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Matt Harkness

President, Hard Rock Atlantic City

Matt Harkness

When Hard Rock International, Joe Jingoli and Jack Morris bought the former Trump Taj Mahal in 2017, they envisioned turning it into the glittering gem of the Hard Rock chain. But when construction started in October 2017, it seemed doubtful that the property would be open by the summer of this year. Yet a massive effort by everyone involved allowed the Hard Rock to open on June 28 and take advantage of the Independence Day week that followed. Gaming veteran Matt Harkness was given the reigns at Hard Rock AC and directed the staffing, training and opening of the property. He talks about his relationships with the city, the state and the employees as they moved toward opening day. He spoke with GGB Publisher Roger Gros at his offices in Hard Rock AC just a week after opening in July.

Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business, the industry's leading gaming trade publication, and all its related publications. Prior to joining Global Gaming Business, Gros was president of Inlet Communications, an independent consulting firm. He was vice president of Casino Journal Publishing Group from 1984-2000, and held virtually every editorial title during his tenure. Gros was editor of Casino Journal, the National Gaming Summary and the Atlantic City Insider, and was the founding editor of Casino Player magazine. He was a co-founder of the American Gaming Summit and the Southern Gaming Summit conferences and trade shows. He is the author of the best-selling book, How to Win at Casino Gambling (Carlton Books, 1995), now in its fourth edition. Gros was named "Businessman of the Year" for 1998 by the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Gaming Association in 2012.

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