How coronavirus is affecting New Jersey sportsbooks

The coronavirus outbreak has shut down a significant portion of the sporting world, and that has hurt the New Jersey sports betting market.

Sunday, March 15 was to be Selection Sunday for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but March Madness has been canceled this season and there are indefinite suspensions for the NBA, NHL, and MLB.

With events being canceled and the suspensions of leagues, the wagering options at New Jersey sportsbooks are limited. UFC is still going on and there are still NFL futures bets to be made, including the popular ‘Will Tom Brady play next season?’ market.

FanDuel Sportsbook recently released a statement saying, “Given the leagues’ decision to suspend games, we will void and refund all FanDuel Sportsbook bets on canceled games and all futures wagers will remain active until the leagues make final determinations on the remainder of the season. We will reevaluate once the leagues determine next steps, and will follow up with updates as we have them.”

New Jersey sportsbooks have remained open for business, but that could change at any time. Atlantic City casinos and retail books are still trading, even though their March Madness parties and live entertainment shows have been canceled.

William Hill New Jersey, which operates the land-based sportsbooks at the Tropicana and Ocean Casino Resort, recently released a statement saying, “We are continuing to monitor the situation and keeping everyone’s safety top of mind. Our Sports Books are currently open. Wagers that have been placed on canceled events have been voided and will be refunded. With regards to the suspended leagues, all futures bets remain as ‘action’ as long as a winner is declared. We will provide more details on open bets as additional information becomes available.”

While bookies are still taking bets, the pickings are slim. The PGA Tour canceled the Players Championship after the first round and the XFL recently pulled the pin on its inaugural season.

Here is an update to cancelations and suspensions for US sports:

• Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments – canceled
• NCAA Men’s and Women’s spring sports – canceled
• Players Championship – canceled
• XFL season – canceled (will return in 2021)
• NBA, NBA, MLB and MLB seasons – indefinitely suspended

The NBA suspended its season soon after the cancelation of a game last week between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder. Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, as did his teammate and fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell.

President of DraftKings Matt Kalish recently sent an email to customers that said, “As you know, the rising concerns surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) have begun to impact the schedules for major sports leagues worldwide. With most of the major US leagues on a suspension from play as we stand here tonight, we wanted to provide an update on our plans here at DraftKings.”

He went onto write, “In the coming weeks, we will continue to offer all of our products in all cases where sports are happening. DFS, as well as sportsbook, will continue to be live, as will our casino games. We will strive to be a source of entertainment and joy for you during these unprecedented times. There will not be any change to our commitment to deliver you the best experience possible throughout this period.”

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