New Jersey offers a deal to help Atlantic City financially

Bob McDevitt, a Union leader from the casinos industry believes it has come the time Atlantic City accepts the state’s assistance.

US.- The President of the Local 54 of Unite-HERE, Bob McDevitt, claimed that Atlantic City should take New Jersey’s help, as the city is no longer in conditions to face by itself its current financial situation.

Ever since the opening of Pennsylvania’s first casino on the state’s border in 2006, Atlantic City has been suffering from a decline of its casino revenues, which plummeted from US $5.2 billion annually to US$2.5 billion. As a result, four casinos out of the 12 of the area went out of business in 2014 and around 8,000 jobs were lost. In case the referendum allowing two new casinos in Northern New Jersey becomes a reality, the city’s situation could become even more desperate.

After a decrease in municipal tax collections, the State provided aid, as the city faces a US$90 million shortfall next year. This issue has led the state’s lawmakers to bring new options to the table which considers filing for bankruptcy and the state of New Jersey taking over the finances of the city for 15 years.

The State Senate President Steve Sweeney, submitted a proposal to give the state the majority to hold authority over the major decision of Atlantic City. The takeover would strip the majority of the major powers for decision making although it won’t remove elected officials in a local position from office.

Local officials do not support the deal. City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz asked for reconsideration on the proposal that ensures fairness, equity and precedent for the removal of duly elected municipal officials.