Gambling operators have expressed optimism that financially strapped Atlantic City will see its renaissance in the coming years as threats to its existence slowly fade.
The Associated Press reported casino operators will welcome the reopening of the two shuttered integrated resorts – Revel and Trump Taj Mahal – this year, saying that their re-entry will ensure the renaissance of the struggling gambling hub.
Mark Giannantonio, president of Resorts Casino Hotel, believes the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City (the former Taj Mahal) and the new Revel casino may bring in new customers to grow the market and avoid casino cannibalization.
He added that the benefits of reopening the two venues outweigh the “short-term blip” that these facilities may bring to the surviving Atlantic City casinos.
“We’re very excited about the renaissance of Atlantic City, we think it’s for real,” Giannantonio said, according to the news outlet. “I’m extremely optimistic about Atlantic City and the industry in 2018.”
David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, believes that the new competition will give customers more choices.
It would be recalled that Hard Rock International bought the Taj Mahal from billionaire Carl Icahn for $50 million last year. The deal included more than 30 acres surrounding the property, which had been previously valued at $86 million.
Hard Rock is spending an additional $400 million to renovate and rebrand the Taj into the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City. Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock, promised to bring the party in the new and improved integrated resort, which will be filled with nothing but music and non-stop entertainment.
Aside from Hard Rock, the report said that this will finally be the year when the former Revel casino reopens after Colorado developer Bruce Deifik announces his intention to buy the property for $200 million, although current owner Glenn Straub has yet to confirm the sale.