Since the 1970’s the only place to gamble in a land based casino in New Jersey has been Atlantic City, however things could be about to change in the Garden State as there’s a big push for gambling expansion, with the possibility of casinos opening their doors in both Meadowlands and Jersey City. Gov Christie has for a long opposed the building of casinos outside of AC however with Atlantic City seeing no change in its current run of poor performances it could come down to letting voters decide on whether or not to change the current constitution.
Last month Senator Paul Sarlo introduced a bill that would allow for a casino to be opened in the Meadowlands area of the state and a few weeks after that venture capitalist Paul Fireman proposed a new casino be built in Jersey City close to Liberty State Park, and Senator Sarlo has no problem with both ventures going ahead. Any new casino development would be taxed at a higher rate and part of that tax revenue would go towards helping Atlantic City out of its current predicament, and regarding the situation Sarlo states that, “There’s plenty of capacity in the region to put one in the Meadowlands and one in Jersey City. I’m not opposed to seeing a casino over at the golf course. If you tax both of them at the higher rate, I think it generates enough revenue for the state of New Jersey to help the local economies in the northern part of the state as well as send money back to Atlantic City.”
The tax rate proposed is a very high 66% for a casino in the Meadowlands area and Robert Shore of the Union Gaming Group over in Las Vegas pointed out that, “There’s definitely an inverse relationship between tax rates and capital investment, so if you put in that tax rate, I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of gaming operators rush to put a lot of money in those projects.” While still the obvious hurdles are there to be navigated, it does seem that sometime in the near future, we could very well see casinos outside of Atlantic City, and although part of the tax revenue generated would flow back to AC, there’s no telling what it could do in the greater scheme of things.