Key to Atlantic City’s future may lie in its past

While no new casinos are in the offing for Atlantic City anytime soon, there is some optimism about the future.

Plans for a Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City have been scrapped. The Revel resort has been struggling to increase revenue, and contractors are taking more legal action to get payment for their work on the project.

Despite those developments, there are still hopes that Atlantic City will be able to attract more visitors, perhaps by focusing more on its former status as a resort rather than a gambling mecca.

“I think it’s going to become one of the places to go on the East Coast when it comes to entertainment and shopping and things of that nature,” says Roger Gros, the publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, a trade publication for the casino industry.

“I think Atlantic City is a very healthy town and the future is very bright for it. It’s just not going to be the gaming market that it used to be.”

Gros says he expects Revel will pay its contractors and that the resort will be a success, justifying the state’s investment in providing tax credits for Revel’s completion.

Atlantic City’s future may lie in returning to its past, according to Israel Posner, executive director of the Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Richard Stockton College.”I think the days as a gambling mecca is not what the future is,” he said . “We’re now entering … it’s almost like back to the future, that you’re going back to what Atlantic City always was, I mean 130 years ago. It was a resort. It’s a destination resort.”

With many states now having casinos, Posner says offering a full range of entertainment and attractions is the way for Atlantic City to get more visitors and tourism revenue.

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