NJ voters set for November casino poll

NJ voters set for November casino poll

Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Gambling has been legal in Atlantic City for 40 years

Voters in New Jersey will decide in November whether casinos should be allowed outside of Atlantic City for the first time.

In legislation approved on Monday, the electorate will be asked whether to amend the state constitution to repeal a provision that limits casinos only to the gambling resort that has seen a sharp decrease in revenue over the last decade.

A majority vote in favour would authorise two new casinos in separate counties at least 72 miles from Atlantic City, with the most likely sites considered to be Meadowlands sports complex, where NFL American football teams the Jets and Giants play, and in Jersey City, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

“This is a very historic day for New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo. “In 1976, casinos were approved for Atlantic City. It was a monopoly that existed for many, many years; many people benefited. But conditions change, and when conditions change and you don’t adapt, you become a dinosaur and you become extinct.”

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, a Republican, predicted that three of his city’s eight remaining casinos would close because of new in-state competition.

Guardian told reporters: “Look at my face. This is the face of failed promises from the state of New Jersey to fix my city. There will be devastation.”

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has announced that operators in the US state were able to surpass an online gaming revenue set in January by achieving further success in February.

Revenue in the month amounted to $14.7m (€13.2m), a rise of 41.8 per cent year on year, and a slight increase on the previous monthly record of $14.6m achieved in January this year.

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