The pros and cons of opening two new casinos in North Jersey near New York City (NYC) was discussed in detail at the recently held East Coast Gaming Congress and iGaming Institute conference. The conference was attended by a number of key stakeholders including Atlantic City casino executives who were not in favor of opening the two new casinos.
The proposal to open the new casinos in North Jersey will be determined by voters in November. Although no specific location has been determined as of now, the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford and North Jersey are the most likely possibilities. The casinos will send $200 million every year to Atlantic City for a stipulated period of time. These funds are expected to provide a much needed boost to Atlantic City’s sluggish economy.
Paul Fireman, the Reebok tycoon, is interested in building a mega casino resort estimated to be around $5 billion in Jersey. Fireman wants to construct a hotel tower that has around 80 stories, 9 restaurants and will be very visible to the NYC skyline. The casino is expected to attract up to fifty percent of its patrons from NYC who will travel across the Hudson river.
Atlantic City casino executives are against the proposal to move casinos out of the city and state that between three to five of the remaining eight casinos in the city could go out of business if the two new casinos open in North Jersey. Mark Giannantonio, president for the Resorts Casino Hotel stated that NYC will take strong action if two new casinos were to open in North Jersey.
In a statement, Assemblyman Chris Brown, an Atlantic City-area Republican said “We are in an oversaturated market, and the way we’re going to help Atlantic City is to build another casino to compete with it?” Gaming analysts have predicted that the two new casinos will oversaturate the New Jersey market, which would be disastrous for the Atlantic City casino industry.
However Jeff Gural, the owner of the Meadowlands Racetrack rubbished these reports and cited the fact that gaming analysts also predicted that Atlantic City’s $2.4 billion Revel casino resort would be a massive success but turned into one of the biggest failures and was forced to shutdown within a three year period. Gural said that should voters decide not to approve the two new casinos in North Jersey, a new referendum will be proposed once again after a couple of years but this time financial aid will not be given to Atlantic City.
Analysts from Wall Street are also concerned about the negative impact that the two new casinos will have on Atlantic City. Deutsche Bank Securities managing director Andrew Zarnett stated that some of the city’s casinos could go out of business but did not specify the names of the casinos.