To the Editor:
It seems both the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Senate Budget Committee are seeking to push measures that will allow a voter referendum on expanding casino gambling outside Atlantic City! Both Houses seek to put a measure on next November’s ballot. The Senate version will seek to allow two casino permits some 75 miles outside Atlantic City, and like the Assembly version probably in Hudson and Bergen Counties.
The deal, if passed would mandate some 49 percent, coming from those two northern area casinos to go back to Atlantic City for at least 15 years to continue some sort of economic recovery, which never comes and another 49 percent for, I assume, northern counties and municipalities and strangely 2 percent for horse racing, which is part of the Assembly proposal.
We hear the Hard Rock Operations are looking for a spot in the Meadowlands and there is talk for a Jersey City Casino, but my question is how do other counties benefit? Meanwhile, a poll by Fairleigh Dickinson University, according to NJBiZ, a publication of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association notes that some 56% of New Jersey residents are opposed to expanding casino gambling beyond Atlantic City. Now counting the immense congestion for commuters facing non-casino counties, what’s in it for a county like Sussex, which is supposed to be designated for tourism? Does it get part of that 49% that two casino counties will get? Come on! Ok, maybe not, but how about some transportation money to get there by light rail like the $1.3 billion the two counties designated for gambling?
Bill Weightman, Hardyson, NJ 07460