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North vs. South in New Jersey Gambling Expansion Debate

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Feb/20/2014
North vs. South in New Jersey Gambling Expansion Debate

North New Jersey lawmakers want a casino in the Meadowlands, just a minutes drive away from Manhattan (barring rush hour).  South Jersey lawmakers want gambling to be inclusive to Atlantic City.

A debate took place Thursday afternoon to discuss gambling expansion in the Garden State as part of a hearing of the Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee.  Legislators in the northern part of the state argued that greedy casino executives have ruined Atlantic City. No vote was taken during the day’s hearing.

“We don’t want to destroy an industry. They can do that themselves,” said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, D-Essex, who chairs the committee. “(Casino executives) don’t give one damn about anything but themselves. All they did was take money from that city. Now that the market is challenged, it’s up to us to try to assist. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look at it honestly.”

Legislation approved in February 2011 created state-run Tourism District, encompassing the casinos, outlets and main thoroughfares of the city. That district is overseen by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Christie has said he would wait five years from the creation of the Tourism District before he would consider asking voters to think about casino expansion.

“We cannot bury our heads in the sand and say everything will be fine,” Caputo said. “Atlantic City is not going to be fine. It’s not going to come back to its original form.”
- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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