After today’s meeting of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee to discuss Atlantic City’s growth since the state takeover in 2016 and the city’s future, committee chair Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) released the following statement:
“When the state assumed control of Atlantic City in 2016, five of its 12 casinos had shut down and taxes rose significantly in response. The city’s economy was in shambles and the future looked bleak.
“Today, we see a far different Atlantic City. Two casinos have reopened, business has grown and the city has more hope in its future. However, while the health of the casino industry is extremely important, we learned from today’s hearing that we must diversify the city’s economy and find ways to bolster small businesses in order to strengthen Atlantic City as a whole. Doing so is all the more critical in light of the fact that Atlantic City is unlikely to increase its market share due to the proliferation of casinos in neighboring states.
“We also must not forget other challenges ahead of us for Atlantic City, including improving the education system, enhancing recreation and senior programs, addressing homelessness and creating new streams of revenue.
“Before the city is ready to return to local control, we must be certain Atlantic City has the tools it needs to flourish.”