Gov. Chris Christie Delivers Ultimatum To Atlantic City Casinos
Time is running out for Atlantic City casinos to deliver the goods as Gov. Chris Christie’s five year grace period is fast approaching. The idea was to allow casinos in the state of New Jersey exclusively in Atlantic Casino for five years. If they performed well enough then expansion to other areas of the state would not be on the cards. However the existing 12 Atlantic City casinos have been struggling. In fact there are technically 11 casinos as the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel is closing its doors on Jan. 13. With the New Year upon us, Atlantic City casino bosses will have to come up with better ways to combat the diminishing market share and improve revenues.
The launching of online gambling in New Jersey via the state casinos was aimed at providing a much needed boost to their revenues. While it is still too early to tell the question arises as to whether the choice of gambling online helps the casinos or perhaps many gamblers will choose to stay away from the brick and mortar casinos in favor of sitting at home and gambling.
Gov. Chris Christie did not mince his words when commenting on the importance of 2014 for Atlantic City casinos,” It’s obviously a critical year because we need to begin to see progress in Atlantic City or we’re going to start considering alternatives. It’s a year when we have to show some significant results.” Should things not improve Gov. Christie will have to consider casinos at the Meadowlands sports complex in Northern New Jersey and even other areas once thought unthinkable. The current legal situation allows casinos only along the southern coast in Atlantic City.
New Jersey is also attempting to override a ban on sports betting by taking their case to the Supreme Court. There are growing fears that the fate of the remaining Atlantic City casinos could be the same as that of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel as the market shrinks and becomes more competitive. Added to the mix is the real possibility of job losses in a state which is still recovering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. In fact there are voices calling for an extension of the five-year grace period due to Superstorm Sandy.
As we reported New Jersey has big ambitions which include becoming a global gambling hub. Gov. Chris Christie is under pressure to generate revenues which will be felt by Atlantic City casinos in a big way.