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Casino Gaming

We Have Heard About the Future, but What About Atlantic City’s Existing Casino Industry?

There is much development slated for the next ten years.  Ten billion dollars in development is slated to come to Atlantic City in the next decade.  Much is said about what, if any, effect the Mayoral Mayhem of recent memory will have on potential development. 

Developers – Revel, Pinnacle, MGM and Curtis Bashaw – are all intent on building.  The developers’ sentiments are that Atlantic City has always been corrupt.  It will always be corrupt.  The global embarrassment of Missing Mayor Bob Levy was the lowest point of the bucket.  Political speaking, it would be a stretch to say that we are moving up.  It is fair to say that we are not imminently sinking back to global disgrace status.

The $$$ Financial Live! Guru $$$ has a good summary of current plans for future development.  See his blog link at the bottom of this post. 

The scoop on the issue of future development is the treatment of existing development.  We all know that casinos and casino employees are constitutionally-barred from holding elected or appointed office and limited in political involvement.  The arrangement is fine, as far as the casino execs. are concerned.  they have enough on their hands in the business world.  There are a few things that irk the casinos and get their attention.  Two of them are the city-imposed smoking limitations and reneging of contract.

The right of contract is sacrosanct in the U.S. Unless – of course – you are the Atlantic City government.  The City’s agreement to pay Trump a specified tax settlement has been negated and placed on hold.

The tax settlement is very shady.  It was the “Speedy” work of Acting Mayor William Marsh, who earned the new nickname “Sloppy” after his brief tenure.  The City has still not given the County, who was a party in the deal, the full information of the agreement.  The County was a party and yet they were not invited to come to the bargaining table.

The tax settlement is clouded with questions.  Mayor Evans inherited the deal.  Part of the Mayor’s duties are to fulfill the City’s declared duties.  The City contractually committed to an agreement to pay Trump a settlement.  Mayor Evans has unilaterally and arbitrarily violated the contract.  That is not a good precedent.  Not respecting the rights of contract is a dangerous reputation to present to future casino developers.  This tax settlement will be watched closely by the proposed developers.

Another element of the scoop is the reason for the ten billion dollars of proposed development.  That is Borgata.  Borgata is the the biggest reason for the increased gaming interest in A.C.  Borgata effectively transformed the market here, spotlighting a depth of development potential that was hitherto unfathomed.  

Why are we now mindful of Borgata?  Their creation of The Water Club, a hotel that is preparing to take the hotel market by storm, is a potential for further straining relations between developers and City government.  The Water Club will be the City’s first five-star-esque hotel.  The luxury experience that will be offered is currently found in few places in the country. 

We are talking about what will be the most amazing hotel to ever hit New Jersey.  There will be a new demographic of tourists that come to Atlantic City.  A.C. will be at the top of every person’s luxury hotel short-list.  That brings us to the issue of traffic.  There will need to be adjustments made to the tunnel / connector.  Anyone who has traveled on that road realizes that the current configuration is not adequate to handle thousands more auto-travelers, coming in to the Marina district from the Expressway.

Our advise to the City is to be proactive.  Start instituting infrastructure enhancements now.  Do not wait until there is the glorious disaster of too many tourists clogging city roads.  Respecting contractual agreements would not hurt either.

(Future development: reading – http://financelifeguru.blogspot.com/2007/12/weekends-featured-mega-casinos-will.html)

(Mayor Evans halting payment on Trump tax settlement: reading – http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/104-12032007-1450415.html & http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/top_three/story/7520432p-7420345c.html)

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About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.

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