New Jersey gaming industry analysts and lawmakers are very concerned about the state of the Atlantic City casino industry reports NJ.com. Several casinos have filed for bankruptcy this year, which has raised fears that the entire industry may be on the verge of collapsing. Two state senators recently introduced a series of eight separate bills to provide aid to the struggling casinos.
Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator James Whelan are confident the new proposals will lift the faltering casino industry and restore vitality to the Atlantic City economy. They have consulted with industry leaders to formulate a strategy that includes the following measures:
Allowing casinos to collectively pay $150 million instead of property taxes over the next two years. After those two years lapse, the casinos would need to either pay $110 million or $120 million a year, depending on the revenues they generate.
- Redirect a casino investment tax to repay debts rather than investing in new capital.
- Set minimum health and pension requirements for casino employees.
- Disband the Atlantic City Alliance, which is responsible for marketing the resort to citizens in other states. The budget for that organization would be used to expand other businesses in Atlantic City.
Governor Chris Christie is a strong supporter of the new legislation. He has acknowledged that the four casinos that thousands of citizens lost their jobs after the four casinos shuttered this year. Christie and other lawmakers are concerned that other jobs will be lost if the Trump Taj Mahal is also forced to close down. However, they are confident that the bills that Sweeney and Whelan have introduced will spur growth in the struggling industry.