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How New York’s Casino Expansion Is Shaking Up Atlantic City

For the best part of three decades, the gambling resort of Atlantic City has reaped the benefits of being the USA's premier gambling hub outside of Las Vegas; certainly, with a major target market being almost right on its doorstep.

Highly commutable from the thriving city of New York, this often made for an ideal weekend retreat for most Big Apple residents - even more so for gambling enthusiasts. Atlantic City casinos essentially hit the jackpot, being so close to such an affluent customer base. It wasn't only New York that was a natural target market, but residents of the state of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

New York’s Casino Expansion

New York's Rising Gambling Expansion

Over the last couple of years though, New York has been flexing its muscles in the gambling industry to a serious degree. Just over two years ago, the NY mobile sports betting launched, almost as a precursor to an eventual wide-scale online gambling bill being passed and while casino sites are still not legal in the state yet, it is seemingly only a matter of time.

However, essentially as a stepping stone for this, the number of land-based casinos has been steadily increasing, while casino development is currently big business in the city, with multiple bids having been made over the last 12 months. What is for sure is that gambling interest is rapidly increasing in New York, and it could well be laying the foundations to eclipse New Jersey in the near future.

The revenue that has been generated from mobile sports betting is the largest in the US, having broken multiple records, with money made from taxation being crucial for the local economy. Already boasting in excess of nine land-based gambling venues in the state, with even more planned for development in major city locations, it could well be that the New York casino and gambling industry could become one of the biggest in the country.

Weathering the Storm

Even in the last few months, there has been a significant drop in revenues from casinos in Atlantic City, seemingly having been caused by a number of factors. Arguably, one of the biggest markets for the historically popular resort was New York, the glitz and glamor previously appealing to the Big Apple's 'socialite' classes.

In the third quarter of last year, casinos in Atlantic City witnessed a 7.5 percent drop in revenues, with online gambling participation increasing in neighboring states, while for the first quarter of this year, revenue from table games in Atlantic City casinos dropped by five percent more to $52.7 million with slot machine revenue remaining stable. At least, for now.

However, one factor can definitely be attributed to this, with the Atlantic seaboard states having endured a particularly bad winter this year and no doubt, this factor would have had a considerable effect, with many people likely opting not to travel.

Despite this, as New York plans to boost its land-based casino market, Atlantic City could well be in trouble long term. Of course, for gamblers looking to commute from states such as Pennsylvania and Virginia, Atlantic City still may be a favorable option for many, especially those who prefer to avoid the Big Apple due to the sheer number of people who live there, in addition to the vast number of tourists it attracts.

Should this be the case, it represents a great opportunity for the resort to really enhance its game over the coming months for casinos to upgrade and renovate, in addition to offering more options and even better-quality service.

Of course, it has a natural target market in New Jersey residents, in this sense Atlantic City and Las Vegas do not differ much with 'regular' customers and gambling enthusiasts who live close to the 'strip'. Perhaps more of a concern though, is activity that is happening in its own backyard.

Meadowlands Casino Plans Pose New Threat to Atlantic City

It is understood that a casino development is being planned to get underway in Meadowlands, New Jersey, should a vote be passed, which could take а considerable customеr base away from Atlantic City. Meadowlands is currently set up as a racetrack, though expansion plans have been drawn up - Jeff Gural, in addition to Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs racetrack and casinos in upstate New York, is bullish about the success of a Meadowlands casino as well as the potential of the Big Apple gambling scene.

I'm just waiting for New York to open. People will say, `Why am I driving over the George Washington Bridge and paying an $18 toll and sitting in traffic to go and gamble? People don't want a casino in the neighborhood. If we make it clear it's only at the Meadowlands, common sense tells you there will be a casino in the Meadowlands.

Jeff GuralManager of Meadowlands Racetrack

There is also clearly an air of apprehension emanating from the Atlantic City inner circle, which is seemingly watching developments with bated breath. For now, it seems that an air of caution is being applied to the situation and no one appears to be panicking yet, however, there clearly is an opportunity for Atlantic City to implement changes to improve its current situation and respond to developments nearby.

A Matter of Time for New York

The tentative general consensus is that it is just a case of 'when' and not 'if' New York becomes a gambling heavyweight in the US, essentially encompassing all elements, including online sports betting, online casinos and the land-based scene.

Already, it is the largest online sports betting market in the US, generating over $1 billion per month on an almost consistent basis. The foundation for what is likely to be a successful online casino bill is already in place - as are operators, with many of these already successful online sportsbook brands in the state.

Custom for land-based casinos is as high as it has ever been and it will not just stop there, with a handful of ambitious developments planned. The city is also home to a vast percentage of 'gamblers by nature', especially when it comes to professions. Home to the iconic Wall Street, which is made up of investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms and employees whose job it is to speculate on a daily basis. No doubt, these make up a natural target market.

Arguably the busiest part of New York in terms of footfall and considered to be the 'heart of the city', a bid has been in place to build a casino in Times Square for well over nine months, and it appears to be gaining significant traction.

The proposed Caesars Palace Times Square Casino is a joint-venture between Caesars and developer SL Green and it will likely be a major competitor to what Atlantic City has to offer, in addition to being a considerable catalyst to putting New York on the gambling industry map. This is also likely to bring with it multiple benefits for the city, especially the immediate, surrounding area of the casino, when considering the increased potential for surrounding businesses to capitalize and, as a result, this seems to have garnered substantial support.

For the Big Apple, though, it doesn't stop there as far as potentially beating Atlantic City is concerned. It is understood that there are many more plans in process. The renowned developer, Thor Equities announced a $3 billion casino and hotel resort for Coney Island, with a proposal having been submitted recently.

In addition, Steve Cohen, the multibillion-dollar owner of the New York Mets has his eyes on a casino license in Queens, close to Citi Field, for a mega development that plans to include a casino and hotel resort, as well as a soccer stadium. Meanwhile, in west Manhattan, New York developer, Silverstein Properties is planning to develop the Avenir; a hotel, casino, entertainment and residential complex that will comprise of 1.8 million square feet.

New York’s Gambling Industry

A Game-Changer for the Gambling Industry

With three casino licenses up for grabs in central New York, the gambling landscape of the city is poised for a transformative shift. These licenses promise to significantly alter how New York is perceived in the gambling industry, potentially drawing considerable momentum away from Atlantic City.

As New York rapidly expands its gambling offerings, including the proposed Caesars Palace Times Square Casino and other major developments, it is clear that the city is positioning itself as a formidable contender. The increasing number of casinos and the substantial revenue generated from mobile sports betting underscore this evolution. Atlantic City, historically a premier gambling destination, now faces the challenge of maintaining its allure in the face of such aggressive competition.

The shift in momentum is inevitable, making it crucial for Atlantic City to innovate and adapt. The question isn't if New York will become a gambling powerhouse, but when will the Big Apple dramatically reshape the industry's dynamics.

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