MEADOWLANDS – Hard Rock International and Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will hold a press conference on Wednesday, June 3 to announce their vision of potentially constructing a Hard Rock Casino in the Meadowlands.
According to a statement from the organizers, “A casino at the Meadowlands could generate more than $400 million in yearly revenue, which could fund critical priorities, such as property tax relief for seniors and veterans’ programs, in addition to helping rebuild Atlantic City and create more than 10,000 jobs in the area.”
For years, politicians from the Atlantic City area strongly objected to the idea of allowing gambling outside of the region, saying it would severely impact the struggling city, where four casinos closed in 2014. They cited a package of incentives put in place in 2011 by Gov. Chris Christie giving Atlantic City five years to show improvement before he would consider asking voters to approve casinos elsewhere in the state.
Those politicians have since reconsidered, contingent upon Atlantic City receiving financial support from gaming facilities in other regions. The Meadowlands are considered a prime location for casino gambling if it is allowed in North Jersey, with Jersey City also mentioned as a possibility.
Jeff Gural, chairman of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, reportedly told The Associated Press that a Hard Rock Casino in the Meadowlands would pay a 55 percent tax rate on winnings – equal to the Pennsylvania tax rate and seven times higher than the rate in Atlantic City – with revenue to be shared with Atlantic City to help them rebuild and recover.
There still needs to be a referendum on expanding gambling outside Atlantic City before any plans can proceed. The deadline for a November referendum is in June, so any decision may be pushed to 2016 or later.
Gural will be present at the press conference next week to discuss the casino plans, along with Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. They are scheduled to unveil project details, video, renderings, and more.