WHELAN & BURZICHELLI ANNOUNCE DETAILS FOR INITIAL MEETING OF LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT TO STUDY FUTURE OF NEW JERSEY GAMING, SPORTS & HORSE RACING INDUSTRIES

Lawmakers to Convene in Atlantic City August 6 to Review Recent Report

(TRENTON) — Senator Jim Whelan and Assemblyman John Burzichelli, co-chairs of the legislative summit that will convene Aug. 6 to examine the future of New Jersey’s gaming, sports and horse racing industries, said the panel’s first meeting will be dedicated to reviewing the report issued by the Governor’s special gaming commission on Wednesday. John Hanson, head of the commission, has been invited to attend.

The Hanson Commission report spells out a series of moves for restructuring the way the state’s gaming, horse racing and entertainment centers operate. However, Whelan and Burzichelli said the focus of the summit will be to fill in the report’s gaps and create a comprehensive plan for moving the industry forward through new product offerings.

“The Hanson Commission has given us a foundation upon which we can build a strong future for New Jersey’s sports, gaming and entertainment industries,” said Whelan (D-Atlantic). “More importantly, we need to ensure a truly statewide plan. No matter what part of the state people visit, those tourism dollars help everyone. We need to get beyond the ‘us versus them’ rhetoric and seize this momentum and create that rising tide that will lift all boats.”

“We need to take a close look at this report, dig into the details and fill in the blanks where needed,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem). “This report didn’t go far enough and left a lot of unanswered questions on the futures of our gaming, sports and horse racing industries and the tourism dollars and jobs they create. What’s clear is that we need a statewide plan for these industries built around a strong Atlantic City, and this summit will be a means to make that goal reality.”

Both lawmakers noted that the initial meeting will serve as an overview of the Task Force’s work. Subsequent hearings will go into greater detail about specific proposals, and their impact on the casino, horse-racing and tourism industries in New Jersey.

The first meeting of the gaming summit is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 6, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, Room 411, One Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City.