Poll On Expanding New Jersey Casino Unlikely To Happen By Fall
Last year saw four of the 12 Atlantic City casinos closed which has led to calls to expand gambling to other jurisdictions in the Golden State. With this in mind New Jersey lawmakers are unlikely to hold a nationwide vote on whether to expand casino gambling or not before the fall.
In a statement former AC Mayor Sen. Jim Whelan said he does not see a referendum on the issue on November’s ballot. He said,” I am certain it’s not going to be on the ballot this fall. I am 98 percent sure it’s not happening this year. Clearly there’s no consensus on this issue. You’ve got several different competing plans, and if there’s no agreement on what to ask for, what is there to put forth?”
Strong supporters of expanding gambling in the state like Sen. Ray Lesniak expressed their disappointment at the lack of urgency and warned of the dangers of neighboring states stealing gambling revenues from New Jersey. He is pushing for the bill to be passed before August 3 which is the deadline if it is to get a referendum in the November ballot. He said,” It’s a huge mistake for Atlantic City and all of New Jersey, It puts us further behind our neighboring states, who already are cleaning our clock at casino gambling.
Possible jurisdictions mentioned include the Meadowlands Complex in East Rutherford which hosts the Giants and New York Jets. In order for gambling to be expanded in other jurisdictions the State Constitution would have to be amended but it seems that the infighting among lawmakers combined with disagreement on the rate of tax to be payed are delaying the process.