When the gates to legalize New Jersey sports betting opened in June, it came as no surprise that the MGM Resorts-owned Borgata was the first Atlantic City land-based casino ready to take wagers.
The top-grossing casino converted the existing racebook into the Borgata Race & Sportsbook. NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving christened the space by making the initial bet.
Rumors are that Borgata plans to open a $7 million sportsbook space eventually, but the company is keeping the details under wraps.
Mobile/online sports betting is, of course, the other big piece of the picture. It’s getting to the point where the number of New Jersey sports betting apps (eight) will soon outnumber the land-based casinos in AC (nine).
The playMGM NJ Sports app, which launched Aug. 22 for Android devices only, is one. DraftKings, via its partnership with Resorts, was the only app to roll out sooner. The product is a joint venture between European-based GVS Holdings and MGM Resorts.
No sportsbook bonus
The playMGM Sportsbook app is not offering a first-deposit bonus at this time.
The current promotional offers are tied into the playMGM Casino app, including $25 on the house and 100 percent first-deposit match up to $1,000. All of the offers can be found by clicking on the “My Account” tab.
PlayMGM Sports NJ
MGM Resorts is the operator behind Borgata, the top casino in Atlantic City. It is also the brains behind the PlayMGM network of NJ gambling websites, including PlayMGM Sports. The app itself is available separately from the NJ online casino app of the same, but the two share a wallet. While the convenience is a good thing, the overall experience of PlayMGM sportsbook app in NJ is hit and miss.
Create your playMGM NJ sports account
After downloading the app via the website or the Google Play store, you need to register for an account.
Those with a playMGM casino or poker account can bypass the registration process and log in using an existing username and password.
You need to log into your account to view the sports betting card and odds, even if you have no intention of placing a bet.
What sports does playMGM sports offer?
You will find a full sports menu that includes:
- Australian Football League
- College basketball
- College football
- Golf, including the PGA Tour
- MMA, and other combat sports
- Motorsports, including NASCAR and IndyCar
- Soccer, including English Premier League
PlayMGM’s sports betting wager options
The playMGM NJ Sports app offers several popular betting options. The odds for most wagers can be found within the individual game boxes.
This straight-up bet comes down to picking the winning team. Regarding the potential payout, it comes down to how much you wager. For instance, if you placed a $100 bet on the underdog Arizona Cardinals (+375) to beat the Minnesota Vikings and your team comes out on top, the payout would be $375. The favored Vikings, listed as a heavy favorite (-500), may not be as appealing to bettors as it would take a $500 bet to win $100.
The point spread bets are extremely popular with football games. While the favored team may win the game, the points may produce a different outcome for bettors. It comes down to the simple question: Are you willing to give up the points (betting on the favorite) or take the points (place money on the underdog)? That extra half point can often make the difference between a winning and losing ticket.
Are you taking the over or under? You need to decide which side of the posted scoreline the game will fall.
The playMGM NJ Sports app lists these more exotic wagers under props within each game box. For football games, the betting options may include the first team to score, what the first scoring play will be, the number of pass attempts by a quarterback or number of rushing yards by a running back. The winning ticket can be cashed in once the result is decided.
Look into a crystal ball or predicting tool of choice and bet on future outcomes of a season or event months before it occurs. There is still time to bet on next year’s Super Bowl, Stanley Cup and NBA Finals winner. Player bets include betting on who will win the league MVP or what quarterback will finish the season with the most passing yards.
Separate apps, one wallet
The playMGM NJ Sports, Casino and Poker apps may be independent, at least for now, but once funds are deposited, they can be transferred between the apps, which eliminates the hassle of depositing into three separate accounts.
It may not match the convenience of the all-in-one-app package currently offered to Caesars, SugarHouse and PokerStars NJ (iOS only) customers, but the transfer option certainly has its advantages. Users can track transactions by clicking on the “My Account” tab.
Inside the playMGM NJ Sports app
Users expecting a flashy app with exciting graphics and eye-catching features will be disappointed. The New Jersey version of the app is as basic as it gets, with a white background and black lettering combined with a touch of gold.
The home page only lists account info and does not display any upcoming NFL, NHL or NBA games.
The sports lobby is accessible by clicking on the “Sports” tab below. The landing page features a complete list of all of the sports offerings. Available betting options can be found by clicking on the sport of choice.
The platform setup is entirely different from the majority of the other offerings out there where users can view a complete listing of odds via the lobby (many of which don’t require users to log into an account). These extra steps may frustrate users.
The upside to the simplicity is bettors will have no trouble navigating the site being that all aspects of the app can be found under the tab located in the top left-hand corner. The Sports and My Account pages are where the most useful info can be found.
Customer support options can be found by clicking on the Help tab.
Depositing at playMGM NJ Sports
There are several methods for funding an account. The minimum deposit amount is $10 and the maximum amount is $10,000.
- Borgata Casino’s cash cage
- Online banking transfer
Withdrawals at playMGM NJ Sports
There are currently four withdrawal options:
- Borgata Casino’s cash cage
- Check by mail
iRewards loyalty program
Unlike the playMGM casino and poker apps, playMGM NJ Sports currently does not offer users the opportunity to earn iRewards points or earn tier credits.
If and when the program is added, there are five tiers to the iRewards loyalty program:
- Sapphire: 0 tier credits
- Pearl: 25,000 tier credits
- Gold: 75,000 tier credits
- Platinum: 200,000 tier credits
- Noir: Invitation only
Garden State rules
Location: Wagers on the playMGM NJ Sports app must be placed in New Jersey. Geolocation technology is used to verify location.
Age: Just like the Borgata, players must be at least 21 years old to gamble online.
Prohibited wagering: Betting on high school sporting events is not permitted. No wagers are being accepted on collegiate athletic events taking place in New Jersey.
Wagering on New Jersey-based colleges/universities are not permitted. It doesn’t matter where Rutgers, Princeton, Seton Hall or any other school is playing. This rule applies to bowl games and the NCAA tournament.
playMGM Sports has room to improve
The playMGM Sports NJ app was ready for launch phase by mid-August, but almost two months later, iOS and web-browser customers are still waiting for the product to be released.
The combination of being one of the world’s biggest gaming companies, and the fact that there is a sharper-looking version of the app available for iOS users in Nevada, likely has many wondering what is taking so long. An August press release from GVC Holdings included the words “iOS version due to launch imminently.”
The September revenue figures released by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement — the first full month that the app was available for bettors — show that the playMGM Sports is trailing behind its digital competitors that have launched iOS and web browser platforms. Resorts Digital, which includes the industry-leading DraftKings SportsBook and BetStars, reported $8,505,940 in revenue compared to the $120,938 earned by the Borgata-affiliated app. On the flip side, Borgata’s retail sportsbook trailed only the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in September revenue.
The bottom line is it’s way too early to judge how the playMGM NJ Sports app measures up against the rest of the pack as the iOS and web browser customers are missing from the equation. The overall platform design, lack of a first deposit promo and the extra steps needed to access the odds are enough to make the other apps much more attractive.
Like the Borgata retail sportsbook, this could be a teaser of something bigger and better to come.