In New Jersey, yesterday reportedly saw the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City take another step towards its previously stated goal of opening from June 28 after its application for a gaming license was unanimously approved by the three-member New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

According to Wednesday reports from The Press of Atlantic City newspaper and the news domain, the approval followed a three-hour public meeting that also incorporated the granting of required key employee casino licenses to 23 of the venue’s executives including its President, Matt Harkness, and principle investors Jack Morris and Joseph Jingoli.

“The brand itself is about entertainment,” Jim Allen, Chairman for casino operator Hard Rock International, reportedly told the New Jersey Casino Control Commission during the hearing. “Within these amenities we certainly offer hotel, dining and other experiences but there is one universal language and that’s music. We are the only brand that works to bring people together through music.”

Allen, who was additionally granted a key employee casino license by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, reportedly explained that his firm has set aside $30 million for the first-year entertainment budget at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City and intends to kick off the venue’s opening weekend by hosting shows by Oklahoma-born country music singer Carrie Underwood and Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.

Previously known as the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort until its closure in 2016, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City is now reportedly expected to open on schedule complete with an 119,657 sq ft casino offering 120 gaming tables alongside an assortment of some 2,144 slots. The 1,972-room Boardwalk venue has purportedly been undergoing a $500 million makeover since its March of 2017 purchase that last week saw large gold-lettered Hard Rock-branded signs mounted to its exterior facades.

Alongside its casino, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City will reportedly premiere complete with an adjoining 402-seat Hard Rock Cafe featuring 16 bar-top slots while its Hard Rock Live Mark Etess Theater is to have seating for around 5,500 people. Foods fans will also not be disappointed as the Atlantic City venue is to furthermore debut with eleven outlets including a 328-seat seafood eatery as well as a buffet option with 553 seats and a 172-seat Asian restaurant.

“We could have re-carpeted and put some memorabilia up and that would have been fine but we made a commitment to making sure Atlantic City grows so it was important to make sure guests got to come see something completely new and re-done,” Allen reportedly told the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

Finally, Allen reportedly revealed that the coming venue will now be required to pass a thorough building inspection ahead of its planned June 28 opening while explaining that his firm is still hopeful of being granted separate online gaming and sportsbetting licenses in the very near future.