Employment at casinos in Atlantic City grew by 20 percent at the end of 2018. According to the New Jersey gaming regulator, the nine Atlantic City casinos reported a total employment of 27,927 in December 2018. This is figure is a 5,749 increase in jobs versus December 2017.
Hard Rock & Ocean Resort Responsible for Increase in Employment
The increase in employment in Atlantic City’s casino industry has been attributed to the opening of two casinos. Experts said the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino were responsible for the increase. They both opened on June 27.
The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University sees this development was encouraging. Executive Director of the institute Rummy Pandit said employment is stable and growing. “The fact that we added two new properties and (more than) 6,000 new jobs, that’s a huge positive and continues to drive the market,” he said.
Consequently, the two reopened casino hotels account for 6,927 jobs. As a result, this is a nearly 25 percent of the total employment in the industry in December 2018. Furthermore, the two properties pushed casino employment over the 30,000 threshold in July 2018, a benchmark that has not been met in nearly four decades.
Going Beyond Just Gambling
Moreover, casinos branching out into more than just gambling has contributed to the industry’s growth. It seems like a new focus on entertainment, fine dining, retail, and other areas helped the industry grow. Also, it has created more full-time and part-time jobs in the city. As a result, full-time jobs increased by 4,472 in 2018 and part-time jobs grew by 16.
Atlantic City May Not Reap All the Benefits
Unfortunately, growth in casino jobs doesn’t necessarily translate into regional economic growth, said Jim Kennedy, former head of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. One reason is that casino workers often hold the same job at more than one property. “When you hire the numbers of employees that we’ve seen at the two new casinos, there are usually secondary benefits [but] none of that has happened,” Kennedy said.
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