America’s playground is showing sign’s of its old self. The beginning of 2017 brought a much-needed push to the declining gambling industry with a 8.6 percent increase in revenue compared to the same period last year. To keep the momentum going, Governor Chris Christie brought more good news as he made a promise to State during a news conference last Thursday. Christie, after meeting with the heads of MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, announced that the two largest casino operators of the seaside gambling resort are looking to team up on a project and are ready to make significant new investments in Atlantic City.
“These folks in Atlantic City have come here to say that they are ready now to make further investments in Atlantic City, so if you want a headline, that’s the headline,” Christie said.
No specifics about the proposed plan was revealed, but the speakers did suggest that announcements about the new project are on the way.
“We are going to be working with our friends at Caesars to find out how we can further move Atlantic City along,” said James Murren, chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International during a press conference with Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday afternoon. “It’s not going to be easy, but we are up for the challenge.”
Mark Frissora, president and Ceo for Caesars Entertainment also chimed in, saying ““It has been great to have a partner like MGM who is looking at properties that we can go develop. We think the future is bright.”
The two Giants have already made a huge impact on the State’s gambling industry with their respective casinos. MGM strengthened its presence in Atlantic City since buying Boyd Gaming’s stake in Borgata, the City’s most profitable, for $900 million last year. Caesars already owns three properties in the city, including Harrah’s, Caesars and Bally’s. With the two power houses coming as a package, they’ll sure to make an even greater impact to the City’s gambling industry than they already have.
The city has witnessed 5 of its 12 casinos close within the last 3 years, which resulted in its gaming revenue cut in half. But with all the recent positive announcements, prior to this newest one about MGM and Caesars, experts had already stated that the city has shown signs of life once again. Now with the addition of the new project, that claim is even more likely to come true.
Jim Murren, a chairman of MGM, said his company wouldn’t have already invested billions into a market they felt had finite potential.
“We do not think Atlantic City is but a finite pool, but we do believe it is a important regional destination,” Murren said.
To add to that, Marc Frissora, president of Caesars Entertainment also said “ we continue to see a lot of vibrancy. We know that the future is bright.”
With so much belief in the city, from big players no less, the gambling industry in Atlantic City is going to light up again for sure.