Hard Rock International has not ruled out the possibility of taking its world renowned brand to the Meadowlands Racetrack in northern New Jersey, two years after initial proposals were resoundingly and emphatically rejected.
A proposal to authorise the construction of two new casinos near the state’s border with New York City were dismissed by voters, giving Atlantic City what may yet be a temporary reprieve.
Believed to have been defeated by approximately 80 per cent to 20 per cent, proposals as part of the Garden State’s referendum crucially left out a number significant details, including exact locations of new casino properties and the tax rate they would be subjected to.
At the unveiling celebration of its newly opened Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, remodelled at the cost of half a billion dollars on the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal, the prospect of resurrecting the plan for a property close to the New Jersey/New York border was broached, reports Associated Press.
The firm has stated it has made huge investment, in terms of both time and money, in laying the groundwork for the potential casino opening at the East Rutherford site, with CEO Jim Allen stressing: “We have an ownership in the Meadowlands, and we have an exclusive right to operate the (casino) gaming operation there.”
Emphasising that appetite remains strong amongst Hard Rock executives, Allen also detailed that studies conducted regarding a proposed casino at the Meadowlands site point to its huge potential success, with around 14 million people living within a 50 mile radius.
A sentiment echoed by Associated Press and Jeff Gural, operator of the Meadowlands Racetrack, with the former’s analysis of the initial efforts in 2016 finding it could be one of the most successful such properties in the country, until a casino opens in New York City itself.
Gural himself estimates a Meadowlands casino could take $800m to $900m annually, with some analysts believing the $1bn barrier could be toppled – at least until a nearby competitor becomes a reality.