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Atlantic City

Meadowlands Racetrack Owner Holding Out Hope For Casino, Calls Atlantic City ‘A Slum’

February 27, 2017
Gural calls AC a slum

Meadowlands Racetrack boss Jeff Gural has never been one to keep quiet.

During the past year, his support of the North Jersey casino referendum was pointed, outspoken and unafraid of confrontation. Despite his best efforts to take down the Atlantic City machine, the referendum failed in a lop-sided fashion. It left Gural wondering if he would ever get a casino at his upstate track. a hope he still harbors.

Gural refuses to quit on casinos

This past week he made it clear during a meeting with the Press of Atlantic City that he’s not backing down from his desire to open a casino at his property.

He went as far as to call Atlantic City a “shame.”

“I made some calls to some casino people, and they said Atlantic City is done and will not recover,” Gural said. “The competition is just too great at this time and everyone knows that. I love Atlantic City, but it’s a shame, it’s a slum.”

This isn’t the first time Gural dropped a “slum” bomb on Jersey’s gambling mecca. This past year, he said visitors have to drive through a slum to get to the Boardwalk.

Gural isn’t the first to call Atlantic City ‘a slum’

Back in 1993, the Baltimore Sun wrote a 15-year-anniversary piece detailing NJ gambling history.

Quoting the director of the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling, the Sun wrote, “Atlantic City was a slum 15 years ago, and today it’s a slum with 12 casinos.”

Referendum opposition not buying the bitterness

Gural’s main argument is that the protection of Atlantic City’s exclusive gambling rights will ultimately erode the city’s livelihood until it’s a ghost town where customers up north go elsewhere to gamble.

While Gural has a flair for riling up the opposition, he has a point. New casinos are popping up everywhere except New Jersey. Gamblers who could stay in-state are crossing the border to Pennsylvania or New York, and taking their gambling money with them.

However, Atlantic City diehards refuse to let the gloomy landscape stop them from protecting the city from perceived slander.

Bill Cortese, a leader in the referendum opposition, told the Press of AC that Gural is just up to his old tricks again. Cortese pointed out that the voters have spoken. Gural and his pals are “trying to circumvent the will of the people,” Cortese insists.

Had the referendum passed, Gural would have partnered with Hard Rock International to build a 650,000-square-foot casino on his property. For now, the feisty businessman will just have to sit and wait. Atlantic City’s exclusive gambling rights won’t disappear anytime soon.

What Are The Typical Benefits Of Becoming A VIP At A New Jersey Online Casino?

February 8, 2017
NJ online casino VIP program benefits

All New Jersey online gambling sites offer loyalty programs for their valued customers, but what happens when you take it to the next level?

What can you expect if you climb the ladder and earn a top VIP status at a New Jersey online casino?

The rewards vary from casino to casino, but regardless of where you earn VIP status, the casino management is going to bend over backward to make you happy.

What are the VIP rewards at Tropicana NJ online casino?

TropicanaCasino.com boasts one of the best online VIP programs in the state. In addition to a dedicated VIP team that will assist you with any questions or concerns, it offers a myriad of other perks including:

  • Regular VIP bonuses based on your play
  • Special birthday bonuses
  • Personalized luxury loyalty gifts and birthday presents
  • VIP-exclusive promotions
  • Personalized game reviews and gameplay advice tailored just for you

TropicanaCasino.com will also give VIPs surprise luxury gifts and experiences based on qualifying play.

Some of these gifts may include:

  • Weekend getaways at Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, including a hotel stay, dinner, and tickets to a show
  • Premium tickets to the hottest shows and sporting events in town
  • Luxury dining experiences
  • Personalized special treats created just for you by VIP account managers

As you can see, getting on TropicanaCasino.com’s VIP list comes with many great benefits, but keep in mind the amount of play required to achieve VIP status is most likely unachievable by most casual players.

In fact, the specific play requirements to reach VIP status are not even listed on TropicanaCasino.com.

