Basketball Legend Dr. J, Sen. Sweeney Place First Legal Sports Bets in Atlantic City

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Just three days after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill legalizing sports betting in the Garden State, an Atlantic City casino is already taking wagers.

“We’re proud to be the first casino in Atlantic City to offer this type of entertainment,” said Marcus Glover, president and COO at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

On Thursday, June 14th, many gathered at the newly renamed Borgata Race & Sports Book (inside the property) as State Senate President Steve Sweeney joined Philadelphia 76ers legend Julius "Dr. J" Erving to place the first official legal sports wager in Atlantic City.

We’re hoping is that this brings more foot traffic into the casino.

“We lost every step of the way until we got to the Supreme Court and people kept telling us to give up and we didn’t," said Sweeney. "It’s nice to know the State of New Jersey changed the law nationally.” 

Dozens waited outside Borgata’s Race & Sports Book in hopes of being one of the first to finally get a chance to bet on sports.

“Well, today I’ll probably put some money on the Phillies," said Brian Bratspis, of Scottsdale, Ariz. "I’m not a big sports better these days, but I wanted to be here for the experience.

"I’m real excited for all the employees of these hotels in Atlantic City who have waited for decades.” 

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The state senate president believes setting the tax rate relatively low will help bring people from other states to Atlantic City to place their bets.

“We’re hoping that this brings more foot traffic into the casino. You can only imagine what Atlantic City would’ve been like with the Eagles in the Super Bowl or Villanova in the Final Four,” said Sweeney.

“I don’t care if the whole country gets it eventually," said Marty Small, city council president. "No one has the complete package that Atlantic City has, and I’m sure at the end of the day we’ll do very well with this.” 

“They’re going to make the right moves right from day one and I think they’ll be successful,” said Erving.

“I believe the era that we begin today will prove to be beneficial to our company, to the industry, and as well to the community,” said Glover.

This is the beginning of an era that many think will be a slam dunk for Atlantic City.

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