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New Jersey Lawmakers Hashing Out New Casino Plan

Agreement Between Democrats, Republicans Needed

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Lawmakers in the Garden State want to put casinos outside of Atlantic City in an effort to compete with gambling expansion in neighboring states. However, there is still a lot to work out in terms of how to frame the ballot question next year.

State voters are going to be asked whether to amend the New Jersey Constitution to allow gambling outside of Atlantic City, but it’s unclear which companies would be allowed to own and operate the two new casinos in North Jersey.

According to a report from the Associated Press, competing versions of the proposal in the Senate and Assembly differ with regards to the ownership of the new gambling facilities. Under the Senate bill, both licenses would go to existing Atlantic City casino operators, while the Assembly version would require just one to an existing operator.

The new casinos must be at least 75 miles from Atlantic City, with the proposed locations being the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford and somewhere in Jersey City.

Atlantic City has eight casinos after four closed last year.

“Casino expansion will create jobs and generate economic growth for the entire state,” State Sen. Ray Lesniak, told the AP. “This is an opportunity we have to capitalize on. Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature should work together on a plan that can go to the voters for approval on the next ballot in November of 2016.”

Deutsche Bank estimated that casinos in the northern part of New Jersey could generate more than $500 million in annual revenue.

A casino plan must be approved by a three-fifths vote in the new session beginning Jan. 12.

Last year, Gov. Chris Christie gave Atlantic City a five-year window to rebound from its eight-year-long gaming revenue slump before considering casinos elsewhere in the state. However, gambling expansion has picked up nearby, as Pennsylvania will soon see its 13th casino and New York this month handed out three new casino licenses.

While overall gaming revenue continues to decline, the casinos’ profitability is up big this year. For the first three quarters of 2015, the casinos’ collective gross operating profit was $450.9 million, an increase of 67.5 percent year-over-year.

The New Jersey gambling industry was given a boost recently by news that the state’s online gambling operators took in a record $13.2 million during the month of November, compared to $8.7 million in November 2014.

Since launching in late 2013, New Jersey’s online gaming industry has won $266 million.

 
 
Tags: New Jersey
 
 

Comments

pokertruth
over 6 years ago

SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS. LET THE NJ AND AC POLITICIANS RUN (OR IS IT RUIN?) THE CASINO INDUSTRY OUTSIDE AC JUST LIKE THEY SUCCESSFULLY RAN THE INDUSTRY INSIDE AC.

 
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