Newark’s Prudential Center will introduce a ‘William Hill Sports Lounge’ after the sports book operator signed a multi-year partnership with Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, operator of the arena and its NHL ice hockey team the New Jersey Devils.
The agreement makes the Devils the first professional sports team to partner with a sports book in New Jersey after the state’s legalisation of sports betting in June. The partnership will be underpinned by the William Hill Sports Lounge.
Located outside Section 18 on the main concourse of Prudential Center, the Lounge will be open for all Devils home games and the more than 175 concerts and special events held at the arena annually. With the goal of providing a dynamic and engaging sports viewing experience, the lounge will feature more than 20 digital screens showcasing the world’s most popular sporting events alongside odds from William Hill.
William Hill US chief executive Joe Asher told ESPN that because the NHL is not comfortable with Prudential Center operating as an actual sportsbook where bets can be placed at windows and kiosks, company ambassadors will instead help bettors in downloading the company’s betting app.
Asher added in a statement: “With three retail William Hill sports books and our mobile betting app now available in the Garden State, engaging New Jersey sports fans is extremely important for us. This partnership provides us with a number of fantastic opportunities to connect directly with the passionate supporters of New Jersey’s hockey team.”
In addition to the William Hill Sports Lounge, the partnership will feature a TV-visible dasherboard, in-arena signage, and recognition on the LED ribbon board of the ‘William Hill Line Change,’ which will occur at the first Devils line change each period. During Devils games, updated league-wide odds, presented by William Hill, will be displayed on Prudential Center’s 9,584-square-foot, four-storey-tall scoreboard, the largest in-arena scoreboard in the world.
Outside of the arena, William Hill will sponsor fan watch parties for Devils games at Monmouth Park racecourse, where the company operates a sports book. The partnership will also feature promotions for William Hill on the team’s radio and digital broadcast on the Devils Hockey Network, on Prudential Center’s exterior marquee LED billboard, and across the Devils’ digital and social media channels.
New Jersey is one of five US states that has legalised sports betting – along with Nevada, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia – after May’s Supreme Court ruling that parts of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 were unconstitutional.
The Devils become the second NHL team with a sportsbook sponsorship, joining fellow William Hill partner Vegas Golden Knights.