Hard Rock International was just announced as the new buyer of Carl Icahn’s Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, and yet the company still has their eyes on the northern New Jersey market. According to CEO Jim Allen, Hard Rock International is still committed to creating a casino at the Meadowlands Racetrack if a change in the law were allowed by voters to approve gaming in the area.
Speaking with The Associated Press yesterday, Allen stated that the company owns 25% of the Meadowlands track and they are still 100% on board to complete the project at the Meadowlands if the opportunity were to become available. The company partnered with Jeff Gural, the track owner, last year with a proposal to create a casino resort that would be located just outside New York City, in northern New Jersey.
However, the casino plans did not come to pass as residents in the state voted down a referendum that would have allowed two casinos in the northern region of the state last November. More than 80% of the voters were against casino gambling moving outside of Atlantic City. The option to allow casino gambling in northern New Jersey cannot be considered again for another two years.
Gural stated that he feels the purchase of the Taj Mahal by Hard Rock International will help the partnership between himself and the company in regards to a casino at the Meadowlands. Gural stated that the purchase will only help them down the road as politicians and local leaders are appreciative that the Hard Rock stepped up and bought the Taj Mahal with plans to reopen instead of leaving the venue closed or tearing it down.
Plans have been made for the casino to reopen in the spring of next year with the signature theme of the Hard Rock. As many as 3,000 individuals will be hired by the casino, which will include those who lost their employment position when Carl Icahn closed the Taj in October of last year during a strike by the Local 54 Unite-HERE union.