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Atlantic City casinos reinvesting millions despite COVID

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — With COVID-19 restrictions limiting what number of people can gamble inside, and revenue and earnings plunging, this may increasingly not sound like the easiest time for Atlantic Metropolis’s casinos to be spending big on renovations.

And however they’re, looking for to a post-pandemic future when gamblers could be in quest of the newest issue. They’re investing a number of of hundreds of thousands of {{dollars}} with nowadays in ideas.

The latest to open the corporate checkbook is Arduous Rock, which suggested The Related Press on Monday it will probably spend $20 million to renovate lodge suites, open a Starbucks outlet, purchase new slot machines and tables video video games, add a model new restaurant and enhance its beachfront services.

The renovations can be found a span of some weeks by way of which the Ocean On line casino Resort launched it’s spending $15 million on upgrades to the on line on line casino floor, along with outdoor services like swimming swimming pools, cabanas and the seaside, and Harrah’s unveiled three new consuming locations, a model new spa and a renovated lobby bar.

Harrah’s mum or dad firm, Caesars Leisure, simply these days outlined specifics of the $400 million it pledged New Jersey enjoying regulators it would make at its three Atlantic Metropolis casinos (Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana) all through remaining yr’s change-of-ownership hearings.

And Bally’s Corp. is plowing $90 million once more into the Atlantic Metropolis on line on line casino of the an identical establish that it acquired from Caesars Leisure remaining yr.

Each these investments will span three years.

And Resorts is opening a model new digital tables video video games house later this month with 19 terminals, and could be making a “important funding” in new slot machines this yr, and opening a model new restaurant.

Arduous Rock is opening its pockets decrease than three years after spending a half-billion {{dollars}} to gut the earlier Trump Taj Mahal on line on line casino and swap it proper right into a Arduous Rock on line on line casino resort.

And it’s doing so in a market depressed by COVID-19 restrictions and the hesitancy of some gamblers and vacationers to return to in-person casinos. Quite a few effectively being and safety measures have been in place since they reopened remaining July, along with limiting occupancy of the on line on line casino floor to 50%.

“We have to reinvigorate Atlantic Metropolis,” said Arduous Rock president Joe Lupo. “With declining income, there are solely so many guests on the market. It’s grow to be extra aggressive. These properties like Arduous Rock which might be in it for the long term, are investing their {dollars} now.”

For Arduous Rock, the vast majority of the $20 million will go in the direction of renovations of 91 customer suites. However every lodge room throughout the superior will get new televisions and lighting as correctly.

Sound upgrades can also be made to the on line on line casino’s Arduous Rock Stay at Etess Enviornment and Sound Waves stay efficiency venues. Assembly and convention space could be refurbished, as will the indoor pool.

The coronavirus outbreak despatched earnings plunging by higher than 80% remaining yr at Atlantic Metropolis’s 9 casinos, and points would have been worse had it not been for the continued improvement of net enjoying and a small assist from sports activities actions betting.

A dealer conducts a game of roulette at the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City N.J. on July 2, 2020, the first day the casino was allowed to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.
A vendor conducts a recreation of roulette on the Arduous Rock On line casino in Atlantic Metropolis N.J. on July 2, 2020, the first day the on line on line casino was allowed to reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
AP

However the virus gained’t remaining endlessly, and when prospects do return in droves, casinos want them to come back again to their companies.

By Lupo’s reckoning, there are three “new” on line on line casino companies in Atlantic Metropolis: his private, which opened Arduous Rock in June 2018; the upcoming 50% partnership throughout the Ocean on line on line casino by the Ilitch family of Detroit (Ocean opened the an identical day as Arduous Rock did); and the model new Caesars Leisure, which saved the establish nevertheless adopted the administration of the earlier Eldorado Resorts in remaining yr’s merger.

“With this new funding comes a necessity for our firms to make sure that their product and the expertise they provide meets the wants of individuals, particularly at a time when town has been declining since we reopened in July,” he said. “We understand we’ve a chance. The fixed change provides our guests one thing new to sit up for, and that has all the time been essential in Atlantic Metropolis.”

It moreover takes into impression the continued rivals all through it, from casinos in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and totally different northeastern states that had been consuming away at Atlantic Metropolis’s market even sooner than the pandemic.

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