Author Topic: Fulop supports Sweeney's casino idea  (Read 48442 times)

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Vote No on casino expansion | Editorial
« Reply #90 on: 10-17-2016, 12:08pm »
Vote No on casino expansion | Editorial
By  Star-Ledger Editorial Board
on October 14, 2016 at 5:15 PM

Everyone agrees that $4 billion in private investment is a great thing, especially if it helps create 43,000 jobs (directly and locally), generates revenue that will help seniors and people with disabilities, and turbocharges the revitalization of Atlantic City.

That's what the proponents of casino expansion say can happen next month if voters approve the constitutional amendment on the ballot, which calls for two more gambling facilities in North Jersey.

So what's not to like?

Drill deeper, and it's not hard to find out.

A prime objective is to help Atlantic City transition to a broader tourist economy by diverting an unspecified share of the revenue generated up north, but the 73-word initiative is so vaguely drawn it's hard to know how quickly that transition will come.

The amendment makes no mention of the tax rate imposed on the new casinos, and Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-Atlantic) accuses legislative leaders of giving developers too much of a voice in that decision: "If this isn't the tail wagging the dog," he says, "I don't know what is."

It also doesn't specify casino locations, and how much the state must contribute for infrastructure. Even though it is widely assumed developers Paul Fireman and Jeff Gural would build in Jersey City and the Meadowlands, they are essentially given free reign and a blank canvas.

And consider: Atlantic City's gaming future already appears dismal, so adding casinos in Bergen and Hudson Counties could cannibalize the market, unless it expedites AC's non-gambling development, job placement programs, and infrastructure improvements.

For these reasons, we encourage voters to vote no on Public Question No. 1 on Nov. 8.

That's already how it's been trending: A Rutgers poll from Sept. 10 has 58 percent opposing casino expansion and only 35 percent approving; a Stockton poll from Sept. 21 has 68 percent opposed. The Fireman-Gural group, known as OUR Turn NJ, has already suspended its ad campaign.

But we also encourage lawmakers and developers to take another crack at it – preferably before the ban on New York City casinos ends in 2020 – because this might be the last chance New Jersey has to keep its disposable income from flowing into neighboring economies.

They can start by heeding the lesson from previous initiatives. In 1974, there was a referendum to establish casinos in unnamed places with proceeds going to state treasury, and it was defeated in a 60-40 rout. Two years later, a referendum specified casinos in Atlantic City - with revenue going towards reducing property taxes and paying utility costs for seniors and the disabled – and it passed easily (56-43).

The next referendum must erase hypotheticals, specify the sites where they'll plant the shovels, and explain the tax structure. That way, it can't be beaten to death by New York-based opposition groups such as Trenton's Bad Bet, which spent $11.3 million warning us that casinos and traffic will soon clog our backyards.

That doubt has come to dominate the referendum debate.

Polling released by OUR Turn NJ showed that only 19 percent of New Jerseyans believe the state is headed in the right direction, that only 10 percent believe that the state can deliver on the estimated $500 million in annual revenue from the new casinos, and 50 percent think that revenue would be filched by politicians "for their own priorities."

Cynical bunch, New Jerseyans.

The Legislature tried to clarify it last month by proposing Assembly Continuing Resolution 206, which Gov. Christie supports. It states that casinos would be located near "appropriate infrastructure" that would minimize "impacts on residents," and that a panel would provide input on selecting the license-holders.

But the ACR still doesn't specify the tax rate, or how much revenue would flow to Atlantic City. And it may be too late to erase electoral doubt.

Voters aren't stupid. Until shown otherwise, they believe that Trenton can't deliver a sound strategy to reshape the gaming tableau, and their skepticism is justified.

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Polls: New Jersey residents oppose casino expansion
« Reply #89 on: 10-03-2016, 01:46pm »
Polls: New Jersey residents oppose casino expansion
NICHOLAS HUBA & CHRISTIAN HETRICK Staff Writers 
Sep 30, 2016

Voters are overwhelmingly opposed to North Jersey casinos, according to recent polling from Stockton University’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy and Trenton’s Bad Bet, a group fighting the ballot question.

The Stockton poll released Friday found that 68 percent of those surveyed oppose the plan to allow two casinos in northern New Jersey, while 27 percent support casino expansion beyond Atlantic City. That poll was conducted with 638 likely New Jersey voters by the Stockton Polling Institute from Sept. 22 to 29. The margin of error is 3.9 percent.

A survey by Trenton’s Bad Bet found the ballot measure losing by 20 points — 36 percent of 600 likely voters were in favor of expanding gaming, while 56 percent were opposed. That poll was conducted Sept. 20 to 21 and has a 4 percent margin of error.

In North Jersey, 63 percent of those surveyed oppose casino expansion, while 74 percent of voters in the state’s eight southern counties also oppose it, according to the Stockton poll.

“These results should provide some comfort to residents of the Atlantic City region, which has seen the loss of 5,400 casino industry jobs since the start of 2014,” said Sharon Schulman, executive director of the Hughes Center. “Clearly the voters — especially those in South Jersey — do not want to see Atlantic City casino competition within the state.”

