Could expanded casino scene spell disaster for Atlantic City?
ATLANTIC CITY — Over the past three years, as more and more gambling establishments opened in New York, Pennsylvania and across the region, this city lost five casinos.
The shutdowns of the Trump Taj Mahal, the Trump Plaza, the Showboat, the Atlantic Club and the Revel delivered a significant blow to this resort city and the entire South Jersey economy. Analysts have pointed out that with increasing competition from neighboring states, the downsizing was almost inevitable.
In recent months, the remaining casinos have posted solid financial gains. But now comes word that two casinos in Atlantic City will soon open: the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the re-invention of Revel.
This has created some concern that we could see a “déjà vu all over again” scenario, where one or even two existing casinos will be forced to close because of a market that’s once again over-saturated.
“It could be a good idea if it’s done correctly,” said Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine.
He noted the first casino addition will be the former Revel (no one is sure what it will be called yet).
“It certainly is a beautiful casino. It has a lot of amenities, it has a lot of meeting space, so if they could use that to draw more people there for meetings and conventions, that would be ideal.”
He said if this new casino doesn’t do that, and focuses solely on cannibalizing the market, taking gamblers from existing casinos, it will be a bad situation for all parties involved.
Gros said the other casino that will open next summer, The Hard Rock, should definitely benefit the city because it’s an established brand.
“People know what the Hard Rock is, they’re going to want to see the memorabilia that will be scattered around the property, they’re going to want to see the music that will be available in the arena. They have a beautiful 5,000-seat arena.”
He said there are also going to nightclubs with musical entertainment situated nearby.
“And knowing the way Hard Rock programs their entertainment, it will be an added benefit to Atlantic City — a non-gaming amenity.”
“I think the Hard Rock has a real possibility to add to Atlantic City rather than subtract.”
Gros pointed out the Revel property has a couple of high-end theaters that were under-utilized when the casino first opened.
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