Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) has been pushing for New Jersey to look into expanding casino gambling beyond Atlantic City into other localities. At a regional gambling conference in Atlantic City on May 20, he said that the state could recapture lost money by bringing casino gambling to the Meadowlands.
Politicians from the Atlantic City area strongly object to the idea. They cite a package of incentives put in place three years ago by Gov. Chris Christie to assist a struggling Atlantic City. As part of that package, the governor gave Atlantic City five years to show improvement before he would consider asking voters to approve casinos elsewhere in the state.
The package included creating a tourism district in Atlantic City and providing casinos with relief from certain costly regulations.
Sen. Jeff Van Drew from Cape May County, just south of Atlantic City, said that gambling in the Meadowlands would “cannibalize the industry” and further damage Atlantic City. — Art Schwartz