The polling from Trenton’s Bad Bet showed opposition to North Jersey casinos is being driven by voters’ overwhelming belief that state officials repeatedly break promises to voters, and the North Jersey casinos would be no different. The survey reported that 69 percent of voters believed the “special interests get rich and we pay the price” if North Jersey casinos were to open.

Trenton’s Bad Bet said they will have spent $6 million through Oct. 3 on television ads focusing on not trusting state officials to do the right thing.

Voters will decide whether to approve as many as two casinos in North Jersey during the Nov. 8 election. The ballot question states the new casinos must be in separate counties and at least 72 miles from Atlantic City, where four casinos closed in 2014 and another, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, is set to close Oct. 10. Deutsche Bank said last year that North Jersey casinos could generate $500 million in gambling revenue.

Possible casino locations being discussed, if the referendum is approved, include Jersey City and the Meadowlands.

Further details about the exact location of the casinos wouldn’t change the opinion of the majority of those surveyed, according to the poll. More than half of those surveyed said knowing the specific locations would have no impact on their vote.

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Developer touts casino plan as 'windfall' for Jersey City
« Reply #88 on: 09-13-2016, 08:21am »
Developer touts casino plan as 'windfall' for Jersey City
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on September 12, 2016 at 12:08 PM, updated September 12, 2016 at 2:25 PM

JERSEY CITY — Voters here in Jersey City are getting some special attention from Paul Fireman.

Fireman, the former head of Reebok International whose net worth stands at $1.03 billion, wants to build a casino just south of Liberty State Park. With the new ad campaign Our Turn NJ, he's hoping to convince New Jersey voters, and those in Jersey City especially, to approve a referendum on November's ballot that would expand casino gaming outside of Atlantic City.

Though Fireman, 72, hails from Massachusetts and lives now in Palm Beach, he is no stranger to Jersey City: he owns the posh Liberty National Golf Club, which opened in 2006 and has attracted luminaries like former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Sitting in a conference room last week on the first floor of Liberty National's clubhouse, Fireman said he believes the opposition to bringing casino gaming to Jersey City is misguided. Dismissing the word casino, Fireman said his plan is to build a $3 billion, two-tower resort called Liberty Rising that includes a hotel, restaurants, a spa and, yes, a casino with about 6,000 slots and 500 tables.

"It's going to be an icon," he said. "This thing's going to stand out like a beacon of energy."

Opposition to a Jersey City casino has focused on concerns over traffic and problems critics say casinos attract, like prostitution and vagrancy. Fireman dismissed those objections.

[...]

Fireman focused on what he said are the monetary benefits his resort would bring to Jersey City and its population: up to 9,000 construction jobs and 6,000 jobs with the resort, all union gigs. He also said the resort would bring Jersey City $65 million in taxes and fees in the first year and $3.9 billion over the course of 30 years, money he said could help pay for programs and services in the city's most impoverished neighborhoods. The city's budget was $571 million this year.

[...]

The statewide referendum, if approved, would allow two new casinos to open in North Jersey. A second casino is planned for the Meadowlands in East Rutherford. Democrats in North Jersey have largely backed the referendum, which has the support of labor unions as well.

Fireman has been targeting state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle with campaign donations. Last year, he gave a total of $45,900 to 16 legislators.

Bill Cortese, spokesman for anti-casino expansion group Trenton's Bad Bet, told The Jersey Journal that Fireman's statements "reject reality and push a false narrative" that North Jersey casinos will not have adverse effects on their home communities.

"What gaming expansion supporters aren't telling people is that new casinos will worsen already nightmarish conditions on New Jersey roads and completely ignore the nearly bankrupt transportation fund which has brought infrastructure upgrades to a standstill," Cortese said.

Some of the funding behind Trenton's Bad Bet comes from the Genting Group, which operates a Queens virtual casino.

Mayor Steve Fulop, a Democrat who is widely expected to seek his party's nomination for governor next year, made headlines in April when his formerly firm support of gaming expansion and Fireman's casino plan in particular softened after a trip to Atlantic City, whose leadership is opposed to casino expansion.

Fulop, who said he would oppose issuing city permits and zoning approvals to Fireman even if November's referendum passes statewide but loses with Jersey City voters, said the $65 million Fireman says will flow into city coffers from Liberty Rising doesn't sway him.

"That's a big dollar amount but it doesn't necessarily offset some of the concerns with regard to challenges that it brings, whether it's crime or prostitution or traffic," Fulop said. "I need to get to a place of understanding where casinos have been a benefit to any municipality that's been a host. It's hard to find one."

Asked what he will do if Jersey City voters approve the referendum, Fulop said, "People aren't going to be supportive of it. If I'm wrong then I'll work with the people of Jersey City and do what they want."
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As North Jersey casino question looms, pro-Jersey City casino website launches
September 6, 2016 - Jersey City, News - Written by John Heinis

With New Jersey residents set to decide whether or not casino gaming will come to North Jersey on November 8, a new website is advocating for a 90-story hotel and casino complex known as Liberty Rising in Jersey City.

“Liberty Rising is a world-class resort with gaming that will bring jobs and economic opportunity to Jersey City and the surrounding region,” according to a website created by Our Turn NJ.

The $4 billion luxury complex, the brainchild of billionaire Reebok founder Paul Fireman, would potentially be located at 100 Caven Point Road – which is south of Liberty State Park and between an industrial area and Liberty National Golf Course.

