Voters in New Jersey spoke yesterday, overwhelmingly rejecting the expansion of gaming outside of Atlantic City.
In a rather unusual ballot measure, voters in New Jersey were given the opportunity to voice their opinion regarding a proposal to allow two gaming facilities at least 72 miles from Atlantic City. Currently, gaming is only legal in the historic South Jersey resort town.
Proponents of the ballot measure, including Reebok CEO Paul Fireman, highlighted the need for gaming closer to NYC to bring millions of dollars in gaming revenue lost to New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut back to New Jersey. They also boasted the proposal would create thousands of jobs. In a statement Tuesday night, Fireman said his team was “disappointed but not surprised” by the result.
Initial proposals put a casino in Jersey City near the Liberty National Golf Club. Mayor Fulop, though he showed early support, later changed positions following pushback from local residents. Another plan looked to put a casino in the Meadowlands, and most recently, The Berger Organization suggested they’d be interested in opening a gaming facility in Newark.
However, New Jersey voters weren’t buying it. The measure failed dramatically with roughly 78% of voters against gaming expansion. At a time when Atlantic City is on the brink of fiscal failure and state takeover, largely due to its over-reliance on gaming revenue, it was hard for voters to believe the solution was more gaming.
For now, gaming will remain in Atlantic City.