New Jersey’s casino industry is centered in Atlantic City and as the city has a number of premier casinos establishments. Both locals and tourists flock to these casinos to gamble and indulge themselves in the nightlife that these casinos have to offer. The casino industry in Atlantic City has gone through a rough 2014 and four casinos have been forced to shutdown their operations due to an accumulation of debt.
Market analysts state that the competition from casinos in neighboring states and a saturation of the market in New Jersey are key factors that have slowed down New Jersey’s casino industry. However, recent reports suggest that there is a proposal to construct a Hard Rock Casino in East Rutherford.
Jeff Gural who is the operator of the Meadowlands Racetrack believes that this is the right time for a casino to be constructed in the Meadowlands. Gural has been in talks with Hard Rock International’s chairman Jim Allen for a possible collaboration that would result in the opening of a Hard Rock casino at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.
Hard Rock International has proposed to construct a complex that would have a Hard Rock Live showroom, a music memorabilia museum, a New Jersey Music Hall of Fame and 10 top restaurants to draw tourists and entertain the public. On the casino front, the floor would house over 5,000 slot machines and 200 gaming tables that will provide patrons with the opportunity to play the favourite casino games.
The proposed casino is expected to be constructed with a $1 billion budget and is guaranteed to create a minimum of 2000 construction jobs and once live an additional 5,000 jobs. The casino is expected to generate around $400 million in taxes each year for New Jersey and those funds could be extremely beneficial to the garden state in helping with development and funding of state run NGO’s.
One of the biggest challenges that Gural and Allen will face is in obtaining a gaming license to operate in the Meadowlands as casinos are currently permitted to operate only in Atlantic City. New Jersey lawmakers are currently discussing the possibility of allowing casinos to operate in the Meadowlands but have been unable to reach an agreement on how many casinos should be allowed.
New Jersey Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) and Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) are in favour of allowing casinos to operate in the Meadowlands but will need more time to make a final decision and confirm on how many licences will be permitted.
Both Gural and Allen remain positive and believe that New Jersey will give them a casino license to operate in the Meadowlands. They believe that once the license is approved, the process of constructing the casino will move swiftly and the Hard Rock Casino will be ready to launch operations during the summer of 2016. In a statement, Allen said “We’re not looking to build ‘slots in a box. We certainly understand we need to build a world-class product. It’s not that hard to convert this fairly quickly”.