The website says that the project would not disrupt residential areas near LSP or impact traffic on the Jersey City waterfront and would also provide easy access to the NJ Turnpike and Manhattan.

Furthermore, Our Turn NJ states that the large-scale entertainment center would be 100 percent privately funded, create 9,000 union construction jobs, as well as “6,000 resort operation jobs.”

Back in January, Hudson County View first reported that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, an expected Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said that a local casino would bring “a revenue boon” to the city, creating anywhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.

After a spring visit to Atlantic City, Fulop backtracked on his pro casino stance, stating he would support North Jersey casino gaming – just not in Jersey City, leading to a heated Twitter exchange with state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) back in April.

Lesniak, who is also mulling a run for governor, said then that he’d be all for a facility like Liberty Rising coming to Elizabeth – the largest municipality in his legislative district.

Lesniak, state Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D-3), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13), state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11), among many others, are pictured with quotes favorable to expanding gaming outside of Atlantic City on a section of the website titled “Our Support.” Read more

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Fulop clarifies stance on casino expansion after TV ad
« Reply #86 on: 08-05-2016, 03:28pm »
Fulop clarifies stance on casino expansion after TV ad
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on August 05, 2016 at 7:02 AM, updated August 05, 2016 at 9:05 AM

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop is clarifying his stance on expanding casino gaming into north Jersey in response to a new television spot from a Bloomfield-based ironworkers union that blasts Fulop for seeming to waffle on the issue.

Fulop told The Jersey Journal Wednesday he supports expanding casinos outside of Atlantic City but is opposed to opening a gaming facility in Jersey City. Previous comments from Fulop that indicated he may oppose casino expansion entirely were "taken out of context," he said.

"My vote has always been in support," Fulop said. "Expanding beyond the borders of Atlantic City can be a good thing for the state of New Jersey ... people in Jersey City are really not in favor."

The new ad, from Iron Workers Local 11, urges viewers to call Fulop to get him on the casino bandwagon. It is one of at least two pro-expansion ads that began airing in New Jersey this week.

The anti-Fulop ad is a likely preview of the next gubernatorial race: state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, an ex-ironworker, is expected to compete with Fulop for the Democratic nod for governor in 2017.

A ballot question in November will ask voters whether the state constitution should be amended to allow two casinos outside Atlantic City. Supporters say the casinos would create jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to help save Atlantic City. Read more

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Re: Fulop supports Sweeney's casino idea
« Reply #85 on: 05-17-2016, 10:33am »
Hizzoner wants your vote input!

The poll is a simple yes/no/not sure and requires a name & email to submit.

:fulop: "During the past few months, we have seen an extensive debate take place throughout New Jersey on the expansion of casino gaming into northern New Jersey.

As we continue to watch this issue unfold, we felt as though an important voice in this debate was being left out. That voice is you.

An important part of leadership is taking the time to listen to feedback, and being willing to learn more about an issue that will impact Jersey City, and the region, in a big way.

I am committed to gaining a better understanding on how residents throughout the state feel about casino gaming in North Jersey. This is a decision that will impact all of us.

Please fill out the survey to share your thoughts on this issue.

 

ONLY THE SURVEY RESPONSES WILL BE COUNTED PLEASE.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Fields marked with an * are required

Name *
Email *
Town *
DO YOU SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF CASINO GAMING INTO NORTHERN NEW JERSEY? *
YES
NO
NOT SURE

 
Comments
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PAID FOR BY STEVEN FULOP FOR MAYOR 2017, P.O. BOX 13025, JERSEY CITY, NJ, 07303, NANCY WARLIKOWSKI, TREASURER

« Last Edit: 05-17-2016, 10:37am by CeeDub »

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Jersey City Mayor Visits Atlantic City to Talk Casinos
« Reply #84 on: 04-15-2016, 01:59pm »
From NJTV News:

Jersey City Mayor Visits Atlantic City to Talk Casinos
4-13-16
By Briana Vannozzi
Correspondent

In politics, timing is everything. So it came as no surprise to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop that speculation was circulating about his trip to Atlantic City today, just a day after Gov. Chris Christie took jabs at the gubernatorial hopeful on his home turf.

“As I think as our staff has often said, he has this strange obsession with Jersey City and myself dating back to Bridgegate. So none of the is new. I regret not being here earlier and talking to some of those residents,” Fulop said.

Fulop came to talk casinos. Specifically, what value they could bring to North Jersey, and at what detriment to the south.

Fulop tweeted this morning that the visit could change his position. Has it?

“So it was impactful and I got to do some more of these sort of conversations in different environments. What I found is I try to balance what’s in Jersey City’s best interest, what’s in North Jersey’s best interest. I’m obviously conscious of the impact to Atlantic City,” he said.

Fulop has been a long-time supporter of building casinos in the north. The state Legislature approved a constitutional amendment last month, allowing voters to decide if as many as two casinos should be built elsewhere in the state.

“I think Jersey City will have a huge say about the direction of that ballot referendum ultimately,” Fulop said.

“It was very important the he heard first hand because who better, in the state of New Jersey, to talk about gaming than Atlantic City? We currently have a monopoly and hopefully that will continue,” said Atlantic City Council President Marty Small.

