Atlantic City On Cusp of Renaissance

With the US gambling industry landscape being drastically reshaped, it feels that the effects are already being felt, as ripples, if not shockwaves, are being sent across the market. Recent months have seen numerous facets of online and land-based gambling finally catching up with the times – sports betting is being recognized all over the country and with each passing day it has more and more legislative power. This will do a world of good to the gambling industry on its own, but with online gambling on a steady rise and the introduction of private initiative not controlled by state, things are looking up even further, and particularly for the somewhat faltered US gambling giant, the largest and oldest casino complex outside of Las Vegas – Atlantic City.

The New Jersey city has much to look forward to in 2018, a year that could mark the beginning of its full-fledged rebirth. Undoubtedly the key event of the year will be the opening of the Hard Rock Casino resort this summer – which is really the reopening of the legendary Trump Taj Mahal venue, offering a fresh new look.

Hard Rock was bought in March 2017 after the venue was closed in October 2016 after a casino workers’ union strike. Hard Rock’s chairman has already stated that the new Atlantic City resort will provide seven-day entertainment and will focus on live music acts— some big names have already been employed to promote the future central venue of the city, with Sopranos actor Steven Van Zandt being one.

Carl Icahn, from whom Taj Mahal was acquired by Hard Rock, also plans to bring down the former Trump Plaza casino in order to erect the “economic development project.” However, state Senate President, Steve Sweeney, wants the state of New Jersey to decline Icahn’s request for a demolition, unhappy with his plans to use the $5.6 million in-state investment credits toward the $13.2 million demolition that was due to happen this year, but now hangs in uncertainty.

This year could also mark the reopening of Revel casino – Bruce Deifik, a developer from Colorado, is prepared to acquire the casino for $200 million and invest an additional $175 million into the property that was shut down in 2014. However, Revel owner, Glenn Straub, states he has no interest in selling Revel and is still waiting for a state appeals court decision on whether he will be permitted to reopen.

Possibly the biggest opportunity New Jersey will face this whole year is the expected legalization of sports betting, which will take place before June. So far, only Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon have legalized sports betting.

President of Atlantic City Resorts, Mark Giannantonio, expresses his excitement and impatience for 2018 to get rolling: “I’m extremely optimistic about Atlantic City and the industry in 2018. We’re very excited about the renaissance of Atlantic City; we think it’s for real.”


“Things looking up for Atlantic City in 2018,”, Parry Wayne,, January 1, 2018.