The opening of three New York casinos could have a major impact on land-based casino properties in Atlantic City, New Jersey and potentially cause closures according to Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen.
Speaking to the Associated Press after a speech at the East Coast Gaming Congress, Allen highlighted the percentage of visitors it receives from people that live in downstate New York and how the new proposed casino openings in the Empire State will impact business in the Garden State.
“Atlantic City receives 20, 30-plus per cent of its revenue from upstate New Jersey and downstate New York, and there’s no doubt it is going to have an impact on this particular market,” Allen said.
“So you have three or four that are very strong and then I think there’s a question as to what happens in that next level down. I think it’s a concern that if these other casinos don’t perform, then inevitably from a business standpoint, is there vulnerability? I don’t think that changes unless there’s enhancement to the perception of Atlantic City.”
Since the New York Gaming Facility Location Board released a request for applications statement in early January, several parties have expressed an interest in acquiring one of the three casino licences on offer in the Empire State.
Commercial operators interested in a New York licence include Hard Rock, Caesars Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, Mohegan Gaming, and Wynn Resorts.
Several tribal operators and other companies have expressed an interest too, including Thor Equities, Saratoga Casino Holdings, Chickasaw Nation and Legends Hospitality.
However, a decision on who they’ll be awarded to is not expected to take place until later this year. As a result, any casino in the Empire State may not open up to the public for another few years.
Currently, Borgata, Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort are the top three land-based operators in New Jersey, a state which reported a total gaming revenue across all verticals of $487.4m in March.