Small says he orchestrated the gathering after Fulop reached out to initiate. He invited lifelong residents, fellow city council members and workers associated with the casino industry. They broke bread at a local eatery.

“We didn’t talk about the governor’s race. We didn’t talk about relationships. It was a historical perspective on people telling me about 18-year-olds back in the day aspiring to work at a casino instead of wanting to go to college,” Fulop said.

As they met and prepped for a jitney bus tour of the city, news broke of yet another compromise bill put out by Senate President Sweeny. This time giving the city 120 days to meet state demands before a takeover would go into effect.

“I am not prepared to comment on the bill but I find it rather ironic but that’s a story for another day. That a bill softening the blow on Atlantic City drops while we’re meeting with Mayor Fulop. You can connect the dots if you will,” Small said.

“If we decide — and we have more meetings to do in Jersey City — that this is not in Jersey City’s best interest, we’re not going to leave anything up to chance. We’re going to kill it and we’re going to kill it aggressively,” Fulop said.

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Experts urge caution on expanding casinos to north Jersey
« Reply #83 on: 02-01-2016, 12:49pm »
As state lawmakers push to expand casino gaming outside of Atlantic City, some economists and public-policy experts are urging them to slow down.

With a shrinking customer base and a "saturated market," these experts say, it's uncertain that casinos in Jersey City and East Rutherford — two of the proposed locations — would attract many gamblers who would otherwise head to casinos in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

"If you build it, it doesn't mean the customers will come," said Deb Figart, a distinguished professor of economics at Stockton University.

Voters will ultimately decide in November. A measure expected to be approved by the state Legislature would place a question on the ballot asking voters whether the New Jersey constitution should be amended to allow casinos outside of Atlantic City.

Democratic lawmakers are largely in favor of the ballot initiative, and it became a top priority in the waning days of the last state Assembly session. Sheila Reynertson, a senior policy analyst for left-leaning think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective, said that's because state legislators "without a doubt" spoke only to pro-casino voices, not dissenting opinions, as they rushed to get the initiative on November's ballot.

"The big winners are not going to be your everyday people who need work," Reynertson said. "It's going to be the developers, gaming manufacturers, casino owners ... and that's it. Long-term, I think it's irresponsible for the legislators to push this as an economic driver for everyday New Jerseyans."

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Re: Fulop supports Sweeney's casino idea
« Reply #82 on: 01-11-2016, 04:21pm »
Sign petition to stop JC from allowing a casino by Liberty State Park.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2016/01/petition_calls_for_fulop_to_reject_jersey_city_cas.html

An online petition is seeking supporters to send a message to Mayor Steve Fulop: reject plans for a casino in Jersey City.

Fulop backs expanding casino gambling outside South Jersey. There is already a proposal to bring a casino to just outside Liberty State Park.

"Research has shown that casinos have a negative impact on local property values and derive a disproportionate amount of revenue from vulnerable, often elderly, problem gamblers," the petition reads. "Our elected officials should embrace sustainable, socially responsible economic development and unambiguously reject any plan to build a casino in our city."

Aaron Morrill, formerly the head of good-government group Civic JC, started the petition.

A request for comment from Fulop's spokeswoman was not returned.

State lawmakers had been bickering over competing versions of a bill that would allow voters in November to decide whether to amend the state constitution to allow gaming outside of Atlantic City.
TheFang: yeah, i gotta agree with jehu here

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stephen: Hmm… I'm as clueless as you are.

Darna: could someone please splain to me why a person in a gang is called a gangbanger but a gangbang has nothing to do with gang activity?

shahaggy: can't believe I'm saying this but +1 jehu

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[01:35 PM] shahaggy: fine but jehu's correct

TheFang: as much as it pains me to say, jehu might be right.

One time, I hired a monkey to take notes for me in class. I would just sit back with my mind completely blank while the monkey scribbled on little pieces of paper. At the end of the week, the teacher said, "Class, I want you to write a pape

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:fulop: :Expand gaming in state but do it the right way
« Reply #81 on: 01-05-2016, 09:55am »
:fulop: 's OpEd in the Bergen Record.

   
Expand gaming in state but do it the right way
January 5, 2016    Last updated: Tuesday, January 5, 2016, 1:21 AM
By STEVEN M. FULOP
The Record

DURING the past few weeks there has been talk in Trenton about the potential for casino expansion in Jersey City and Bergen and Essex counties. It is great to see this discussion, as I have been on the record for more than two years as a supporter of the expansion of gaming in northern New Jersey, if it is done fairly and transparently.

For decades, New Jersey has allowed Atlantic City to have a statewide monopoly on gaming. This monopoly has been a failure. Now, after casinos have opened in Pennsylvania and New York, Senate President Sweeney has offered a proposal that violates the two necessary components for legislation, which are transparency and fairness.

Regarding transparency, one must question why Sweeney won't allow any operator to bid on the potential North Jersey casino licenses. Instead, he is limiting the potential operators to those who currently operate only in South Jersey. Why not invite bids as broadly as possible — to everyone — ensuring the best proposal for the entire state of New Jersey? If a South Jersey operator wants to cross-promote, why not have him make the best proposal for New Jersey? Wouldn't that be in the best interest of the entire state?

