ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Hard Rock wants to build a casino in or near New York City, even as it moves forward with a plan to build another one in northern New Jersey, about 8 miles away.
Jim Allen, chairperson of the global gambling, entertainment and hospitality company owned by Florida's Seminole Indian tribe, said Tuesday that Hard Rock will submit an expression of interest to New York officials by the Dec. 10 deadline.
New York has three remaining casino licenses to be awarded in the downstate region that includes New York City, which has long been the holy grail for the casino industry, given the region's population and wealth.
Speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, Allen said Hard Rock has been planning a New York project ever since the possibility was announced seven years ago.
Afterward, Allen said in an interview that the company is not abandoning a plan it unveiled in 2015 to build a casino resort at the Meadowlands Racetrack just outside New York City.
“We're interested in both markets, and if God is good enough to allow us to operate in both, we would be happy to do so,” he said.
Hard Rock would need permission from New Jersey voters to build in the Meadowlands. They resoundingly rejected a plan in 2016 that would have authorized casinos outside Atlantic City, the only place in New Jersey they are permitted.
Allen, whose company spent a half-billion dollars to open a Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City in 2018, said the New York and northern New Jersey market can support numerous casinos.
“How many casinos do you have lined up right here?” he asked in Atlantic City, where there are nine. “One hundred percent, the market is lar