Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) released the following statement on the Atlantic City Summit being held today, as well as the directive issued by the state Attorney General to pave the way for legalized sports betting in New Jersey.
As a prime sponsor of legislation vetoed by Gov. Christie earlier this summer that would have legalized sports betting, Mazzeo applauded the administration’s decision today as a victory for Atlantic City.
“I’m glad to see Governor Christie, legislative leadership, county and city officials, casino and labor leaders and so many others coming together for this absolutely vital discussion on how to better Atlantic City. We know the problems Atlantic City faces aren’t going to be solved in one meeting, but this should serve as the start of an ongoing dialogue between elected officials at all levels, business, labor and the community.
“New Jersey made a commitment to Atlantic City. We owe it to Atlantic City to see out that commitment, including the five-year revitalization plan and keeping gaming only in Atlantic City. Despite the recent closings, we are taking steps to transition from a gaming town to a more all-encompassing tourist destination. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen and our state and Atlantic City will be better for it.
“A key part of this transition is the incorporation of sports betting. Today’s directive is a great victory for Atlantic City. It’s reassuring to see the administration side with us today by issuing a directive to pave the way for legalized sports betting in New Jersey.
“With the legislature, the executive branch and the federal courts now seemingly in agreement on this matter, I hope we can see this become a reality sooner rather than later given the tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue that the state stands to reap from this industry.
“The only way to assure Atlantic City’s comeback is to continue working in concert with one another. It is my hope that the dialogue we are starting today will turn into real progress tomorrow and in the months to follow. We owe it to Atlantic City and the thousands of workers seeking employment to act now to put this historic city back on the path to success.”