GiG to Bring Hard Rock’s Atlantic City Casino into the US Betting Fold

Hard Rock and GiG extend their existing partnership to jointly operate sports betting at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City

Hard Rock International is set to jump into New Jersey’s booming sports betting marketplace in a few months’ time, it became known yesterday. The company said in a statement that it will launch physical and Internet betting operations at its new Atlantic City property sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will thus become the eighth gaming property on the emblematic Atlantic City Boardwalk to be offering sports gambling following the legalization of the practice in June.

It was exactly in June when Hard Rock entered the city’s casino industry with the opening of its hotel and casino complex. The company’s Atlantic City property occupies the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal, which it bought from New York investor Carl Icahn for just over $80 million in the spring of 2017. Te gaming and hospitality giant invested more than $500 million to remake the lavish Indian-themed resort, once managed by US President Donald Trump, into a Hard Rock property. And it became known yesterday that Hard Rock Atlantic City is ready for the next chapter of its story to unfold.

Hard Rock Partners GiG for Sports Betting Launch

News emerged in October that Hard Rock has penned a letter of intent with European gambling company Gaming Innovation Group for the operation of sports betting services at the Atlantic City property. The two companies confirmed yesterday that they have signed an agreement to work together and to bring the casino resort into New Jersey’s sports gambling fold.

Under the terms of the agreement, GiG will provide Hard Rock with its full suite of omni-channel sports betting services. Hard Rock Atlantic City will thus offer over-the-counter wagering, self-service betting terminals, and online wagering via both desktop and mobile. GiG already supplies Hard Rock with online casino offering.

Commenting on yesterday’s announcement, Kresimir Spajic, SVP Online Gaming at Hard Rock International, said in a statement that the launch of sports betting at their Atlantic City property will “mark another step towards becoming a significant player in the national and international sports betting and online gaming industry.” Of their partner, Mr. Spajic said that GiG “has proven to be an innovative, capable, flexible, and trustworthy partner.”

GiG CEO Robin Reed said that Hard Rock choosing his company to power its sportsbook was “a clear statement as to the quality of [their] cutting-edge sports betting services and that he is “proud and delighted to have signed this agreement” which marks GiG’s first inroad into the US sports betting market.

New Jersey legalized sports betting just two weeks after the US Supreme Court lifted on May 14 a long-standing federal ban on wagering. Seven of Atlantic City’s nine operational casinos have rolled out a sports betting product so far, with Hard Rock and Caesars being the only two properties without a sportsbook.

There were suggestions that Hard Rock might not be able to join the sports betting bandwagon due to its naming rights deal with the Miami Dolphins’ home stadium. Hard Rock became the naming partner of the venue in 2016, signing an 18-year agreement. The NFL relaxed its gambling advertising policies early into the new football season, allowing such partnerships and clearing the path for Hard Rock to operate sports betting at its properties, subject to certain restrictions.

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