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Plans calls for $75M building for online gaming company



ATLANTIC CITY — Plans for a new $75 million building at 2301 Fairmount Ave., one proponents say could transform an underused corner of the city and house about 2,000 employees, took a step forward with a vote of support from the Board of Directors of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Evolution Gaming is already at work in the city, with offices in local casinos, but space is getting tight, attorney Lloyd Levenson of Cooper Levenson told the board Tuesday.

The company runs live games online, one of two options for internet gambling along with computer-based gambling.

In this case, live staff operate live games in a studio, including casino favorites like roulette, blackjack and poker, along with live game shows.

The company has about 850 employees working in Atlantic City, Levenson said.

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“The only reason that it’s not more than 850 is that we don’t have enough space,” he said.

That includes offices and studio space at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Ocean Casino Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City.

The proposed answer is a four-story, 130,000-square-foot new building in an underused lot across from Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern.

Mayor Marty Small Sr., in a social media post at the end of February, said renovations at the historic stadium will begin in April.

If things go well, the building could open in 2026 and have about 2,000 employees in three shifts working around the clock, Levenson said.

The property is about 2.2 acres, currently used for parking. Plans are for the company to lease parking spaces for employees in the nearby Wave Garage, owned and operated by the CRDA and typically described as underused.

Levenson described the project as breathing life into an otherwise underdeveloped section of the city, one most people only see when they are heading to dinner at Angelo’s.

Evolution Gaming is based in Sweden. In discussing the project with the board before the vote, CRDA senior project development officer Loreta Acevedo said the building would be the first of its kind in the United States, but there are similar facilities in Europe.

The building would include studio space and room for the sizable servers required, as well as offices. The company must have locations in several states because of the laws governing online gaming, Levenson said, but this building would serve as a flagship.

As Levenson described it, employees would visit Tanger Outlets The Walk and other local businesses on lunch breaks, with the additional jobs and activities having a positive impact on the city.

Mayor Marty Small Sr., who is also a member of the CRDA board, pushed for a yes vote. He said he has visited the existing studios, describing them as “really cool.” He also praised the company’s connections to Atlantic City.

“There were a lot of local people working there. A lot of familiar faces,” Small said. “More importantly, they’ve given back to the community.”

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He cited a donation by the company that helped refurbish a decades-old gym at the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City.

One board member abstained from the vote, which was otherwise unanimous, approving a preliminary finding that the project was eligible to lease the property.

Levenson described touring CRDA properties with staff members looking for likely locations. The site is required to be in Atlantic City, he said, again citing the rules governing online gaming companies.

Evolution will run the games and operate the sites, but the betting takes place through licensed casino properties or other legal online gambling systems, Levenson said. For instance, Evolution has a contract with DraftKings, a multistate sports and online casino company.

The proposal will still need final approval from the CRDA, as well as additional approvals. By 2029, Levenson said, there will be 2,000 employees in the building. He added the company was not requesting financial support from the CRDA for the project.

Evolution Gaming began in Europe as a live dealer online gaming platform and came to the United States and Canada in 2018, including signing an agreement with Hard Rock Atlantic City. The same year, the company signed an agreement with Live Casino in New Jersey.

Internet gaming has become increasingly important to the bottom line in Atlantic City. The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University indicated last year that online betting has meant billions of dollars to Atlantic City casinos over the course of a decade, making up an increasingly significant portion of the casinos’ take and bringing in big revenue to the state, with online gaming taxed at a higher percentage.

Contact Bill Barlow:


Twitter @jerseynews_bill

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