AGA President Says Atlantic City Is On The Right Track

by Kyle Miller

AGA President Geoff FreemanDuring an event at Stockton University, AGA President Geoff Freeman stated that Atlantic City is on the right track for success.

If you were to go back a few years and look at the economy of Atlantic City, the gambling town was not doing so well. Going back decades, Atlantic City was a booming gambling city, offering the best in casino and poker game play. However, a lull took place and by 2014, four casinos had shut down. Thankfully, at this time, the state of New Jersey was offering online casino and poker gaming so the casinos were able to make ends meet via online means. Late last year, the Trump Taj Mahal shut down but revitalization efforts are in full swing and according to the American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman, Atlantic City is currently heading in the right direction.

Positively Moving Forward

Freeman was attending an event at Stockton University hosted by the AGA when he spoke about the gaming market for Atlantic City. According to Freeman, the area is heading in the right direction as companies are lining up to invest millions in the area. Major investments to Atlantic City include MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. working together on a new joint venture proposal as well as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City set to open next summer by Hard Rock international.

The former Revel casino venue was one property that shut down in 2014 and has been revamped and renamed TEN, also set to possibly reopen soon. All of this activity are signs, according to Freeman, that Atlantic City is reviving. The city has to recover, especially after seeing the gaming venues shut down as well as the loss of around 10,000 employment positions.

During the event, Freeman stated that the market of Atlantic City is exciting right now. Freeman pointed out that there is no doubt that the market has right-sized itself within the past couple of years and while the closing of venues was painful, it did strengthen the community and the potential of Atlantic City for the future.

Sports Betting in the Mix

On top of the new projects in the works for Atlantic City, the area may also soon be able to benefit from sports betting options. New Jersey is currently awaiting the United States Supreme Court ruling in their sports betting case. If the state gets the outcome they wish to see, casinos could benefit from offering sports betting wagering, which there certainly is a market for.

Freeman would like to see New Jersey move forward with sports betting, stating during the recent event that no state is in a better position to capitalize on the activity while Atlantic City is a great location for it. The area has been talking about sports betting for years and there is no debate as to whether or not the activity should take place. Basically, it comes down to legalities and that could change if the Supreme Court rules in the favor of the state.

For now, gamblers await the next gaming options coming to the area. Hard Rock International has plans to reopen the former Trump Taj Mahal to a branded property known as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The group will be spending over $500 million in efforts to renovate the property. The MG and Caesars joint venture is currently working on a development project but details have yet to be released and one could expect the project is a few years from completion.