Once considered to be the mecca of casino gambling, Atlantic City has had a pretty rough time in the past few years. This was characterized by a number of decaying properties, vacant high-rises as well as boarded seashore ships, all of which were a sore reminder of the dwindling trend that the city was taking in regards to its formerly thriving casino industry.
However, things seem to be taking a turn for the better as the city is preparing for a major comeback that will certainly reverse the state’s woes that included plummeting gambling revenue and diminishing workforce. To kick off its rejuvenated efforts the city has rebranded itself as the “entertainment” capital of the east and this week, and it will see the reopening of two casinos that are anticipated to jump-start the local casino industry and the local economy as a whole.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and Ocean Resort Casino, the casinos will officially go live on Thursday. Hard Rock’s opening is reportedly going to feature performances from a number of music stars including Pitbull and Carrie Underwood, who will perform on Saturday and Friday respectively. In addition to this, Hard Rock will feature stand-up comedy with Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club. The casino also announced its 365 Live promotion where performers will take stages each day of its opening year. This Thursday, Jerry Blavat will be performing at the casino’a Boardwalk stage.
Ocean Resort Casino’s opening weekend will begin with a grand performance by Grammy award-winning DJ Diplo. He will be followed by Kaskade and Jermaine Dupri who will perform on June 30 and then by Ryan Marciano and Sunnery James performing on July 1.
“This is certainly a comeback for this city,” said Rummy Pandit, the executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton University. “The two properties are opening with a significant amount of rooms and food and beverage and other amenities such as spa and entertainment so yes, we are going to see brand new segments of the market [revenue] that will be coming into the shore.”
Monday and Tuesday (June 25 and 26) served as “soft play” days at both casinos with a number of invited guests being treated to what the two entertainment joints will be offering once they go live. In attendance were the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement officials who were on the site to ensure that the integrity of the casino games and the proper financial practices were being adhered to.
Atlantic City is also hoping to capitalize on the recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized nationwide sport betting and gave New Jersey the go-ahead to open sportsbooks. Both Hard Rock and Ocean Resorts have vast entertainment options for guests in this regard but younger patrons are also not left out since there are a number of non-gambling attractions just for them.