rams loss, which sent their three-peat price leaping from -150 to +140.

The Niners could be a harder sell. They got the early bye which means 13 straight games for them to play. That’s a tough division and a lot more travel to go to bring home the title.

Public leaning on two “superteams” to win NBA title

Sick of hearing about all this NBA kowtowing to the Chinese nonsense? I got you covered.

DraftKings posted the NBA title futures two weeks before the regular season starts. They have the Clippers as the favorites at +325. However, they’re only fifth choice for the public, at 6 percent of money bet.

Who’s number one? Why it’s the Lakers. LeBron has a big man he can trust (hopefully) and a good supporting cast. The King’s men are second choice in price at +425 and have 26 percent of the handle.

Most sports betting trends have the 76ers at the top of the East. The Sixers are second choice of the Eastern Conference teams (at +700) behind the Bucks (+650) but have 24 percent of the handle. 

This will be really interesting to watch, as DK expands to Pennsylvania. Look for those prices to change. 

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DraftKings Sportsbook Pools Splash Into NJ Online Sports Betting

November 11, 2018
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DraftKings has added a new way for players in New Jersey to bet on sports. The site added Sportsbook Pools to its mobile sportsbook last week, the latest innovation from arguably the top site in NJ sports betting.

“Millions of Americans have been playing in sports pools for years with their friends and coworkers, and now one of the most popular ways that fans can get ‘skin in the game’ is live on DraftKings Sportsbook,” said Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer and co-founder of DraftKings, in a release.

“DraftKings Sportsbook Pools features simple predictions, such as picking the winner of each NFL game weekly, combined with the potential to win jackpot-style prizes. This product will unquestionably make every game more exciting for DraftKings Sportsbook players of all levels.”

The basics of DraftKings Sportsbook Pools

Think of it like an office pool with basic questions, simple answers, but jackpot results.

To play, sports fans are asked a few questions related to outcomes in a specific game or series of games. Any sport can be part of the Sportsbook Pools. Players choose from the provided responses and submit their entry. Winners are based on the number of correct picks as the sports games are played.

This new game offers higher stakes and substantially higher rewards. In Week 10, for example, the inaugural buy-in is $20, with a minimum prize pool of $200,000. Other weeks will vary in cost and prizes.

The pool links to new and existing DK Sportsbook accounts. Players can view the contest from outside New Jersey but can only wager and cash out at a verified location in the Garden State.

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DraftKings Sportsbook an NJ sports betting powerhouse

DraftKings has successfully pivoted from daily fantasy sports to single-event betting in New Jersey. The site has managed to connect the two in player profiles and even offers bets on athletes’ fantasy performances for upcoming contests.

But the NJ online sports betting market is young and growing. DraftKings, as of September, is the leader of the pack, posting the lion’s share of NJ online sports betting revenue of all eight mobile sportsbooks.

The Boston-based company has expanded into New Jersey with offices in Hoboken and Jersey City, along with offices in the Big Apple. The company is planning to move into permanent offices in NJ by early next year.

DraftKings already operates a Team Pick’Em to determine the winners of weekly games and distribute prize money based on correct picks. However, this is free to enter and winners earn small payouts.

Sportsbook Pools keeps the innovation coming at DraftKings and in a big way.

NJ Sports Betting Drives Revenue Surge For SugarHouse Online Casino

October 10, 2018
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SugarHouse online casino announced Monday that its revenue more than doubled from August 2018 to September 2018. The digital gaming brand attributed the massive increase to its NJ online sportsbook and the start of football season.

SugarHouse is the online arm of the Philadelphia-based casino owned by Rush Street Gaming. Rush Street Interactive launched the NJ sports betting site as part of the online platform on Aug. 23.

The company did not release specific revenue numbers though Mattias Stetz, the chief operating officer of Rush Street Interactive, was excited about the report:

“We’re very happy with the numbers we are seeing. We see that the player base is continuing to grow as the word spreads about the quality and volume of the different live in-game bets at PlaySugarHouse.com. We are at the start of the football season and are excited to see our numbers keep climbing.”

In eight days of operation, SugarHouse Sportsbook collected more than $103,000 in revenue for August. By comparison, PlayMGM made less than $50,000 with a one day head start.

SugarHouse Sportsbook and an NJ online casino

In Atlantic City and other locations, adding a sportsbook to a venue required some work but fit into the existing structure.

SugarHouse online casino had the same strategy when developing its NJ online sportsbook: just add it to what’s there now.

Both online and in the app, SugarHouse integrated the sportsbook to its established NJ gambling website. With just a tap or click, players can access prices, props, and parlays on sports from around the world.

When launched, SugarHouse Sportsbook boasted “the first gaming operator in the US to launch an integrated online sportsbook and casino.”

Existing accounts could bet with their available balances and payment options. New players enjoy a 100 percent deposit match up to $250.

“Being the first US-based gaming operator to launch a regulated online sportsbook outside of the US has been helpful in establishing the SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino,” said Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, in a release when the book opened. “We’ve matured our sportsbook product and validated that players value our proprietary sportsbook loyalty program, including earning points on every single bet.”

The site avoided early pitfalls by leveraging established relationships with banking institutions and PayPal to allow players easy deposits and withdrawals.

SugarHouse NJ online casino opened in 2016. It brought a well-known and trusted brand to the marketplace (try watching anything on NBCSports Philadelphia without seeing one of the SugarHouse commercials).

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Betting options + NFL football

The book averaged more than $11,000 in revenue in eight days of August. Players had baseball, soccer, and some preseason football.

That menu, though, was just the appetizer. September brought a feast of sports betting options: the NFL regular season.

SugarHouse has 50 in-game bets available for pro football. In the Week 1 early Sunday window, more than 300 in-play options existed.

Despite its Philadelphia presence, PlaySugarHouse has seen its biggest single-game handles come from the New York teams.

Low gameday vigs are a plus

Partnering with Kambi on pricing, the site has been able to distinguish itself in the competitive NJ sports betting online market with the lowest day-of-game vigorish on spread and total bets.

“We have several vig options settings, and we have decided to live by our tagline ‘you deserve more’ and give the best possible odds to our players,” Stetz said to NJBetting.com last week.

“We believe this gives the best user experience, which is our goal.”

Players who check the site on gameday will see lines matching other books with lower prices.

For instance, in Week 4, SugarHouse Sportsbook listed the Colts as +1 at home to Houston with a -107 price. The same bet was -112 on other sites.

In a competitive market such as New Jersey, that five-cent price difference could be a huge plus.

The site offers other intriguing promotions and incentives for players. For the Red Sox-Yankees playoff series, betting $50 on each of the first two games put bettors in the running for tickets to Game 3 in the Bronx.

Comparatively, the site doesn’t rely as heavily on odds boosts or multi-leg parlays as some of its competitors.

An increase in online casino betting, too

SugarHouse Sportsbook has prided itself on offering more favorable odds. But all the sports betting also helped give its NJ online casino a boost.

“Our casino bets have also grown since the launch of sports betting,” said Stetz. “Thanks to the deep integration of the sportsbook and the casino in both Android and iOS mobile apps and the desktop site, and players being able to use the same account and wallet, PlaySugarHouse.com casino has also grown across the board.”

What’s next for SugarHouse?

SugarHouse online casino has put itself in a strong position to vault up the NJ sports betting revenue rankings. The September revenue report is due from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement later this month.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the company’s license application will be reviewed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at the end of October. The state already approved three books to operate in the Keystone State.

Bottom line, things are looking up for SugarHouse Sportsbook and its NJ sports betting plans. September’s revenue jump is a sign of better things to come.

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