ATLANTIC CITY —Touting the investments at casinos and throughout the city, a panel of gambling executives say the city's future is promising.
But to achieve that promise, the resort's leaders have to work together, take advantage of opportunities such as e-sports and sports betting, and make the resort a true destination, the panelists said.
The casino leaders spoke Wednesday as part of a Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce's panel on the industry.
The event, which started at 8:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel, featured Marcus Glover, president and chief operating officer of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; Matthew Harkness, president of Hard Rock Atlantic City; Mark Giannantonio, president and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel; and Tony Rodio, president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment Inc.
While Ginnantonio and Rodio are local industry veterans, Glover and Harkness are newcomers to the city.
Glover, who joined Borgata three months ago, touted a recent project to add 18,000 more square feet of conference space at Borgata as a sign of his casino's commitment.
He called the city's economy robust, but said the city still suffers from negative perceptions outside New Jersey and that must change.
Making better use of the Atlantic City International Airport is an essential part of improving the local economy, he said.
Harkness, a former Atlantic City casino veteran, told the audience he was happy to be back in the area.
Atlantic City, he said, has a bright future, although sometimes, the area tended to downplay its accomplishments.
Rodio spoke about the efforts the Tropicana has put into creating a customer experience beyond gambling through weekly fireworks and its light shows.
Speaking to the business audience, he credited Tropicana's successes to casino owner Carl Icahn, saying the businessman doesn't get the credit he deserves.
Ginnantonio, who said Resorts has seen steady growth in operating profits since 2011 through its aggressive improvements, said the future looks bright on the north end of the boardwalk, with the May opening of Hard Rock.
They will discuss investments made in the market, why business is up and the diversification of the product, including internet gambling and generating revenue through nongaming attractions.
— Nicholas Huba