There’s no stopping now for investors to place their bet on the beleaguered Atlantic City now that New Jersey residents have thumbed down the North Jersey casino expansion plan.
Press of Atlantic City painted a rosy picture for Atlantic City after it reported that investors are taking a second look at Atlantic City after New Jersey voters said no to ballot question number 1, which would have allowed casinos outside the jurisdiction for the first time in the state’s 38-year history of legalized gambling.
An overwhelming 79 percent of New Jersey residents have shot down the idea to build two new casinos in the northern part of the state, near New York City, in an effort to recapture gambling revenue lost to casinos in Pennsylvania and New York.
With the North Jersey Casino plan shelved, casino-industry watchers and developers now finds Atlantic City a safer bet.
“I think it’s a pretty fair assumption the North Jersey casino ballot question probably had a chilling effect on investors, and they waited,” Chris Paladino, who heads the Atlantic City Development Corp., which is building a Stockton University campus and South Jersey Gas headquarters in Atlantic City, said.
Paladino pointed out that the recent poll results also resolved the uncertainty over a state takeover.
It is, however, unclear yet how the market reacts to the failed ballot question since everyone is concentrating on the possibility of the controversial ballot question passing.
“Those thinking seriously about playing Monopoly for real should move forward,” Robert Ambrose, an instructor of hospitality and gaming at Drexel University, said. “The city is an investors’ market right now, and those with vision and funding should be looking at the landscape.”
Pundits also believe that investments, which have been halted by the threat of expanded gambling, will start trickling back to Atlantic City after voters dealt a fatal blow to question ballot 1.
For Stockton University Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism executive director Rummy Pandit, New Jersey will wait for a very long time before the idea will resurface again.
“But the area can’t get complacent,” he said.