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  • Writer's pictureBeatinTheBookie

Atlantic City, the Vegas of the East Coast for sports betting?

Prior to June 2018, the only place to "legally" get a bet down was Las Vegas, aka the greatest city in the World, but the June 2018 Supreme Court legalization of sports betting changed the sports betting environment in the United States for the better. How would Atlantic City respond to legalization? They hit the ground running by building the finest apps in the World for mobile betting, and also, they have built the finest brick and mortar sportsbooks in the United States all within driving distance of major East Coast hubs like New York City, Washington DC and Philadelphia (while Philly now has legalized sports betting, the casinos are less than optimal). Atlantic City casinos knew that if they wanted to persuade East Coast bettors to stay on the East Coast to bet, that they had to build the outlets to keep them interested, and they did just that. Lets take a look at the top brick and mortar books in AC.  Ocean Resort - this book, run by William Hill, would be a top 2 spot to watch a game in the entire country, that is how nice it is. It was also the first "real sportsbook" in AC. Featuring wall to wall TV's and new betting self service kiosks, it sits on the boardwalk, within walking distance of the Hard Rock Casino, which also now offers their own sportsbook. Though Oceans wasn't technically the first sportsbook to open in AC, as that title went to the MGM's Borgata, the Borgata never opened a standalone book prior to July 2019, previously they made sports players share a book with parimutuel bettors, which was a bad combination. If you are into table games, Ocean has them all, and in my opinion they have the loosest high limit slots in America as well as a players reward program that truly rewards players with awesome comps.   Bally's - "The Book" opened in July 2019 and it has taken the title as the best sportsbook to watch a game at in America. Over 15,000 square feet (double Ocean's book, which is the 2nd largest in AC), private fan caves for up to 24 people, over 100 seats (high backed recliners too), self service beer taps, and more. This place is just beautiful and features the biggest HDTV I have ever seen, 98 feet by 18 feet, with surround sound and the opportunity to view 12 games at once. If you think the Westgate Superbook is nice, this place will blow you away. While the casino and hotel itself are not the greatest, there's no need to stay there to use their sportsbook, it is also within walking distance of Ocean and the Hard Rock as it is situated on the boardwalk. DraftKings - the DK sportsbook, located in Resorts World Casino, is a very nice and small sportsbook. It "does the job" as they say. The great thing about this place is they will literally offer almost any bet out there and they often have great odds boosts and special deals. Also, they offer early cashout on some wagers and parlays if that is something that interests you. The only drawback here is the cashout process can take up to an hour when they are busy.  The Tropicana - Another William Hill owned sportsbook featuring 180 seats, this place opened right before March Madness. The 5,000 square foot book features nearly 200 linear feet and 1600 square feet of tv displays that can display up to 16 games at once. Another wonderful option in Atlantic City, and again, would be one of the nicest viewing experiences if it were located in Vegas.  The competition between sportsbooks in New Jersey for clients business has also brought on unbelievable arbitrage opportunities for professional players, as @TheRealMrACL has pointed out on his Twitter this last month (you can read about them on his timeline). If you look around and shop, you can sometimes find both sites at +money, especially in the futures market, and this is something that differentiates it from Las Vegas, as Vegas has not had to deal with much business competition as far as odds in decades and features sharper lines.  While apps are great, and often the sports bettor likes to bet app only, there is nothing that can replace the rush of sitting in a sportsbook on a college football Saturday, NFL Sunday or during March Madness. If you have never been to Atlantic City, there has been no better check it out, it is truly a great alternative to Las Vegas, and if you live on the East Coast, it is much closer. I promise you if you visit one of the above mentioned sportsbooks you will not come away disappointed with the surroundings and atmosphere!


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