On Monday, January 11, a piece of casino expansion legislation agreed to by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto passed the Senate by a vote of 33-6. The bill, which would result in a ballot question this fall regarding casino expansion, now needs to be passed by the Assembly in order to move on.
An article on the situation by Bloomberg Business has quoted Gov. Christie as saying that the agreement was reached with a “great deal of compromise.”
The bill will need to obtain a three-fifths majority in the Assembly if it is to be passed. The ballot question would then ask New Jersey voters whether they want casino gaming to expand north in the state.
Casino gaming in New Jersey is currently restricted to Atlantic City, located at the southern end of the state. The Meadowlands Racetrack and its partner, Hard Rock, have already unveiled plans for their proposed expansion of the East Rutherford raceway if casino gambling is eventually introduced to the north.
The Bloomberg Business piece explains that casino operators that are currently in business in Atlantic City will get the first right of refusal when it comes to running casinos in the northern end of the state.
The article also states that lawmakers are expected to introduce an resolution to the bill that any new casino initiative would need to involve a $1 billion investment.
(With files from Bloomberg Business)