New casino regulatory bill introduced in New Jersey

It seems that New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney is after Carl Icahn with the new casino regulatory bill.

US.- A new casino regulatory bill called Senate Bill 2575, was introduced concurrently with Assemblyman John Burzichelli’s (D-District 3) Assembly Bill 4187 in identical text and language. The new legislation would amend the current law on how license holders proceed in closing and opening casinos.

Carl Icahn’s Trump Taj Mahal shutdown will mark Atlantic City’s fifth casino closing since 2014. Icahn, says he stands to lose US$100 million on the entire undertaking, but others believe he has more sinister plans.

Some in New Jersey believe Icahn is “warehousing” the casino gambling license, only to reopen the resort under a new name and with a new labor force. New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s bill would prevent him from doing just that. Regardless of the fact that SB 2570 isn’t presently on the books, the Senate president is making sure it would apply to Icahn, by including a provision that makes the legislation retroactive to January 1, 2016.

“Casino owners shouldn’t be able to misuse bankruptcy laws and gaming regulations in order to warehouse a license or take money out of the pockets of casino workers and strip them of benefits simply because they refuse to come to a labor agreement with their employees,” said Sweeney.

The bill aims to disqualify casino license applicants if the person or entity behind the bid “substantially closed” a casino property in the previous five years. The definition of “substantially closed” would be defined by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and give additional powers to the gaming regulatory authority. Furthermore, the text of SB 2575 suggests that operators who intentionally close a casino with plans to later reopen the venue under a new name with new labor contracts would qualify as owners who “substantially closed.”.

“This bill encourages casino owners to keep their properties open and rebuild Atlantic City rather than keep their license and throw thousands of families to the curb,” Sweeney added.