By The Staff | The Save Jersey Blog
The newly-relected Chris Brown (R-2), battleground LD2’s top votegetter in 2015 and a lead contender for State Senate in 2017, didn’t mince words when taking on Democrat Ralph Caputo (D-28) during Thursday morning’s consideration of the North Jersey Casino referendum.
“You’re not helping Atlantic City, you’re killing it,” the Republican charged after Caputo accused him of being in denial during the intense exchange between the two legislators that dominated the hearing.
ACR2, one of four such constitutional amendments on the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s docket today, “[p]roposes constitutional amendment to allow Legislature to authorize by law establishment and operation of casinos in certain counties.”
Supports allege that tax revenue from North Jersey gaming destinations would compensate South Jersey’s floundering legendary resort’s declining revenue as well as provide targeted tax relief to senior citizens and the disabled as well as the state’s horse racing industry. The proposal does not, however, specify a tax rate for new North Jersey casinos, and critics charge the contentiously-crafted Democrat back room proposal is tantamount to a political payoff for North Jersey political interests – including the politically-connected Hard Rock Meadowlands Casino – at the expense of A.C.
For Brown the math just doesn’t add up, citing a Stockton study suggesting North Jersey casinos would siphon 49% of Atlantic City’s business.
The amendment, if passed in November 2016, would be the first major change to New Jersey’s gaming laws since casino gambling was authorized back in 1978.