Things turned from bad to worse for pro-North Jersey casino plan proponents.
The number of New Jersey voters opposing a constitutional amendment that would bring casino gambling to the northern part of the state has jumped to 70 percent, according to the latest survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey.
In layman’s term, seven out of 10 New Jersey voters are now opposing a Nov. 8 referendum that will see the rise of two casinos near the border of New York.
NJ.com reported that the number of those opposing the ballot question has surged from 58 percent in June to 70 percent in October while the number of pro-North Jersey casinos dwindled from 35 percent to just 24 percent in the latest poll.
The survey was conducted to 848 registered New Jersey voters on October 12-16 and had a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.
“There has never been broad and deep support for allowing casinos to expand beyond Atlantic City,” Krista Jenkins, an FDU professor of political science and director of PublicMind, said, according to the news website. “It’s no surprise, then, that backers of the amendment are having a hard time selling the idea to voters.”
At least 36 percent – or more than one-third – of the voters thumb down the referendum because they believe the state already had enough casinos, while more than one-quarter, 26 percent, said casino gambling harmed Atlantic City.
“When over a third of registered voters believe their casino fix is amply satisfied by what’s already here, and worry that more will do to other communities what casinos did to Atlantic City, the ‘more is better’ argument is a tough sell,” Jenkins said.
Both proponents and opponents of the North Jersey casino plan have engaged in an advertisement war in order to sway voters to support their causes.
The combined money spent by both Trenton’s Bad Bet and Our Turn NJ has eclipsed the 1976 spending record set during the time when voters need to approve gambling in Atlantic City. The Election Law Enforcement Commission documents showed that the 2016 effort topped $5.5 million, adjusted for inflation.
With survey results predicting their defeat, New Jersey lawmaker Ralph Caputo has already prepared a Plan B to get slots machines into the state’s racetracks.