New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is none too happy about the recent outcome in the voting of a referendum to bring casinos to the northern region of the state, calling voters dumb for rejecting the plans.
For months, officials in New Jersey had hoped that a referendum to expand gaming to the northern region of the state would pass into law. Proponents felt that adding gaming to this region would provide additional revenues as well as help Atlantic City. However, voters were not willing to approve the measure and on November 8th, the ballot referendum was rejected. Governor of the state, Chris Christie was not happy with the outcome and has called voters ‘dumb’ to have rejected the plans that he felt would help the state.
On Tuesday, Governor Chris Christie was open about his feelings towards voters after the expansion plans were rejected. Christie said that voters were ‘dumb’ to have rejected the plan and that casinos will move beyond Atlantic City within the next five years. The governor also feels that sports betting will be legalized in the state by 2018, which is the year in which he will leave office.
Christie was a guest on the Boomer and Carton sports radio talk show on WFAN to co-host and this is when he made his comments. A caller had telephoned the station, a Mr. John Coffey, who is the mayor of Oceanport, where Monmouth Park Racetrack is located. Coffey stated in the call that they are getting eaten alive by other states.
Coffey showed support for a new measure that has reached the state Assembly, bill A4255, that would allow the racetracks of New Jersey to provide internet gaming cafes for online gaming activities. This would include the Monmouth Park facility. The cafes would have to be leased by a casino that already operates in the state.
Christie, told Coffey that the plan will not come to fruition as the state had just put a referendum on to have casino gaming expanded into other parts of the state and it failed by 80% of the vote against the plans. It was surprising to see that voters of the state overwhelmingly decided to vote against the measure, not allowing two casinos to be created outside of Atlantic City.
Coffey argued that the people spoke up against that particular legislation and Christie cut him off at this point and stated that residents do not want to see casino gaming in other parts of the state period. The governor pointed out that this is why he is for sports gambling. According to Christie, the government is doing their best to get sports gaming at Monmouth which would help but video gaming terminals will not take place or slots or anything else.
The New Bill
The new internet gaming café bill is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo who has stated that his bill does not circumvent the will of the public, which many believe it does. The public seems to not want to see gambling take place outside of Atlantic City, though Caputo points out that it would be online gaming that would be taking place at the racetracks which is a legal activity throughout New Jersey.
Christie does not necessary seem to be against the internet café measure but he doesn’t think that voters will be in approval since they just shot down the referendum. Christie showed support for the expansion of gaming into the northern portion of the state due to fear that competition from neighboring states would take away gamblers, especially in New York.
Now only time will tell if New Jersey will offer something new or if gaming will remain as-is in the state.