It gives me great pleasure to tell you that the fledgling temporary sportsbook that had been open since August is finally history. Now, sports bettors at Resorts Atlantic City have a brand new, state-of-the-art permanent DraftKings Sportsbook at their disposal.
Resorts AC joined the New Jersey sports betting market in the summer of 2018, officially opening its temporary sportsbook Aug. 15. But it made its mark in the online sportsbook market first, as its partner DraftKings is currently the king of the NJ market in terms of revenue.
About Resorts Hotel and Casino
Resorts is Atlantic City’s first casino and the first legal casino to be built in the US outside of Nevada.
The hotel and casino, originally called Resorts International, opened on May 26, 1978, long before online gambling. NJ gambling websites were just a figment of the state’s imagination. In 2018, the casino hotel celebrated its 40th anniversary.
The past four decades have been tumultuous, to say the least. Atlantic City has had more than its share of ups and downs. A number of casinos have come and gone.
But through it all, Resorts not only survived but grew and changed with the times. The casino stayed relevant, not only by keeping a large contingent of loyal older players but also becoming a magnet for millennials.
Partnership with Mohegan Sun
Resorts recognized that to broaden its appeal, it would need outside help.
In 2012, Resorts reached out to Mohegan Sun, which already owned successful casinos both in Uncasville, CT, and the Pennsylvania racetrack Pocono Downs.
A partnership was established whereby Mohegan Sun would take over the management of Resorts as well as make investments to improve the property.
Also, through cross-marketing, Resorts would have access to Mohegan Sun’s customer database (and vice versa).
The Resorts-Mohegan Sun partnership was significant because it marked the first instance of an Indian tribe-owned casino operator entering the AC casino market.
The arrangement has proven to be a win-win, not only for the three casinos, but also for Resorts’ customers. They now have the option to redeem the rewards they earn through Resorts’ Star Rewards program not only at Resorts but also at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
Opening of Margaritaville
Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville already had branches operating in Las Vegas and Biloxi, MS, but also at Mohegan Sun in CT.
So it didn’t take long to agree that a new branch of the tropical-themed restaurant and entertainment venue overlooking the ocean would be a perfect fit for Resorts.
Accordingly, in May 2013, the $35 million Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville and Landshark Bar & Grill Entertainment Complex, which included the Five o’Clock Somewhere Bar, was open for business.
By the way, during football season, if you’re at Resorts and looking for a good place other than the sportsbook to watch the games, Margaritaville, Landshark, and Five O’clock Somewhere are all excellent choices.
Other noteworthy additions
Other additions help set Resorts apart but helped transform Atlantic City’s oldest casino into a 21st century, millennial-friendly destination.
Resorts’ iGaming Lounge, the first of its kind in Atlantic City, was introduced in April 2015.
The room is unique because it gives newcomers to online gambling and experienced players alike a chance to try it in a relaxed atmosphere and simultaneously interact socially with other gamblers.
Many players decide they like the iGaming Lounge’s experience so much, they sign up for an online account at ResortsCasino.com.
That way they can continue playing their favorite online slots and table games at home.
Quick bites food court
Sometimes casino players only have time for a quick bite rather than a leisurely meal in a restaurant. The food court was created in 2014 to fill that void at Resorts.
Remodeled casino floor
In keeping with the plan to make the casino more millennial-friendly, 800 new slot machines were added.
In addition, restaurants and bars were integrated into the gaming areas, making it easy to take breaks from gambling without venturing away from the casino.
Partnership with DraftKings for NJ sports betting
On June 1, 2018, Resorts announced it had chosen DraftKings as its NJ sports betting partner. Then on Aug. 1, the DraftKings online sportsbook app was officially launched.
The sportsbook at Resorts are on the casino floor next to Bar One.
However, to provide adequate space for the new permanent sportsbook, the facility relocated to the boardwalk end of the casino.
Resorts Hotel and Casino today
Resorts’ ability over the years to remain relevant to a wide range of visitors and players — even in the face of heavy competition from newer, glitzier casino properties — is nothing short of amazing.
Where Resorts Atlantic City is located
Resorts can be found toward the northern end of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, between North Carolina and Pennsylvania avenues. Its address is 1133 Boardwalk, but there is also an entrance closer to Pacific Avenue.
