by Lisa A. Grimaldi | June 30, 2015
New Jersey is moving forward with a plan to allow smaller casinos in Atlantic City, according to press reports. The state legislature is modifying the requirements of a 2011 law designed to attract developers willing to build two new casinos with as few as 200 hotel rooms. A bill that has passed state's assembly and senate committees removes the requirement that one of the two projects eventually expand to 500 rooms. It also removes a requirement that they be new construction; the casinos might be constructed using existing buildings. "High-end casinos with a price tag of $1 billion or $2 billion have gone extinct in Atlantic City, crushing the economy and forcing thousands of workers into unemployment," said Deputy Assembly Speaker John Burzichelli, a Southern New Jersey Democrat. "This legislation will encourage those who want to build smaller casinos to do business in New Jersey and will enable owners of existing facilities to incorporate gaming into their business models." In the past 18 months, four of Atlantic City's 12 casino resorts have closed.