Back on Aug. 25, the Atlantic City Council voted in favor of SB 1878, which aims to ban indoor smoking in all venues, including casinos. Currently, the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act allows casinos to have up to 25% of their total play area dedicated to smoking. Of course, this senate bill still has some casino owners upset, and it’s not guaranteed to pass:
Although the Atlanta City Council supports the smoke ban, changes to the state’s laws are yet to be approved by the Senate. In an interview with Casino.org, Hallett said that Senate President Stephen Sweeney is the biggest opponent of the Bill. Sweeney’s reasoning is that COVID-19 has already hurt business a lot, and a smoke ban may add further weight on casino owners’ shoulders.
Ocean Casino Resort filed a lawsuit on Aug. 31 to sue the Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, alleging that the latter is engaging in unfair competition by using a slogan that’s confusingly similar to one that Ocean had used previously. The slogan in question is “Go for the win”:
The complaint notes that Live! has run “Let’s Go for the Win” on a digital sign on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk not far from where Ocean is located.
According to the lawsuit, Ocean filed an intent-to-use application for the slogan with the US Patent and Trademark Office in early May. That original application was later converted to a use application, it further became known.
The Atlantic City casino pointed out that its pitch was “a unique and distinctive service mark of Ocean” and that Live! lifted its own slogan without Ocean’s consent as part of a “deliberate plan to trade on” the latter casino’s service mark.
Bally’s Atlantic City has been a long-neglected property. But Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which purchased the property in August for a bargain price, says that it sees Atlantic City’s potential. They want to treat Bally’s AC as a true physical destination, but they’ll also gain access to the nation’s largest online gambling market:
It also helps that Bally’s Corp. has committed nearly $100 million to the Atlantic City casino hotel.
Some of that capital reinvestment has already begun. The additions of the FanDuel Sportsbook, Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis, Water Dog Atlantic City, and Carluccio’s Pizza are examples. So is the return of live entertainment to Bally’s with Motown Forever.
A renovated lobby bar, new high-limit gaming areas, and a total makeover of nearly every hotel room are also in the plans.
“We’re currently focused on incremental improvements on the property,” [Bally’s Corp. CEO George] Papanier said, adding Bally’s Corp. is “holding back just a little bit from a marketing perspective,” as the improvements take shape.
Then, Papanier said, the company believes the AC casino hotel will “be able to aggressively compete in the market.”
“We feel that will be sometime around the beginning of summer 2023,” he said.
Concerns about Atlantic City being a food desert may finally evaporate. Since 2019, plans have been in the works to bring a ShopRite grocery store to the city, and the grocery brand’s parent company recently submitted an application to revitalize an entire block near the Atlantic City Convention Center:
The property in question, which spans about four acres, currently consists of a surface parking lot and has an address of 1801 Baltic Avenue. Situated between Ohio and Indiana avenues, the submitted proposal would construct a 44,000-square-foot market surrounded by 227 parking spaces.
The facility’s design was drawn up by Rutherford-based DeBarbieri Architects, who previously worked on ShopRite stores in Newark and Stroudsburg, PA. The market’s entrance would be along Ohio Avenue, while the store’s loading docks would face Indiana Avenue.
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority owns the property and would lease the parcel to Village Supermarkets under the proposed deal. The parcel is located within the city’s Central Business District and ShopRite will be requesting minor variances related to maximum impervious lot coverage, signage requirements, landscaping, fencing, and permission to display outdoor merchandise.
A memorandum of understanding was signed for the proposed ShopRite back in May. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is scheduled to hear the market’s application during their September 2 meeting.
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