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North Jersey Ad Campaigns Begin As Referendum Approaches

New JerseyTwo business interest groups in New York have launched ad campaigns opposing the upcoming casino referendum in New Jersey. Voters of New Jersey are deciding whether casinos should be set up outside of the existing gambling hub in Atlantic City.

The New York trade union and New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council as well as casino operator Genting are funding marketing campaigns to influence public opinion against the plan of moving casinos out of Atlantic City.

New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council which represents union workers in New York and New Jersey is opposing the proposal on the grounds that the casino expansion legislation does not have the provisions that disallow casinos from blocking union organizing initiatives.

Our Turn NJ

In a statement, Union President Peter Ward said,

Our union has built a strong standard for gaming workers in the tri-state area, and until we have concrete assurances that those standards will be met, we will oppose any efforts to expand gaming into North Jersey. The close to 5,000 hospitality workers we represent in North Jersey, cannot support their families on empty promises, and we will not support any measure that fails to guarantee these critical standards are met.

The television spend for the trade union’s ad campaign will initially be limited to six-figures but is expected to reach seven figures as the referendum date comes closer. The campaign is focusing on the fact that the law removes the community’s ability to say no and will result in New Jersey having the same fate as Atlantic City.

Genting, the international casino operator has funded a group comprising business interests from Atlantic City against the referendum. The group called Trenton's Bad Bet started its campaign opposing the referendum last week. Genting operates a virtual casino in Queens at the Aqueduct Racetrack which is likely to lose revenue if casinos come up in nearby North Jersey.

Trenton’s Bad Bet

Genting’s spokesman Michael Levoff said that the group was against the referendum since the new casinos will affect New Jersey families and businesses and result in people losing jobs in New York. Justifying the company’s involvement in the campaign, Levoff said that Genting frequently took up issues related to the industry and those affecting its partnership with state governments since they depend on the company for jobs and revenue generation.

Jeff Gural, a New York City developer who owns a racetrack in North Jersey wants to build one of the two casinos in North Jersey. He will run ad campaigns in favor of the referendum and highlight the fact that the North Jersey casinos will provide competition to neighboring casinos and generate more revenue for the garden state.

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