The owner of the Showboat Atlantic City has recently said that he is considering reopening the boardwalk property’s gambling floor, and has even taken the first steps to achieving this. The Showboat was one of four casinos that was forced to close its doors back in 2014, and was bought by Bart Blatstein in January 2016 for $23 million. He went to reopen the property as a non-gambling hotel, with 872 rooms, a few months later.
Showboat Could Be a Casino Again
It was reported earlier this week that Blatstein has started considering bringing gambling back to the Showboat. It has even been reported that he submitted a statement of compliance with the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Boards. This is the first step required in order to officially apply for a casino license.
Blatstein said that the process was just beginning, but he could not ignore the fact that over a billion dollars being invested into the area. Between 2014 and 2016, five casinos closed down. The Showboat was the second to do so and was eventually purchased by Stockton University for $18 million. The university had plans to convert it into a satellite campus, but this was blocked, and the property was then sold to Blatstein.
Too Much, Too Quickly?
As we all know, the recession of 2008 was devastating for Atlantic City, which was hit harder than most parts of the country and its effects have lasted a lot longer as well. Ever since New Jersey legalized gambling in 1978, Atlantic City had shown constant growth every year, until 2007. Then it had to suffer through nine years of losses. However, for the last two years, things have been improving. Atlantic City saw a 1.55% growth in its gross gaming revenue in 2016 and this improved to 2.2% in 2017.
Soon there will be another two casinos opening, with the Hard Rock Atlantic City, as well as the Ocean Resort Casino. However, many experts are concerned that too much is happening too quickly. The concern is that these new casinos will take vital revenue away from existing operations. By the end of 2018, there will be nine casinos operating in Atlantic City. If the Showboat reopens its casino, this will become ten.
Only time will tell if this is too much for Atlantic City to support.