Hard Rock to Buy Trump Taj, Plans Casino Opening in 2018

The Trump Taj Mahal entrance

Photo | Dan McQuade

There will be a new casino on the Atlantic City boardwalk next year.

Yesterday the Hard Rock struck a deal with Carl Icahn to buy the shuttered Trump Taj Mahal. The planned $300 million purchase and casino renovation will bring a new casino to Atlantic City in 2018.

“All the pieces are coming back together, one by one,” Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said. “Now is the time to invest in our great city. The price is right.” Read more »

The Revel Casino Finally Has a New Name

Revel Casino Hotel, now called TEN

Revel on its last day of operations in 2014. | Photo: Dan McQuade

The summer season has come and gone in Atlantic City, and despite an initial mid-June opening date, the former Revel casino remains shuttered — and owner Glenn Straub, who bought it out of bankruptcy, earlier this month threatened to leave town after clashing with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

But there is a significant movement in the beautiful property that’s been closed for longer than it’s been open: a new name. Revel is now called TEN. Read more »

SugarHouse Won’t Serve Alcohol 24/7 — and That’s Bad for Pennsylvania’s Budget

SugarHouse Casino

SugarHouse, as seen during the snowstorm of January 2016 | Photo: Dan McQuade

When Pennsylvania passed a massive liquor reform bill this spring, politicians and media outlets labeled it as a push for more consumer choices. “This is truly a historic day for Pennsylvania and the most significant step the commonwealth has taken to reform our liquor system in 80 years,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. State Sen. Chuck McIlhinney was similarly enthusiastic: “The reforms included in this bill are measures that consumers have requested for years, and I appreciate the fact that we were able to reach a compromise that responds to the most pressing concerns we hear from community residents.”

But the bill was also, of course, about money. Estimates released at the time Wolf signed the bill said it would generate an additional $150 million for the state — but that total is already $12 million short. Read more »

Christie Says He’ll Vote to Expand Casinos to Northern New Jersey

Chris Christie

New Jersey governor Chris Christie said he plans to cast his ballot in favor of expanding casinos outside of Atlantic City and into parts of northern New Jersey.

The Associated Press reports that Christie made the comments at a statehouse news conference, where he said he would campaign for the ballot question. The idea of expanding casinos has drawn criticism from those who believe the move would further damage Atlantic City’s economy.

Read more »

SugarHouse’s New Event Space Opens This Weekend


SugarHouse opens its new events space to the public this weekend with a LeAnn Rimes concert. And, the casino announced this week the second performer to appear: Comedian Trevor Noah, the new host of The Daily Show, will perform on April 23rd.

“This will be a powerhouse concert with an intimate feel, and we can’t wait to show off the new Center,” said Wendy Hamilton, general manager of SugarHouse Casino, said in a release. “LeAnn Rimes is the perfect vocalist to introduce Philadelphia to the city’s newest venue.” Read more »

N.J. Announces Regulations for Skill-Based Casino Video Games

Attack from Mars pinball

The Attack from Mars pinball machine at the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Based on the skyline, this pinball game is set in Philadelphia.

New Jersey gambling is going to get a little more exciting soon.

Today, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement today legalized more ways to gamble: Namely, it announced temporary regulations for skill-based gaming: Instead of sliding bills into a slot machine where you have no control over whether you win, you’ll be able to play skill-based games for real money in Atlantic City casinos.

“This is another important step towards implementing skill-based gaming in the Atlantic City gaming market,” DGE director David Rebuck said. “Although the Division has had the authority to authorize these games for some time and announced in October 2014 an initiative for manufacturers to bring their skill-based games to New Jersey, the industry requested specific regulations to guide their efforts to create innovative skill-based products.”

The regulations allow game outcomes to be “dependent in whole or in part upon the player’s physical dexterity and/or mental ability.” Slot machines with skill-based elements must pay out at least 83 percent, while games that are entirely skill-based do not have a hold minimum. Games can’t be altered during play in order to make it tougher for a skilled player to win. Read more »

There Will Be an Atlantic City Segment on New Year’s Eve the Next 3 Years

"Miss America 1953 swimsuit competition" by Fred Hess & Son - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID pan.6a24762.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information. العربية | čeština | Deutsch | English | español | فارسی | suomi | français | magyar | italiano | македонски | മലയാളം | Nederlands | polski | português | русский | slovenčina | slovenščina | Türkçe | українська | 中文 | 中文(简体)‎ | 中文(繁體)‎ | +/−. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Miss America 1953 swimsuit competition” by Fred Hess & Son. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday, the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority agreed to pay $12.5 million to keep Miss America in Atlantic City for the next three years. That’s a lot for the city that once ceremonially renamed the street called Miss America Way when the pageant left town for a decade, especially when the event lasts just one week a year.

But wait until you see what the city got for it: Dick Clark Productions, which runs Miss America, is required to produce a live performance from Atlantic City during the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve TV special for the next three specials. The Inquirer reports the contract even goes through January 1st, 2019. Read more »

Appeals Court: Trump Taj Mahal Can Strip Union Benefits

Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City

Photo | Dan McQuade

A federal appeals court has ruled that Trump Entertainment — the parent company of the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City — can strip pension and health benefits from about 1,100 union workers at Trump Taj Mahal. The fight may not be over: Previously, UNITE-HERE Local 54 said it would appeal to the Supreme Court if it lost at the appeals level.

Trump Entertainment Resorts no longer has a connection to Donald Trump other than an agreement to use the name. If the union decides not to appeal to a higher court or exhausts its appeals, the company will execute its plan to emerge from bankruptcy: Trump Entertainment’s chief lender, Carl Icahn, will take over the company. Read more »

Board to Monitor South Philly Casino’s Lofty Diversity Promises

The most recent artist's rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

The most recent artist’s rendering of the Live! Casino at Packer Ave. and Darien Streets in South Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Stadium Casino LLC)

Last week, Stadium Casino announced ambitious diversity goals for its soon-to-be-built casino in the South Philadelphia. It promised that 50 percent of the post-construction workforce will be minorities and 40 percent will be women. It promised that 47 percent to 58 percent of construction contracts will be awarded to companies deemed Minority Business Enterprises or Women Business Enterprises. It promised no dress code in any part of the facility — following a lawsuit claiming that Cordish Co. (one of the casino owners) used restrictive dress codes and other methods to limit black visitors at a facility in Kentucky. Read more »

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