The first thing to know about mobile sportsbetting in New Jersey is that it’s all about geography. You have to physically be in the Garden State to place the wager.
The Elks Club in Brigantine? No problem.
The Macy’s at the Deptford Mall? Sure will make Christmas shopping less painful.
The Stone Pony in Asbury Park? Yep. Tell The Boss we said hello.
DraftKings, which is running the ‘book for Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, on Monday became the first to offer mobile sportsbetting state-wide in New Jersey.
Here’s a primer on how it works.
What’s the first step?
First of all, players have to be 21 years old.
Download the DraftKings’ sportsbook app or visit DraftKings.com to open an account. The sportsbook app/site is different from the daily fantasy sports site.
You’ll need a credit card or major bank card. Some smaller banks have not yet authorized sportsbetting activity. DraftKings went through this when they started their Daily Fantasy Sports empire.
Players do not need to be in New Jersey to set up an account or even collect from it. But you do have to be in New Jersey to place a wager.
With DraftKings going mobile sports betting for all today in New Jersey, I crossed over state lines to New York to see just how good the geofencing is. They passed. And I’m apparently on some watch list now. pic.twitter.com/fRBGS4yZLK
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 7, 2018
Before this goes any further, what’s the number for compulsive gamblers to get help?
What’s the best thing about mobile sports betting?
“I can bet in my underwear,” said Vegas Vic, our Nevada-based handicapper who has been using apps to make his wagers for about two years. “I can bet at the pool, everywhere. It’s made life a lot easier. When it’s 109 degrees, I don’t have to get in my car (and drive to a sports book.)”
Plus, there are no lines to place a wager thus eliminating “the shut-out,” which Doyle Lonnegan hilariously fell victim to in the 1973 film “The Sting.” Ya follow?
The Shut-Out was one of the classic scenes in the 1973 Academy-Award winning film The Sting.
What’s the worst?
Unfortunately, mobile sportsbetting likely means less jobs. Atlantic City doesn’t need the palatial sportsbooks that dot the Las Vegas Strip. “Mobile is IT,” Vegas Vic declared. “It’s like everything else.” Been in the newspaper business for three decades, we know the impact of digital.
Otherwise, Vic had no complaints. He uses apps from William Hill, Westgate and Stations sportsbooks. He does not use DraftKings, which is not licensed in Nevada for sportsbetting.
One complaint we at Philly.com have gotten is that DraftKings’ early baseball lines were not customer friendly. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were some slight differences in baseball money lines that would work against players.
Can you elaborate?
For instance, the Phillies line for Wednesday afternoon at the Borgata was +$150. On DraftKings it was +$143. It’s only a couple dollars for small players — and sportsbooks will always have variances — but it could be a hefty difference for heavy hitters.
How do I collect?
Couple different ways.
Transfers can be made back to credit cards, but not yet bank cards. DraftKings is hoping to get that ironed out by the start of the NFL regular season.
Another is via the cashier’s cage at Resorts in Atlantic City. Not optimal unless you’re at the southern shore.
Finally, players may request a check, which can take 10-12 business days.
Doesn’t mobile sports betting make it easier to be reckless?
“No,” Vic said. “You can get more reckless with an illegal bookie. You can pile up and pile up (losses) and then you have to settle on Monday or Tuesday.” With mobile, players can only bet what’s in their accounts and then must re-up when it’s empty. But you pay first; there’s no credit like what’s offered on the street.
DraftKings also has “self-exclusion” and “cool off” options for players who are getting too nuts.
Is DraftKings the only company offering mobile in New Jersey?
For the moment, yes. But others are coming. William Hill-US (through Ocean Resort casino in Atlantic City), MGM (Borgata) and Caesars Entertainment (Bally’s, Harrah’s) all say they’ll be offering mobile shortly.
What if I don’t want to put my credit card out there?
There will always be brick-and-mortar operations, it’s the law in New Jersey. So for residents of the Philadelphia area, Atlantic City and Delaware (Wilmington, Dover) remain the closest options for traditional sportsbooks.
Delaware does not yet offer mobile sports betting and it doesn’t appear as if it will anytime soon. The Pennsylvania law for a sportsbetting license — which requires a $10 million fee, plus 36 percent tax on profits — has been laughed at by current casino operators in the Keystone State.
What are the Eagles lines?
For Thursday’s preseason opener against Pittsburgh, DraftKings and the Borgata both had the Eagles at -3 as of Wednesday afternoon. For the regular season opener against Atlanta, DraftKings has the Eagles -4.5 while the Borgata is Eagles -4.
OCEAN RESORT UPDATE
Construction work is continuing at Ocean Resort’s sportsbook. The first of their video boards is due to be installed tomorrow.
The ‘book, which is operated by William Hill-US, is using a temporary counter with a handful of tellers. The gigantic room should be quite a sight when completed, which officials estimate should be by the end of the month.