New Jersey lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow three new casinos in the northern part of the state.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, one of the bill’s sponsors, announced on Monday the introduction of a proposed constitutional amendment which would require voters to approve three new casinos in North Jersey.
South Jersey legislators have already stated that they don’t approve of the plan, as additional casinos would have a negative effect on the Atlantic City’s struggling gambling industry.
In 2014, four AC casinos closed and the city posted an annual gaming revenue decline for the eighth consecutive year.
The legislation would require voters to give their approval via a ballot referendum allowing the construction of three casinos in Bergen, Essex and Hudson Counties.
The New Jersey legislature would have to approve the bill before August 3 for the casino question to be included in the November ballot.
Last week, Gov. Chris Christie said that he would support the launch of casino properties in North Jersey if a portion of their revenue were diverted to Atlantic City’s gaming industry.
On Wednesday, Hard Rock’s International CEO Jim Allen proposed a casino in the Meadowlands area. The $1 billion casino would feature 5,000 slot machines, more than 200 table games, and 12 to 15 restaurants, and could open as soon as soon as the summer or early fall of 2016.
Meanwhile, former Reebok Chief Executive Paul Fireman has proposed a $4 billion casino, hotel, spa and retail project adjacent to his Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City that he said would take up to four years to complete.
Caputo, who is chairman of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee, commented that not only the northern part of the state would benefit from the proposed legislation, but also Atlantic City and South Jersey as a whole.
North Jersey casinos would contribute millions of dollars in tax revenue to the suffering casino resort and is expected to create 20,000 casino jobs and 30,000 casino jobs. Employees who worked at the shuttered Atlantic City venues would be given preferences for jobs at the potential North Jersey facilities.