ATLANTIC CITY — The whirl of buzz saws and the thump, thump, thump of hammers was in full force on Tuesday as the Ocean Resort continued to put together what it pledges will be the sharpest sportsbook in Atlantic City.
If nothing else, you can't beat its location.
In two weeks, the sounds of construction tools will be replaced, casino executives hope, by the roars and groans of customers who have action on the World Cup quadrupleheader, a baseball game, or whatever else is going on. Who you like in that L.A.-Seattle WNBA game?
"This is the heart of our casino," said Seth Schorr, a Penn grad who is the resort adviser for the Ocean Resort.
The circular sportsbook is in the middle of the gaming floor, which is definitely not the norm. It will have the typical giant screens, tellers, and a bar, as well as three private rooms overlooking things. The Ocean Resort touts that it will welcome families and customers of all income levels, but there will always be room for the big spenders.
"We didn't want to put our sportsbook in a corner, in a hard to reach location," Schorr continued. "By design, it was right in the center of this facility."
Ocean Resort, the former Revel casino, located on the north end of Atlantic City's boardwalk, will open on June 28. Securing the gaming license, Schorr said, is a formality. They have 1,399 rooms and plan to open more. Currently, 2,500 employees are on the payroll, which will expand to 3,200 on or near opening day.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which is just south of the Ocean Resort, also will open its doors on June 28.
It competition might have an edge when it comes to music and memorabilia, but the Ocean Resort is hanging a good chunk of its success on sports betting, now that New Jersey Gov. Murphy has signed a bill into law.
"Quite frankly, the energy around a sportsbook is arguably the most exciting component of any casino," Schorr said. "As a person who grew up in the Las Vegas casino business, it's often hard for me to even imagine a casino without a sportsbook. I think that Atlantic City will benefit greatly to having that added experience to all of its casino resorts."
Odds boards have been installed at the Borgata's racebook room, and indications are they will be taking sports betting very shortly. Officials declined to provide specifics, but the buzz on the floor is before the weekend. The World Cup soccer tournament starts Thursday. The Phillies host Colorado at 1 p.m. that day.
Monmouth Park racetrack, in Oceanport, N.J., has announced it will open sports betting at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. No Atlantic City properties, as of Tuesday afternoon, have said when they'll open up for sports.