[toc]It wasn’t that long ago that casinos and resorts were closing left and right in Atlantic City.
Just a few short years later, things are certainly on the upswing. But now there’s a question if things are happening too quickly in the gambling town.
The latest news is that TEN AC — formerly Revel — appears to be on its way to being sold for real, and reopened with gaming.
The latest on TEN AC
Roger Gros of Global Gaming Business Magazine was the first (and only) writer to report on Friday that a deal to sell TEN AC has been completed:
Multiple sources have confirmed to GGB that AC's Revel has been sold and will reopen as a casino. Mark Juliano likely to return as GM. pic.twitter.com/YOCEuFzUPH
— Roger Gros (@GlobalGamingBiz) July 28, 2017
That fairly big piece of news hadn’t been widely reported as of Friday night by regional media outlets. But if true, it would bring to an end the ownership of Glenn Straub. His tenure in charge of the shuttered resort has been mostly a disaster, full of promises to reopen it that went unfulfilled.
But if he has successfully sold it, he probably made a pretty penny on the transaction. Earlier reports had a $200 million offer being put on the gleaming AC resort that was originally built for more than $2 billion.
Things ramping up quickly in AC
If TEN finally is sold and reopened — theoretically next year — it would mean two new casinos in the mix in 2018.
Hard Rock International intends to reopen the former Trump Taj Mahal next year as well.
On top of that, the existing resorts and casinos have been doing pretty well since several closures took place 2014. That includes:
- MGM and Caesars looking to collaborate on a new development project.
- Tropicana expanding its footprint by buying a nearby hotel.
- The reopened Showboat performing well without casino gaming.
- Everyone benefiting from NJ online gambling in terms of increased revenue.
The question becomes: Is all that expansion/reopening a good thing, or too much of a good thing?
Is AC falling into the same trap, or can it grow again?
There are reasons to worry that AC cannot sustain all of these new/reopening resorts. The town can probably use the hotel rooms, for conferences and conventions alone. But casino gaming might be another story.
Adding up to three new casinos to the mix (granted the MGM/Caesars one would be in the distant future) has uncertain ramifications. Would those casinos be purely additive in terms of casino revenue? Almost certainly not. It’s far more likely that they will cannibalize the existing ones. The only question is how much.
AC has unquestionably been on the right track in recent months. But fears of too much growth too quickly could leave us with a scenario where all the casinos and resorts don’t survive once again.