Recently we reported on the new owner of the Showboat Atlantic City, Bart Blatstein, taking the first steps necessary to reopen the casino floor. Many casino industry experts questioned whether Atlantic City can support so many casinos again. Now other people are questing why Blatstein thinks he can successfully run the gambling floor.
Can Blatstein Succeed where Caesars Failed?
In an interview with CBS Philly, Roger Gros questioned whether the Showboat Atlantic City could run a profitable gambling floor. Gros is a Nevada-based gaming analyst and pointed out that when Caesars Entertainment ran the casino floor, it struggled to turn a profit. Gros also stated that the casino floor at the Showboat Atlantic City hadn’t been improved since Caesars closed it. If Caesars couldn’t make it work, Gros wonders why Blatstein thinks he can.
Caesars claimed that when it decided to stop the casino, it was profitable. The decision to close the casino at the Showboat Atlantic City was made to try and reduce the competition being faced by the company’s three other Atlantic City properties. These were Caesars, Harrah’s, and Bally’s.
Boxing Scores Big
The Showboat Atlantic City seems to be in the ideal location. It sits between the former Trump Taj Mahal and the Revel. Both these closed casinos will be reopening later in 2018, as the Hard Rock Atlantic City and the Ocean Resort Casinos. Gros is wondering if the Showboat is simply trying to steal some foot traffic from these two casinos, but this strategy probably wouldn’t work.
When Blatstein first reopened the Showboat, he targeted customers who wanted to stay in a hotel without a casino. Now, he may be changing his mind, although he has not indicated that he is fully committed to the idea. In many ways, it seems the Showboat is a trial and error project for the owner. He has also tried to go after the millennial audience, with the Atlantic City Fan Xpo. However, this was closed due to poor attendance.
Blatstein has had better luck with another project, bringing boxing back to Atlantic City. Recently, the Showboat hosted a boxing match for the first time in nearly ten years. The 1500 seat venue was nearly sold out and looks to have been a success.