Senate panel also approved a constitutional amendment to allow sports betting within the state’s casinos
The vote is in on several bills that went to the New Jersey State Legislature yesterday (Monday, Nov. 22) involving Atlantic City. First, however, came the news that the primary bill, that would have established a tourism and entertainment district governed by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, was held back from the vote so that technical problems could be addressed.
The ones that did pass included bills to allow Internet wagering and allowing smaller casino hotels with less than 500 rooms to have gaming facilities.
“Unless we take the necessary steps to bring our casinos and horse tracks into profitability and self-sufficiency, we’re going to lose these economic engines and all the benefits they bring to our State,” said Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic)."
"This would be a devastating blow to New Jersey’s economic future, and it’s something we cannot allow to happen. Through the measures approved today, and additional bills which I expect to move shortly, we will be able to give our gaming and wagering industries a fighting chance.”
A Senate panel also approved a constitutional amendment to allow sports betting within the state’s casinos. This amendment needs to be passed in both houses of the Legislature and approved by New Jersey voters. Even if that happens, the state will have to win a lawsuit that hopes to prove the current federal ban on sports betting (except for four states including Nevada and Delaware) is unconstitutional.
In gambling terms, winning that lawsuit is a longshot. However, when a longshot wins, there is always a big payoff.
“There are a number of steps that have to be taken before this goes live.”
The new bill, however, restricts online gaming to residences, which would be seen as making a bet in Atlantic City where the computer servers would be located.
Under the boutique casino legislation, the Casino Control Commission can allow two smaller casinos with as few as 200 hotel rooms.
Gov. Chris Christie says the bill could have expanded gambling in the state outside of Atlantic City and opposed a provision for a subsidy to the horse-racing industry
The agreement, signed Monday, allows the state oversight of all city finances and increases New Jersey's control over how the resort is run.
On a sizzling hot Boardwalk Wednesday Governor Chris Christie did his best to say that the state was looking to help Atlantic City, not take over. “I’m here to extend the hand of partnership to the city,” Christie said. "We are entering into this public private partnership because we have to remake ourselves. We want to make Atlantic City a place where families and businesses want to be and want to come back to again and again.”
Should Atlantic City try to position itself as a Jersey-shore style family resort, which just happens to have a very adult–oriented casino industry, or should it try to focus on the adult market?
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