New York casinos’ effect on Atlantic City?
Casino owners in Atlantic City are worried about the possibility of casinos operating in New York City, but they believe there is still time to address the issues facing the seaside gambling destination.
Casinos in New York City will likely affect gaming in the area. The widespread assumption is that Atlantic City, Connecticut's tribal reservations, and regions like the Poconos will be adversely affected by full-scale casino casinos in New York City. The COVID-19 pandemic has left the Jersey Shore gambling mecca partially healed, but it has never fully made up for its losses from the Great Recession.
Others think that, if the circumstances are appropriate, the new casinos in New York could be advantageous to the region. Most casino operators find strategies like boosting regional market share and cross-promotion between locations to be intriguing. Advantage players generally look forward to new casinos opening, as they tend to provide good opportunities, at least in the short term.
Three casino licenses were approved by Albany legislators last year for southern (“downstate”) New York, which encompasses NYC, Long Island, and Westchester County. Two licenses are anticipated to go to the racinos in Yonkers and Queens that already operate. A casino might be built in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or The Bronx with the remaining license.
The New York State Gaming Commission, which finally chooses who receives licenses, will get recommendations from a three-member board. Later this year, an announcement is anticipated to be made. Five of the ten applicants for a downstate New York casino license run casinos in Atlantic City. Caesars Entertainment runs three Atlantic City casinos. It has proposed building a casino in Times Square.
Caesars Entertainment sees an Atlantic City operator-owned casino in New York City as beneficial, according to Joseph Giunta, senior vice president and general manager of Tropicana Atlantic City. Bally's Corporation, MGM Resorts International, Mohegan Gaming, and Hard Rock International are some of the other AC casino owners competing for a NY license. Even though they concur that a casino funnel from New York City to Atlantic City is feasible, several executives of Atlantic City casinos competing for a downstate New York license are less hopeful.
Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and chairman of Hard Rock International, predicted that an annual gaming revenue of up to $2 billion might be expected from a casino in New York City last year. Three casinos in downstate New York are expected to generate close to $5 billion annually, according to analysts with Bank of America. How much of that will come from Atlantic City is the question, he said.
The casino bosses emphasized the need of Atlantic City continuing its "clean-and-safe" initiative. One executive commented, “If we could wake up and Atlantic City was this perfect seaside community, we would weather those threats. Make Atlantic City as great as it can be in the next two or three years. Look at what is right in front of you: cleanliness and safety issues.”
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small emphasized the importance of a clean-and-safe campaign. The mantra has to be "clean and safe, clean and safe, clean and safe. Reality changes perception,"
In the United States, gambling seems to be more popular and lucrative than it has ever been. The American Gaming Association reports that in 2022, gambling revenue reached a new high of $60.4 billion. Presently, there are commercial gaming markets for casinos, sports betting, and online gambling in 34 states and the District of Columbia.
Anyone who believes that the Northeast/I-95 corridor can endure future gaming development will find those numbers encouraging. But there aren't many people in South Jersey who agree with that viewpoint.
In and around Atlantic City, it is often believed that having additional casinos and competition is bad. A $5 billion market formerly existed for AC (2006). Five casinos were shut down over a two-year period as a result of the Great Recession and Pennsylvania casinos cutting gambling revenues in half in less than five years (2012-2014).
The industry's present economic difficulties are highlighted in the 2022 AC casino profit reports. The bottom lines of the casinos are being negatively impacted by national variables like inflation and rising expenditures. Local problems, including labor disputes, tax payments, and the expansion of online gaming, are also detracting.
I'm weary of hearing vague statements like "Atlantic City's going to be great again," another executive complained. "We need to see some governmental financing and some serious city planning. Paving the roadways is necessary. More lighting is required. More police officers are required to patrol the streets.”
“Casino Execs: Time to Fix Atlantic City as NY Casinos Loom” , Wayne Parry, nbcnewyork.com, March 4, 2022.