Hard Rock International is one of the gaming giants interested in one of the three New York City-area casino licenses the state will issue in the near future. Hard Rock Chairman Jim Allen arrived at the company’s Atlantic City property last week and addressed the issue on the occasion of an employee recognition event.
Allen said Hard Rock has identified three sites as possible casino locations. He was not specific but said that the new Hard Rock Hotel due to open soon in Manhattan would not be one of the sites, as the footprint is too small for gaming.
“You have to have a footprint of real estate large enough to take advantage of the size of the market,” he told the employees. “We’re extremely proud of our hotel on 48th Street, but its footprint is just not large enough for gaming. As far as other locations, really we’re waiting on the governor and the committee that’s going to be sending out the request for proposals to see what language is in the bill as to geographic locations that would be acceptable to the state.”
Allen said he expects the RFP process to begin later this year and said a New York City casino would likely post a $2 billion win annually.
Should Hard Rock win one of the licenses, Allen said the company would still be interested in opening a casino in northern New Jersey at the Meadowlands complex just across the river from New York City. Hard Rock has an agreement with the Meadowlands Racetrack to build a casino there should the state pass a constitutional amendment allowing casino gaming outside of Atlantic City. The last attempt to pass it in 2018 failed miserably, however.
At the employee event, Hard Rock passed out more than $10 million to more than 2,400 employees, in recognition of the property’s 2021 performance which produced the highest increase in revenue over the 2019 pre-pandemic level for any Atlantic City property.