After closure of Atlantic City casinos, legalization of sports betting provides hope

January 31, 2020 KRTV

By Chris Stewart

Since the 1930s, the sound of the world’s largest pipe organ has been a constant inside Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. It's a city along an ocean, that's been in a sea of change. From 2014 to 2016, five of Atlantic City's 12 casinos closed and more than 11,000 jobs were lost. But there is a new optimism for casinos in this city, sparked by legal sports betting.

 

New Jersey won a Supreme Court case in 2018 that cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting if they choose.

 

Steve Callender is a casino executive and the head of the Casino Association of New Jersey.

 

“We did about $300 million in the state in revenue for 2019," said Callender. "$125 million of that is in Atlantic City.”

 

Last May, New Jersey became the first to ever beat Nevada when it came to money legally bet on sports.

 

“It’s safer, it’s more convenient. There are some aspects of the other side that are never going to change but for someone who just wants to make a bet and not worry about it, this is the easiest thing to do," Callender said.