Lack of incentives

What would the incentive be for a South Jersey operator to build a world-class casino in North Jersey, competing with his own interests in South Jersey, as proposed in the Sweeney legislation? After mulling over these questions, it is fairly evident that South Jersey casino operators wouldn't enter into competition against themselves in North Jersey, and instead the Sweeney bill would guarantee North Jersey low-income-generating casinos, which are exclusive to slot machines, hindering potential revenue.

Regarding fairness, any resident of Bergen, Essex or Hudson counties, or the remaining communities in North Jersey, would agree that legislation allowing expanded gaming in North Jersey should prioritize and serve the residents of those communities in which casinos would be built. After all, Jersey City, Bergen County and Newark each have challenges that encompass public safety, taxes, infrastructure and quality of life. Just like Atlantic City, the communities of North Jersey have needs for resources.

Burdens

If two casinos are erected in North Jersey, it is obvious that many of the civic burdens that we address on a daily basis will be exacerbated by the crowds that the two casinos will attract. This concept seems fairly obvious and should be remembered as we examine legislation. Sweeney's proposal would take 50 percent of the revenue from North Jersey casinos and give it to only one city in South Jersey, while the other 564 municipalities in New Jersey would share the remaining 50 percent of revenue. I think any New Jersey resident would agree that this doesn't seem like a fair formula.

As the mayor of Jersey City, it is my primary focus to ensure that local residents are not being bilked by outside interests. I reiterate my support for two North Jersey casinos that benefit the residents of the host communities, if the process is transparent and fair. But we must do this the right way.

Steven M. Fulop is mayor of Jersey City.

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North Jersey casino backers plan ad blitz
« Reply #79 on: 08-03-2015, 09:37am »
North Jersey casino backers plan ad blitz
Public skeptical of allowing casinos outside Atlantic City.

By Matt Friedman
8/3/15 6:07 AM EDT

New Jersey voters this year were spared an ad blitz on allowing casinos outside of Atlantic City. They likely won’t be so lucky next year.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat from Gloucester County, killed an effort to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year, but voters will likely be asked in 2016 whether they want to allow at least two casinos north of Atlantic City. And backers of building casinos in northern New Jersey are planning to spend $10 million to $15 million on advertising to convince a skeptical public to side with them.

“I think we would have to,” said Meadowlands Racetrack operator Jeff Gural, who’s partnering with Hard Rock on a proposed casino on the property in East Rutherford.

Expanding casino gambling beyond Atlantic City would be no small feat. A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll in June found 56 percent of New Jersey residents opposed allowing casino gambling outside the confines of the south Jersey resort. Just 37 percent favored it.

“From what I see when we do polling, if you simply ask the question, ‘Are you in favor of expanding gambling?'—the immediate reaction is no. Why would we expand gambling because Atlantic City is doing bad? Why add casinos?” Gural said. “But when we say, 'Would you be in favor at the Meadowlands if we give the state $500 million a year and some of that money would go to help Atlantic City recover and rebuild?'—then it would be a positive.

“The key to us to get the referendum passed is to get the message out,” Gural said. “If we can’t get the message out, it will lose.”

If other states' experiences are any guide, $10 million to $15 million may be a conservative estimate of how much could be spent on ads to convince the public. In Maryland, gambling interests in 2012—both for and against a gambling measure—spent a combined $90 million, according to the Washington Post.

Could it be that much in New Jersey?

"I hope not," Gural said.

But the presidential election in 2016 will make it “100 percent harder” for the referendum to pass than it would have been this year, when the top ballot contest is state Assembly and turnout is expected to be extremely low, Gural said.

“It was a terrible mistake not going in 2015. I think it would have passed easily in 2015. I think 2016 is harder because it’s more expensive and getting your message out is that much harder because you’re competing with a presidential and congressional election,” Gural said.

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Voters won't get to vote on casino expansion in N.J.
« Reply #78 on: 07-15-2015, 12:35pm »
Voters won't get to vote on casino expansion in N.J.
The Associated Press
on July 15, 2015 at 8:02 AM, updated July 15, 2015 at 8:11 AM

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey voters will not be asked this November to decide whether to expand casino gambling beyond Atlantic City.

Senate President Steve Sweeney confirmed in a telephone interview the clock on the procedural calendar ran out on Tuesday, meaning the referendum will not be on the ballot this year.

The development comes after Sweeney earlier expressed skepticism about a plan introduced in the Assembly to expand gambling to Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties, saying he preferred a more deliberative process before putting the question to voters. While he has indicated support for northern New Jersey gambling, Sweeney has also called for a plan to help Atlantic City, which is struggling economically and saw four casinos close in 2014.

"I said all along there needed to be a public discussion," Sweeney said. "What we want to make sure is if there is an expansion, Atlantic City is taken care of."

Legislators must pass a bill by Aug. 3 for the issue to be on November's ballot. Such a provision must sit for 20 days in each chamber after introduction. That put the deadline for introduction on Tuesday.

"Just do the math," Sweeney said.

Democratic Assemblyman Ralph Caputo supported a bill to expand gambling in northern New Jersey and said he expected the issue would not be on the ballot since his provision did not advance in the Democratic-controlled Legislature. But he is not resigned to defeat.

