CAPUTO: HOW LONG ARE WE GOING TO SIT ON OUR HANDS WHILE GAMING COMPETION ENCROACHES?

Assemblyman Reiterates Call for Slot Machines at the Meadowlands in Light of New Reports that New York is Considering Full-Scale Casinos

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) on Monday called for New Jersey to focus serious attention on bringing video lottery terminals (VLTs) to the Meadowlands Race Track in light of new reports that New York State is considering the development of full-scale casinos both in Manhattan and throughout other parts of the state.

“How long are we going to sit idle while encroaching competition threatens to drown our gaming industry? All of our immediate neighbors – New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut – are aggressively pursuing new gaming options while New Jersey sits on hits hands. The time to install VLT’s at the Meadowlands is now,” said Caputo.

Caputo’s call comes on the heels of news reports that legislative leaders in New York would support a constitutional amendment to allow slot machines, table games and card games in various locations throughout New York state, possibly even in Manhattan.

Caputo, who serves on the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, is the sponsor of two separate bills (A-2458 and A-2550) that would authorize the installation of the VLT’s at the Meadowlands. Both bills would require voter approval at the ballot and specify that the VLT’s would be developed and operated by the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority, under the umbrella of the New Jersey Lottery Commission, and with enforcement responsibilities assigned to the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“We must face the fact that gamblers are already being lured away from Atlantic City and out of the state completely to racinos and other new gaming venues in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware,” added Caputo. “We have a responsibility not only to protect Atlantic City casinos, but to also do all we can to support our entire gaming industry, to retain and expand the revenue it generates and, most importantly, to keep that revenue here in New Jersey.”

Caputo is also the sponsor of a measure (AJR-65) that would explore future prospects for casino gaming in Bergen County, as well as another measure (ACR-169) that would allow voters to determine if casinos should be established in Bergen County.