Public hearing regarding casino referendum in New Jersey, will be held on Jan 7th

The state Assembly committee is meeting in Trenton to examine the proposals to expand casino gambling beyond Atlantic City.

US.- There are two competing plans on the table: one would require both casinos to be owned by an Atlantic City operator, according to the Senate after a hearing held on Dec 21st whilst the plan supported by the state Assembly committee applies this requisite to only one of the two casinos under discussion. Both bills agree on allocating some of the gambling revenue from the new casinos to Atlantic City as a compensation for the loss of business the competition will generate. The dispute revolves around how much of this revenue will go to Atlantic City and how much would be used as funding for programmes and tax relief for senior and disable citizens in New Jersey.

The current state’s Constitution restricts casino to Atlantic City. The referendum does not specify where these casinos would be located, although the Meadowlands in East Rutherford and Jersey City apparently are the most likely choices.

Sen. Ray Lesniak, told the AP “Casino expansion will create jobs and generate economic growth for the entire state. This is an opportunity we have to capitalise on. Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature should work together on a plan that can go to the voters for approval on the next ballot in November of 2016.”

On its part Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto affirms the version to be put before the voters has yet to be agreed on:”Regrettably, we remain where we were last week,” he said. One of the two bills shall be approved by a three-fifths vote in the Jan 12th session.

New Jersey’s online gambling business is doing well, as gambling operators reported a win of US$13.2 million during the month of November in comparison with a win of US$8.7 million on the same period back in 2014. New Jersey’s online gaming industry has won US$266 million since its launch in late 2013. Deutsche Bank’s estimation says these new casinos may generate more than US$500 million in annual revenue.