Atlantic City Rally Today in Opposition of North Jersey Casinos

by Kyle Miller

No North Jersey Casinos Coalition have plans to rally today against casinos moving in to North Jersey.

For months now, the state of New Jersey has been at war, with two sides fighting over whether or not casinos should be allowed in the northern region of the state. On one side, you have individuals and groups who are in favor of seeing casino gaming branch out from Atlantic City. On the other side, you have those who do not want to see gambling expand into other regions of the state. A referendum is set to be voted on this November that will finally decide if two casinos will be added up North. To fight the impending vote, hoping to see NO on the decision, a group is planning a protest today along the Boardwalk.

Preparing for Protest

The No North Jersey Casinos Coalition is planning on hosting a rally today near Boardwalk Hall to show their opposition to the gaming industry moving into the northern region of the state. The coalition is working with the Greater Atlantic City Chamber to host the rally. The rally will actually be live streamed beginning at 10:30 a.m. until noon via the Press of Atlantic City.

Joe Kelly, Greater Atlantic City Chamber PresidentGreater Atlantic City Chamber President Joe Kelly stated that the group does not want weather to be a reason why individuals will not attend the rally. The rally is an opportunity to give stakeholders a reminder of how critically important it is to vote NO on the ballot question which is known as NO. 1. The vote will take place on the 8th and the goal is to actively engage individuals to vote no.

The voter question will determine if two casinos will be constructed in North Jersey and states that the new casinos will have to be in separate counties and be located at minimum, 72 miles from Atlantic City. As the rally takes place, several local officials will be on hand including the Mayor of Atlantic City Don Guardian. The mayor plans on speaking about the gambling expansion impact and how it could affect Atlantic City.

What Could Happen

It is believed that if casinos are added in the northern portion of the state as much as $500 million could be generated in gambling revenues. This would of course help the state which has been struggling, especially in the gaming sector. Atlantic City has been floundering for some time, having lost five casino in the last two years and showing no signs of improving. Online gambling was expected to help with revenue needs and while online casino gaming has done well, along with poker, it just hasn’t been enough.

The state has actually considered taking over Atlantic City’s finances but city officials recently created a plan they hope will be approved and a takeover can be avoided. However, this is yet to be seen. It could be that the restructuring plan is not approved and the state decides to move in anyways, which is not something that officials want to see.

Those who are in approval of the new casinos being added in a region other than Atlantic City believe that the venues will keep the state in competition with neighboring states who are planning casino gaming venues such as New York. However, those who are opposed feel the new venues will take away from the existing casinos in Atlantic City and cause the area to suffer even more financially.

Only time will tell if the rallies and efforts by opponents will pay off. It should be noted that the latest studies on the upcoming vote show that residents of New Jersey are not in favor of the proposal, actually 70% plan on voting NO this election on the measure.