The former $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel reopened as Ocean Resort Casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk on June 28, 2018, with sports betting as a major focus.
At Ocean Resort Casino’s licensing hearing in advance of the re-opening, company officials revealed plans to feature a 7,500-square-foot William Hill US-run sportsbook right in the center of the casino floor.
Construction of the sportsbook could not be completed in time for the re-opening. However, Ocean Resort Casino showed its commitment to sports betting by opening up a temporary sportsbook in its place while construction continued.
Then, the week before the start of NFL football season, the new permanent sportsbook was revealed in all its glory.
Ocean Resort Casino opens
Actor Mark Wahlberg was the first person to place a bet at Ocean Resort Casino’s temporary sportsbook. He bet $200 on the NFL’s New England Patriots to win next year’s Super Bowl during the casino’s grand opening.
Borgata’s Race & Sports Book launched June 14, 2018, as the first casino-based sportsbook in New Jersey. Up to the end of July, it remained the top-grossing casino-based sports betting facility in the state, generating a total of more than $1.5 million in NJ sports betting revenue.
However, the William Hill Sports Book at Ocean Resort led all casino-based sportsbooks in July, generating $1.03 million in revenue. The sportsbook at Ocean Resort Casino has actually generated $1.22 million in sports betting revenue since its June 28 launch.
It now appears poised to become the top-grossing casino-based sports betting facility in the state beginning in August 2018.
The permanent sportsbook at Ocean Resort Casino remained under construction heading into the last week of August 2018 before it opened its doors Aug. 31. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Sept. 6 ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles-Atlantic Falcons football game.
The sportsbook occupies an area that once housed Revel’s nightclubs.
$6 million sportsbook still under construction
William Hill US and Ocean Resort Casino reportedly spent $6 million on the 7,500-square-foot facility. It features a wall of television screens and a number of large semi-circular booths.
Officials at William Hill promised the sportsbook will be fully functional by the time the NFL begins its new season, and they delivered. William Hill also operates the sportsbook at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport.
While waiting for the new sportsbook to open, however, Ocean Resort Casino launched its NJ gambling website, Ocean Online Casino, less than two weeks after opening its doors.
Ocean Online Casino and mobile sports betting
Ocean Online Casino began a five-day soft launch on July 10, 2018, with a scaled-down version of what the online gambling operation will eventually become. At launch, it featured approximately 50 online slots, six versions of video poker, and electronic table games including blackjack and roulette.
The site is powered by international online gambling software company GAN. Ocean Resort Casino’s original deal with GAN includes plans to launch an online casino and sports betting site directly connected to the Ocean Resort Casino player loyalty rewards program.
The site is still ramping up full-scale online casino operations, and the online sports betting component has yet to launch.
Of course, GAN inked a deal with sports betting solutions supplier SBTech in January 2018 that will ultimately see SBTech supply real-money sports betting services to GAN’s portfolio of US casino operator clients.
The plan includes integrating SBTech’s sports betting solution into GAN’s software platform. William Hill US is handling the retail side of things at Ocean Resort Casino. That presumably leaves the online and mobile sportsbook side to GAN and SBTech.
From Revel to Ocean Resort Casino
Florida developer Glenn Straub purchased Revel Casino Hotel out of bankruptcy for $82 million in 2015. However, Straub could not agree with local authorities over his need for a casino license and never re-opened the property.
Instead, he flipped it to Colorado developer Bruce Deifik in January 2018 for more than $200 million. Deifik immediately re-branded the property Ocean Resort Casino. He procured the necessary licenses and re-opened the property on June 28, 2018, less than six months after buying it.
Ocean Resort Casino now features a 1,399-room hotel. Plus, a 140,000-square-foot casino situated on 20 acres of prime real estate on the AC Boardwalk. In addition to the state-of-the-art sportsbook that’s now up and running, the casino features close to 2,000 slots and 100 table games.
Despite its roller-coaster history, Ocean Resort plans on making its mark in the Atlantic City casino and NJ sports betting world. All signs point to it doing just that.