Hard Rock Atlantic City Partners with Kindred Group for Sports Betting
Kindred Group, formerly Unibet, is making a move to enter the U.S. sports betting industry by announcing a deal to offer sports betting with Hard Rock Atlantic City.
The agreement will see Kindred pursue Casino Service Industry Enterprise License from New Jersey regulators.
The companies said in a press release that the collaboration between two international brands, will combine Hard Rock’s first-class lifestyle and entertainment experience with Kindred’s state-of-the-art digital innovation and data analysis, creating a strong offering in the New Jersey market.
“Hard Rock is proud to partner with one of the fastest growing operators in the industry. We are hopeful that Kindred’s international experience and commitment to innovation will translate to a significant success in New Jersey,” said Kresimir Spajic, SVP Online Gaming at Hard Rock International.
Kindred has said it wants to move into the U.S. Sports betting market. New Jersey was the third U.S. state to allow sports betting after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban. New Jersey allows both live sports book and online sports betting.
“This is a very exciting moment for Kindred as we have been working hard to take this first important step into what will most likely become the largest betting market in the world. I’m also delighted that we have been able to team up with a true lifestyle and entertainment brand and I am confident that Kindred and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City will give New Jersey customers an absolutely great sports betting and gaming experience”, says Manuel Stan, SVP Kindred US.
In another development, two new online apps for sports betting debuted in the state last week.
MGM International—through its Borgata casino in Atlantic City—and GVC Holdings launched an online playMGM sports betting app for Android phones. The app has initially been soft launched on the Android platform, with an iOS version due to launch soon.
The app is supported by a strong pipeline of new products and features that will be introduced over time, as the sports betting market in New Jersey develops, the companies said in a press release.
“We are delighted to launch our new playMGM sports betting app in New Jersey, and believe that the joint venture’s rapid entry into this market puts it in a very good position to take market share,” said Adam Greenblatt, GVC Director of Corporate Development and Strategy. “While time to market is clearly important, we are also focused on our proprietary product development roadmap which will see new features introduced quickly, and without third party technology dependencies. The app provides customers the opportunity to place bets on all major US sporting events anytime and anywhere within New Jersey, and represents a significant first step for the joint venture’s operations in the US mobile sports betting market.”
Meanwhile, PlaySugarHouse.com, the New Jersey online site owned by Rush Street Interactive, launched online sports betting through its online casino. Though the Sugar House casino is in Philadelphia, Rush Street is partnered with the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City for online gambling and Kambi for its new sports betting app.
Rush Street pointed out in a press release that they have experience with online sports betting having launched a site in Colombia.
“Being the first US-based gaming operator to launch a regulated online sportsbook outside of the US has been helpful in establishing the SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino,” said Richard Schwartz, President of Rush Street Interactive in a press release. “We’ve matured our sportsbook product and validated that players value our proprietary sportsbook loyalty program, including earning points on every single bet.”
The app is available on iOS and Android.
The two online additions join DraftKings’ online app which launched earlier this month. DraftKings is partnered with Resorts casino to offer online sports betting.
Also, a lawsuit has been filed in an attempt to stop a firm from blocking the construction of a sports betting facility on the site of the former Garden State Park racetrack in Cherry Hill.
New Jersey’s sports betting bill allows for sports books at two closed state racetracks—Garden State and Atlantic City Racecourse.
However, the suit alleges that GS Park Racing—which says it has exclusive rights to gaming at the site—is blocking development of a sports book to protect its other tracks in Pennsylvania, owned by its parent firm Greenwood racing. The company is also a defendant in the suit and operates Parx Casino and an adjacent racetrack in Bensalem, as well as off-track betting facilities in Philadelphia and Valley Forge.
GS Park Racing owns a 10-acre parcel set aside almost 20 years ago for an off-track betting parlor.
The suit was brought by developer Cherry Hill Towne Center Partners LLC of Piscataway which says it wants to operate or lease a betting facility on some 23 acres at the track site, which is now a mix of stores, restaurants and housing, according to a report in the Cherry Hill Courier Post. The developer has received zoning approval for a sports bar at the site.
The lawsuit asks a federal judge in Camden to declare restrictions on gambling at the former track to be “invalid and unenforceable” and that sports betting being allowed at the site could not have been contemplated when the restrictions were made.
According to the Courier Post, GS racing has told the developer in a letter that it “attaches significant importance and value to the rights it holds under the restrictive covenants,” and will fight to have them enforced.