The casino-entertainment company Hard Rock International is investing in the Meadowlands Racetrack.The Orlando, Fla.-based company says it looks forward to potentially expanding the region's gambling offerings through the alliance.

The announcement Wednesday comes seven months after Hard Rock scrapped a plan for an Atlantic City casino. It appears to signal that the company believes gambling's future in New Jersey may be in population-rich North Jersey and not Atlantic City, where the casino industry has been in decline.

Online gambling is coming to the state by year's end, and the state is fighting in court for the right to offer sports betting.

Meanwhile the clock is ticking on Atlantic City's turnaround efforts, which could determine whether casino gambling is expanded to places like the Meadowlands.

 

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)