Atlantic City eyeing Smaller Casinos
Atlantic City’s struggles are nothing new to those who’ve been paying attention to casino news lately. In fact, their revenue seemingly declines more and more each month. Of course, this hasn’t gone unnoticed by those in and around the United States’ second largest gambling destination, which is why the New Jersey Casino Control Commission is approving plans for smaller casinos.
Previously, all casinos operating within New Jersey had to feature 500 or more hotel rooms. However, the new design will allow for casinos with as few as 200 hotel rooms to be built. The idea behind allowing smaller casinos is that the Commission wants to attract more potential casinos and – more importantly – new investment money.
Sharon Harrington, who is commissioner of the State Control Commission, said this new plan offers Atlantic City, “the unique opportunity to grow through the introduction of innovative, one-of-a-kind themed concepts and attractions to add to the traditional gaming environment.”
State Control Commission chairwoman Linda Kassekert also added her two cents by saying, the exceptions for smaller casinos are “intended to promote the construction of new, first-class casino facilities along the Boardwalk containing first-class restaurants, high-quality entertainment venues, special amenities, as well as much-needed hotel rooms.”
The deadline for applying to become one of these smaller casinos is set for August 19th – although the deadline will be extended if no serious applicants have signed up. The cap is set at two new casinos, and if more than two companies apply, they would need to compete for the two spots. Some of the aspects that would be looked at in this application process include how fast they could get the project started, how many jobs the potential casino would bring to AC, how much capital the company has, and what their success rate is with other projects.
At this point, the Seminole Indiana tribe has expressed interest in building one of their Hard Rock franchises as part of the smaller casino plan.