The commission said AC Gateway LLC of Atlantic City,  a local development partner of Florida-based Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, ACE Gaming LLC of Las Vegas, subsidiary of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. and California Avenue Ventures, LLC,  associated with Northfield developer Max Gurwicz and Son, have all filed a one-page letter with the CCC. Now companies have until Aug. 19 to file a detailed proposal to apply for one of the available licenses.

Proposals must include a detailed description of the project, its location, total cost, its economic and social impact, revenue and job expectations, and other important information. The commission will analyze and review each proposal and decide within 60 days which two will go forward. The companies would then have 120 days to pay a $1 million fee to guarantee the completion of the project.

Last June, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation that authorizes the commission to issue licenses for small-scale casino hotels  with as few as 200 rooms.  Under the law, the facilities must be new and must be located along Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. The two projects include a small casino hotel with 200 rooms, while the second will expand to at least 500 rooms within a five year period.

Florida-based Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, owner of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, and Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, is the only of the three applicants that has taken significant steps toward a new casino. The company has filed permits under the Coastal Area Facility Review Act, has submitted plans to the state Department of Environmental Protection to use beach and parkland previously preserved under the state Green Acres program. Keith Mills, the city development director, said no other applicant has made similar filings.

The Hard Rock group has expressed its interest to build a $275 million project on Albany Avenue and the Boardwalk.  The project will be developed in phases, and would include several restaurants, a rock museum, nightclubs, and two hotel towers with 850 rooms.

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