Atlantic City making Huge Changes following Showboat Closure
Earlier this month, Caesars Entertainment announced that they’ll be closing the Showboat Casino on August 31st. This means that the number of casinos in Atlantic City will fall from 11 to 10, and 2,000 people will be out of jobs.
As some may remember, the Atlantic Club casino also shut down towards the beginning of this year. The iconic gaming establishment was then sold off for parts to Tropicana and Caesars. Given two casinos closing in 2014, Atlantic City is out to make some big changes moving forward.
Of course, this isn’t to say that the popular East Coast gambling destination hasn’t already been trying to make changes. But the city’s mayor, Don Guardian, highlighted the urgency that’s at hand now. “Atlantic City is creating new jobs, building new attractions and diversifying our economy beyond just gaming,” Guardian told the Philadelphia Business Journal. “We have cranes in the air building more retail and more convention center space. We have major new, non-gaming investment in Atlantic City from private industry and they are seeing results.”
Much of Guardian’s optimism regarding the convention scene arises from Las Vegas’ transition. Seeing that their gaming market was saturated and struggling in a recession, Vegas focused more on convention space and bringing in a new type of clientele. Now, Atlantic City seeks to do the same in hopes of preventing more casino closures.
However, Atlantic City has some big factors working against it, including increased competition from Pennsylvania and New York. The latter is set to add four new resort-style casinos throughout the state, meaning Atlantic City will be even more hard-pressed to turn things around.
It should also be mentioned that the town could be facing some instate competition as well. That’s because New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s five-year deadline for Atlantic City to revitalize their economy is just 20 months away. Once the deadline hits, certain state politicians will look to expand gaming to New Jersey’s northern border in an effort to compete with New York. And this would mean less Northern New Jersey residents coming down to Atlantic City.