A lot can happen in 72 hours. Your entire weekend can come, go and is once again become a distant memory. You can catch up on three full seasons of Jack Bauer in 24. Or the two newest casinos, and their soon to be announced newest NJ online casinos versions, of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino, earning enough during that same period to suggest that they could bring in in excess of $30 million every month. These almost unreliable numbers are based upon the figures taken from the June revenue figures from the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s (DGE) June report.
Before we get too caught up in the $30 million forecast, we should bear in mind that the weekend was a rare occasion when two major casinos opened their doors on the same day in the Las Vegas of the East Coast. Hordes of eager punters and novelty-seekers flooded Atlantic City as the thousands came and spent millions. It’s this enthusiasm that brought in revenue over the three days.
Rummy Pandit, Executive Director Lloyd D. Levinson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, opined his view of the opening figures and how they will play out over the medium and long-term. In his view, and as common sense would have us believe, the numbers were mostly due to spectacle and the novelty of two big names opening impressive venues. Crowds came to see the new casino floor, enjoy the entertainment on offer and just enjoy the sheer grandness of this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.
However, before too long, Pandit believes that all the regular punters will soon have to make a new decision – which house is their regular house - their longtime favorite, Hard Rock Casino or Ocean Resort Casino.
“Over time, it starts to settle down because people tend to settle into their preferences into which properties they want to be frequent and continue to be loyal to. At some point, they may like their other property better or they may like the new one. Over time, it starts to settle down because people tend to settle into their preferences into which properties they want to be frequent and continue to be loyal to. At some point, they may like their other property better or they may like the new one.”
At the moment it far too early to predict what effect the Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Resort Casino will have the casino industry of Atlantic City and even the other NJ online casinos, according to Bob Ambrose, gaming consultant and adjunct professor of casino management at Farleigh Dickinson University.
He warned that while it would be nice to see this as the start of an incredible boom for the East Coast casinos, it might lead to a false diagnosis:
“There has always been a ‘rush to judgment’ when it comes to anything concerning an Atlantic City stakeholder or their new business model. Right now, it is the middle of the summer tourist season and everything is up for grabs. It is an exciting time in A.C.”
While may not yet know the future of either of the newest casinos or the industry as a whole, this is a major opportunity for every single one of Atlantic City’s many casinos and NJ online casinos.
Rummy Pandit made another valid point when he stated that both the Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Resort Casino are unique are unlikely to cannibalize patrons due to the fact they will attract different crowds due to their brand association.
The Hard Rock Casino is an international icon of casinos that have a passionate following. Ocean Resort Casino, on the other hand, is a Category 3 hotel in the World of Hyatt loyalty program, where members are rewarded nights worth as many 12,000 loyalty points. An amount these members would not even blink an eye at.
“At this point, it looks like both properties will bring in specific segments that haven’t been here before and, thus, collaboratively grow the market.”
The additional casinos should actually be a boon to the city’s seven existing casinos. However, it will remind many of the dark days of 2014 when Atlantic City housed 12 casinos, of which 5 closed, one after another. With a larger market comes less competition for the existing base of customers.
For most, the success of these two juggernauts will be based on revenue numbers alone and if they make a home for themselves among the top 3 revenue earners, they will go down as an overwhelming success
However, Pandit feels that success for these establishments is more complicated than just revenue numbers. He feels that the casinos should be viewed as to how they have managed to grow the market, along with several other factors that may not immediately come to mind.
“These two properties were hoping to grow the market, which would be a sign of success. The other sign is that combined, these two properties have hired more than 7,000 employees that’s a huge success for the area.”
Ambrose gave another way to view the success of the Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Resort Casino by the individuality they add to Atlantic City casinos and the positive impact they should have on the levels of healthy competition.
What should make a big difference this time compared to the debacle of 2014 when these two groups owned more than 50% of all properties in the city is that this time Hard Rock International and Ocean Resort Casino own no other properties in Atlantic City.
“Atlantic City has long needed this type of competitive resort environment because everyone will actively be in the game competing for business. For too long there was not enough individual ownership of casino properties. As an example, it used to be that the Trump brand had three and Caesars had four. Where was the competition with only twelve properties in town?”