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Analysts: Atlantic City Casinos can Withstand Borgata

6 June 2003

ATLANTIC CITY – As reported by the Associated Press: “New Jersey's first new casino in 13 years will be a big draw for gamblers, but not enough to force its competitors to fold their cards, Wall Street analysts told a conference of casino industry executives.

“The Borgata, a $1 billion casino being built in the marina district, is expected to begin taking bets in late July. The new casino will be the city's 12th, and the first to open here since Trump Taj Mahal in 1990.

“…Everyone agrees that the Borgata, which will have 2,002 rooms and a 135,000-square-foot casino floor, will be a big draw all summer as casino regulars check out the new player in town and tourists who don't usually gamble flock to see the new building.

“…But the properties once considered weak sisters in the Atlantic City market have been fortified, either through consolidation (Claridge's takeover by Park Place) or acquisition by deep-pocketed owners like Carl Icahn (who bought the Sands).

“Also, the existing casinos are frantically adding attractions and building new rooms in anticipation of the more intense competition. On Wednesday Showboat Casino-Hotel opened a new 544-room hotel tower.

“The challenge for Borgata will be to adequately handle the throngs that descend on it, said Andrew Zarnett, analyst for Deutsche Bank Securities.

“…Conspicuously absent from the casino conference was Gov. James McGreevey, a public enemy on the Boardwalk since he announced plans to impose $135 million in new taxes on the casinos…”

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