A new poll has revealed that the chances of New Jersey voters approving an upcoming casino-expansion ballot referendum look slim with a full half of respondents expressing their belief that casino gambling in the eastern state should remain confined to Atlantic City.
November will see voters in the eastern state cast their ballot on the New Jersey Allowance For Casinos In Two Additional Counties Amendment, which is also known as Public Question One. If passed, the measure would allow lawmakers to make provisions for two northern counties to have a casino each with the proposed $4 billion Liberty Rising Resort Spa And Casino project for Jersey City set to be among the considered runners.
However, a poll from Rutgers University’s Eagleton Center For Public Interest Polling released on Tuesday revealed that only 35% of respondents supported the measure while the numbers opposed stood at 58% with 7% unsure.
“[We] have been polling on permitting gambling in other parts of the state since 1979 and New Jerseyans across a number of demographics have never warmed to the idea,” said Ashley Koning, Interim Director for the Eagleton Center For Public Interest Polling. “If this pattern continues, there is little hope for the ballot amendment passing.”
The most recent poll from the Eagleton Center For Public Interest Polling additionally revealed that 3% of respondents do not want casino gambling anywhere in New Jersey while a full half favored confining the activity to Atlantic City, which represented a 1% increase from a previous survey in July. To moreover compound the misery of referendum proponents, only 40% of those questioned declared that casinos should be permitted to operate outside of Atlantic City.
Atlantic City has been the only place allowed to operate casinos in New Jersey since 1978 but proponents say that expanding the venues into the north of the state would help to create thousands of new jobs and bring in billions of additional tax dollars. In opposition, critics of the measure explained that expanded gambling would exacerbate the problems of Atlantic City, which has seen five casinos close in recent years, and could cause the city to return to the brink of bankruptcy.