NJ Casino Expansion? - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

NJ Casino Expansion?

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Atlantic City, New Jersey (My9NJ) - The Atlantic City Casino industry is struggling. Since 2006 Atlantic City casinos have declined every year from $5.2 billion to a low $2.8 billion in 2013, which is spread among 12 different casinos.

The loss of tax revenue has some elected officials saying that it’s time for New Jersey to develop casinos in central and north Jersey. Many officials also wonder if casinos could help save failed development projects like Xanadu at the Meadowlands that have lingered on for years.

Senator Ray Lesniak believes that it’s time for casinos expand throughout the Garden State.

“It’s inevitable that we have casinos in the north and we’re going to have them and should have them sooner rather than later. Right now New York casinos and Pennsylvania casinos are drawing north Jersey residents to them, rather than away from Atlantic City, so we’re losing out in many ways and losing out in tens of hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said.

New York opened casinos in 2004 and Pennsylvania in 2007, leaving New Jerseyans with several out of state options that in many cases are closer than Atlantic City.

The idea of New Jersey’s casino expansion was put on hold in 2011 when Governor Christie initiated a 5-year plan to reinvest in Atlantic City. Senator Lesniak says that plan didn’t work.

“The governor’s plan has been a total failure. I said it at the time that it was too little and too late,” he explained.

In order to expand gaming throughout New Jersey it would have to be placed on the ballot for voters to decide.


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