There is potential for three gaming venues to open in Atlantic City this year.
From 2014 until 2016, the casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey narrowed down to 7 from 12 in operation. Declining revenues and other issues led to four shutting down in 2014 and one in 2016. Today, the market is thriving with 7 in operation and possibly three more set to open this year. Gaming operators are seeing the rise of the gaming town and want to become involved. Properties that were once shuttered have been purchased and are currently in the construction or remodeling phases, hopefully ready to open later on this year.
Two In the Works
We already know that two casinos should be opening by this summer. The former Revel casino will be reopening as the Ocean Resort Casino and the former Trump Taj Mahal will be reopened as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Both are being pushed for a summer opening to get going in the gambling industry of the region.
Now it seems that a third venue might be opening as well. The Press of Atlantic City has reported that the Showboat is set to offer gaming once again. A former casino operated by Caesars, the Showboat reopened their hotel services in 2016 but did not offer gambling. Now, it seems that Bart Blatstein, the current owner, has applied for licensing to get into the gambling world once again.
Keeping Options Open
Blatstein reportedly applied for a statement of compliance about two weeks ago. According to the Showboat owner, he filled out the application to keep his ‘options open’ when it comes to the property. When he purchased the property, Caesars had put a deed restriction in place which prevented a casino from being opened for a ten-year time frame. However, according to Blatstein, the restriction will not be a problem and his ability to offer gambling should not be ruled out.
It certainly cannot be said for sure whether or not Blatstein will be offering gaming in the future. But he does seem to be taking the necessary steps to be able to. The investor has also been quite busy in Atlantic City over the years. He purchased the casino, then purchased nearby properties including volleyball courts, the Garden Pier (former museum near the soon to open Ocean Resort Casino) as well as twelve lots located along the inlet boardwalk.
Such investments are certainly helpful to Atlantic City as the area has struggled for some time to see gaming gain any ground, earning an increase in revenues. Since 2016, it seems the gaming city has been subject to a turnaround and is only expected to continue to see positive results. Last year, Atlantic City saw nice revenue numbers, with the online gambling sector helping to contribute. In total, online gambling brought in $245 million for the year.
With the two properties set to open in the summer, and a potential third possibly in the works, it should continue to help the state see an increase in land-based gaming revenues. It will also be interesting to see if additional online gambling is provided. Both the Ocean Casino Resort and the Hard Rock AC have stated they are interested in offering online gaming, with both having partnered with software companies to do so.
We shall see in the coming months how the area is affected by the new casinos as they open and just how much revenue totals will increase with the new options in full operation.