Today, officials from Hard Rock International and Meadowlands Racing unveiled plans for their new casino and entertainment destination, to be called Hard Rock Casino at Meadowlands. The new facility will feature 200 table games, 5000 slot machines, between 10 and 15 restaurants, and a New Jersey Music Hall of Fame. Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International, and Jeff Gural, owner of Meadowlands Racetrack, were on hand to present a video fly-through of the proposed facility, set to a soundtrack of music by New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen. Allen said that the project will provide $400 million dollars in additional tax revenue to the state of New Jersey, and the more than 5,000 square feet of new construction required will cost $1 billion and create 2360 construction jobs.
According to Allen, upon approval, Hard Rock is ready to start construction immediately, and be “up and operating by next summer or early fall if that opportunity is given to us.”
New Jersey has been under pressure in recent years with Atlantic City struggling and officials and residents are looking for new solutions to help revitalize the iconic gaming city and create growth in the tax base. Because gaming is currently only permitted within Atlantic City, the state constitution needs to be amended for the proposed project to proceed. That means putting it on the November ballot for a statewide referendum, which has garnered the support of legislators including Governor Chris Christie. Christie is in favor of the proposal as long as the generated tax revenues are put to use to help bring Atlantic City back to life.
With 14 million adults within 50 miles of the site, proponents are excited about the opportunity to draw visitors from other states, and create competition with New York and Pennsylvania. Those two states have expanded their gaming options, taking as much as $13 billion in revenue from New Jersey over the past eight years according to some estimates.