"It is what it is," Caputo said. "Meaning we're not going to give up on this issue. ... It's going to be back on the agenda." Read more

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Jersey City residents debate whether North Jersey casinos plan is worth a gamble
By Caitlin Mota | The Jersey Journal
on June 11, 2015 at 7:31 AM

While some are ready to test their luck in a Jersey City casino, many fear the city's infrastructure cannot accommodate the venue and the city will be negatively impacted by its presence.

Casino gambling is limited to Atlantic City, but a trio of lawmakers has proposed a bill that would allow casinos to be built in Hudson, Bergen and Essex Counties.

The plan, which is being sponsored by Assembly members Ralph Caputo, D-Belleville, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Englewood, and Raj Mukherji, D-Jersey City, does not specify where the casinos would be located. However, plans have been floated for the Meadowlands and near Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City as potential locations.

But not everyone in Jersey City is on board with the plan.

"There's no plan in place to make sure there isn't garbage on the street, how are we going to handle a casino?" said Jessica Silver, 46, of Downtown Jersey City.

[...]

Last week, Mukherji estimated between 20,000 and 30,000 new jobs being created as a result of the north Jersey casinos. But Fletcher Gensamer, a Downtown Jersey City resident, said those numbers are inflated, pointing to the 2011 construction of Revel Casino in Atlantic City, which he said only created 2,100 construction jobs and about 3,000 jobs in the casino.

"The numbers don't add up," said Gensamer, 44.

With the recent crime in Jersey City some residents are concerned building a casino would shift city officials' attention away from existing issues in the community.

Gensamer, who is mulling a run for city council in 2017, said building a casino in Greenville would inflate existing problems in that section of the city.

"It's like a magnet for even more violence," Gensamer said. Read more

Offline shahaggy

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Jersey City residents ready to roll the dice with a casino
« Reply #76 on: 06-02-2015, 10:03am »
Jersey City residents are ready to hit the jackpot.

With a bill that would allow voters to approve giving the Legislature authority to establish casinos in Hudson, Bergen, and Essex counties, residents are hoping they will be able to roll the dice and play the slots close to home.

Overwhelmingly, people interviewed yesterday in different parts of the city said bringing casinos to Hudson County and North Jersey is a sure winner.

"I think it would be great," said Latisha Palmer, 29, of Jersey City. "It's something different to do in the area."

The current state constitution only allows for casino gambling in Atlantic City. For many people in Hudson County, traveling more than 120 miles to gamble is too much of a hassle.

read more
[04:53 PM] Soshin: I don't think I've ever had fig spread Darna but I like figs and they make my sphincter sing power ballads

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[02:28 PM] propscene: I DPON"T MEAN I LOVE YOU DEEP INSIDE AS MUCH AS I LOVE HIM DEEP INSIDE OH GOD

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Family of man who wants to build Jersey City casino donated $7,800 to Sweeney
The Auditor | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on April 29, 2015 at 12:02 PM, updated April 29, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Just how much has state Senate President Stephen Sweeney changed his stance on expanding casino gaming to north Jersey?

Enough, apparently, to prompt the family of Paul Fireman, who wants to build a mega casino in Jersey City, to donate to his campaign fund.

Fireman's wife, son and daughter-in-law each donated $2,600 to Sweeney's (D-Gloucester) reelection fund in March, campaign finance records show.

Until last year, Sweeney had long opposed allowing casinos outside of Atlantic City. But the collapse of the casino industry there caused him to rethink his position. Instead, Sweeney has said he's open to allowing a couple casinos in northern New Jersey, if they provide hundreds of millions of dollars a year to help redevelop Atlantic City.

"I'm not dead-set against it," Sweeney said. "I didn't announce that we needed to do casinos in northern new Jersey because of Paul Fireman or anyone else. Atlantic City needs help. I was part of the five-year deal with the governor to fix Atlantic City. You see it's not working that well."

To make that happen, voters would need to approve a constitutional amendment. The Legislature could put that on the ballot this year with a three-fifths majority vote, though Sweeney said he's not sure he would want it in what's expected to be a low-turnout November election.

"We've got to figure out when we're going to do it. Because the reality is we're going to have a low-turnout election. So do you do it this year or next year?" Sweeney said. Read more

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Officials making their pitches for a New Jersey casino
« Reply #74 on: 12-23-2014, 01:28pm »
This looks like it might could happen :o



Officials making their pitches for a New Jersey casino
DECEMBER 20, 2014, 11:52 PM
LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2014, 9:34 AM
BY JOHN BRENNAN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD


As lawmakers in Trenton hash out the details of a referendum that could allow casino gambling to expand beyond Atlantic City, a rush has started among North Jersey officials touting their turf as the best location to guarantee financial success for the state.

“There’s only one place that every major casino operator in the country already has come to check out, and that’s Jersey City,” said Steve Fulop, the mayor of Hudson County’s seat.

“It’s not rocket science,” he added. “We’re closest to Manhattan. A casino here would be the highest-grossing in North America, bigger than any Las Vegas casino.”


Jim Kirkos, the head of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, counters that the Sports Complex is the right spot. The American Dream, Izod Center, MetLife Stadium — as well as a potential convention center — will ensure a steady stream of both locals and visitors on a daily basis to a site that offers its own mass-transit access from Manhattan.

