Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa was buzzing with excitement today as the grand opening ceremony for their sports book took place in front of a crowd of onlookers, gamblers and sports fans. This historic event comes just three days after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill passed unanimously by the State Legislature, allowing licensed casinos to establish legal sports books.
Borgata was able to seamlessly add sports betting to its resort, as it is the only casino in Atlantic City that already has an active racebook running on premises. The Racebook will now be named The Race & Sports Book.
Speakers at the grand opening included Borgata CEO Marcus Glover, New Jersey State Senator Steve Sweeney, Assemblyman John Burzichelli and former Philadelphia 76ers star, Julius “Dr. J” Erving.
Erving also was given the honor of placing the first official wager, at which point he chose to bet the Philadelphia Eagles to repeat their Super Bowl victory next season.
While experts predict that the sports book will only bring in about 2 percent in overall revenue, the increase in visitors to Atlantic City is expected to drive profits through a variety of avenues.
“I don’t want anyone thinking it’s going to be such a large financial gain for us, because it’s not. But for us it means getting more feet in the casinos. Maybe (some people will be) going to restaurants, going to a show or other things that are here,” Sweeney says.
“It’s going to ensure more jobs are created down here, it’s going to help our racetracks. All in all it’s a big win for us,” he added.
Burzichelli seems equally optimistic.
“It’s a very exciting moment,” he says. We have an underground economy about to become mainstream. People can bet in a legal environment … I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.