Atlantic City has witnessed a significant slump in the casino industry and as a result, four out of the twelve casinos in Atlantic City have been forced to shut down in the last 18 months. Once a thriving hub for gamblers, Atlantic City casinos have witnessed a steady decline in customers and player spending, making it very difficult for casinos to stay afloat. The competition from the casino industry in neighboring states, especially Pennsylvania has hurt Atlantic City and the state gaming commission is looking for solutions to prevent neighboring casinos from poaching New Jersey gamblers.
Atlantic City casinos have called on Governor Chris Christie to approve a financial assistance package that would help Atlantic City casinos to make it through this rough period. The Casino Association of New Jersey called on Governor Christie for the second time to approve a package of five bills which will give the casino industry a much needed boost and save tax payers money. The casino association said that if Christie does not give them the financial assistance they need, then the casinos revenue will continue to decline and Atlantic City will end up losing around $50 million in combined gambling revenue taxes. This shortage will then be passed on to Atlantic City tax payers who are already overloaded with tax payments.
The union released a statement which read “As the clock continues to tick while we wait for Governor Christie to sign the Atlantic City revitalization legislation, the price of inaction continues to grow and the fate of Atlantic City and the region hang in the balance. If this legislation is not signed this year, Atlantic City will lose approximately $50 million this year. That means the city would need to replace that revenue by other sources – presumably the property taxpayers of Atlantic City.” Atlantic City casinos generate significant revenue for New Jersey which is then used to fund a number of critical projects that are responsible for the development of the garden state.
New Jersey state legislature had rolled out a number of measures in June 2015 but Christie has not made a decision on these bills. The casino association has once again called on Christie to take action without any further delay, reminding him that financial aid to Atlantic City can commence only when the bills get signed. Christie is currently focusing on the U.S. presidential candidate race and has not yet made any commitment as to when he will review the five bills.