The Meadowlands and Jersey City have a clear head start, but locations in Essex, Monmouth and Sussex counties also have been raised as possibilities in various quarters.

The referendum under discussion, which would go before the voters in November, is expected to focus on two key points: ending Atlantic City’s statewide monopoly on casinos, and explaining that a portion of revenues from North Jersey casinos would go to support the struggling seaside resort and its casino industry. The latter could prove crucial in drumming up support among South Jersey politicians as well as residents.

But negotiations and maneuvering are taking place as well on other issues, such as the number of casino licenses that could be issued, the exact geographic boundaries, and how locations will ultimately be chosen and by what criteria.

State Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, a longtime champion of a Meadowlands casino, is convinced that the Legislature would approve issuing only two licenses after a successful referendum. Whether the ballot question itself will specify the number of licenses — or the exact tax rate imposed on any new casinos — is unclear at this point.

“We’ll have some sort of geographical boundary, whether it’s north of the Driscoll Bridge [in Middlesex County] or a listing of eligible counties,” Sarlo said. “We’d be looking for the most tax revenues, someone who can build immediately, and have their financing in place. And this is open bidding. The Meadowlands [Sports Complex], Jersey City is a viable option, Secaucus, Newark — there are lots of viable options, and we should not rule out any of them.”

State Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, the leading gambling expansion proponent in Trenton, agreed, although he has expressed skepticism that Newark could attract a casino plan on the scale of the Meadowlands or Jersey City.

“Most jobs created, most revenue generated, most investment made,” Lesniak said, enumerating what he considered the most important criteria in selecting potential proposals.

Fulop was confident his city would emerge on top no matter what process is followed. “Open bidding is fine, because from an economic standpoint, [a Jersey City proposal] would be the front-runner,” said Fulop, adding that some preliminary casino proposals that have been discussed with him are “approaching $1 billion.” A $4.6 billion multiuse project in Jersey City proposed this summer by real estate investor Paul Fireman would include not only a casino but also a convention center, 95-story hotel, and a motor-sports stadium, among other attractions.

Kirkos said that the ballot question should “not be about politics, and not about geography,” but based on what makes the most economic sense.

“If you make a business case for where a gaming facility has the most likelihood of success, that’s the Meadowlands Sports Complex,” Kirkos said. “That’s a long-term success, even if other gambling locations come about.”

Fulop said that casino executives looking at Jersey City have not seemed overly concerned about potential competition from a Manhattan casino after New York’s moratorium on such an option expires in 2022.

“What we’ve seen with the high-end Vegas venues is that the most successful ones create an experience not just from the gaming,” Fulop said. “These would be a destination-style world-class venue, not just some dumb slot machines.”


Tax rate issue

A key element of the equation is how much money possible locations would generate for the state and what tax they would pay, in part to help support Atlantic City, a city that has lost four of its 12 casinos this year while another, Trump Taj Mahal, may close soon as well.

New York’s tax rate for three upstate casinos approved on Wednesday — the closest one in the Catskills — is about 40 percent for slot-machine revenues and 10 percent for table games. Atlantic City casino operators pay just 8 percent on their gross gaming revenues, which historically led to far more elaborate development than in higher-tax states such as Pennsylvania.

Fulop said prospective bidders for a Jersey City location have been far more focused on the magnitude of potential revenues from a casino so close to Manhattan than on whatever tax rate they would have to pay.

Still, the insistence by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, that a portion of North Jersey casino tax revenues be redirected to Atlantic City raises the possibility of a higher tax up north. Meadowlands Racetrack operator Jeff Gural, meanwhile, has expressed a willingness to pay as much as 50 percent in tax if he can operate a casino at the Sports Complex.

Fulop said would-be operators in Jersey City “don’t care” if the Meadowlands also gets a casino and predicted there would be little cannibalization.

Kirkos, too, did not object to having a gambling neighbor of sorts.

“If there’s a Jersey City waterfront high-end casino for only high-rollers, would that make sense?” he asked. “Perhaps. But that’s very different from having a casino at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.”

Casino ballot language talks in the first quarter of 2015, led by Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus, will feature Bergen and Hudson counties on a list of potential locations, officials agreed.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo reportedly wrote a letter this month to Sweeney, Prieto, and Governor Christie — a reliable political ally — pitching Newark as a casino site given its own mass transportation access to Manhattan.

Other pitches have been made from Morris and Sussex county officials, but both would be considered long shots against the other potential contenders. State Sen. Steven Oroho, R-Sussex, has suggested that a European-style “boutique casino” might be a good choice at a local resort or winery in the northwestern part of the state.

Dennis Drazin, the operator of Monmouth Park racetrack, has suggested that his Oceanport oval could be a good spot for a casino, but he conceded that seems unlikely, “reading the tea leaves.”

Both Sarlo and Lesniak have said that, just 80 miles up the Atlantic coast, Monmouth Park is too close to Atlantic City.

But Drazin said that the horsemen are optimistic that they would receive a share of revenues from any Meadowlands casino along with Gural’s harness racing colleagues.

