ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – Even after spending half a billion dollars on a casino in Atlantic City, Hard Rock hopes to build one day in northern New Jersey near New York
Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock, said the company had made significant investments to prepare for casino gambling on the Meadowlands racetrack in East Rutherford.
"We have ownership in the Meadowlands and we have an exclusive right (19659008) A proposal to allow this was defeated by voters in 2016. But Allen said the firm did not drop the idea.  Thursday at the opening of Hard Rock's new casino in former Trump Taj Mahal Allen said any study that plans a casino in the Meadowlands would be going well, with 14 million people living within 50 miles of it.
Yes, we would certainly be interested, "he said on Thursday.
An Associated Press analysis of the Meadowlands Casino proposal in 2016 stated it could be the most successful in the country – at least until a casino in New York City itself opens If that happens.
Jeff Gural, who runs Meadowlands Track, estimates a Meadowlands casino would take $ 800 million to $ 900 million a year from players, ranking it among the most successful in the nation. Some analysts believe that a Meadowlands casino could reach annual sales of at least $ 1 billion, at least before it has a competitor in North New Jersey.
And since that time, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for all 50 states to legalize sports betting that New Jersey has done quickly. The Meadowlands plans to start sportsbook on July 15th.
Allen's comments on Thursday followed those he had made immediately after the nationwide referendum was undercut by 80 to 20 percent. But important details about the project have never been explained, including exactly where the casinos go and how much they are taxed.
And at least for the moment, the appetite of the state's democratically-controlled legislature remains low again for another public vote on casino expansion. The Constitution of New Jersey restricts Casinogaming to Atlantic City; Changes that would require a constitutional amendment.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney told the AP in December that casino construction is at best put on hold.
"I do not see it soon, if at all," he said at the time. "I see no way where it comes from, it was crushed."
Sweeney said he could not guarantee that a future Senate president would not try to revive a public election.
"I just do not see it coming back sensibly and making sense," he said.
Sweeney reiterated this attitude on Friday.
Hard Rock was one of two closed casinos in Atlantic City that returned to life on Thursday. The former Revel Casino, which closed in September 2014, reopened as Ocean Resort Casino.
The Trump Taj Mahal closed in October 2016 and Hard Rock bought it from former owner Carl Icahn in March 2017. The plan to develop a Meadowlands casino states that Allen is committed to making his Atlantic City property a success ,
"If the (Meadowlands Casino) looks like that, we certainly will not forget the half a billion dollars that we have invested in this building," he said.
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