The debate on whether — and how — to allow casino gambling in North Jersey seems to be at a standstill. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking: In order to open other parts of New Jersey to casinos, the Legislature must approve a change in the state constitution by January 11.
Most legislators, who watch gaming revenues move to New York and Pennsylvania, seem to want casinos and other gambling outlets outside of Atlantic City. But the question is “How?”
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) represents the interests of South Jersey but has agreed to legislation that would allow for two new casinos in North Jersey on two conditions. First, 50 percent of the profits must be sent to Atlantic City for its economic development. Second, licenses must be limited to existing Atlantic City casinos. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), who is representing the interests of North Jersey and in particular Jersey City, says 50 percent of profits is too much and wants to allow a new casino operator to be able to build a grand gambling palace on the Hudson, directly across from New York City. (Jersey City already has an interested operator who has promised to invest $5 billion in the deal.)
But what do you say?