In the state of New Jersey, if an owner of a casino has an involvement with a sports team, the casino is restricted from offering sports betting on that sports. In Atlantic City, the Golden Nugget has been unable to accept wagers on the NBA due to the owner of the casino Tilman Fertitta also having a stake in the Houston Rockets, a Texas NBA team. Lawmakers of the state are currently considering lifting the ban.
The sportsbook of the Golden Nugget is the only one affected by this state law. The sportsbook is unable to fairly compete with their rivals due to the inability to offer NBA wagering. Assembly Bill 5463 would make the necessary changes where the casino could offer NBA bets. The bill states that an owner of 10% or more of a sports team’s governing body would be allowed to place or accept wagers on certain events where other member teams participate.
Basically, the casino would be able to take wagers on NBA games. But they would not be able to offer bets on games that involve the team that Fertitta owns, the Rockets. This would still allow the casino to benefit from NBA betting.
The sport of basketball contributes to about 1/3 of the bets taken in New Jersey. The Golden Nugget has reported only six figures during the busy NBA season but other casinos are hitting the eight figure margins. The casino is certainly missing out on revenues.
If the bill is able to move forward, it would help the Golden Nugget to remain at the forefront in the state’s gambling industry. They already are the top online operator, bringing in tens of millions every month from online gaming.
It will be interesting to see if this bill can move forward and give the sports betting industry of the casino giant the push it needs to stay competitive with other sports books in the state.