At the height of the pandemic, casinos in Atlantic City reported that they would be investing millions of dollars in preparation for a post-pandemic future. At the time, the gambling market in Atlantic City had been depressed by pandemic-related restrictions.
Many gamblers and tourists did not return to the city for months owing to the strict health and safety measures that had been in place since casinos in the state were allowed to re-open in July 2020 at a limited casino floor capacity of 50%.
These investments were intended to reinvigorate the city, whose revenue had been declining at the weight of the restrictions. Based on reports from the American Gambling Association, the outbreak sent profits at 9 AC casinos dropping by more than 80% and the situation would have been a lot worse had it not been for the growth of online casino gambling in the state.
Hard Rock was among the first to proclaim that it would be investing roughly $20 million to renovate its hotel suites. Some of the other upgrades that Hard Rock anticipated include opening up a Starbucks outlet, as well as the addition of a new restaurant.
Hard Rock also promised to upgrade its casino floor with brand new modern slot machines, as well as add the latest table games. Before this, Hard Rock had already spent close to half a billion dollars to gut the old Trump Taj Mahal Casino to transform it into a Hard Rock facility. Sound upgrades were also made to Hard Rock’s popular concert and event venues at Sound Waves, as well as Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena.
Ocean Casino, on the other hand, broadcast that it would be investing $85 million in upgrading the casino floor, as well as giving a new look to its amenities including the cabanas, pool, and beach. Oceans Casino is one of the newer casino properties in the city having opened its doors just recently in 2018.
As such, the current state of the Oceans Casino property is still more modern compared to some of the older casinos, which have been around for decades. Ocean’s new and modern casino concept has been a boon for the brand which generated $29.5 million from slots, as well as table games in December 2022.
The majority of the $85 million (approximately $72 million) spent by Oceans was directed to upgrading its hotel suites. The brand also added a new Serendity 3 restaurant and a Starbucks location on its premises. Despite already spending heavily, Oceans has pledged to spend an additional $15 million to upgrade several more hotel floors, as well as add a private helipad to the facility.
Caesars Entertainment also outlined its plans to invest $400 million in its 3 properties in Atlantic City namely Tropicana, Harrah’s, and Caesars. In 2021, Caesars Entertainment unveiled room upgrades worth $170 million that were designed by Image Group. The upgrades saw a total of 600 guest rooms re-designed in Harrah’s Atrium Towers, as well as Caesars’ Ocean and Centurion Towers.
Bally’s Corp similarly vowed to invest $90 million into its casino, which it acquired from Caesars Entertainment in 2020. Today, Bally’s has a completely new look in its hotel lobby, which comes complete with a rotating bar, as well as an outdoor and indoor beer garden. The casino also plans to introduce new slots to provide customers with even more ways to gamble.
Last year, Tropicana added several new entertainment options and restaurants with promises to make more upgrades in 2023. Aside from debuting the new Il Verdi, Tropicana also expects to upgrade its casino floor before the end of this year.
Based on reports from the Casino Association of New Jersey, the 9 properties in Atlantic City have invested more than $ billion in the marketplace over the last few years. CANJ, which serves as the collective voice of casinos in AC asserts that all of the casino facilities in the city are either in the middle of gearing up for renovations or have already made significant changes since 2020.
This year, Golden Nugget AC will also commence a multi-million renovation project that will see the rooms and suites in the property upgraded. Resorts will also make changes to its gaming halls while also investing heavily in gaming operations tech. Resorts is the oldest of all the gaming halls in the city so these upgrades will be much-needed.
Borgata, on the other hand, which stands as the market leader in New Jersey recently unveiled upgrades to its high-limit slots lounge, as well as its old steak house. Borgata promises to unveil even more changes this year to its live entertainment, as well as its restaurants.
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Business in Atlantic City casinos continues to improve
Atlantic City is situated within less than a 4-hour driving distance for at least a third of the population in the country. It is also a prime location between New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Philadelphia, which makes it an excellent location for conferences.
A lot of casino industry professionals realize that investing in AC is great for ROI, which explains these massive capital investments in an already flourishing market. With these re-investments comes fresh business opportunities for not just the events and conferences industry but for all of the businesses located within the city walls.
Atlantic City has 9 casino facilities in total and as one of the oldest gambling markets in the country, there has come a need for casino operators in AC to offer unmatched experiences. With these investments discussed above, casinos in AC are ensuring that their services and the experiences offered to meet the needs of modern gamblers, especially at a time when gamblers in the country have more variety than ever.
The good news is that operators in the city realize the amazing opportunities for growth available. These fresh investments will give visitors something extra to look forward to, and that has always been part of becoming successful in the hospitality industry. The investments will also help AC to keep standing out from casinos in neighboring states, which can potentially eat away at the AC gambling market.