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Two Atlantic City Casinos To Reopen Thursday

One Will Have A Poker Room, The Other Will Not

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Two of Atlantic City’s brick-and-mortar casinos that shuttered during a string of closings a few years ago will take bets once again this week.

The casinos, formerly known as Revel and the Trump Taj Mahal, will welcome gamblers again under new brands and new ownership. Revel is now called Ocean Resort, while the Taj Mahal is now Hard Rock. Revel closed in 2014, while the Taj shut down in 2016.

Hard Rock, which was acquired for just $50 million, will have more than 2,000 slot machines and 120 table games, but it won’t have a poker room. Ocean Resort will have an eight-table poker room to go along with 100 table games and 2,000 machines.

Ocean Resort, which cost an Atlantic City record $2.4 billion, exchanged hands multiple times after closing four years ago. It was most recently acquired for just $200 million by a Colorado-based developer. Hard Rock was bought by Florida’s Seminole Tribe.

The reopenings will come exactly two weeks after the state of New Jersey finally saw its first gambling facilities kick off regulated sports betting after a years-long legal battle. It’s huge boost for the struggling seaside gambling town.

Through the first five months of the year, the industry’s casino win totaled $910.1 million compared to $971.8 million during the same period in 2017, reflecting a decrease of 6.3 percent. Internet gaming win increased 15.5 percent to $116.9 million through May. Total gaming win was $1.027 billion, reflecting a decrease of 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

Atlantic City’s recovery has been surprisingly short-lived after the past two calendar years saw small upticks in the industry’s total gaming win. Revenues declined for about a decade after reaching a high of $5.2 billion in 2006. The Great Recession played a major role.

The industry’s gross operating profit in the first quarter of 2018 was $123.6 million, down 11.7 percent compared to the first quarter of last year.