Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
News & Press: Recent News

As Atlantic City struggles, lawmakers eye North Jersey casinos

Monday, July 21, 2014   (0 Comments)
Share | (07/21/14)

At its peak in 2006, Atlantic City was home to 39,000 slot machines. Since then, neighboring states that have legalized gambling have added 36,000 slots of their own, creating a gambling landscape like piles of poker chips spread across the Northeast. Now the impending closing of two and maybe three more Atlantic City casinos has state lawmakers pushing to expand gambling to North Jersey, and local leaders looking to broaden the resort city’s image as a convention hub and vacation spot. The closings have amplified calls to expand casino gaming to the Meadowlands and Jersey City. Gov. Chris Christie, who had stood firm behind a five-year plan for Atlantic City’s recovery that would put off such talks until 2016, has suggested he’s now open to discussion. But labor leaders and some of Atlantic City’s elected officials say national media reports of the resort city’s downfall are premature. They’re fighting to keep the troubled casinos open.

Christie has been bullish on Atlantic City’s recovery, saying in December that 2014 would be a "pivotal year." His administration’s projections for internet betting operations, which are partnered with Atlantic City casinos, were for an ambitious $1 billion for this year. But Fitch Ratings, which initially projected a more conservative $200 million to $300 million in internet gaming revenues, further tightened its projections last week. The Wall Street credit-rating firm now says it expects New Jersey to rake in $120 million to $130 million. Lawmakers and the governor’s office had hoped that Atlantic City and the state’s racetracks would be bolstered by efforts to overturn a federal law prohibiting sports betting here. New Jersey spent around $3 million dollars appealing court rulings maintaining the prohibition. The state brought the case as far as the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the state’s appeal, effectively maintaining the ban.

Sign In

Latest News