The 21st Annual East Coast Games were held at Harrah’s Resort Casino in Atlantic City from May 24 to 25.
According to New Jersey’s gambling laws, casinos are not allowed outside Atlantic City. Last November, a referendum was held that would have changed the situation so that two casinos could be built in the northern part of the state. But New Jersey voters rejected the proposal, which meant developers could not proceed with the Meadowland expansion project.
Mr. Gural did not give up on the idea, and said he now prefers to wait a little longer for neighboring New York to open all three commercial casinos and become fully operational. According to the businessman, this will happen in the next six years. Gural also believes that within six years, New York and its casinos will pose serious challenges to the New Jersey casino industry.
Once this happens, state legislatures and voters will be ready to rethink failed casino expansion measures, the businessman pointed out in a recent game contest.
Extension questions cannot be placed in front of voters until 2018. But it’s still unclear whether New Jersey lawmakers will actually hold a 2018 referendum or wait a little longer before asking voters to comment on the matter.
State Rep. Ralph Caputo, one of the strongest supporters of casino expansion efforts, said the legislature would clearly push ahead with the plan, but could not commit to a schedule at this time.
According to supporters of the idea, building up to two new casinos in North Jersey will boost the struggling state’s casino industry. On the other hand, opponents believe that casino expansion beyond Atlantic City could erode the city’s valuable revenue and even lead to more casino closures.
Casino destinations, once popular, have faced a number of financial challenges over the past decade. For the past few years, Atlantic City has been the only place where people can gamble on the east coast. However, as more and more states open casinos, the city’s industry is facing competition.
Between 2014 and 2016, five Atlantic City casinos closed due to financial and competitive issues. Although the city’s industry is showing signs of recovery, it will probably not be able to regain its former glory.