New Jersey folks oppose new casinos outside Atlantic City
Back in the day, Atlantic City used to be the most profitable gambling hub in the United States, but eventually it was surpassed by Las Vegas. Things have changed a great deal and now the New Jersey casinos are struggling to stay afloat, with very few investors being willing to spend a dime here. It comes as no surprise that state residents are not too thrilled about the prospect of new casinos opening outside Atlantic City, even though their motives vary.
Roughly half of those interviewed say that they are against such a move, with the vast majority of them thinking that the shortcomings of gambling surpass the advantages. Some are concerned about the prospect of gambling addiction setting in, but there are just as many who consider that by opening additional casinos, the competition for those in Atlantic City will only increase. This is a serious reason of concern, because the industry is struggling here and additional competition is the last thing it needs.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who represent almost 40% of those asked, who have nothing against such an expansion. There are plenty of young people who think that this would be a good idea and the reason for why they choose this way is that they realize the importance of more money flowing towards state coffers. The governor and many senators are also contemplating the possibility of granting licenses for those who want to invest in casinos outside of Atlantic City.
This is one of the states that joined Delaware and Nevada in their quest of legalizing online poker and other forms of gambling over the Internet. The wheels have been set in motion and in a not so distant future there might be other states willing to follow their example and the obvious result would be the creation of multistate compacts. When the customer base will grow enough, it will be very difficult for other US states to resist change and they are expected to tag along.
Meanwhile, Atlantic City casinos are closing their doors at an alarming pace and there are many who have filed for bankruptcy. Investors are reluctant to spend money here, especially in the absence of clear legislation and with the regulators being so conflicted. There are obvious benefits for establishing a beachhead in the US market, but many are more interested in launching online ventures.
State officials are fighting a war on two fronts, on one hand trying to convince constituents about the advantages of allowing casinos to be built outside the Atlantic City. They don’t want to lose votes either and even those who are driven by the desire to make radical changes in regulation, think twice before acting. On the other hand they are diligently working towards creating the legal framework for foreign companies to invest here, whether in land-based or online casinos.