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NEWS 5 June 2017

MGM and Caesars announce Atlantic City casino plans

By Tom Lewis
MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment have revealed their intention to join forces on an Atlantic City casino project.

Press of Atlantic City reported that the pair are mulling over a joint development in a city looking to reverse its fortunes after five casino closures in under four years.

During a press conference with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, James Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, said: “We are going to be working with our friends at Caesars to find out how we can further move Atlantic City along.

“It’s not going to be easy, but we are up for the challenge.”

Specific details on the project are expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks, with Christie stating that formal announcements could be made within the fortnight.

Governor Christie also announced plans to roll back some of New Jersey’s gambling regulations after meeting with the operators, although he has yet to reveal which ones.

“We’re going to be working with them on additional ways we can bring Atlantic City’s regulations into the 21st century,” he said.

The two operators already have significant Atlantic City operations, with MGM Resorts owning Borgata, the city’s top grossing casino, while Caesars runs Harrah’s, Bally’s and Caesars Atlantic City.

MGM Resorts and Caesars are not the only operators betting on the city’s casino industry to emerge from its recent funk. Hard Rock International recently acquired the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal with plans to invest up to $500m on a rebrand and re-launch.

Figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement showed an upturn in fortunes for the city’s casinos in Q1 2017, with gross operating profits increasing 30.4% year-on-year, while revenue grew 1.7% to $816.7m.
RELATED TAGS: Land-Based | Casino | Legal & Regulatory
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