Internet Casino May Have Been Contributing Factor Of Hard Rocks Decision

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Hard Rock has actually scrapped plans for a new casino hotel in Atlantic City, resigning the day the development team encountered a due date for a $ 1 million payment to the state for the venture.
“Hard Rock International has decided not to move forward with an application for a potential hotel-casino development in Atlantic City, due to current market conditions,” the business stated in a report Wednesday. “We have been evaluating Atlantic City as a prospective location for a hotel-casino development and have not eliminated this location for a future endeavor.”
Wednesday was the due date for Hard Rock’s designers to pay a $ 1 million state application charge and submit construction timetables for a venture that had previously been postponed for months. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission had actually been waiting on word from the AC Gateway LLC development team, an alliance between Hard Rock International and the New York-based financial firm Och-Ziff Capital Management.
The commission’s chairman, Matthew Levinson, revealed hope that Hard Rock would reevaluate its choice and return to Atlantic City when market conditions get better.
“As we move forward in remaking Atlantic City into a full-scale destination, the market will rebound here and that will rekindle interest in developing innovative new resort properties here,” Levinson remarked in a statement.
Levinson informed The Press of Atlantic City that yet another option is that other developers may currently intervene to take the place of Hard Rock.
“It gives people who may want to invest in Atlantic City another opportunity to come in,” he pointed out. “We’ll work with anyone who is interested. We’ll also work with AC Gateway if they’re still interested. Hard Rock still sees us as a potential investment opportunity. Hopefully, we’ll see a Hard Rock sooner or later.”
In March, the commission gave Hard Rock’s designers a six-month extension– until Wednesday– to make the $ 1 million payment, in addition to provide a schedule for beginning and completing the project.
The application charge would have been refundable if Hard Rock satisfied the development timetable. The most recent plans required Hard Rock to begin construction by Jan. 11, 2013, and complete the first phase of the job by Jan. 15, 2015, commission representatives stated.
Previously this year, Hard Rock officials explained they were coming across hold-ups in protecting a New Jersey ecological permit for building of the beachfront venture and needed more time.
Hard Rock had suggested constructing the very first of two smaller-scale casinos authorized for the Boardwalk under an aviator program managed by the Casino Control Commission. Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation in 2011 permitting those jobs to have as few as 200 resort areas, compared with Atlantic City’s previous minimum of 500 rooms for casino construction.
Mayor Lorenzo Langford stated he wasn’t shocked by Hard Rock’s choice, with the unsatisfactory economic climate. Neither was state Sen. Jim Whelan, that was the writer of the legislation which permitted smaller casino ventures.
“It’s just disappointing, but not surprising, given the market conditions here in Atlantic City and the overall national economy,” pointed out Whelan, D-Atlantic. “It says the market isn’t there right now to support the development of any new casinos, whether it’s a small casino or a larger casino.”
Rather, Whelan stated what is occurring in Atlantic City has even more to do with possible casino sales and development of new partnerships with existing residential properties. As an example, the Margaritaville brand had by singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett is partnering with Resorts Casino Hotel for a new $ 35 million beachfront dining establishment and bar.
Hard Rock was seen as the greatest hope for the following new casino in the declining Atlantic City market. Gambling income has been on the decrease since peaking at $ 5.2 billion in 2006, driven down by the slow-moving economic situation and competition from casinos in surrounding states. Income from slots and table games was up to $ 3.3 billion in 2011 and is down an added 5 percent up until now this year.
Smaller casinos are viewed as a way to aid in restoring the market by swiftly bringing new jobs and construction to the city, while making it easier and cheaper for developers to construct.
No additional developers have actually stepped forward yet to construct the second smaller-scale project as part of the “boutique casino” pilot program. Levinson rejected that Hard Rock’s decision exemplified a significant problem for Atlantic City.
“While AC Gateway and Hard Rock are not prepared to proceed at this time, the commission will entertain any future requests from AC Gateway, Hard Rock or any other interested parties seeking participation in the pilot program,” he stated. “We are committed to taking the steps necessary– whether it is through boutique casinos or any other efforts– to build a stronger and more vibrant Atlantic City.”
Hard Rock’s designers had claimed they might begin with 200 hotel rooms, yet would certainly include a 2nd stage including an added 650 rooms. The project was advanced at the foot of the Route 40 entrance, on the southern end of the Boardwalk. Hard Rock had actually estimated the expense of the very first phase at $ 465 million, yet never ever revealed the price tag for the whole job.
Hard Rock, one of the top companies in the casino and entertainment industry, had meant to utilize its rock-and-roll theme in the Atlantic City venture. The casino resort would have featured an exhibition stocked with souvenirs from Hard Rock’s considerable rock-and-roll collection.
Hard Rock additionally had emphasized the beach in the project’s style. It was expected to have featured a Hard Rock Cafe overlooking the ocean, along with an outdoor swimming pool on the beach. Fire pits, a picnic and live entertainment would have enhanced the beach-flavored event landscape.