It was once the northernmost casino on the AC Boardwalk, but not anymore.
At one time, there were three other casinos: Trump Taj Mahal, Showboat and Revel.
However, when the Taj closed in 2016 (the other two casinos closed in 2014), that made Resorts temporarily the northernmost casino. Of the three still operating boardwalk casinos to the south, the closest is Bally’s (within walking distance), followed by Caesars and then Tropicana.
On June 28, two new casinos opened simultaneously. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino opened at the Taj site and Ocean Resort Casino opened at the old Revel location. The Showboat is also open, but as a hotel only.
Resorts is accessible from other boardwalk casinos via tram or rolling chair, or from anywhere in AC via jitney, bus, cab or car.
The 100,000-square-foot casino floor offers more than 1,500 slots and more than 70 table games, along with the above-mentioned iGaming Lounge and sportsbook.
Also, Resorts offers the following options for those who wish to gamble online or on their mobile device:
Resorts Online Casino
Resorts did not start offering online gambling until 2015 but has more than made up for lost time; it is now one of the largest NJ gambling websites.
The NJ online casino hosts more than 500 slots, video poker and table games. It is within reach of overtaking the longtime leader, Golden Nugget online casino.
Mohegan Sun Online Casino
Players will also find hundreds of games to choose from on the affiliated NJ gambling website, MoheganSunCasino.com.
Resorts Atlantic City no longer has a poker room on the premises.
However, the casino has partnered with the Stars Group and its international brand, PokerStars, to offer online poker via PokerStars New Jersey.
Online sports betting
As mentioned, Resorts partnered with DraftKings to offer online sports betting. Also via the Stars Group-Resorts partnership, BetStars NJ offers sports wagering.
Resorts Atlantic City’s food and beverage options
Resorts AC has always been a complete resort destination, not just a casino per se, and now, with a sportsbook on the premises that is open daily and year-round, even more so.
In other words, convenient access to a wide choice of food and beverage options is a priority.
Entertainment at Resorts
All of the AC casino hotels, including Resorts, pride themselves on being able to offer their customers first-class entertainment.
In addition to the varied entertainment you can enjoy at the bars and lounges, the aptly named Superstar Theater continues to be as popular today as it was 40 years ago.
Back in the day, the Superstar Theater was the place to go in AC to see such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Jackie Gleason, and Diana Ross.
Today, the lineup includes both mainstream headliners and revue shows as well as special events, such as the crowning of the Ms. Senior America.
Keep in mind, Resorts is not only a casino with a hotel offering restaurants, bars and entertainment, but it is a complete resort.
As such, here are some of Resorts’ additional amenities:
- Heated indoor-outdoor pool that’s open year-round
- Spa, health club and fitness center
- Retail shops
- Business center
Introduction to DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts
Like all of the other AC sports betting locations, Resorts’ priority was to open as soon as possible, i.e., in time for the NFL season.
This necessitated initially requiring customers to make do with a temporary sportsbook.
In fact, had I not known ahead of time they were merely temporary facilities and more improvements were forthcoming, I probably would have mistaken them for permanent sportsbooks. That was clearly not the case at Resorts.
My first visit to the temporary sportsbook was Aug. 18, three days after it opened. It didn’t take long to identify multiple problems in need of fixing.
Firstly, I noticed a woeful lack of adequate seating.
The small betting room did have a sofa in front of a long table with seating for four to six people, but there were no chairs at all. There was one big screen TV and two small TVs.
Patrons could go to Bar One next door to have a drink or walk farther into the casino for food, but no food or beverage service was available in the sportsbook.
Bringing food into sportsbook is prohibited.
An employee agreed with me that the setup was inadequate, admitting that the room was designed only for placing bets, not for lingering to watch the games.
Limited betting options
The sportsbook was taking bets on baseball, preseason NFL and soccer.
The football and soccer lines included a point spread, moneyline and total for each game.
MLB betting options were more extensive as it was in the middle of the season. However, anyone interested in NFL futures or upcoming games in other sports would have had to go elsewhere.
Most sportsbooks have separate betting sheets for each sport, but at Resorts, baseball, football and soccer lines were on one set of stapled pages. The small print and crowded layout made finding the games and betting lines of interest harder than it needed to be.
