Gambling Expansion Debate Continues In New Jersey [POLL/AUDIO]
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, a member of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, says, "The gambling revenue numbers being piled up by Pennsylvania and New York are unimaginable- in terms of what we're losing- and I think the people of the state of New Jersey should have an opportunity to vote on this and that's what my bill is all about."
Caputo and others want to allow casino gaming in the Meadowlands.
He says as gaming continues to grow in Pennsylvania and New York, "We can't ignore the fact that these destinations are - they're absolutely killing us - they're taking millions of dollars of revenue out of this state… I think 5 years is too long. 5 years is going to put us in a very, very weak position in terms of defending ourselves against other destinations… I think the time frame should be a lot shorter. I think 2 years would be a lot more reasonable."
He says allowing casino gaming in the Meadowlands makes sense with a 50 or even 55 percent tax imposed.
"It would reap hundreds of millions of dollars for high taxed people in the state of New Jersey…You could probably negotiate it higher because you're talking about one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on the Eastern Seaboard… Atlantic City should be a resort destination, and the Meadowlands should be a convenience destination for people that go for the day, etc…they can coexist."
Caputo adds he's confident the Governor will have a change of heart because the state is losing so much potential gaming revenue.
"When he sees the numbers, I'm sure he's going to reassess his position, 5 years is too far down the line…It's too bad we didn't have this discussion 10 years ago…So we could have put these reforms in place and cut off the competition…We're a little late in the game and that's part of the problem, we're trying to play catch-up…We can't allow Atlantic City to go down the drain, but at the same time we've got to accept reality - Pennsylvania is now number 2 behind Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenue. Here in Jersey we're falling behind - this doesn't make any sense."