‘Boutique’ casinos pitched for Atlantic City

The New Jersey Senate and Assembly on Monday approved a bill to create a pilot program allowing two casinos, each with at least 200 hotel rooms, to be built in Atlantic City. There previously has been a 500-room minimum.It’s now up to Gov. Chris Christie to decide whether to sign the bill into law.Trump Entertainment CEO Bob Griffin said he doesn’t like the change that would allow those small scale projects.”The operators that are here today have been required to have certain capital investment requirements,” he said. “These operators a lot of them are struggling and to allow someone to come in and build something new and smaller I don’t think it’s fair.”But the primary sponsor of the boutique casino bill, Sen. Jim Whelan, said Atlantic City needs a new product to deal with increased competition from neighboring states.”Pennsylvania now has casinos without hotels. So a casino developer can go to Pennsylvania and invest $100 million and be open,” said Whelan. “He comes to New Jersey in Atlantic City he has to invest 800 or more to be competitive. We’re not competitive under those circumstances at attracting new investment.”Hard Rock International representatives said it’s prepared to build one of those boutique casinos if Christie signs the measure into law.

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