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New Jersey casino union backs Senate bill

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Sweeney
ntic City’s largest casino workers union is supporting state senate president Steve Sweeney’s plan for a referendum on expanding casinos to northern New Jersey.

Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union opposes casinos outside Atlantic City, but believes that Sweeney’s Senate bill will cause less harm to the city from new in-state casinos, compared to a rival Assembly bill, according to the Associated Press.

Sweeney’s plan would send half the tax revenue from the new casinos to help Atlantic City.

It will also require that both venues be owned by existing Atlantic City casino operators, while the Assembly bill applies that requirement to just one casino.

Union president Bob McDevitt said: "Sweeney is more mindful of the impact on Atlantic City, which lost four of its 12 casinos and more than 8,000 jobs in 2014.

"There are still tens of thousands of New Jersey residents and their families directly dependent on the casino industry in Atlantic City,” he added.

Assembly speaker Vincent Prieto explained that the Assembly bill would allow top casino companies in the world, including Wynn Resorts, to operate in New Jersey for the first time.

Under the Senate bill they would be restricted to a minority partnership in a new casino of no more than 49%.
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