What about at Betfair in New Jersey?

BetfairCasino.com is a little more transparent with its VIP program and has it directly interwoven with its standard loyalty program. On BetfairCasino.com, there are five different levels of VIP status, each coming with its own added benefits.

As soon as you start gambling on BetfairCasino.com, you will generate tier points in its Loyalty Club.

Every time you play a casino game, excluding craps and poker, the site will automatically credit you Tier Points. For example, for every $1 you wager on BetfairCasino.com’s slot machines, you will receive five Tier Points.

To achieve Platinum VIP status and receive the corresponding benefits, you have to acquire 2,500,000 Tier Points. This will give you access to more bonuses, higher stake table limits, lower wagering, ad-hoc gifts, and invitations to prestigious events.

BetfairCasino.com doesn’t list requirements for its Diamond Level VIP status, but we have to assume it is considerably more than the 2.5 million Tier Points required for Platinum status.

Once you achieve Diamond VIP status, you will be assigned your own personal account manager who makes sure you get first-class service 24 hours a day. You will receive custom items, lower bonus wagering, more comp points, milestone bonuses, and invitations to Diamond-exclusive events.

What else is there to know about NJ online casino VIP offers?

The general rule of thumb in regards to New Jersey online gambling site VIP programs is that regardless of what casino’s VIP program you qualify for, the casino is going to do everything in its power to ensure you continue playing on its site.

Want a free hotel room for a week? You’ve got it.

Want a limousine to pick you up at the airport? Sure thing. Want backstage passes to exclusive shows in Atlantic City? If account managers can make it happen, they will.

Although the specifics of these VIP statuses are not listed on many online casinos’ sites, you can rest assured you will be well taken care of if you give the casinos a VIP-worthy amount of play.

Remaining Land-Based Atlantic City Casinos Fail To Increase Win After Taj Mahal Closes

December 28, 2016
Trump NJ casino closed

On Oct. 10, 2016, the Trump Taj Mahal closed its doors to Atlantic City customers, but in the opinion of industry insiders, it wasn’t all bad news.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, analysts predict that the Taj Mahal’s annual revenue, estimated at approximately $180 million, will be absorbed by the remaining New Jersey casinos.

However, the closure of the fifth Atlantic City casino since 2014 didn’t live up to their expectations.

How well are the remaining New Jersey casinos doing?

The official New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement figures indicate that despite the closure of the Trump Taj Mahal, the remaining Atlantic City casinos are struggling more than ever.

This November’s $180.11 million win represents a 5.8 percent decrease compared to last year’s numbers. Even excluding the Taj Mahal’s figures, the industry grew by only one percent.

When the Taj Mahal shut down, it was doing battle with the UNITE HERE union’s local chapter over health care, pensions, and wages.

Wayne Schaffel, a gaming analyst, told the Press of Atlantic city that the Taj Mahal’s closure would not have a large positive impact on the revenue of other Atlantic City casinos.

Schaffel told the newspaper:

“What is going to happen is that those people who used to come to the city eight times a year are now going to come six times year and it’s going to continue to decline. I’m not surprised that all of the money didn’t come back into the city. That revenue is gone.”

Are all casinos in New Jersey on the decline?

Trump NJ casino closedNot every Atlantic City casino is suffering. On the contrary, several are doing quite well.

Tropicana led the rest of the pack with a 12.1 percent year-over-year increase. It brought in a monthly win of $25.31 million. Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino also saw its numbers jump by 6.6 percent, bringing in approximately $16.28 million for the month.

Resorts, which is partnered with PokerStars on the online poker front, did not do nearly as well and saw its land-based casino win rise by less than one percent, while the Borgata actually ended up taking a small loss compared to last November’s win.

Where is the decrease coming from?

The Atlantic City casino that fared the worst this November was Caesars, which posted an alarming 12.5 percent decrease, dropping its win to $21.31 million for the month.