Passage of a referendum next November would have to be followed by a vote in the Legislature, and Drazin said he believes Monmouth and Ocean county legislators would seek financial aid to help keep his track open in order to support such a bill.

Sarlo said that “the horsemen clearly need to be protected” if more competition for gambling dollars arrives north of Atlantic City.

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Trump Plaza becomes 4th casino in Atlantic City to close this year
By The Associated Press
on September 17, 2014 at 7:55 AM
   
ATLANTIC CITY — Beset by crushing debt, fleeing customers and run-down facilities, Trump Plaza yesterday became the fourth casino in Atlantic City to shut down this year.

The 30-year-old casino at the heart of the Boardwalk had been the town's worst performing for years. It won about the same amount from gamblers this year as the market-leading Borgata takes in every two weeks.

Trump Plaza is the latest victim of casino contraction brought on by competition in neighboring states in the saturated northeastern U.S. gambling market. Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos; it now has eight. The Atlantic Club, Showboat and Revel also closed, and the Taj Mahal could be next on Nov. 13.

Theresa Volpe, a cocktail server at the Plaza for 26 years, is looking for a new job — along with about 8,000 others suddenly cut loose by Atlantic City's casinos since January. An unemployment assistance session will be held today at Boardwalk Hall.

"I don't know if we're going to have a difficult time because of our age," she said. "Someone in their 50s is not necessarily what they want. Friends have been on interviews and they never get called back."

Donald Trump told The Associated Press that he "will be taking a very serious look" at buying back the company after it declared bankruptcy this month and that the decision will come down to price. He said he would then have to determine whether Trump Plaza is "viable" and worth re-opening.

Trump owns a 9 percent stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts and went to court last month to try to get his name removed from the properties.

Unlike Revel, which opened just over two years ago and was considered new and luxurious before closing, or the still-profitable Showboat, shuttered by its owner in the name of reducing competition for the remaining casinos in town, the demise of Trump Plaza could be seen a long way off.

Gamblers have been abandoning it for newer, ritzier casinos for years. Its owners, Trump Entertainment Resorts, let it deteriorate in recent years, particularly after a sale for the bargain-basement price of $20 million to a California firm fell through last year.

Offline Bobblehead

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Re: Fulop supports Sweeney's casino idea
« Reply #72 on: 08-19-2014, 07:20pm »
New band name: The Voice of Alb.
Sanctimonious bleater.

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Offline TheFang

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Seems the real reason Vegas works is because of the legalized sex-work not the gambling. And if we want to start legalizing sex work in LSP and the Meadowlands, to help out AC, I think that might be a better way to go about it.

In my head, I'm hearing this in the voice of alb.


:rofl:
"I can't help it, I'm a greedy slob. It's my hobby." -- D.D.

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Seems the real reason Vegas works is because of the legalized sex-work not the gambling. And if we want to start legalizing sex work in LSP and the Meadowlands, to help out AC, I think that might be a better way to go about it.

In my head, I'm hearing this in the voice of alb.


Not that I know what alb sounds like, mind you. :nerd:

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Re: Fulop supports Sweeney's casino idea
« Reply #69 on: 08-19-2014, 11:50am »
This could work if we had another couple of train tunnels in the Hudson, and a PATH/HBLR integrated with the MTA with service to Secaucus & EWR.

OH, wait, we don't have that.

Offline TheFang

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I'm not necessarily against one part of the state helping out the other part of the state, that's how a civilization works after all, but it just seems a wee bit shortsighted to think casinos would produce the revenue to do it. Especially since they didn't do it there? And is the only thing that they're really saying made the AC casinos fail was just that they weren't close enough to NYC?


I have no problem with gambling, don't really understand it, but don't care about other adults doing it, but casinos just seem stupid everywhere they are. Seems the real reason Vegas works is because of the legalized sex-work not the gambling. And if we want to start legalizing sex work in LSP and the Meadowlands, to help out AC, I think that might be a better way to go about it.


Yep.

“The proposal for a megacasino at the Jersey City site” and a slot parlor in the Meadowlands, Mr. Lesniak said, “could produce in excess of a billion dollars over 10 years to be reinvested in Atlantic City.”[/color]

Atlantic City, the city that was supposed to be "saved" by the arrival of casino gambling, needs a bailout from the rest of the state. Casinos are closing up shop and leaving the city behind, and someone else gets to pay to keep the city on life support.
"I can't help it, I'm a greedy slob. It's my hobby." -- D.D.

Offline Bobblehead

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Yep.

“The proposal for a megacasino at the Jersey City site” and a slot parlor in the Meadowlands, Mr. Lesniak said, “could produce in excess of a billion dollars over 10 years to be reinvested in Atlantic City.”[/color]

Atlantic City, the city that was supposed to be "saved" by the arrival of casino gambling, needs a bailout from the rest of the state. Casinos are closing up shop and leaving the city behind, and someone else gets to pay to keep the city on life support.
Sanctimonious bleater.

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Online jehu

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Re: Fulop supports Sweeney's casino idea
« Reply #66 on: 08-19-2014, 11:26am »
So we get a Casino to help out Atlantic City?   :nuts:
TheFang: yeah, i gotta agree with jehu here

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Re: Fulop supports Sweeney's casino idea
« Reply #66 on: 08-19-2014, 11:26am »