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Golden Nugget AC, Churchill Downs pact for sports wagering

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Scene from a sports book at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Scene from a sports book at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. - ()

Earlier this week, sports betting was legalized across the entire United States, and now the Atlantic City casinos are jumping onboard.

On Wednesday morning, gaming and online entertainment company Churchill Downs Inc. announced it inked a deal with Golden Nugget Atlantic City to begin offering sports betting options for patrons.

The agreement entails the resort and casino entering the New Jersey real money online gaming system, known as iGaming, and the sports betting market.

Golden Nugget joins Monmouth Racetrack, which a day after the landmark decision, announced they’d offer sports betting beginning on Memorial Day weekend.

Patrons at Golden Nugget can expect the sports wagering option to be rolled out as soon as the first quarter of 2019.

“We welcome Churchill Downs, a respected U.S. gaming operator with online wagering experience, to New Jersey,” said Thomas Winter, senior vice president and general manager, Online Gaming, for Landry's Golden Nugget. “The addition of their offering will allow Golden Nugget Atlantic City to cater to an even larger demographic of New Jersey online players.”

The specifics of what the Golden Nugget will offer are up in the air, pending legislation by the state Legislature.

Hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing sports wagering, elected officials began ironing out a 12.5 percent tax levy on sports betting, on top of a flurry of other potential regulations including licensing.

“We want to act quickly to capitalize on the Court’s decision so that we can get sports gaming in place and operating in New Jersey,” said Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-3rd District, one of the bill’s sponsors.

But Senate Budget Committee Chair Paul Sarlo, D-36th District, said at a Tuesday morning budget hearing that the industry might bring in as little as $20 million in the 2019 fiscal year, a small ding on a state budget which runs to the tens of billions.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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