At its June 15, 2011, meeting, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (the "Commission") approved rules governing the issuance of the two casino licenses available under the recently enacted "boutique casino bill," S-1866. The Commission's rules impose tight deadlines on parties that may be interested in constructing a small casino, and thus interested parties should consider acting quickly.
The pilot program was enacted by the New Jersey Legislature in an effort to ease the perceived high cost of construction of a new casino hotel in Atlantic City, because the Casino Control Act currently requires that a new casino have a minimum of 500 rooms and a maximum of 60,000 square feet of gaming space. The pilot program allows the Commission to license a "small-scale" facility consisting of a minimum of 200 rooms and a maximum of 24,000 square feet of gaming space—although a maximum of 34,000 square feet would be permitted, provided that the applicant constructs 40,000 square feet of amenities. The pilot program also allows the issuance of a "staged" facility license, which must have at least 200 rooms and a maximum of 34,000 square feet, but must, within five years of licensure, be expanded to a minimum of 500 rooms.
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