TRENTON – A bill by Senator Barbara Buono that would provide grants for non-gaming development in Atlantic City passed the Senate today.
“Atlantic City is one of the jewels of the Jersey Shore – it is home not only to some of the best gaming in the country, but also has one of the best beaches on the Atlantic Coast,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex and Chair of the Senate Wagering, Tourism and Historical Preservation Committee. “The State is now in a position where it can add to the list of attractions and make Atlantic City a world-class location for dining and shopping through the promotion of new retail entertainment districts.”
Senator Buono’s bill, S-1896, would modify two development subsidy programs administered by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). These two programs provide public subsidies to casino-sponsored development projects in Atlantic City. The bill would modify the Atlantic City Expansion Fund to support not just the construction of hotel rooms, but also projects that include retail, dining, entertainment and other non-gaming entities. The bill would also clarify which non-gaming projects would be allowed under the retail entertainment district grants.
“Few people realize that Atlantic City and Las Vegas bring in the same amount of gaming revenues in a year, but that Las Vegas brings in more than four times the amount of entertainment and retail revenue than A.C. It is of vital importance to Atlantic City’s economic growth that we encourage further investments in Atlantic City’s entertainment, retail and dining facilities. With the new development in the retail entertainment districts, we can turn Atlantic City from an overnight gambling location to a full-service vacation destination that would rival Las Vegas,” added Senator Buono.
S-1896 passed the Senate a vote of 39-0. Both bills now await the signature of Governor Codey.