No comps for sports bettors — at least not yet
In response to my inquiry whether sports bettors were entitled to comps or other rewards, I was told “not yet, but in a couple of weeks” sports betting rewards would be “integrated with the casino rewards program.”
Obviously, I was not impressed. On the one hand, it was very commendable that Resorts was able to have some semblance of a sportsbook up and running in time for the start of the NFL season.
However, the casino could have made more of an effort to offer at least a minimum level of amenities. Even a temporary sportsbook can and should be set up so that bettors can handicap and watch the games that interest them right on the premises.
As mentioned above, I decided that I would give the Resorts sportsbook a reasonable amount of time to improve before writing my review. Accordingly, I returned to the facility for a second visit on Oct. 13.
Much improved but still a work in progress
Even in October, the sportsbook was still very much a work in progress. On the other hand, there was a demonstrable improvement over what I had observed on my first visit.
While the Resorts sportsbook still couldn’t handle a large crowd, the addition of four large leather armchairs with table tops, two more TVs (for a total of five), and a total of four betting windows and four betting kiosks was a start in the right direction.
I was disappointed to learn that sports bettors were still not receiving comps for their action. In fact, when I inquired what progress was being made toward that end, I was simply given the same response as before — that the casino was “working on it.”
On the positive front, the facility was offering a much wider range of betting options. The room was also more user-friendly.
DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts AC opens
NY Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson, who was at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, placed the first bet at the facility. Carson bet $10 on the Yankees at 7-1 odds to win the 2019 World Series.
How to access the new DraftKings Sportsbook
Whereas the previous temporary sportsbook was located in the middle of the casino floor next to Bar One, the permanent sportsbook is situated some distance away, at the boardwalk end of the casino.
Therefore, the quickest and easiest access to the new facility is from the boardwalk entrance to the casino.
If you’re hungry, you’ll be glad to know that you can now order food at the sportsbook itself.
Alternatively, another option I recommend either before or after your sportsbook visit is the Eastwind Chinese Restaurant and Noodle Bar. Of the many places to eat at Resorts, it is the closest to the sportsbook.
Resorts’ sportsbook hours
The new DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts has five betting windows.
A live person is at each open window to take your bets and cash your winning tickets seven days a week at the following times:
- 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday-Friday
- 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. on weekends
Also, on both Friday and Saturday nights, the bar stays open until 2 a.m.
These extended hours should give DraftKings Sportsbook bettors plenty of time not only to get their bets placed but also to watch virtually any game of interest, including the late-night ones. However, the manager indicated that once the last game of the night is over, most of the crowd starts clearing out. So in practice, the sportsbook may close before the posted closing time.
Another option is to place one’s bets at one of the 12 kiosks on the premises. The kiosks are open 24/7.
The manager assured me that the five betting windows and 12 kiosks were sufficient to handle the crowds, even on Sundays, and that the line moves fast.
What you can do at DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts
Instead of a small room with not even enough seats for a dozen people, DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts has been transformed into an ultra-modern, state-of-the-art 5,000-square-foot lounge capable of seating up to 135 sports fans.
While betting sheets are available (now separate sheets for each sport, as they should be), you don’t even need them. That’s because, at the front of the room, a continuously updated moving sports ticker shows all the information you need for all upcoming games (team matchups with W-L record for each team, player injuries, starting time, and the latest betting line).
Or, if you prefer, you can view the huge betting board on the wall.
After placing your bets, there are many other places at Resorts to watch the games, but one of the best is now the sportsbook itself.
In addition to multiple small TVs for close-up views from the bar, there is a whole wall of high-definition TVs — four with large screens and 10 with small screens. Thus, no matter where in the room you choose to sit, watching multiple games in progress simultaneously is no problem at all.
Food and beverage options
In addition, unlike the temporary sportsbook, the permanent DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts now offers food and beverage options.
Sports bettors can have their orders delivered to their seats at the bar or tableside. All of the bar seats also come with their own individual gaming console. This gives bar patrons the added option to play video poker during downtime.
