MGM Resorts-Caesars Discuss Joint Atlantic City Casino

MGM Resorts Caesars Entertainment Casino Atlantic City

Richard Pernicaro speculated the new casino might be placed between Borgata’s Water Club and Harrah’s Atlantic City.

Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are not the only casino rivals partnering on a new project. MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment are partners on a joint venture in Atlantic City.

The two Las Vegas casino giants held a press conference with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie this week to announce the joint partnership. Earlier this month, Christie recommended the New Jersey legislature give the companies new tax incentives to bring more jobs to Atlantic City.

Caesars Entertainment’s Mark Frissora and MGM Resort’s Jim Murren quickly developed a plan of action.

Not much is known about the property at the moment. Early rumors about its location puts it between Borgata Hotel Casino & Resort and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City (Caesars), which belong respectively to MGM Resorts and Caesar’s Entertainment.

Chris Christie on MGM/Caesars Casino

In a press conference to announce the partnership, Gov. Chris Christie teased that more information would become available in the next few weeks. Longtime MGM Resorts Jim Murren said that the development’s intention was to help Atlantic City’s economy get back on its feet.

Jim Murren Discusses Joint Venture

Murren said at the press conference, “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.”

If the casino is built in-between Borgata and Harrah’s, the new resort would not be altogether large. While the space exists to build a hotel, casino, and parking area, the fit is going to be tight in the space between Brigantine Blvd. and Renaissance Point Blvd.

Richard Pernicaro Speculates on Location

Richard Pernicaro, Atlantic Cape Community College’s Director of Business Research, said that the area once was earmarked for a casino development: Circus Circus Atlantic City. That project never came to fruition, but the companies should have the space to build a mid-size casino complex.

Others believe the two companies are going to develop on the Boardwalk, instead. A Boardwalk resort makes more sense than a satellite casino sandwiched between two more famous properties. It also would dovetail with the idea of renovating Atlantic City and turning the Boardwalk into a nongaming destination resort.

NJ and AC Regulators Like Reliable Operators

Atlantic City and New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement are enthusiastic about the project, because licensing with two longtime operators should be quick and easy. That is the reason the Connecticut state legislature approved the East Windsor satellite casino being built by two longtime rivals in Connecticut gaming: the Mashantucket Pequot (Foxwoods) and Mohegan Tribes.

In that instance, Connecticut wanted a quick development to maintain local gamblers in the Hartford area. New Jersey wants the same, without any of the misunderstandings and intrigues that have plagued outside Glenn Straub’s attempts to reopen the Revel Casino (as TEN Casino).

Will New Atlantic City Casino Cannibalize Revenues?

What locals want to know is whether the new Caesars/MGM resort is going to cannibalize customers. Just three years ago, Caesars Entertainment closed down its fourth Atlantic City casino, Showboat, in order to consolidate its customers in 3 properties. The decision allowed Caesars to maintain market share with a smaller payroll. Any new development seems like it might undermine the companies’ own operations in the city.

The decision to place a new casino in Atlantic City might be a sign that the US economy and Atlantic City casino market has stabilized enough to warrant another casino operation. Or perhaps Caesars/MGM want to position themselves to take customers from the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s new Hard Rock Atlantic City Casino, which will open in May 2018 on the site of the old Trump Taj Mahal building. Or perhaps the plan is to build competition for both the new potential competitors, Hard Rock AC and TEN Casino.

Tax Incentives for Caesars and MGM Resorts

Another likely possibility is the two Las Vegas casino companies received tax breaks from the State of New Jersey in order to create new jobs in the area. In that instance, the resort itself might not be the key factor; the overall tax relief is worth the expenditure to the two casino giants. In other words, the new Atlantic City casino by MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment might be a kind of tax writeoff.