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Atlantic City Casino Exec Express Differing Views on New Resorts

27 March 2001

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Associated Press: "New Jersey casino operators are expressing both optimism and trepidation about the prospect of welcoming new players to their game.

"The addition of the Borgata and an MGM Mirage casino should help bring new visitors to Atlantic City but will also cause defections -- of gamblers and casino employees -- from the existing casino hotels, executives said during a panel discussion this month.

"…The impending entry of the Borgata -- a 2,010-room mega-casino now under construction -- and a companion marina district casino planned by MGM Mirage of Las Vegas will mean trouble for existing casinos, some of which are already fighting for their lives.

"…When the Borgata opens in 2003, it is bound to lure curious gamblers away from other casinos, casino executives said during the panel discussion at Business Expo 2001, a trade show sponsored by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce.

"…Many of the Atlantic City casino industry's 47,049 employees, too, might be switching teams.

"The casinos are already hard-pressed for labor. Thousands of low-level jobs are vacant at any one time, and the addition of up to 6,000 positions at the new casinos will exacerbate the problem.

"…Holding onto good employees could be costly for the casinos, chipping away at their bottom lines, according to Marc Falcone, a Bear Stearns analyst who moderated the discussion.

"…In addition to needing more workers, the casinos need more hotel rooms if they are to continue to grow, the executives said.

"…With citywide occupancy rates at 94 percent, new customers who want a room for a night are routinely turned away because casinos give the rooms for free to gamblers they know will spend money in the casino…"

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