Notes A.C. Casinos Already Face Competition 60 Miles Away in Philly
(EAST RUTHERFORD) – Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) released the following statement Thursday as the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee upon which he serves held a hearing on the prospect of bringing casino gaming to the Meadowlands:
“The reality is that Atlantic City is losing many of its North Jersey customers to newly-opened casinos in Pennsylvania and New York. We can continue to ignore that fact at own peril, or we can move forward with a sensible statewide gaming plan that creates jobs and economic development.
“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, which is why this hearing was significant.
“We can no longer afford to keep our heads in the sand and pretend that we do not have direct competition to our Atlantic City casinos in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York. Take Harrah’s, which opened a casino in Philadelphia. The Meadowlands is roughly 130 miles from Atlantic City and Philadelphia is a mere 60 miles away. Let’s not pretend that times haven’t changed.
“We must act or risk New Jersey will become a gambling afterthought. That’s why I’ve proposed asking the voters to allow gaming in Bergen County. Let’s let the people decide.”