Atlantic City’s fiscal crisis

As Atlantic City numbers continue to drop, it’s no wonder that New Jersey is looking elsewhere for a way out of its financial crisis.

In fact, a poll released earlier this month by Quinnipiac University showed that most Garden State residents (79 percent) oppose an expansion of casino gambling.

Just this year, New Jersey voters rejected gambling expansion into North Jersey, the state took over of the municipal government of Atlantic City, federal legislation that could possibly ban online gambling shifted closer to reality, and the Supreme Court of the United States continued to refuse to hear New Jersey’s case for sports betting.

With all of these negatives on the record, it remains to be seen what will happen to Atlantic City in the coming year.

Image credit: gary718 / Shutterstock.com

New Jersey Online Gambling Market Grows Despite Overall Casino Losses

December 27, 2016
NJ gambling online revenue steady

Despite New Jersey’s casino win coming in last month at $180.1 million, a 5.8 percent decrease compared to last year’s November win, NJ online gambling revenue has continued to grow at a rapid rate.

In fact, the state’s regulated online gambling market fell just short of its all-time high.

Revenue gains for NJ online gambling sites      

According to the November press release by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, not only has online gambling in the state continued to grow, it is growing by leaps and bounds.

In the month of November, the state pulled in $17.2 million for its online casino win, up 29.9 percent from last November’s $13.2 million.

Breaking the numbers down further, online casino revenue shot up 34 percent year-on-year to $15.1 million, while online poker revenue gained a respectable 6.4 percent to $2.1 million. The year-to-date overall online revenue is now $178.3 million, up an encouraging 32.3 percent from last year.

How this affects overall NJ gambling numbers

NJ gambling online revenue steadyAs the revenue figures continue to climb, they have begun to offset the losses Atlantic City casinos are posting on the land-based side.

With the online market taken into account, the total November win for the state came in at $197.3 million. This number represents a year-over-year loss of 3.5 percent. Without online casino revenues, however, the state would have lost 5.8 percent.

Although the offset may appear insignificant to some, as New Jersey’s online gambling market continues to grow, we can expect revenue from the online sector to take on a larger and larger role in Atlantic City casinos’ overall success.

Best individual performers

The Borgata has been at the top of the state’s revenue ranks since it opened, with the exception of the Golden Nugget usurping the title this September and October.

The leader in revenue this November was again the Borgata, retaking the top spot from the Golden Nugget. That said, it was only by a minuscule margin.

The Borgata-linked sites brought in a total of $3.809 million ($3.2 million in casino win and $632 thousand from poker) and the Golden Nugget brought in just $7,000 less with its casino-only site.

Other online casinos also continue to do quite well. Caesars was not far behind the Borgata and the Golden Nugget, with $3.36 million in revenue for the month. Resorts was just belowRes Caesars, bringing in $3.2 million, almost a million of which was from its online poker brand, PokerStars.

In the last place were the Tropicana casino-only sites, which brought in just under a $3 million win.

The future of online gambling in New Jersey

New Jersey racetracks are looking to capitalize on the growing online market by opening “Internet Cafes” at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford and Monmouth Park in Oceanport.

If Assembly Bill 4255, introduced in October by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-District 12), goes through, we can expect online gaming numbers to skyrocket.

The bill would allow for “horse racetracks to be available for placing wagers at casinos in Atlantic City using the internet.” New Jersey racetracks could “enter into an agreement with a casino located in Atlantic City or such a casino’s Internet gaming affiliate.”

Critics of the state’s plan to expand online gaming to the racetracks have pointed out that just last month voters rejected North Jersey casino expansion by a huge margin. They argue that by offering online gaming at the tracks, New Jersey politicians would be circumventing the democratic process.

Proponents of the bill, on the other hand, argue that their new plan would not require amending the state constitution, as there is nothing inherently illegal about racetracks partnering with existing Atlantic City properties.

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