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Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli to make Atlantic City’s casino industry more competitive by introducing smaller casinos and scaling back over-regulation of the industry has been signed into law.

“The gaming industry is changing and we must do the same if we’re to remain competitive,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “If we’re to ensure a strong Atlantic City, we need to provide new gaming products like boutique casinos to entice builders to invest, attract visitors and grow our economy.”

The bill (S-1866/A-2612) will create two new alternative methods for casino licensure by the State’s Casino Control Commission. Along with the traditional, 500-room capacity, minimum 60,000 square foot casinos, developers will now have the option of building a small-scale casino facility, which is not more than 20,000 square feet, and not less than 200 qualified sleeping units.

Developers will also have the option of building a staged casino facility of not more than 30,000 square feet, and not less than 200 sleeping units – with the requirement that they expand to the 500-room requirement within five years of licensure.

Hard Rock already has announced plans to build a boutique casino on the boardwalk.

“This is the investment potential that we can open with this law,” Burzichelli said. “It’s a way to keep Atlantic City strong and vibrant.”