Hard Rock Plans to Expand and Build 2 Casinos That Will Be 8 Miles Apart

Hard Rock is doubling down on its expansion, as it plans to build a casino either in or in the vicinity of New York, even as it progresses with its plan of building another casino just eight miles away, in New Jersey.

Jim Allen, the chairperson of the global entertainment, hospitality and gambling company owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, stated on Tuesday that New York officials will receive a submitted expression of interest from Hard Rock by the deadline, December 10.

Hard Rock’s New York Project is Years in the Making

Allen stated that a New York casino has been planned by Hard Rock ever since the possibility of opening one was announced seven years ago. This information was shared at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City.

He also added that Hard Rock is not abandoning its 2015 plan of building a casino in the vicinity of New York, at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The company maintains its interest in both markets and as Allen said, if ‘God is good enough’ to help them operate on both fronts, Hard Rock will be more than happy to do so.

However, the company will need the support of New Jersey voters if it goes forth with its plan on building the casino in Meadowlands. In 2016, they openly rejected a plan that would’ve authorized casinos outside of the only place in New Jersey that they are permitted to operate at – Atlantic City.

Allen Thinks That the Market is Capable of Withstanding Multiple Casinos

Allen’s company spent around $500 million to open the Hard Rock Atlantic City casino in 2018 and, while speaking about the market, he asked how many casinos are located in the area, to which the answer is nine. Considering the fact that there are already quite a lot of operators in the region, Allen is convinced that the market can withstand multiple casinos.

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSTC) issued a call for expressions of interest last week. There are three casino licenses left, and some of the major brands that are considering making a move are Wynn Resorts, Bally’s, Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands.

As for New York, there are currently four commercial casinos in upstate NY, which are part of the seven casinos that do not belong to the tribes. Voters authorized these operators in 2013.

David Schwartz, a University of Las Vegas Nevada gambling historian, thinks that a robust market like metro New York has the capacity of supporting two properties.

The owner of two racetrack casinos in upstate New York and the Meadowlands Racetrack, Jeff Gural, stated that there hasn’t been any discussion with Allen as to whether he can partner on a NY project with Hard Rock or if that type of partnership could affect their New Jersey relationship.

Ralph Caputo, a Democratic Assemblyman for New Jersey who is actually from the northern part of NJ, has issued his doubts on the success of the two projects by Hard Rock. However, he did note that Meadowlands Racetrack’s fantastic financial performance in New Jersey’s leading sports wagering market has proven that the supporters of NJ gambling were actually spot on.

Half of New Jersey’s sports betting revenue from each month is generated by the Meadowlands Racetrack. Back in September, New Jersey reached a historical milestone as it became the first US state to generate $1 billion in sports betting handle in a single month. Caputo commented that the disposable income is here and that supporters of NJ gambling knew what they were talking about.

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