Food menu too limited
The food menu is reasonably priced, with all but two items costing $12 or less. However, the food options are extremely limited, and I, for one, didn’t see anything to my liking. You can choose from chicken tenders, buffalo or blue cheese wings, franks, empanadas, quesadillas, nachos, fries with jalapeno cheddar sauce, or otherwise, sushi or sashimi.
If none of the above appeals to you, then you are out of luck.
The drink menu consists of draft, domestic, imported, and craft beers ($5-$7), along with wine by the glass ($10), and a choice of five signature cocktails ($12). However, if you prefer a different drink, just ask. The bartender told me that it’s a full-service bar, so as long as the request is reasonable, you can probably get it.
VIP bottle service is also available, but advance reservations and a commitment to spend at least $125 is required.
Alternative places for watching the games at Resorts
If you would rather go elsewhere like a restaurant or bar to watch the games, here are some other options at Resorts to consider.
For both food and drinks
- Landshark Bar & Grill
- Gallagher’s Burger Bar
For drinks only
- Bar One
How does a $2 Bud Light, $3 bottle of another domestic beer sound? Or, if you prefer, you can have a glass of wine or select cocktails for only $5. All of these places serve up these and other drink specials every game day during football season and for prices that are a lot cheaper than at the sportsbook.
Comp program for sports bettors
I strongly believe that along with casino players, sports betting enthusiasts who give the casino significant action are entitled to comps or other rewards. I also can’t understand why some casinos, including Resorts, seem to be dragging their feet about this.
On all three visits to the Resorts sportsbook (in August, October, and even in December at DraftKings Sportsbook), I was told the same thing. Resorts is “working on it.” Why the process should take months when some casino sportsbooks had a comp program in place from day one is beyond my comprehension.
However, at least now I have a little more information to report. By January, Resorts hopes at least to be able to offer sports bettors who give sufficient action free drinks. What, if any, other rewards will be offered to sports bettors remains to be seen.
Other than offering a special roped off area with ultra-comfortable seating for the highest of high rollers (and those reserving bottle service), sports betting rewards and the rewards program for casino play will not be integrated.
What’s to like and what’s not to like at DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts
Like all of the other sportsbooks in town, the one at Resorts is great in some respects, but in other areas not so great.
What’s great about it?
On time opening of a temporary sportsbook
Resorts is to be commended for recognizing that setting up a state-of-the-art sportsbook that can adequately service a large number of people takes time and meanwhile opening a temporary sportsbook in time for the busy football season.
Relatively fast opening of an enhanced permanent sportsbook
While the temporary Resorts sportsbook was clearly inadequate, bettors only had to deal with it for a few months.
The new and greatly improved DraftKings Sportsbook opened on schedule just three months later. That timetable wasn’t bad at all, considering that several other casinos whose temporary sportsbooks had opened before Resorts are still not even close to completing their permanent sportsbooks.
The new DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts not only has the capability to service large crowds of bettors and spectators, but also offers virtually everything a sports bettor is looking for. That includes the important amenities that go a long way to enhance the sports betting experience.
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts is completely non-smoking. With lots of comfortable seats, easy simultaneous viewing of multiple games, food and beverage service, and friendly and knowledgeable staff on hand to assist you as needed, there’s little not to like.
The Resorts sportsbook opens earlier and stays open later than most Atlantic City casino sportsbooks.
So if you want to bet on a morning or late night game or if it’s more convenient to buy and cash your tickets early in the day or late at night, no problem. There are also self-service kiosks where you can bet on sports 24/7.
Lots of betting options
DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts is now a full-service sports betting facility taking wagers on virtually all major sports. In addition to straight bets, parlays and teaser bets are accepted. Betting lines are also offered on future events.
Friendly, helpful staff
Don’t minimize the importance of this quality, particularly if you are new to sports betting. I was very impressed that the manager and other sportsbook staff took the time to answer my questions. I am also confident that if there is anything you need clarification about, your experience will be similar.
However, if you have a lot of questions and need extra help, I recommend stopping by the sportsbook midweek during the day when it’s less busy.
DraftKings Sports Betting Guide
Sports betting is an entirely different form of gambling than games such as slots where the outcome is based strictly on luck. Players with a basic understanding of the sports betting process and at least some knowledge of the teams have a big edge over those who are just stabbing in the dark.
