Could a casino come to Monmouth County? It’s a fair bet
Earlier this week, the Assembly Judiciary Committee gave the green light to a measure that calls for a Constitutional Amendment to be placed on the ballot — asking voters if New Jersey shoudl allow casino gambling in northern parts of the Garden state.
The bill doesn’t specify where the casinos would be built, but it does stipulate the gaming halls would have to be built at least 72 miles away from Atlantic City.
There’s been a lot of speculation about casinos being built in the Meadowlands and Jersey City, but other areas could also still be in the running if the voters approve the idea.
One of those areas could be along the coast in Monmouth County.
Gerald Cioci, the president of the Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce, said before formally endorsing the idea the chamber would have to consider all the merits of having a casino in Monmouth — but he said he's “caustically optimistic that it would create jobs and promote growth in Monmouth County, which is something the chamber definitely supports.”
He said that kind of project would result in “stimulating tourism in Monmouth County. We do have a large business population that does rely on tourism, and also a byproduct would be creating jobs in Monmouth County.”
Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone said having a casino in his neck of the woods could be a huge benefit.
“Obviously it would bring in jobs, bring people here to Monmouth County which obviously would spend more in other areas,” he said.
Arnone pointed out his county already has ferry service to New York, and infrastructure along the coast that could handle this type of project — which could also greatly assist in the re-development of several parts of the County.
“This all could potentially be a homerun for Monmouth County and I hope we’re not short-changed out of it,” he said.
George Hoff, mayor of Keansburg, said he had no idea if a casino could really happen, “but of course I would welcome a casino in our town. We have a great view of the New York skyline, so it would be a great addition to our town to bring people in.”
He said “it would be a benefit economically cause it would draw people into town and it would ah, revenues would increase.”
Paul Smith, the mayor of Union Beach, said having a casino in town would “definitely be a help. I mean that would create a lot of jobs and bring in much needed revenue.”
He said there is definitely enough space in the area for this type of project, and his town could teach Atlantic City how to do some better marketing and attract more customers, by offering specials and discounts like casinos in Pennsylvania do.