- Taj Mahal casino to reopen in 2018 under hard Rock brand
- Casino plans include poolside gambling and fantasy sports
Poolside casino gaming, combining dining with games, two large sports arenas and a large waterpark are all tantalising glimpses of what could become of the Trump Taj Mahal under the new ownership of Hard Rock International.
Plans for the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City premises were revealed to the Associated Press this week. There will be a complete overhaul of the Trump Taj Mahal site, and developers have big ambitions for the iconic New Jersey venue.
The plans have been submitted to state regulators, who will decide whether the law can admit some of the more controversial suggestions, along with giving approval to the traditional casino gaming options.
Big changes at former Trump Casino
The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City has a long history of financial difficulty, and it has been the center of bankruptcy cases more than once. Businessman Carl Icahn took over the casino after the president opted to cut ties, but doors closed on the Taj Mahal for the final time in 2016. The purchase of the site by Hard Rock International marks a significant change for the casino, which will be entirely revamped and which will reopen next year as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Details of developers’ wish lists revealed
In documents obtained by the Associated Press, Hard Rock petitions local lawmakers to allow poolside and restaurant gambling services. While committing to putting a wider range of games on the casino floor, the Hard Rock group also wants to experiment with a greater variety of gaming environments – including combining dining and entertainment with games.
The poolside gaming request is a nod to the plans to include a large waterpark within the resort site. Boardwalk access, two large sports arenas and an entertainment venue are also cited as potential development areas within the Hard Rock Atlantic City site. Now it is up to New Jersey lawmakers to decide which innovative gaming options it can allow, and which fall outside of state laws.
Hard Rock International to open new casino next year
The Hard Rock brand belongs to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, under the executive leadership of Jim Allen. Mr Allen was a former member of Trump’s casino team, so the Taj Mahal site is certainly familiar to him. However, Allen has expressed his eagerness to make a fresh start in Atlantic City, and to give the redesigned Hard Rock Hotel & Casino the best chance of success.
Allen has said some of the style choices taken at the Trump Taj Mahal back when it opened were gaudy or not in the best taste. Hard Rock is set to rid the casino entirely of any trace of Trump influence as part of the revamp.
Allen is also keen to demonstrate Hard Rock’s commitment to local jobs, including preserving employement of past workers and creating new job opportunities for permanent staff and contractors.