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Gopal Introduces Bill that Would Keep Racetracks and Casinos Open During a State Government Shutdown

Gopal SEIU

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal that would allow for casinos and racetracks to remain open in the advent of a state government shutdown was introduced into the Senate on July 1.

“The racetracks and casinos continue to be a driving force for the economy in New Jersey, and even more so now that sports betting is legal,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “A government shutdown for any length of time has consequences for our residents and the regional economies.  We want to prevent any negative impact on these facilities and remove any threat or uncertainty if a shutdown occurs.”

The bill, S-2840, would amend the current law to allow for racetracks and casinos to stay open during a state government shutdown.

Currently, in the event that a state of emergency is declared due to the failure to enact a state budget by the deadline prescribed in the New Jersey Constitution, casino and racetrack facilities may remain open for a period of up to seven calendar days.

The bill removes the seven-calendar day limitation.  The bill designates that employees of the New Jersey Racing Commission and the Division of Gaming Enforcement are essential in a state of emergency declared because of the failure of the state to enact a budget.  Employees are required to continue to perform their regular duties to ensure the health and safety of the public and to carry out their regulatory functions during a state of emergency.