The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey is all set to introduce an industry first skill-based wagering product with the holding of its initial offering, a basketball hoop shooting tournament with a guaranteed (GTD) prize pool of $10,000.
Each contest participant has 15 free throws for achieving the best free throw shooting stats within a span of 90 seconds in order to move up to the next and final round. After which, 16 finalists will try their best to outperform each other in another 90-second hoop-shooting round. The $10K GTD prize pool will be distributed across the Top 4 finishers; $5,000 will go to the first place winner, $3,000 to the second best finisher, while the third and fourth placers will receive $1,000 each.
Borgata Casino Vice President Joe Lupo commented they aim to draw a huge crowd and it makes them excited to see just how many people will join the tournament slated to launch on March 21, a date that coincides with this year’s NCAA basketball tournaments. According to Mr. Lupo, Borgata commits to award $10k as prize pool and that the casino will not take out as share, any portion of the $20 entry fee. All monies collected from the skill-based hoop-shooting tournament will form part of the cash prize at stake. As Mr. Lupo explained, Borgata guarantees $10,000 to the winners, but if there will be more participants, the rest of the prize pool will be allocated to players.
He added that they would be setting up the free throw basketball-shooting contest in Borgata Casino’s 6,000 square foot Signature Room, the venue in which they usually hold the slots and poker tournaments. In a separate interview, the Borgata Vice President said that any adult is eligible to join the free throw contest, including professional NBA players if in case they would be interested to do so. After all, their participation could spice up the contest, as this would give non-celebrity basketball players a chance to match their free throw shooting skills against NBA superstars.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) granted approval for the holding of the skill-based hoop shooting game, being one of the proposed new gaming products submitted under the “New Jersey First Program.” The latter is a statewide initiative aimed at encouraging people to put forward new product suggestions to New Jersey, before bringing them to other jurisdictions. According to Eric Weiss, the Bureau Chief of the Technical Services at NJDGE, the division had announced last year, the acceptance of proposals for skill-based games that they intend to review for approval in a matter of two-weeks.
Mr. Weiss said that Borgata was the first to come up with the hoop-shooting concept, which actually came as a surprise since many had been expecting proposals for computer-based skill games. He said that Borgata’s new gaming product has been reviewed and determined as clearly within the boundaries of the state’s permitted gaming-for-money activities. He explained that although Borgata is allowed to take a cut from the entry fees as income for hosting the event, the casino opted not to do so in the launching of the first ever, skill-based hoop shooting tournament.