Experts disagree over Atlantic City casino landscape

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The Hard Rock Casino opened a few months back and divided the experts on how it impacted the industry. (Credits: travelpulse.com)

The opening of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino has experts arguing about their impact in the area.

US.- The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casino recently opened in New Jersey’s gaming hub and their impact in the area has the industry’s experts divided. Some of them believed they’d cannibalise the existing casinos but others expected them to expand the market.

“Their entry has contributed and broadened the marketplace, not just in gaming, but all areas of hospitality,” adjunct professor of casino management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and a gaming industry consultant Bob Ambrose said, and added: “Tourism benefits by expanding visitors’ options among all properties in Atlantic City, which is so important for marketing the city as a destination.”

Atlantic City had the best summer in years as GGR rose by 16.5% (US$123.5 million) between July and August. According to Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, the results were “very healthy” for the industry.

“What we don’t know yet are the non-gaming numbers,” he said and predicted: “Those are going to be significantly higher as well, I anticipate, for the third quarter because we’ve increased the number of restaurants, we’ve increased the entertainment, increased the lodging. None of those numbers are reflected in revenue increase.”

However, Tony Marino, a local analyst, assured that casino win dropped since the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort opened. “(…) in the summer months, Hard Rock and Ocean Resort mostly cannibalised the pre-existing brick and mortar market, not expanded it to any great degree,” he stated and added: “That trend, unfortunately, may worsen in coming months as we move into the shoulder and winter seasons.”

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