Those going against the idea of New Jersey casino expansion seem to be bypassing the positive notion of promoting enhanced gambling revenue within New Jersey’s borders, and instead are focusing on more casino business being pulled out of Atlantic City.
The latest poll results comes from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, with the research center discovering over 70% of New Jersey citizens would favor a negative vote in the face of the upcoming ballot. On the other hand, support of New Jersey casino expansion looks bleak currently, with the study revealing just 24% being full in favor.
Get Their Say
Despite the rough early numbers, New Jersey residents from both sides of the argument will still get their say next month, when a vote on a new amendment which proposes two new casinos in the northern part of New Jersey arrives on November 8th.
While the recent shift to a negative stance on New Jersey casino expansion has the eventual vote seemingly up in the air, there is still hope thanks to early support of the two new casinos.
Still, the recent feedback hasn’t aligned with that early support. In addition to the negative Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind poll results, gamblers haven’t been backing the idea in recent months. Of people who have visited casinos in the past few months, an estimated 64% have let it be known that they are against the idea of expansion.
The reason? New Jersey has plenty of casinos already.
Roughly 36% of the recent casino goers who were polled in regards to their approval of New Jersey casino expansion suggested that the state simply doesn’t need anymore casinos.
While largely subjective, a secondary reasons could complicate matters and make the voting questionable: casinos are messing with Atlantic City.
The casinos already in existence can carry negative connotations, such as bloated traffic, as well as increased potential for crime. Of the people polled, 26% remained on that side of the fence.
The numbers altogether aren’t necessarily damning, but it’s a tough spot to be in for those trying to push the idea of casino expansion in New Jersey.
Goodbye Horse Racing?
On top of the for and against argument is a nice throw-in by proponents of the horse racing industry in New Jersey: vote for the expansion or say goodbye to horse racing:
New Jersey horseman have been pedaling that logic, suggesting that the coming vote could save or kill horse racing in the state.
That could be extreme or misleading thinking, but Meadowlands racetrack operator Jeff Gural doesn’t seem to think so.
Right or wrong, Gural and many other could be down on their last leg if the November 8th ballot is denied: turning back to legalizing sports betting.
That’s another fight for another day (and another article), but Gural has one strong point: the horse racing impact is one more tidbit for New Jersey voters to consider when they cast their vote next month.
Casino Expansion to the Rescue?
The fear of added crime and congestion by the voters is fair. Atlantic City is there for all to see and it hasn’t always been fluid, nor a pretty picture.
Per reports, proponents of approving the November 8th ballot suggest as much as $50 million can be brought into the state, should the two new casinos be given the green light.
While that may certainly be the case – at least concerning the upside of the new casinos – it’s not a given. That may be the main drawback, ultimately; the casinos offer all sorts of promise and intrigue, but no actual guarantees.
Gordon MacInnes, President of the New Jersey Policy Perspective group, declared as much:
“It makes the entire thing hypothetical speculation, at best”.
In addition, there is another group that feels the Atlantic City casino industry as it stands would be at risk of being negatively impacted. That goes back to some voters’ initial fear that added casinos wouldn’t fix any problems, but would instead stretch the profit out and hurt the already existing casinos.
Voters Can Decide
This is very much a double-edge sword when you consider the arguments, and at best it looks like a split call with just weeks to go before voters come to a decision.
Ultimately, voters will have to weigh the pros and cons of bringing new casinos into New Jersey. Will added casinos promote more business and profit, or will they hurt business in Atlantic City and endure the very same obstacles casinos there have been dealing with?
The argument can be spun either way, but two things are certain: there is still potential for a lot of money to be made and New Jersey residents get their say come November 8th.
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