Atlantic City looks at various ways it might fill the several gaping voids left by the closure of four casinos in less than a year but sports betting might not be one of them.
The sad news about blackjack table numbers falling to come out of Atlantic City this year where a quarter of their casinos have closed their doors has left city planners and local politicians all scrambling to find solutions. The closure of the Atlantic Club, Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza have left a huge hold in the city’s economy and several monolithic empty hulks littering its famous Broadwalk, doing nothing for its aesthetics or atmosphere.
How Do You Re-Purpose Blackjack Providers?
• Hotels and convention centers possible
• University wants to move campus into city
• Smart strategies needed quickly to avoid economic collapse
Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have brought New Jersey into direct conflict with the federal ban on sports betting, despite widespread public support for its introduction, saying the state needed to “determine if a different approach towards sports wagering would comply with federal law” which it almost certainly won’t and caused Democratic state senator Raymond Lesniak to state the governor had “stuck a dagger in the heart of Atlantic City and our ailing horse racing industry.”
It is felt by some that fighting US gambling laws might cost more than its worth and that perhaps dropping opposition to casinos in northern New Jersey would allow tax revenues from those enterprises to bolster city coffers and allow redevelopment of the Broadwalk. An extension of the shopping area nearby has been touted as has the offer of Stockton College to bring a campus to the city, and lets not forget some of the closed buildings have already been re-purposed.
Boutique Hotels May Be Answer
The Floridian real estate company TJM Properties has bought two former casino buildings, one from the former Atlantic Club, to run them as small hotel concerns, which may turn out to be a winner. “Customers like the idea of staying in a boutique non-casino hostel and still be close to the casinos if they want to go there.” Sherry Amos said on behalf of TJM. “They tell us they’re traveling with their families or children and don’t want to stay in a casino-hotel, yet they’re glad they’re near some.”
This may be good news for Atlantic City that has to now struggle to find a way to keep the city’s economy alive in a post-casino focused world. Some of these former blackjack tournament providers may well be able to reopen as hotels if there is enough convention or meetings market for them to keep themselves busy all year round with some even mentioning timeshares as a possible model for fiscal security in a very uncertain fiscal situation.