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Game developers readying themselves for online casino boom

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LAS VEGAS - 3G Studios, a video game designer in Reno, Nev., is playing all their cards on online gambling. The private provider, with 47 U.S. employees, has employed almost 80 new specialists in India as well as China and expects to have actually 200 dedicated exclusively to making gambling games by the end of the year. 3G is just one of a handful of game creators jockeying for gambling business, expecting states, starving for new tax revenue, to launch the floodgates for Internet casinos. Nevada is accepting applications for online gambling licenses, and in June, Delaware became the 1st state to authorize online casino gambling for state residents, beginning next year. States including California and New Jersey are thinking of bending the rules for online betting after the Department of Justice altered a longtime ban on many types of wagering on the web in December.

3G Chief Executive Officer James Kosta believes online gambling will definitely draw bettors past the casino group, just as easygoing games such as Angry Birds brought in new players who may not ever log on to World of Warcraft. “Gambling is essentially going to transform from a little something … where you needed to sit in a casino as well as literally spin the wheel, to a little something that you could do casually while you have a three-minute rest at work,” he points out.

(Kosta, that previously helped the CIA, has a vivid past. He settled a suit with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004 over his alleged participation in a pump-and-dump stock system and was inevitably made to pay $ 50,000. Kosta said in a statement that he was “never a subject of a criminal inspection” and “there was no admission or proof of wrongdoing in the contract.”)

The 6-year-old game developer, which helped produce Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2009 and discharged its personal first-person shooter title, Brave Arms, on Facebook (FB), looks to introduce an online slots internet site in August. Americans will play free of cost with web currency until it is legitimate to wager money, Kosta states, while European clients will be able to play for actual money.

3G isn’t by itself in foreseeing looser gambling stipulations. Betable, a London new venture, just recently announced plans to help game developers add real-money wagering, both on the Web and also on mobiles, in jurisdictions where online betting is legal. In February, Zynga (ZNGA) CEO Marc Pincus stated the business is open to the option of getting in the social gambling realm. International Game Technology (IGT) acquired one of Facebook’s more prominent web casinos, Double Down Interactive, for $ 500 million in January.

Yet John Acres, originator of casino specialist group Acres 4.0, states game studios are losing their efforts. Even if online gambling is approved, there will be so much red tape that a lot of tech companies won’t be able to earn money, he says. “It’s not an issue of tech but an issue of licensing,” Acres says. States have to supply licenses for Internet gambling, and also the procedure will be lengthy as well as difficult.

That indicates the deck is piled in favor of providers that actually have licenses: existing casino giants such as MGM Resorts (MGM) and Bally (BYI). Like 3G and some other upstarts, established gambling business are presently creating Web presences with play-money games to draw in prospective players. Aside from building to its own games, 3G has actually partnered with Bally to help the casino develop online offerings. Additional game makers that don’t partner with the casinos could be exempt from the profits.

The titans could possibly still benefit even if online gambling is not authorized. Chicago-based slot-machine producer WMS Industries (WMS) in mid-July declared the production of a new division, Williams Interactive, to manage its items on the Web. The team just recently released its 2nd Facebook package: Jackpot Party Casino, which builds on well-liked labels currently available in brick-and-mortar casinos.

Williams Interactive CEO Orrin Edidin states having slots both online and in real life may draw in new consumers for casinos. “We help create a neighborhood of players … that you can market to transform from free-to-play to pay-for-play,” he says.

Kosta states 3G will reap the benefits as non-gamblers begin to put little bets on casual games. He anticipates the studio will spend $ 5 million in its gambling company over the following few years. Even if online betting is slow-moving to come to the U.S., he anticipates the investment will pay off as game players in Europe and elsewhere get accustomed to the concept. “When individuals are willing to wager $ 5 or $ 10 a week … when you receive 140 million of those devices collectively, it’s going to create a lot of funds changing hands every week,” he says. Kosta, at least, seems to be going all in.

 

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