The author of the Casino Control Act and chairman of the State of New Jersey Casino Control Commission from 1990 to 1994, Steven P. Perskie, is scheduled to speak at a North Jersey casino forum at The Village Grande at English Mill on Tuesday, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
At the hour-long forum, Perskie, who was responsible for authoring the amendment to the state Constitution that brought casino gambling to “The World’s Famous Playground,” will be discussing the potential impact of casinos in North Jersey. The forum, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm and is sponsored by the Village Grande at English Mill’s Government Liaison Committee, is open to residents over the age of 55, according to the news agency. However, forum goers should not expect an open-ended discussion as North Jersey casino opponents announced last Tuesday that Mr. Perskie had endorsed “Trenton’s Bad Bet” a group funded in part by New York gaming interests who stand to benefit from a “no” vote on an upcoming ballot referendum.
New Jersey voters will decide during the November 8 election whether or not to approve The New Jersey Allowance for Casinos in Two Additional Counties Amendment, also known as Public Question 1, permitting up to two new casinos in North Jersey and effectively ending four decades of casino monopoly in Atlantic City. On the ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, the November referendum specifies that additional casinos would have to be situated at least 72 miles from Atlantic City and in separate counties. Recently, the Trump Taj Mahal became the fifth casino in the resort town to shut down in New Jersey since 2014.
According to the news agency, last year, Deutsche Bank said that as much as $500 million in gambling revenue could be generated by North Jersey casinos. Some proponents of the referendum, as well as opponents, said that there wasn’t sufficient detail regarding Public Question 1, such as tax rates and exact locations.
A recent poll released by Stockton University confirmed that only 27 percent of those surveyed were in support of the referendum to expand casino gambling beyond Atlantic City. Prior to that, after internal polling showed that only 37 percent of voters in the state were in favor of the North Jersey referendum, late last month, Meadowlands Racetrack owner Jeff Gural and billionaire Paul Fireman made the decision to withdraw their support of the ‘Our Turn NJ campaign.” Considered to be a forerunner for the one of the two northern county casinos is Fireman’s proposed $4 billion Liberty Rising Resort Spa and Casino in Jersey City. A second contender, Gural, would likely partner with Hard Rock International to develop a casino at the East Rutherford racetrack facility.
Last week, the New Jersey General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee approved measure ACR-206, which specifically details how any future tax revenues received from the proposed gambling venues would be utilized.