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Whelan Hails Passage Of Casino Industry Reforms

Measures Would Encourage More Investment in Atlantic City

TRENTON – Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, the Chair of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, and co-chair of the landmark Legislative Gaming Summit which developed a game plan for casino and racetrack stability and revitalization earlier this year, issued the following statement today after the Senate approved measures to reform Atlantic City’s casino industry:

“The future of Atlantic City and the future of casino gambling in New Jersey are forever intertwined, and the bills which were approved by the Senate today are a strong first step to ensuring economic stability and vibrancy moving forward.

“The bills would create a special gaming and entertainment district to address the unique problems that Atlantic City faces as host to millions of tourists each year at our casinos. They would encourage greater marketing and an increased push to encourage visitors, both in-state and out-of-state, to bring their business to America’s Playground.

“The bills would also revise some of the onerous regulatory burdens which hamper economic growth within the casino industry and discourage new investors from entering into the market.

“There’s still so much to do to truly bring Atlantic City back from the brink. But the passage of landmark bills in the State Senate is an encouraging first step, and will lay the groundwork for needed economic revitalization in Atlantic City’s casino industry.”

The first bill, S-11, which would create a special Atlantic City Tourism (ACT) District and expand marketing of the resort, was approved by a vote of 24-9, and the second bill, S-12, which would revise casino industry regulation, was approved by a vote of 22-13. Both bills now head to the Assembly for final consideration before going to the Governor to be signed into law.

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