Showboat Casino in New Jersey

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Published by Sean Johnson on August 14, 2020 in New Jersey

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Showboat Casino, the third of four famous Atlantic City casinos, could be eyeing a sensational return to the casino world after being shut down in 2014.

Bart Blatstein, the famous Philadelphia developer and property owner, appears to be doing more than just considering the idea. He recently stated that he is going to move forward with his plans. The developer, who has been running Showboat Casino as a non-gambling hotel, says that he plans to return the casino to the Showboat. Bart appeared in front of the Casino Control Commission on March 18th, after which he was granted preliminary approval to obtain a casino license legally.

If this were to happen, it would bring the total number of casinos in Atlantic City to 10, almost the same number of casinos it had in 2014 (12 casinos). At that time, the competition from the casinos of the states nearby caused several casinos to shut down. Out of the four that closed that year, two just opened again last year.

Given how reviving former casinos has become somewhat of an ongoing theme along the uptown section in Atlantic City, chances for Showboat Casino making a comeback are looking very high. The two casinos, Revel Casino and Trump Taj Mahal, although reopened, have been renamed. The Revel Casino has been renamed to the Ocean Resort, while the Taj Mahal is now known as Hard Rock. Showboat Casino sits between the two new additions, with both casinos having been opened on June 28th of 2019. Out of the four clubs, the last one, the Atlantic Club, seems to have come off the worst, with numerous deals to sell the casino not being successful.


THE HIGH COMPETITION BEHIND THIS

The increase in competition in the casino market has seen a sharp rise in the overall casino revenue. The additional pressure put on the older casinos by the newer ones works out for both of them. It increases the level of expectation and the competition, thus making everyone want to be the best at what they do. The statistics show that before the reopening of the two casinos in 2019, out of the seven casinos operating, six won less money in 2018 than they did in 2017. This confirms the concerns that were brought forward with regard to the Atlantic City re-expansion being too unsustainable because of its immense size.

Howeber, Blatstein, after being given preliminary approval, believes that the market is capable of handling other casinos. He said:

There are 104 casinos in Las Vegas in the middle of nowhere. We have nine casinos within a short trip from one-third of the nation's population. The market is looking for something different."

The developer apparently has a solid plan and concept in his mind but hasn't shared it with anyone. According to reports, Blatstein has plans to see the bus depot of the property being turned into an entertainment center for families. Along with this, the property owner plans on bringing back all the glamorous ingredients of the casino, including a variety of slot machines, table games, sports betting options, and internet gambling. As of yet, no firm has been chosen to operate the company, but it has been confirmed that a third-party management company will handle operations.


PLAN TO REOPEN THE CASINO

The plan to reopen the casino comes after a long wait. Showboat was closed down in June of 2014 by former owner Caesars Entertainment, stating that while the casino was profitable, it wasn't profitable enough. Blatstein then bought the Showboat and reopened it in 2016 as a non-gambling hotel, but with the end goal always in mind. Now, after years of waiting, he is moving slowly towards his plans to convert 400 of the hotel rooms to 264 market-rate rental units, as well as providing people with a complete gambling experience. The developer hopes to get started next year, initiating the plan by cementing a building on land he owns next to the Showboat, which would actually serve as the casino, and which can then be easily connected with the Showboat building.

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