3 firms want to build new, smaller casinos in AC

By WAYNE PARRY | July 8, 2011 | 4:29 PM EDT

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Three companies say they're interested in building new, smaller casinos in Atlantic City.

The Seminole Indians of Florida, through their Hard Rock franchise; Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment, which scrapped plans to build a $2 billion Boardwalk casino, and a group of Atlantic City-area business people told New Jersey casino regulators Friday they want to participate in a pilot program to jump-start the nation's second-largest gambling market.

New Jersey amended its law earlier this year to provide for a casino with as few as 200 rooms, and one that would eventually be 500 rooms. The idea was to lower the entry bar to the struggling market and spur new investment.