Hard Rock Cleared to Expand in Atlantic City

The Seminole Indian tribe of Florida, owners of the Hard Rock franchise, has asked for a determination from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement on whether it would need a casino license should it acquire of build a casino in Atlantic City. The company has been rumored to be interested in acquiring the struggling Revel casino.

The Seminole Indian tribe of Florida, through its Hard Rock franchise, may have tipped its hand on a plan to enter the Atlantic City casino market.

Hard Rock has asked the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for a ruling on whether the tribe would need to qualify for a casino license should the company acquire or build one here.

The company has long been rumored to be interested in the Revel Casino Hotel. Revel officials have said they are considering selling the casino or filing for a second bankruptcy.

In a ruling issued last month, the DGE said the tribe itself does not need to qualify for a license, but listed several Hard Rock executives who would need to, according to the Associated Press. Hard Rock’s chairman, CEO and president, James Allen, and Brad Buchanan, executive vice president, CFO and secretary as well as eight other individuals are listed.

Kerry Langan, a spokeswoman for the DGE told the AP that Hard Rock has already applied for a statement of compliance under the state Casino Control Act.

“That process allows an entity and persons associated with it to be investigated prior to an acquisition of a casino interest, and based on the investigation, they can be determined to meet certain licensure or qualification criteria,” she said. “As an initial step, Hard Rock sought rulings as to the entities and individuals necessary for it to obtain a statement of compliance.”

Hard Rock had previously planned to build a small boutique casino in the resort, but those plans were scrapped in 2012 due to the city’s slumping casino market.

Both Hard Rock and Revel officials have declined comment.