New Jersey governor Chris Christie has made it clear that casino gambling in the state of New Jersey will be limited to only Atlantic City despite the clamoring from the state assembly committee to look into the issue of putting up casinos at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, according to NorthJersey.com.
Christie, a man who has never been one to shy away from his points, is adamant to honor the Atlantic City revitalization program, which was passed last year to give the state’s resident casino town five year to improve its overall casino profile. Breaking that agreement would not only undermine the program itself, but it also wouldn’t be fair to Atlantic City, the governor said.
“Atlantic City deserves to have give years to try to get itself revitalized and back on its feet, remake itself into a destination resort for folks who want to enjoy gaming as well,” Christie adds.
Despite Christie’s proclamations, New Jersey’s Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee is still moving forward with the hearing. Committee Chairman Ruben Ramos, D-Hudson, while understanding the position of the governor, still wants to discuss the issue and the potential it has in proving new employment and economic growth in North Jersey. Ramos also argues that with out-of-state gambling competition becoming a serious threat to poaching players in the state, the discussions of putting casinos in the Meadowlands is a recourse worth looking into.
“Expanding gaming options to the Meadowlands could strengthen New Jersey against that competition that has already lured customers away,” Ramos said. “Any option to bring additional revenue and create jobs deserves careful consideration, and this is where the discussion starts.”
But Christie, who has Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester as an ally, remains steadfast in giving Atlantic City five years before expanding gaming elsewhere in the state.
“If we abandon Atlantic City now, we are losing a significant private and public investment that we made to that city and I’m simply not prepared to do that for short-term revenue gain across the state.”