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Atlantic City Could See Gambling Increase With New Casinos

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The Atlantic City casino industry is flailing, not many in the state of New Jersey deny that fact. What casino owners and lawmakers are at odds on, however, is how to help the industry out of its current financial state.

One proposal that was offered up was to add four smaller casino hotels to the eleven current casinos. That idea had been met with skepticism from existing casinos, who fear that more competition would not be good for business.

Senator Jim Whelan has proposed the bill to add the new casinos, and this week it made it through a Senate Committee with unanimous support. The new law would require that developers only be required to build 200 hotel rooms instead of the current 500 rooms that are required. Executives from the existing casinos were on hand for the committee hearing on the plan.

"We believe this bill would materially change the rules of licensing in an irrevocable way," said Joe Corbo, the Head of the New Jersey Casino Association, as reported by The Press of Atlantic City. Corbo asked that the Senate slow down the process of adding new casinos.

Governor Chris Christie has already appointed an advisory committee to look into the effects that new casinos could have on the AC gaming industry. The committee is also examining the social and economic effects that the new casinos would have on the city.

The Senate, however, is moving forward with Sen. Whelan's proposal. A discussion of the bill and a scheduled vote will be next in line for the Senate. Corbo mentioned other reasons that the gaming industry is hurting when he addressed the committee, and he pointed to a lack of attracting conventions to the city.

In the past couple of years, Atlantic City casinos have had double digit declines in revenue on a consistent basis. Only recently has the industry been encouraged that revenue may again be headed in the right direction after the economic recession.

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