AC officials highlight benefits of legalized sports gambling
Posted By Brett Miller
ATLANTIC CITY -- $93,889,840 was gambled in Las Vegas on the Super Bowl last year, according to handicapper Jimmy Boyd.
Now Atlantic City wants in on the action.
"Everybody wants to bet on the games -- All the games," says Beverly Callahan. Callahan has worked at the Atlantic Club property for 14 years. Now she says the state of the city's gaming industry has her worried.
"I have friends that work at other casinos and they're worried too. They're slow right now too. We need something to bring people in," she said.
City officials think that legalized sports betting might be just that something.
"Well I think the sports betting in and of itself will do a lot for us as far as visitation," says Jeff Vasser of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority. Vasser says the city has a lot to gain if sports betting is legalized in New Jersey.
"It will bring a lot of visitors into Atlantic City during the periods of sporting events, whether it's a Kentucky Derby, a Super Bowl, a Final Four, and a lot of these things are during the off season - times when we could really use the additional business," said Vasser
Analysts acknowledge that sports betting isn't the biggest money maker, but it serves the important purpose of bringing new guests - and new money - through the casino door.
"What it does is it brings people to town. It brings people to the casinos watching the games and betting on them at the same time," says gaming analyst Roger Gros.
Gros also says that legalization of sports betting could also lead to sports betting on mobile devices.
And though progress for the sports betting bill has been slow, casino heads they look forward to new draws in the future.
"I think it would be tremendous. I think between mobile gambling, online gambling and sports betting, it's an unbeatable combination," said Michael Frawley, Atlantic Club C.O.O.
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