The New Jersey state Assembly, in a late vote Monday, approved a package of bills designed to reverse Atlantic City’s economic fortunes and create a state-run tourist district in the Resort.
Other aspects of the bills allow for online gaming through Atlantic City casinos — though restricted to state residents — revising casino regulations in the state, and boosting racehorse breeding in the state.
All in all, four bills will be sent to Gov. Chris Christie for him to sign.
The bills do the following:
• Create a new tourist district in the city to be overseen by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The district would include the city’s Boardwalk, The Walk retail outlet stores and the city’s Marina District. Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford and city officials have opposed the inclusion of the Marina District and undeveloped Bader Field area in the boundaries.
• Ends many regulations on state casinos and transfers many regulatory powers from the Casino Control Commission to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.
• Allows for the regulation of online gaming through Atlantic City casinos.
• Continues a $30 million casino subsidy to the horseracing industry through the Internet gambling plan. In the interim, CRDA would fund part of the subsidy.
Speaking in Atlantic City in July, creating a state-run tourism district and deregulating casinos were the centerpiece of revitalization plans for the city outlined by Christie. The governor, however, has opposed continued subsidies for horseracing.
The bills saw a flurry of amendments and last minute changes as legislators sought to appease concerns from Atlantic City officials as well as supporters of the state’s horseracing industry.
The amendments also ensure that Atlantic City police will handle the bulk of law enforcement duties in the tourism district in cooperation with a state police appointee to head policing in the district.
Another aspect of the bills creates a commission which, among other things, will study the feasibility of allowing casino gambling at The Meadowlands. Christie has opposed such plans in the past. That provision, however, needs approval by the Senate.
On Tuesday morning, April 9, the ACA, CRDA and ACCVA teamed up for a presentation at the Sheraton to unveil new DO AC spring/summer campaign and highlight other new initiatives in the city from Margaritaville to Revel's new beach bar. Watch the new ad videos here.
“We really [see the skatepark] as an opportunity [to complement] all of the other non-gaming kinds of activities that we want to support,” says Palmieri. “And we own a few parcels and this one we thought would be a potentially very good location.”
If all goes as planned, Atlantic City will have its most substantial non-gaming, built-from-the-ground-up and demographically diversified amenity in place by 2014.
Atlantic City is in a battle right now, fighting off competition from neighboring states and looking to remain a vibrant and ever-evolving resort destination. Many of us who are Atlantic City area “lifers” hope the changes taking place, including the plans announced by the Atlantic City Tourism District and the formation of the Atlantic City Alliance, the new non-profit organization devoted to promoting the city, will help move Atlantic City toward a major comeback.
One year to the date Gov. Chris Christie signed landmark legislation designed to revitalize Atlantic City and set the surrounding region on a new course for economic growth, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) adopted the Atlantic City Tourism District Master Plan in a special meeting Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the A.C. Convention Center.
CRDA Boss John Palmieri: “We are very excited about the preliminary concepts being assessed and look forward to sharing this material, and we encourage the public to take time to become involved in this process. It takes a wide range of stakeholders to create something that Atlantic City can be proud of.”
The new Web site includes a survey form that invites feedback from stakeholders on the approach of the Master Plan to address immediate, mid-term and long-term actions, and to identify key factors, priorities and areas of improvement that should be addressed.
The perception is that it’s all about gaming [in Atlantic City]. And clearly it’s much more than that so that’s the opportunity, to make sure that doesn’t happen."
The funds will be used to acquire real estate that CRDA feels is strategically important to the redevelopment of Downtown Atlantic City.
Flanked by several paintings by local artists, Richard Stockton College president Herman Saatkamp warmed up a crowd of over 100 regional artists of various disciplines, intellectuals and public figures on Tuesday night, June 28, at Dante Hall for a presentation by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The evening marked the next step in creating an arts and cultural district in Atlantic City.
Fabulous Thunderbirds with Kim Wilson perform July 11 for free in the summer Monday night music series at Kennedy Plaza.
Gov. Chris Christie Wednesday signed legislation to allow for two “Boutique” casinos to be built in Atlantic City. The legislation allows for two casino projects to be built with a minimum of 200 hotel rooms, lower than the 500 now required. Christie says he signed the bill as part of ongoing efforts to spur Atlantic City’s economy and create jobs. “This bill will provide a boost to the engines of Atlantic City and the regional economy, bringing badly needed jobs to the area and signaling the re-emergence of world-class entertainment,” said Christie is a press release. “While this is an important step in meeting our commitment to revitalize Atlantic City as a premier destination resort, we have more work to do in laying the foundation for growth in this critical area of our economy.” Several other measures to help the city are scheduled to be voted on by the state Assembly in coming days including the creation of a state-run tourism district in the city (to be run by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority), allowing online gaming, limited to state residents, and streamlining casino regulations and oversight. The bill allowing for smaller casinos, S-1866, “revises State law to authorize the Casino Control Commission to issue...
The day after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie sent staffers to visit Atlantic City Mayor Langford, the mayor says he doesn't feel much different about the concerns he raised last week and that the ball is in the governor's court now.
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.”
The agreement, signed Monday, allows the state oversight of all city finances and increases New Jersey's control over how the resort is run.