In this March 15, 2018 photo, people watch coverage of the first round of the NCAA college basketball tournament at the Westgate Superbook sports book in Las Vegas.

AP

Harrah's Becomes 4th Atlantic City Casino With Sports Bets

August 01, 2018 - 3:30 pm
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By The Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A Frank Sinatra impersonator asked Luck to be a lady as he bet on the New York Yankees on Wednesday and an Elvis impersonator thanked the clerk very much for handing him a similar bet slip as Harrah's became the fourth Atlantic City casino to offer sports betting.

The casino started taking sports bets two days after its sister property, Bally's, did, joining the Borgata, Ocean Resort, Bally's and two horse racing tracks, the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park.

"I did one with my heart and one with my head," said James Prendergast, of Washington Township in Warren County. "My heart bet on the (New York) Giants to win the Super Bowl, and my head bet on the (Houston) Texans."

Longtime Harrah's customer Alan Kallman, of Monroe Township, placed the first sports bet at Harrah's, putting $25 on the Yankees to win the World Series — after his wife talked him out of betting on the Boston Red Sox.

"There's a saying, Alan: Happy wife, happy life," said Kevin Ortzman, Atlantic City president of Caesars Entertainment, which owns Harrah's, Bally's and Caesars.

Ortzman said Bally's sports book "has met our expectations" during its first two days of operation, but he would not say how much in bets it had taken in.

What the industry is waiting for is approval to offer mobile or online sports betting. No one has been approved to offer that, although numerous gambling companies have applied to state gambling regulators for permission to do so before football season begins in September.

New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in May clearing the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they choose to do so.

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