What to do when you are the 19th regulated online sportsbook in New Jersey, and when some rivals have had a head start of more than two years?
After all, the challenge for any new operator at this point is that a casual bettor may already have downloaded and signed up for half a dozen sports wagering apps.
The answer announced Wednesday for Tipico — that 19th operator — is to offer a 100% deposit match of up to $750 to bet on any sport.
“After a successful soft launch of our mobile app this fall, we are now excited to deliver the most attractive welcome offer on the market to New Jersey sports bettors,” Adrian Vella, Tipico’s U.S. managing director, said in a statement.
The timing sets up sports fans in the state — many of them excited about a Super Bowl matchup of legendary quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and upstart counterpart Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs — for a maximum opportunity to stretch their bankroll.
The days leading up to the Super Bowl and to NCAA basketball March Madness figure to be among the best times of the year for budget-minded bettors to search for and find alluring sign-up offers.
New Jersey — and beyond
New Jersey is the first U.S. sports betting state for Tipico, best known in Germany and also known in other parts of Europe. A second sportsbook in Colorado, according to Tipico, is pending thanks to a recent partnership there with Century Casinos.
“Discussions to bring the brand to additional markets are ongoing,” a Tipico official added.
Unsurprisingly, Tipico’s website has a “Coming Soon” notice for Tipico Casino, offering “blackjack, slot games, and more.” Sports bettors in New Jersey have demonstrated an affinity for a “single-wallet” opportunity to play online casino games affiliated with their sports betting apps.
The official launch for Tipico, which has its U.S. headquarters in Hoboken, was Dec. 9. The company promises “original odds from in-house oddsmakers.”
Tipico is an official data licensee of MLB and the NBA, and of the NFL’s “Next Gen Stats.” In Germany, Tipico is an official partner of Bundesliga.
C’mon, Fade the Noise
In another attempt to stand out from the crowd, Tipico has reached a marketing agreement with digital publisher “FTN: Fade The Noise” and media veterans Brad Evans and Jeff Ratcliffe.
The deal includes “delivery of a wide range of exclusive Tipico Sportsbook digital and social media daily features, including Tipico-branded video, audio, and written content distributed across the FTN universe of sites and streaming platforms, highlighting Tipico odds, trending picks, and other sports betting intelligence.”
“This collaboration will allow Tipico to clearly differentiate our educational, data, and intelligence content in the U.S. market, positioning our brand well with the content sports betting audiences crave,” said Tipico U.S. marketing chief Keith Gormley, who also cited FTN’s expertise with daily fantasy sports.
FTN Networks chairman Evans said that “our bold viewpoints and willingness to stick out our necks aligns perfectly with Tipico’s brawny character.”
Sizing up the competition
New Jersey regulators allow each Atlantic City casino and its three racetracks to align with up to three partner “skins” to offer mobile sports betting within state boundaries.
Three casino operators have all three skins in place:
- Caesars Interactive has Caesars Casino, 888sport, and, more recently, WynnBet
- Hard Rock has Hard Rock Casino, bet365, and Unibet
- Resorts features Resorts Casino, DraftKings, and FOX Bet
Tipico is the second skin for Ocean Casino, which previously partnered with William Hill — with the latter serving as Tropicana’s lone skin so far.
William Hill also was the first sports betting partner with Monmouth Park racetrack, thanks to an agreement reached years before a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 opened the door for any state to offer Las Vegas-style sports betting.
Monmouth Park since has reached deals with theScore and Play SugarHouse.
The state’s largest brick-and-mortar sportsbook and mobile betting app is at the Meadowlands Racetrack and FanDuel — with PointsBet also an active partner in New Jersey.
More NJ betting apps coming?
Freehold Raceway, which did not open its track for sports betting until last fall, two weeks ago reached a deal with Australian company PlayUp.
That partnership is not yet listed on the official list kept by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, which likely is reviewing the site before offering final approval. That will be Freehold’s first skin.
PlayUp announced a goal of launching “in the first quarter of 2021” — presumably in time for March Madness. Like Tipico, PlayUp has Colorado, another state with a broad playing field for mobile sports betting, in its sights as its second state.
Penn National, which owns a 50% stake in Freehold Raceway, also is a partner with Barstool Sports, a nationally known brand name with a rabidly loyal audience numbering in the millions.
Jay Snowden, the CEO of Penn National, has said that its casino sportsbooks around the U.S. will be rebranding as Barstool in the coming months. The company has begun doing so in some states, and Snowden lists New Jersey among a “second wave” of states of interest.
While Penn National has no casino interests in New Jersey, the state’s robust appetite for sports betting — with nearly $1 billion wagered on sports in December alone — makes a Barstool sports betting app in the Garden State seem inevitable this year.