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New Jersey Yet To Make A Firm Decision On Casino Expansion Bills

New JerseyThe collapse of the New Jersey gambling industry during the last couple of years have pushed lawmakers to look for innovative means of reviving the struggling gambling industry.

One of the proposals that came forward during discussions is to no longer restrict gambling to Atlantic City but to change New Jersey’s gambling laws to permit casinos to operate outside of Atlantic City.

New Jersey has faced a decline in gaming revenue and a drop in the number of customers as competition from neighboring states has eaten into New Jersey’s gambling industry.

In 2014, four casinos were forced out of business and the state gaming association has been concerned about the remaining eight casinos in Atlantic City.

Lawmakers want to pass a bill that would permit two new casinos to open out in the northern part of the garden state as they believe these two casinos will help reduce the number of New Jersey gamblers going out of the state to gamble. The proposal has been opposed by Atlantic City as they believe if new casinos open outside of Atlantic City, then the remaining eight casinos will struggle as customers will leave Atlantic City and venture to these new casinos.

Legislators wanted to poll New Jersey residents to get their opinion on launching two new casinos outside of Atlantic City but there are a number of issues to be sorted out before the poll can be rolled out. As of now both Senate and Assembly committees have made changes to their proposed bills but are yet to reach an agreement as to who will construct these two new casinos and how will the gaming tax revenue collected from these two casinos be spent.

In order for these bills to be approved, the Senate and Assembly committees need to reach a mutual agreement so that one bill can be put before the voters. The Senate has stipulated that whoever gets approval to build a casino must be able to complete it within a stipulated time frame while the Assembly commission has stated that it will offer a certain amount of money to counties and municipalities that welcome these two new casinos.

Earlier the minimum distance between the new casinos and Atlantic City was fixed at 75 miles but the two new bills have reduced that to 72 miles, which means that locations like Woodbridge, Edison and Sayreville will now be eligible for hosting these two new casinos. There is no indication as of now as to when a firm decision will be made on approving the two new casinos licenses outside of Atlantic City.