New Jersey okays PointsBet online sports betting ‘soft play’


pointsbet-new-jersey-sports-bettingNew Jersey’s online sports betting options are set to grow by one while more Pennsylvania casinos want to join their state’s betting brigade.

On Tuesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced that it had authorized Australian operator PointsBet to commence “soft play” online sports betting in partnership with the Meadowlands Racetrack. The two parties originally announced their sports betting tie-up in July.

New Jersey’s sports betting law allows Atlantic City casinos and state racetracks to each offer up to three betting ‘skins,’ and the Meadowlands already has a functioning online and land-based betting deal with Paddy Power Betfair’s US-facing FanDuel brand.

Pointsbet offers both traditional fixed-odds sports betting but also its signature Points Betting product, which marries traditional point spread wagering with spread betting, a product usually associated with financial markets and which has come under increased regulatory scrutiny in Europe in recent years due to some customers’ outsized losses.

Points Betting allows bettors the opportunity to take greater risks for the possibility of greater rewards (and losses) depending on how close the final outcome is to one’s prediction. (See this link for details.)

The DGE is set to announce New Jersey’s sports betting numbers for November on Wednesday (12) and the state is hoping to bounce back from its October results, which saw betting handle hit a record $260.7m while betting revenue fell to $11.7m, less than half of September’s figure.

Across the state line, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has so far approved five casinos’ applications to add sports betting to their mix, although only one – Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse – has actually begun taking wagers. reported that Presque Isle Downs and Casino, which was acquired by Churchill Downs Inc this spring, had submitted its sports betting application to the PGCB late last week. Presque Isle is seeking permission to offer wagers both at its venue and via online and mobile channels.

The Mount Airy Casino Resort is also seeking the PGCB’s permission to offer sports betting, having inked a deal with The Stars Group’s BetStars brand back in August. However, Mount Airy’s betting ambitions seemed to have paused until last week, when a PGCB hearing regarding Mount Airy’s Category 4 ‘satellite’ casino plans indicated that the new venue would include a sportsbook.

A similar request was made at a separate Category 4 hearing for Cordish Cos, which recently assumed full control of the South Philly casino project the company is calling Philly Live! Hotel & Casino. That project also includes a Cat 4 license for Westmoreland County, and the company says its satellite venue will feature a sportsbook.