The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee will host public hearings this year to discuss the pros and cons of bringing casino gaming to the Meadowlands. That word comes to today from Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assemblyman Ruben Ramos who chairs the gaming panel.

“We need to at least discuss the idea of bringing casino-style gambling to the Meadowlands and whether it has the potential to create jobs, incentivize the local economy and position New Jersey’s gaming industry to better compete against the casinos that have cropped up in neighboring states,” says Oliver. “These are benefits worth exploring further.”

Ramos explains, “Expanding gaming options to North Jersey would strengthen New Jersey against the competition in border states which has already lured customers away. Any plan that could bring additional revenue to the state and create jobs deserves careful consideration.”

Assemblyman Ralph Caputo is not only a member of the Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, he’s also a former casino executive and he supports a constitutional amendment. He says as gaming in Atlantic City was decided by the voters in 1976, people should have a say in whether gaming should be allowed in the Meadowlands.

“The reality is that Atlantic City is losing many of its North Jersey customers to newly-opened casinos in Pennsylvania and New York,” says Caputo. “Bringing gaming to the Meadowlands can help us reclaim them and bring back much-needed revenue to New Jersey.”

Dates and locations for the committee hearings will be announced at a later date.