The Revitalization and Renewal of Atlantic City

Posted on: April 13, 2011

Atlantic City Skyline

It has been a very long time since Atlantic City was a booming, bustling gambling destination. But recently, the state of New Jersey has been taking steps to hopefully revitalize the dying city. Governor Christie of New Jersey passed legislation that moves most of the regulatory authority from the Casino Control Commission to the Division of Gaming Enforcement. This legislation is controversial, however, seems to be necessary in order for the industry there to survive. One of the main changes is the ability for casinos to cancel jackpots on progressive slots. This practice has been outlawed since 1992. If a casino decides a slot is not profitable, they can cancel the jackpot if they give guests a 30-day notice and if no one wins. All the money the machine has collected in the interim would now belong to the casino. Once the machine has been taken off the floor, it is considered canceled and cannot be reintroduced. This practice does not really affect the customers, as they will win and lose as they normally would, however it allows the casino to evaluate machines more closely and eliminate under-performing machines.

Another HUGE change that this new legislation brings is the ability for the casinos to eliminate pit bosses from the casino floor. I have never heard of this kind of practice in the casino, but it seems like a big deal! Lawmakers feel that they are no longer necessary since the advancements in surveillance technology. Several of the articles I read on this matter state that many other jurisdictions have long ago removed pit bosses, however, I have never seen a table games establishment that did not have pit bosses, so I’m interested in what other jurisdictions have also eliminated this position.

So, what does all of this mean for New Jersey? Lawmakers were hoping that regulatory savings would reach $25 million, although the 2012 state budget reflected savings of $10 million. The state was hoping that they would be able to pay out a $15 million subsidy to the horse racing industry – which is a topic for another day. Part of the savings would also come from the reduction in the regulatory body. The Casino Control Commission inspectors, for example, used to be present on casino floors 24 hours a day. With the Division of Gaming Enforcement taking over for the most part, minimum-staffing levels were eliminated and the new laws allow for surveillance cameras to watch critical areas of the casino.

Overall, it remains to be seen whether or not these new practices will be beneficial to the State of New Jersey. They may have jumped the gun in offering subsidies to the racing industry, which like I said earlier is a topic for another day in terms of the death-grip hold the East Coast has on the racing industry. They also may have overestimated the amount of savings they would have when all the new rules go into place. What is not up for debate is the fact that New Jersey, and Atlantic City in particular, need to make a change and FAST. The city and the gaming industry in Atlantic City is dying a slow, painful death and any change at this point can only help, not hurt.


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This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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