Atlantic City which was once a thriving gambling hub on the East Coast witnessed a massive decline in gaming revenue as it saw casino after casino shut down operations due to a decline in revenue and a drop in customers. Some of the casino resorts that shutdown during the last few years include the Trump Plaza (2014), Revel Casino (2014), Showboat Casino (2014), Atlantic Club Casino Hotel (2014) and the Trump Taj Mahal (2016).
The closures of these casinos within a short period of time resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of gaming revenue. Atlantic City depended heavily on gaming taxes generated from the casino industry and state coffers had very few answers for the budget shortfall.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) did their best to resurrect the casino industry in Atlantic City but had very little success as there were a number of issues that had to be addressed. Things started getting between when Hard Rock International purchased the closed Trump Taj Mahal casino and Ocean Resort came up in place of the troubled Revel casino.
Will Two New Casinos Boost Atlantic City Gaming Revenues?
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort are scheduled to proceed with a soft launch on June 28. The two new casinos will open their doors to the public with just an hour separating their ribbon cutting ceremonies. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is expected to be present at both casinos during their opening day as this is the first time since 2012 that a new casino has opened in Atlantic City.
Also present at the opening will be top executives from the NJDGE who will do their rounds at both properties to ensure that the gaming machines are working properly and that casino staff comply with financial and money laundering regulations. The two casinos are expected to generate millions of dollars in gaming revenue as well as employ thousands of casino workers who have been unemployed for quite some time.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City
Hard Rock International invested more than $500 million to give the former Trump Taj Mahal casino a major makeover. The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City will cover a total of 17 acres and have a casino floor covering 120,000 square feet and convention space covering 150,000 square feet. The gaming floor will have 120 gaming tables and 2,100 slot machines.
The iconic brand plans to boost its non-gaming offerings by hosting as many as 300 live shows a year and a number of restaurants and bars including the Hard Rock Café, White House Sub Shop and Council Oak Fish.
One thing that the Hard Rock Atlantic City will not have on opening day is access to sports betting. New Jersey won its lawsuit in the Supreme Court to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 and casinos do have the liberty to offer legalized sports betting services in the Garden State.
One of the reasons why Hard Rock hasn’t been quick to roll-out sports betting services is because its parent company is in partnership with the NFL and Miami Dolphins over a stadium naming rights contract and Hard Rock International does not want to do anything that might jeopardize that relationship. It is no secret that the NFL, NBA and MBL have opposed legalized sports betting in the past and weren’t exactly thrilled when the Supreme Court appealed PASPA.
Ocean Resort Will Have Sports Betting Services
While Hard Rock Atlantic City thinks twice about introducing sports betting, Ocean Resort casino which is very near to the Hard Rock will offer its patrons sports betting services. Ocean Resort made it clear that it would offer sports betting services after partnering with British bookmaker William Hill.
In a statement, Bruce Deifik, chairman and owner of Ocean Resort “Ocean Resort Casino is thrilled to partner with William Hill, the best name in sports betting, to establish a truly unique sports betting experience in the center of our resort and in Atlantic City. From real-time betting to exclusive hospitality for major events, the sports book will be second-to-none.”
Ocean Resort has 138,000 square feet devoted to gaming and 160,000 square feet devoted to convention space. There will be a little less than 2,000 slot machines and close to 100 table games.