NJ to change casino licenses

New Jersey Assembly approved yesterday an amendment on casino legislation.

US.- The New Jersey Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee approved yesterday a new bill to limit the implementation of a casino license to current gaming venues by authorised operators. Licenses of operators that decide to close their casinos would be blocked after the shutdown and would not be able to be reused.

The gaming bill establishes that a licensed casino operator would be disqualified for five years following the closure of the venue. The company would not be able to hold a casino license during that period. “Essentially what we’re trying to do is prevent casino owners from manipulating the licensing system and abusing rank and file casino workers,” explained Assemblyman and Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli, D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem.

“Given Atlantic City’s struggles, the last thing we want to see is a casino owner taking advantage of bankruptcy laws and pocketing a license or, even worse, stripping workers of benefits and denying them a fair wage because they couldn’t come to the table and strike an agreement,” he added. The new bill obtained the approval by the Senate last October.

The casino license project was introduced after Carl Icahn, current owner of Trump Taj Mahal, announced the closure of the Atlantic City venue as well as the company’s intentions to install another casino in the state, with fewer wages and benefits for workers. Taj Mahal representatives commented to the media that the bill would create an “anti-business atmosphere.”