John Palmieri, the new man at the head of New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, is gambling on a change around in the state’s fortunes. Palmieri, who has three decades of experience in the casino industry, took over the reins of the powerful state agency, which aims to revive the struggling New Jersey gambling industry in areas such as the boardwalk, Marina District, Bader Beach and downtown entertainment districts.
Palmieri has his hands full on the new job and his powers extend from holding discussions with the police who oversee the tourism district, to convincing property owners to improve their buildings so that the areas appeal to visitors. The veteran certainly has many years experience behind him heading projects and delivering good results, however many believe that hiring the right man may not be enough to turn New Jersey’s struggling gambling industry around.
The main problem, as seen by many analysts, is that New Jersey simply faces too much competition from neighboring states such as Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware. These states offer top notch gambling opportunities which easily compete with the games and casinos offered in New Jersey.
However, Palmieri doesn’t seem deterred. He has already hired a consulting firm to draft a massive overhaul plan that needs to be presented to the governor by February next year. “We’re on a very aggressive schedule,” Palmieri said. “We just hired the team a couple of weeks ago, and they will have what amounts to four months to complete their assessment and identify recommendations.”
In the meantime, several other changes have been made, such as streamlining casino regulations and lowering the required number of hotel rooms for a new hotel to be built. The state is also helping with the structure and completion of Revel Entertainment Group’s new $2.5 billion casino resort.