HomeMarlton NewsSun Editorial: Say ‘no’ to new casinos

Sun Editorial: Say ‘no’ to new casinos


In November, New Jersey voters will have a very important choice to make at the polls. We’re not talking about the choice between the Republican, Democratic or independent candidates for president of the United States — although that is an important choice, too.

We’re talking about the choice of whether you believe the state should authorize the creation of two new casinos in North Jersey. And we believe your answer should be “no.”

Last week, the Legislature approved the ballot question that will ask voters to approve the expansion of casino gambling in the state to two undetermined locations in separate counties in North Jersey.

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Atlantic City, the state’s only current location for casino gambling, has been devastated by competition that has popped up in neighboring states in recent years. More than half of casino revenue in Atlantic City has disappeared because of this, and four casinos shut the doors in 2014 as a result.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian predicted that three more of the eight remaining casinos would close if the North Jersey casinos were approved, and some analysts believe that number could even be four.

Supporters of the plan say the extra casinos in North Jersey will help recapture gambling money that is going to casinos in other states. And some, including Jeff Gural, operator of the Meadowlands Racetrack, say the high taxes the North Jersey casinos would pay — he has offered a 55 percent tax on casino revenue, while Atlantic City pays around 8 percent — could go to help beef up A.C.

We’re not so convinced that would happen. The market is already flooded with gambling options — both in terms of in-person and online casinos in New Jersey and surrounding states. Building new casinos won’t definitely generate new revenue; it may just shift it from one part of the state to another.

New Jersey needs a new revenue-generating plan, not a re-configuration of a plan that is already not working. Our lawmakers need to be creative. If casinos aren’t working in Atlantic City, what guarantee is there that they will work in North Jersey?

When you go to the polls in November to pick your next president, we advise also saying “no” to new casinos.

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