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New Jersey Residents Against Casino Expansion

Majority of New Jersey citizens oppose the expansion the casino business beyond Atlantic City.

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According to a poll released this week, 56 percent of voters surveyed in New Jersey are opposed to the expansion of casino gambling beyond Atlantic City as well as granting state tax breaks to casino companies, Wall Street Journal reports on the American gambling news.

Northern New Jersey politicians and the horse racing industry supports the plans to permit casinos in the Meadowlands sports complex and at the state’s four horse racing tracks. However, the New Jersey casino industry fears the operation casinos in elsewhere in the state could decimate Atlantic City’s multi-billion dollar casino market.

Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind, the company who surveyed the poll said:”The appetite to expand casino gambling options beyond Atlantic City for New Jerseyans is not there yet.”

Tony Rodio, president of the Tropicana Casino and Resort and head of the Casino Association of New Jersey welcomed the results of the poll, saying: “It supports the position that the Casino Association and the governor have taken, that we need to focus on Atlantic City and not expand to other parts of the state. The majority of people in New Jersey feel that way, and it’s the exact right course of action.”

Ralph Caputo, an Assemblyman from the northern part of the state, plans to get a Constitutional amendment on a ballot to change American gambling laws that would allow New Jersey casino gambling outside Atlantic City.

Burzichelli commented: “In the 1970s, when statewide gambling was first proposed, it was rejected by the voters. It was not until it was narrowed down to one location, Atlantic City, that it was approved.”

Burzichelli agreed that circumstances had changed since then, including the approval of online casinos in United States by New Jersey and federal government.

Recently, Revel casino received by a $2.4 billion tax breaks. The poll found only 41 percent approved it, though most admitted that they had not heard about the bailout.

Jenkins commented: “As Atlantic City continues to struggle with declining revenues, tax credits for developers on the backs of taxpayers may be seen as a government ‘bailout’ to some and as a ‘jobs creator’ to others.”

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