TRENTON – Senator Jim Whelan made the following comments as the Senate gave final approval to a bill he sponsored in the Senate, A-2471/S-1464, to provide tax breaks to casinos on comps to customers as part of an agreement that casinos would provide $90 million in subsidies to horse tracks in New Jersey over the next three years. The vote was 38-1.
“The casinos are being good corporate citizens by supporting the race tracks. But they do not have unlimited access to money. We should move immediately to resolve a long-term and permanent solution maintaining the vitality of the tracks and the horse breeding industry. Casinos are part of an intensely competitive industry with emerging competitors surfacing daily in neighboring states. The tax breaks for restricted comps are well deserved and targeted to encourage upgrades in technology. The casino industry reports that every dollar wagered in gaming credits triggers an additional two dollars wagered that is all taxable. The importance of the casino industry can be best appreciated by the devastating effect the government shutdown had on Atlantic City and all of its related businesses two years ago.”
Senator Whelan also serves as Chairman of the Senate Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, which considered the subsidy bill in committee. #