Sports Betting Gets Going

Now that the Supreme Court has opened the door to states to legalize sports betting in the United States, numerous online Vegas games companies, land-based casino sites, fantasy sports groups and others are laying the groundwork to make sports betting more accessible to more people. 

New Jersey

Well-known Atlantic City casinos such as Bally's Wild Wild West and Harrah's Resort will begin offering sports betting this week which will bring them in line with the Borgata and Ocean Resort Casinos and The Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks.  

Presently, along with the 4 aforementioned casinos and 2 racetracks, Freehold Raceway, the Golden Nugget and Hard Rock Atlantic City are preparing to offer sports betting opportunities while DraftKing Sportsbook and Bet365 are getting their online sites ready to take online sports bets. 

Bally’s temporary sportsbook operation is located inside the Wild Wild West casino. It features 30 leather chairs that have been set up right in front of 8 TV screens (three large screens and five smaller screens.)  The cashier windows have been converted to sports wagering windows for an authentic look and feel. The Harrah’s sports area looks similar. 


Caesars Entertainment is preparing its Mississippi casinos, Horseshoe Tunica and Harrah’s Gulf Coast resorts, to set up sports betting stations. Caesars will be working in partnership with Scientific Games Corporation. Sci Games will activate its OpenBet sportsbook platform for Caesars' land-based sports betting and mobile betting. Caesars anticipates an advantage against its rivals thanks to its experience in operating sports books in Las Vegas. 

Mark Frissora, Caesars Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer said “We recognize that our customers expect exciting new experiences, which is why we will continue to offer new products through our mobile and digital platforms and inside our properties.” 

Caesars plans to have its Mississippi sports betting operations in operation by mid-August, ahead of the MGM Resorts launch which will be done in partnership with GVC Holdings, one of the world's largest UK-based bookmakers. The MGM venture is envisioned as a $200 million sports betting and online gaming operation that will allow bettors to place bets on both online games and sporting events. 

West Virginia

In August West Virginia started issuing interim permits for sports betting. The state is preparing to launch a state-regulated industry later this summer and is looking to GeoComply Solutions to begin the process. 

David Briggs, CEO of the geolocation supplier GeoComply, said "West Virginia has been very proactive in their goal to become among the first states to introduce legal online sports wagering and we are grateful for the support they have shown us in the licensing process.We are now ready to supply compliance-grade geolocation solutions to the local operators and partners in the West Virginia to get online sports wagering up and running in the state. 

The new sports betting bill, passed by the West Virginian legislature in March, authorizes both on-site and online/mobile wagering. WV has already established regulations for the new venture which allows each of the five licensed WV casinos to create up to three individually branded platforms. The Greenbriar Casino announced that they will be partnering with the FanDuel sports fantasy company to deliver both online and retail sports betting under the Greenbriar license.  

According to the WV sports betting legislation, operators can only accept bets from bettors who are physically located in West Virginia. Betting platforms must block users who try to access the sports book from outside the state. That is why the involvement of  GeoComply is important. 

Danielle Boyd, Managing General Council of the West Virginia Lottery, said that she was pleased to issue the interim approval to Geocomply. "With the recent repeal of PASPA, we have set a very aggressive timeline for introducing sports wagering in the state, and are happy to have GeoComply show its readiness to support our launch in time for the new NFL season." The operators are looking at a September 1 launch. 


In general companies like GeoComply are going to be proving to be more and more important to mobile sports betting. These companies build virtual fences that mirror borders (or a state or a country).  The company helps casinos and other betting companies enforce the law by blocking PC or mobile users who are trying to access the casino or betting apparatus but who are not located in the prescribed area.   

NBA Partnership

MGM has announced a gaming partnership with the NBA. The announcement establishes MGM as the official gaming partner of both the men's NBA and the women's WNBA. The companies said, in a joint press release "The partnership is the NBA's first with a sports betting operator in the U.S. and is the first of its kind between MGM Resorts and a major professional sports league.

This historic partnership will bring millions of NBA fans and MGM Resorts guests together through an innovative collaboration that will open new and exciting opportunities to engage with each other's world-class brands and products. The partnership is the NBA's first with a sports betting operator in the U.S. and is the first of its kind between MGM Resorts and a major professional sports league."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the agreement will enable innovative in-game gambling. He added that "As the landscape for sports betting in the U.S. continues to evolve at a rapid pace, MGM Resorts is a proven gaming leader for us to work with on this groundbreaking partnership. "Most of the action outside the United States is moved to what's called in play. In Europe it's 80 percent and higher, and that can be anything to the amount of points a player scores in a particular quarter. It can be based on something like rebounds ... That's really where you get the engagement."

MGM said that it is committed to protect the integrity of the games through the sharing of  real-time data with the NBA.

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