Assembly panel to consider casino gambling in the Meadowlands
Jul 13, 2012 | 3891 views | 1 1 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MEADOWLANDS -- Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Chairman Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. on Thursday announced his committee will hold a July 19 hearing to discuss the prospect of bringing casino gaming to the Meadowlands.

The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee will meet on Thursday, July 19 at 12 p.m. in the Hambletonian Room at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford. The committee will hear testimony from invited speakers on the prospect of gaming at the Meadowlands.

“We need to at least discuss the potential for casino-style gaming in North Jersey and its potential to create jobs and economic growth and position New Jersey’s gaming industry to better compete against other states,” said Ramos (D-Hoboken).

“Ignoring the fact the out-of-state competition exists is foolhardy. Expanding gaming options to the Meadowlands could strengthen New Jersey against that competition that has already lured customers away. Any option to bring additional revenue and create jobs deserves careful consideration, and this is where the discussion starts.”

“The reality is that Atlantic City is losing many of its North Jersey customers to newly-opened casinos in Pennsylvania and New York,” said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), a member of the panel and longtime advocate of expanding gaming to North Jersey. “We ignore that fact at our own peril. Pennsylvania recently surpassed New Jersey to become the second-largest casino market in the country behind Las Vegas. Bringing gaming to the Meadowlands can help us reclaim the market and bring back much-needed revenue to New Jersey. Starting this discussion is common sense.”

No bills will be considered at the hearing, but Caputo is sponsoring legislation (ACR53) asking voters whether to amend the state Constitution to allow the establishment and operation of casinos in Bergen County.

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July 13, 2012
This idea deserves further discussion. NJ horse racing needs help and, even with games at the track, Atlantic City is not going to see casino win return to previous levels. A Casino at the Meadowlands is primarily going to be in competition with 6 casinos in eastern PA and slot/ VLT machines at Yonkers and Aqueduct. AC needs mid week hotel demand 200 nights per year, September thru June, to create a profit center to replace lost casino play. This means corporate meetings, conventions, trade shows, association events and commercial air service into AC International, that will allow new markets like Atlanta, to call AC a resort destination. The lack of Florida type weather might require AC to pair up with a strong demand destination, like Manhattan or DC, to create a viable package, that takes advantage of the lower room rates in AC midweek and NY and DC weekends. All that remains is a visitor friendly airline company, like Southwest, Airtran or Spirit, to offer service from high population cities in their service areas, that do not offer casino type gaming. These include Atlanta, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Norfolk-Virginia Beach in the south, and Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston in the south west. The other great area for potential air visitors is Europe, and the major eastern air ports in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore are overcrowded and AC International, with its current expansion is a potential hub for International flights. New Jersey can save horse racing, and can use some of the $30 million no longer spent by AC casinos to subsidize racing, to offer marketing support to a willing airline. Lets look at a new way to save NJ racing while creating a true destination resort in Atlantic City. A Meadowlands casino would also add job opportunities for those AC dealers and other casino personel, who have lost their employment to PA and NY gaming.