Borgata has a new casino president after Melonie Johnson stepped down from the position. Travis Lunn most recently served as the Southeast group president and COO for MGM Resorts in Mississippi. MGM lauded Lund’s prior work for them, saying that two casinos he oversaw had record gambling revenues even while incorporating strict COVID-19 health protocols:
“It’s an honor to be joining this incredibly talented team,” Lunn said in a statement. “Borgata is a world-class resort destination with a brand recognized nationwide for its spectacular accommodations, culinary program and entertainment offerings. I can’t wait to jump in and connect with all of the employees, guests and local community members.”
The Borgata is Atlantic City’s top-performing casino. Over the first 11 months of this year, it has won more than $1 billion in total gambling revenue, including in-person table and slot winnings; internet gambling and sports betting.
That is more than twice the revenue of its closest competitor.
Serendipity3, which has its flagship store in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, will open a satellite location at Ocean Casino Resort this spring. The Atlantic City location will be just as quirky and brightly colored as its home location and will offer brunch, dinner, and late-night treats like frozen hot chocolate, sundaes, cakes, and pies:
“We are excited to welcome this one-of-a-kind eatery to the Ocean restaurant portfolio,” Warren Richards, senior vice president of food & beverage, said. “Located just steps from the energy of Ovation Hall, the addition of Serendipity3 will present our guests with the chance to create memories with each bite in a playful environment that is unique to Atlantic City.”
A project dubbed ISLAND Waterpark is set to break ground next week beside the Showboat. The project will be the world’s largest indoor beachfront waterpark, and it will be an extension of the Lucky Snake arcade and sports bar at Showboat. While the groundbreaking is set for next week, there is currently no timeline for completion of the project:
The new waterpark will feature a mix of waterslides, pools, a lazy river, lounge areas, party rooms, retail outlets and a family entertainment center.
The facility also will have a retractable glass-pane roof that covers the entire project, which is estimated to cost about $100 million.
The state has a deadline of Jan. 13 to determine whether it is amenable to mediating Atlantic County’s lawsuit against the new PILOT law. Superior Court Judge Joseph Marczyk had suggested the case be taken to mediation. This continues the drama of whether or not to include sports and iGaming revenues from what casinos would owe in a basic payment-in-lieu-of-taxes law:
It lowers their payments to an estimated $110 million under the new law from $165 million under the previous law.
It gives the county the same amount in 2022 it received in 2021, about $17.5 million, but the 2021 payments were based on depressed casino revenues from 2020 during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns.
The lawsuit is against the state and the governor and was filed by the county and the towns of Somers Point, Hamilton and Egg Harbor townships, Absecon, Ventnor and Weymouth Township.
The county will lose about $4 million a year under the new PILOT law if enacted, the state Office of Legislative Services has estimated.
The county says the annual loss is more like $5 million to $7 million.
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