Soon Big Apples Won’t Grow Here, Says Garden State

While “What Goes in Vegas Stays in Vegas” has been the norm since the birth of gambling in the desert kingdom, “What Gives in Atlantic City” has always been a topic of hot concern in the Big Apple.

Since the bad old, good old days of Prohibition–“Boardwalk Empire”, check it out!–, Atlantic City has always been a favoured destination for New Yorkers looking for hot action, et al.

That lure, with the legalisation of online sports betting in the Empire State at the beginning of last year, has now begun to rub a little — and it’s been further exacerbated by the unwelcome news (from a New Jersey perspective) that New York City itself, the Big Apple, is now the focus of not one, but three, proposed billion-dollar casino complexes that will feature the full panoply of integrated, real-world and digital-powered gambling entertainment.

To say that the gambling chieftains of Atlantic City are “concerned” would be an understatement drawn from the playbook of Damon Runyon’s Guys and Dolls rolling dice in back alleys off Broadway.

Across the Hudson, Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen has voiced concerns that the mooted New York casinos will remove revenue from Atlantic City venues, and maybe even force closures.

“Atlantic City gets 20 to 30 percent of its revenue from upstate New Jersey and downstate New York,” Allen tells our US partners Casino Cabbie.

Several US gaming giants, Hard Rock included, Caesars Entertainment, Sands, MGM Resorts International, Mohegan and Wynn Resorts, have already expressed keen interest in bringing the glory of legit gambling to the centre of the universe.

Run and Run

It’s a story, a competition, an enthralling race that’s going to run and run.

Meantime, how does New Jersey–along with Nevada–, the current leader of US gambling, sportsbooks and iGaming, continue to differentiate itself from all these new kids on the betting block.

By pursuing new and progressive responsible gambling measures, as recently announced by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, it would seem.

Further prompted by its booming sports betting market–which surged 17.2 percent, year-on-year, in March, while total gaming revenue was up 15 percent in the month to US$487 million (£390.8m)–the Garden State now mandates that the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline is clearly displayed on all ads, punters must be offered straightforward ways to nix gambling ads and loaded terminology–such as “guaranteed wins” or “risk-frees–are now verboten.

The office for responsible gambling has been beefed up with a new, more powerful, coordinator and players now have the additional option to register for self-exclusion via video portal, as well as in person.

“In the face of [our gambling] boom, we have a duty to protect the public from advertising that could be misleading or harmful,” said a spokesperson from the enforcement division.

“And for those in the grip of gambling addiction, we need to offer as many exit ramps from their condition as possible.”

Way to go New Jersey. You can have a bite of my apple any day.

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