Atlantic City's Ocean Resort Casino flung open its doors over the weekend, hoping to lure crowds with celebrity guests including actor Mark Wahlberg, who placed the first wager.
The actor bet $100 on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl in 2019 and went on to place another two bets on the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns.
“I usually always bet with the heart,” Wahlberg told the crowd, while acknowledging the foolishness of such a strategy.
Model Heidi Klum was also in Atlantic City for the opening celebrations. She was spotted dancing in bright yellow trousers and a striped bikini top at the opening of the hotel's HQ2 Beachclub.
“We know that there’s an appetite for sports betting here in New Jersey,” Jo Asher, CEO of the US branch of William Hill, told CNBC. “It’s going to be a successful investment if we do our job well now and execute.”
The Ocean Resort Casino wasn’t the only one to open in Atlantic City, the Hard Rock Casino also had its inauguration in the New Jersey seaside resort.