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NEWS 16 March 2016

New Jersey citizens to vote on casino expansion

By Edward Obeng
The New Jersey public will decide whether two casinos can be built in the northern region of the state.

Come November, voters will consider a constitutional amendment which will allow for casinos to be built at least 72 miles beyond Atlantic City.

The decision has been forwarded to residents after proposals were passed by a 54-16 vote in the state Assembly and a 34-6 vote in the Senate this week.

If approved, lawmakers will authorise construction in two counties.

As it stands, current licensed operators within the state will be given priority, however the process would be opened to others if no such offers were made within 60 days.

All bidders must commit $1bn to their project and send a portion of revenue back to Atlantic City.

Supporters believe that new casinos will recapture gambling revenue that is currently going to casinos in neighbouring states.

However opponents fear that the idea could lead to the closure of some of the remaining eight casinos in Atlantic City.

Democrat Vincent Mazzeo, who plans to lobby against the expansion, said: “There’s just not enough gaming dollars to go around.

“Now we’re going to have to go to the next step and talk to the voters and try to knock it down in November.”
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