Hard Rock envisions two New York area casinos 8 miles apart

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Updated 6 minutes ago

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP) – Hard Rock wants to build a casino in or near New York City, although it plans to build another in northern New Jersey, about 8 miles away.

Jim Allen, president of the global gambling, entertainment and hospitality company owned by the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida, said on Tuesday that Hard Rock would submit an expression of interest to New York officials before the deadline December 10.

New York has three remaining casino licenses to be awarded in the lower state area which includes New York City, which has long been the holy grail of the casino industry, considering population and wealth. of the region.

Speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, Allen said Hard Rock has been planning a project in New York since the possibility was announced seven years ago.

Afterward, Allen said in an interview that the company is not abandoning a plan it unveiled in 2015 to build a casino on the Meadowlands Racetrack just outside New York City.

“We are interested in both markets, and if God is good enough to allow us to operate in both, we would be happy to do so,” he said.

Hard Rock would need permission from New Jersey voters to build in the Meadowlands. They flatly rejected a plan in 2016 that would have allowed casinos outside of Atlantic City, the only place in New Jersey where they are allowed.

Allen, whose company spent half a billion dollars to open a Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City in 2018, said the New York and northern New Jersey market can support many casinos.

“How many casinos have you lined up here? He asked in Atlantic City, where there are nine. “One hundred percent the market is pretty big.”

Last week, the New York State Gaming Commission issued a call for expressions of interest for the three remaining casino licenses. Other major casino companies, including Caesars Entertainment, Bally’s, Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, have also expressed interest.

There are four commercial casinos in upstate New York, which were among the seven non-tribal casinos allowed by voters in 2013.

“It’s possible that a market as robust as the New York City subway could support two properties,” said David Schwartz, gaming historian at the University of Las Vegas Nevada.

Jeff Gural, owner of Meadowlands Racecourse, as well as two upstate New York racetracks, said he and Allen had not discussed the possibility of Gural partnering with Hard Rock on a project in New York, or if such a development could affect their partnership in New York. Jersey.

Ralph Caputo, a member of the New Jersey Democratic State Assembly from northern New Jersey, said he doubted two Hard Rock projects could succeed so close to each other. But he also noted that the staggering financial performance of the Meadowlands Racetrack in the premier New Jersey sportsbook market proves that supporters of the game in northern New Jersey were right.

The Meadowlands account for half of the sports betting revenue that the entire state of New Jersey earns each month. In September, New Jersey became the first US state to handle more than $ 1 billion in sports betting in a single month.

“All the disposable income is here,” Caputo said. “We knew what we were talking about.

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Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at @WayneParryAC


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