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New Jersey Assembly Passes Legislation to Prevent Casino Shutdowns in Atlantic City

On June 11, 2007, the State Assembly gave their approval on legislation that aims to protect gambling casinos in the event of a budget crisis.

Assemblyman Jim Whelan, a Democrat from Atlantic City, commented that the legislation avoids constitutional problems by allowing the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and the Division of Gaming Enforcement to continue paying the state regulators even if the state budget is not approved by July 1, 2007.

In 2006, a budget problem led to a three-day shutdown of the casinos in Atlantic City. State Senator James "Sonny" McCullough commented that the legislation that passed that day has already been judged unconstitutional by the State Attorney General and the Office of Legislative Services.

He has already proposed to amend the constitution to change the way that the casino regulators are given funds. McCullough also said that amendment to the constitution is the best way to protect casino employees from losing their salary when a problem arises.

The Assembly unanimously passed the legislation. Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew from D-Cape May, Cumberland, said that the unanimous vote is evidence that the proposal has importance.

The bill now heads to the Senate for approval. Whelan said that he did not think that the legislation would find its way to the governor before July 1, 2007, but there is a small chance for another casino shutdown this year.


18 June 2007
News Submitted by:
Lauren Desmond

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