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Atlantic City Turns To Smaller May Be Better Casino Attitude

The Atlantic City casino gambling industry has been struggling now for well over three years. The economic recession and increased competition has made it tougher than AC officials had originally thought when it comes to a revenue turnaround.

Last year, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie rallied lawmakers in a series of meetings to determine the best way to move forward with rebuilding Atlantic City. The prevailing thought was that smaller may be better, and legislators authorized new gaming facilities.

Friday was the deadline from the Casino Control Commission for proposals for the new casinos. Three separate groups met the deadline, all hoping to build casinos that would be a fraction of the size of the eleven existing AC casinos.

Pinnacle Entertainment, a group of businessmen connected with Max Gurwicz and Son, and the Hard Rock Cafe all submitted their one page plan, according to The Associated Press. Now that the deadline has been met, the three companies can expand their applications and submit the detailed proposals by an August 19th deadline.

The three plans are vastly different at this point in time. Pinnacle Entertainment filed the paperwork simply for the right to explore the issue further. If they decide they want to build an AC casino, they now have the ability to move forward with a proposal.

The Hard Rock Group is the developer that is most dedicated to bringing a new gaming facility to New Jersey. The group has already expressed plans that will include a casino, clubs, a rock museum, and several restaurants. The Hard Rock facility would come at a development cost of $275 million, and it would extend the current Boardwalk.

Existing AC casinos have spent the past year renovating their facilities. Resorts, the oldest casino in the city, has gone to a prohibition era theme after developer Dennis Gomes took control. Gomes has also made the casino more racy, opening up the first gay nightclub at an Atlantic City casino.

This past weekend, the casinos experienced their first full occupancy in years. The Fourth of July holiday brought thousands of travelers to the city for party's and firework displays. The AC Boardwalk fireworks display was rated as one of the best in the country by several different publications.

As for the new law creating opportunities for new casinos, the developers are limited to 200 rooms. The larger casinos that are already operational have over 2,000 rooms.

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