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June 23, 2018

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Jobs, training, free tickets: A.C. casino woos minority community

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Wayne Parry / AP

This Nov. 3, 2017, photo shows a work crew dismantling a dome at the former Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J. which was being transformed into a Hard Rock casino.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A new casino is making a massive effort to engage Atlantic City's large minority community in which it will operate, where black residents have long felt excluded from the riches that the gambling halls generate.

Hard Rock plans to do more than just hire local residents to work at its casino when it opens this summer.

It also plans to train their children for careers in the industry, set aside free or discounted concert tickets for city residents, hire graduates of a drug offense court diversion and treatment program, and hold community meetings every three months to nurture ties to the community.

Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen aims to dispel the perception of casinos living on an island, isolated from the surrounding neighborhoods.