MGM Chairman says 'Atlantic City's darker days are behind it'

December 2, 2016 The Record

By John Brennan

MGM Resorts Chairman James Murren spoke at the National Press Club luncheon in Washington, DC on Friday, and my colleague Herb Jackson has the Meadowlands Matters-relevant part of the transcript for us below. Murren was asked about last month's North Jersey casino referendum result: "There was a referendum question in New Jersey this cycle and it not only was defeated, it was overwhelmingly defeated. The folks in New Jersey weren't pleased with the path that Atlantic City has taken. and they didn't really believe they knew enough about what a postitive vote would entail.

"We recently bought the other half of Borgata [from Boyd Gaming], so we own a beautiful resort in Atlantic City. I did so with the belief that Atlantic City's darker days are behind it and that we're already stabilizing that market and we're going to see gradual improvement. That's not to say that everyone's going to do well there. But everyone doesn't own a Borgata.

"We have by far the highest quality resort there. So we're going to grow our business. MGM owns dozens of acres all around Borgata. We're going to look to continue to work with the state and the city.

"The city's got a tough road ahead of it. But we want to be part of the solution, and I look forward to working with the state and Atlantic City to continue to move that really important market forward.

"It's heartbreaking what has happened in Atlantic City over the least 15-20 years. There are a lot of fingers that could be pointed as to why that ocurred. But I'm looking forward and I believe - I would not have just invested additionally another $800 million into Atlantic City if I did not believe that it could move forward."