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Assemblyman Urges Action on Measure to Explore North Jersey Gaming Options

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo today cited the latest projections from Spectrum Gaming Group as a clear need to move forward in passing a measure he has sponsored to explore future gaming prospects for Bergen County.

Spectrum is projecting that revenue at Atlantic City casinos is expected to drop 41 percent in 2011 from its high in 2006, while revenue at regional casinos is surging.

“As the report said, casino patrons are beginning to value convenience over full service gaming destinations. With continuously encroaching competition from New York and Pennsylvania, New Jersey needs to put the pedal to the metal in terms of exploring our options for specialized gaming at the Meadowlands,” said Caputo (D-Essex).

Caputo is the lead sponsor of a measure (AJR65) recently passed with overwhelming support in the Assembly that would create a 13-member “Casino Gaming Study Commission” to explore, among other things, the future prospects for casino expansion to Bergen County. The measure is now awaiting Senate action.

“With each new industry report issued, it’s becoming clear that New Jersey is at risk of being left in the dust when it comes to localized gaming experiences. Atlantic City will always be a prized destination point, but for those that want a quick and easy getaway, perhaps for just a few hours, they are increasingly turning to Pennsylvania and New York for this convenience.

“Meanwhile, we have some of the most prized real estate in the Northeast languishing when we could be capitalizing on the proximity of the Meadowlands to lure patrons from New York City and the surrounding suburbs.

“Now is the time to concentrate on finding the best ways to utilize gaming to boost the North Jersey economy and our state as a whole,” added Caputo.