November’s Atlantic City casino sweeps

While everything is happily a go for three newly approved Pennsylvania casinos to enter the sports-wagering operations game — including Philly’s SugarHouse Casino, which plans to begin taking bets on Dec. 1 — everything continues to be temporary, location-wise, in each of the casinos.

So no one, administratively, wants to talk in-depth about casino sportsbook hot spots until they’re ready. So let’s head to Atlantic City, where several issues are brewing and winter is coming.

William Hill duels against FanDuel

There’s enough room in the Atlantic City casino scene for two big-name sportsbook operators. What there isn’t room for is potential plagiarism. To that end, the Jersey subsidiary of Britain’s online sportsbook operation giants, William Hill (who service Ocean Resorts Casino), filed a lawsuit against FanDuel Inc. over allegations the latter had copied the former’s betting guide wording nearly verbatim.

For such copyright infringement, Hill is seeking unspecified damages and profits the defendant has gleaned from the allegedly copied guide.

FanDuel is truly having a weird time in New Jersey as of late, according to the Legal Sports Report, who recently wrote about one case of FD’s refusal to pay victorious late-night bettors, and another where the dueling online giant refused to pay out on a printed ticket during a wager on the recent Oakland-Denver game.

Wrist slap at Hard Rock

Mann Lien, a legendary local strategic casino and Asian marketing executive who once worked for Atlantic City’s Tropicana and Hilton hotel-casinos, recently got hired away by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Congrats. Sounds harmless, yes? No. The state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) hit the Hard Rock with a $5,000 fine because the casino didn’t notify the agency of a major employment decision.

Bring on the planes

During Saturday’s sold-out Savor Borgata Ultimate Food Experience, several celebrity chefs made appearances, all of whom have longtime interests and restaurants in AC: Geoffrey Zakarian, Michael Symon, Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck among them. Puck, the operator, chef and partner of Wolfgang Puck American Grille at the Borgata since 2006, had some interesting solutions as to how Atlantic City could expand its hotel, casino and visitor businesses.

“Don’t forget, we were the first ones in Vegas, opening Spago at the Bellagio in 1993, working with the people at MGM, who were very happy with us,” said Puck.

Thinking about staying in AC while the shore town weathered its financial storms, and coming out on top in the present, Puck has an idea as to how AC can capture even more visiting dining and gambling dollars: “Expand the airport. Open a new one. It’s not so easy to get to,” he said.

AC does have Atlantic City International Airport, a joint civil-military airport 10 miles outside of AC in Egg Harbor Township, but it is tiny. “Now that gaming is everywhere, you have got to make it easier and more convenient to get here. It’s beautiful. It’s on the ocean. But it can be a pain to get here.”

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