New Jersey Casino and Card Room Gaming
In February 2004, the state legislature passed a bill to garnish slot machine jackpots from gamblers who owed child support. The bill required slot machine operators to provide the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of winners to be checked against state child-support enforcement rolls. If the jackpot winner owed court-ordered child support, it was deducted from the jackpot.
In February 2005, the legislature approved a measure to increase the duration of gaming licenses from one year to five years.
In July 2007, gaming regulators approved electronic table games to help Atlantic City casinos compete with slot parlors that offered such games in surrounding states. Games offered included electronic poker and roulette.
On 5 January 2011, Gov. Christie signed into legislation a law that allowed developers to build casino hotels in Atlantic City with a minimum of 200 hotel rooms instead of the previous 500. Along with lowering the hotel room minimum, the law also allowed for construction of facilities that were no more than 20,000 square feet, with at least 200 rooms. Developers could also build a staged casino of not more than 30,000 square feet and at least 200 rooms, provided they expanded to the 500-room requirement within five years of licensure.
In 2014, the state also considered loosening the boutique casino law, with the Senate's Atlantic City committee approving a bill that would allow the smaller casinos on the Boardwalk in existing properties with no commitment to expansion, but no further action has been taken on this proposal.
Atlantic City's 12th casino, Revel, opened on 2 April 2012. It cost $2.4 billion to build the luxury resort casino, and the state hoped it heralded the revival of Atlantic City. Instead, it was the last piece of good news the Atlantic City brick-and-mortar casino business received for six years.
In 2014, Revel declared bankruptcy for the second time in its short life, and ultimately closed in September 2014. Later that month, the casino reached a deal to sell itself to Polo North Country Club, a Florida development company. The casino never reopened to the general public as Revel. In January 2018, it was announced that Denver-based Integrated Properties had bought the property for $200 million. It reopened as Ocean Resort Casino on 28 June 2018.
Three other casinos – Trump Plaza, Showboat and Atlantic Club – closed in 2014 as well. A fifth casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, filed for bankruptcy but was able to renegotiate its union contracts in December 2014, allowing it to remain open. On 3 August 2016, the Trump Taj Mahal announced that it would close in September because of a casino workers' strike. It closed on 10 October 2016.
In March 2017, the Seminole Tribe of Florida announced the purchase of the Trump Taj Mahal and conversion to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino brand. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City opened on 28 June 2018.
Increased competition from casinos in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Connecticut has fragmented the day-trip casino market in the Mid-Atlantic. Atlantic City casinos have struggled to compete in the new marketplace, and as a result, gaming revenue has taken a dive.
In an effort to boost the Atlantic City casino market, New Jersey adopted a more aggressive approach to pursuing sports betting.
After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to lift a lower court's injunction that prevented New Jersey gaming facilities from offering sports betting, Gov. Chris Christie – with some prodding from the legislature – decided to take matters into his own hands. In September 2014, Christie issued a directive that said the state's casinos and horse tracks could offer sports betting. Additionally, Christie's directive said the gaming facilities would not be prosecuted or face any civil liability.
In October 2014, Monmouth Park was set to allow sports betting on NFL games in partnership with William Hill, but a federal judge issued an injunction preventing the launch of sports betting operations. In August 2016, the court ruled that the state violated a 1992 ban on sports wagering and the state may not authorize sports betting at racetracks and casinos.
In November 2016, voters rejected a plan that would have allowed two casinos in North Jersey. The properties would have been at least 72 miles from Atlantic City.
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