Also, a big, full-service sportsbook, like the one at Resorts, can be quite intimidating to a first-time player, but it doesn’t have to be.
That’s where the DraftKings’ Sports Betting Guide comes in. It is a must-read for anyone who is new to sports betting, as it covers all the basics, including the different types of bets you can make along with sports betting terminology.
What could be better
Even with all of these great features, there are still several areas where DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts continues to fall short. The most important of these are summarized below.
Limited food options
Having other places at Resorts where one can eat and drink while watching the games is nice. However, many sports bettors, especially those betting serious money and/or having action on multiple games, would prefer to stay put in the sportsbook. The same applies to those who might want to make additional bets on games in progress or bet on later games on the day’s card.
That’s why I was happy to see that DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts has food and beverage menus. However, limiting the menu to spicy and greasy bar food and sushi doesn’t cut it. Not all sports bettors, especially older ones, are into that kind of food.
If the menu also included everyday favorites with mass appeal like burgers, sandwiches, and pizza, there would be something for everybody.
Still no comps for sports bettors
For anyone betting more than a very small amount, given a choice of a sportsbook that offers comps and one that doesn’t, there would have to be other compelling reasons indeed for choosing the latter.
No bets on horses
At the present time, the Borgata Race & Sports Book is the only sports betting facility in Atlantic City that also takes bets on horses. Many sports bettors would bet on horses, too, if that option was made available at Resorts, as it should be.
What you can bet on at DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts?
DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts is a full-service sports betting facility. Therefore, depending on the day and season, bets are accepted on all of the following:
- Pro and college basketball
In addition to point spread, moneyline, and totals bets on games being played the same day or week, patrons can place future bets on which team they think will win a certain championship.
Parlays and teasers are other options. Parlays can include anywhere from 2 to 20 teams, while those betting teasers have a choice of 2-6 teams getting 6, 7, or 7 ½ points or 3 teams getting 10 points. Parlays and teasers can include a combination of sides and totals.
Resorts’ sportsbook FAQ
How many games can I watch at one time?
The wall of 14 high-definition TVs at the new DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts makes it one of the best places in town for anyone wishing to watch multiple games simultaneously.
Can I bet on horses?
DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts does not take bets on horses. The Borgata Race & Sportsbook is the only place in Atlantic City where betting on horses is currently an option.
How do I place a bet at DraftKings Sportsbook at Resorts?
At present, you have two options: Either with an agent at an open window or any time day or night at one of the 12 self-service kiosks.
The minimum bet is $5 at the betting windows, but only $1 at one of the kiosks. Either way, you have up to a full year to cash winning tickets.
Can I also bet sports online?
Yes, both online and mobile sports betting are available via the DraftKings Sportsbook app. Resorts Casino plans to launch its self-branded online sports betting site soon.
DraftKings Sportsbook seating and amenities
What a difference a few months make.
If you made prior visits to the temporary sportsbook, only to make a quick exit as soon as you picked up a betting sheet and made your bets, I don’t blame you. One couch, four chairs one large screen TV, and no food or beverage service isn’t exactly conducive to lingering around.
Now there are more than enough seats and TVs to accommodate large crowds and to allow comfortable viewing from any position in the sportsbook. Patrons can also order food and beverages from any seat in the sportsbook.
The sportsbook offers five different types of seats. Even though the room can accommodate up to 135 people, if you and your party plan to visit on Sunday or another busy time, I strongly recommend coming early to ensure the seats you want are still available. These are your choices:
- Armchairs with drink holder (but no table top): Since the overwhelming majority (92) of the sportsbook’s seats are of this type, you should have no problem getting one. However, the chairs are arranged close to each other in long, stadium-style rows. I don’t mind that, but the lack of a tabletop means you have to use your lap for eating and handicapping.
- A roundtable with nine high chairs: This is ideal for a group of people who want to eat and drink while watching the games.
- A long table with high chairs seating 12
- A circular bar with 12 seats and individual gaming consoles
- VIP seating: This roped-off area for invited high rollers and those ordering premium bottle service offers ultra-plush seating with sofas and cocktail tables. Accommodation there is by reservation only.
The entire room is nonsmoking.
Reviewed by: Barbara Nathan