Bill introduced in NJ to allow casinos to remain open during government shutdown
Just a few days ago, the state facilities of New Jersey were shut down due to a budget impasse. A government shutdown affects several areas of the state including the casinos of Atlantic City. Currently, the law states that casinos can remain open for seven days after a shutdown begins within the state government. With the casinos doing so well as of late, state officials do not want to see the gaming venues close if a shutdown were to last a long time. Two Senators have now introduced S-3421 in order to stop the gaming venues from having to close.
Senators Jim Whelan and Jeff Van Drew along with Senate President Steve Sweeney introduced the new legislation this week in order to see the casino industry of Atlantic City continue to thrive, even if a government shutdown took place. The casino industry employs 50,000 individuals and brings in money to the state that is much-needed.
According to Whelan, the casinos of Atlantic City are a driving force for the economy in the city as well as region. The area is seeing a turnaround and allowing the gaming venues to close now or anytime in the future would be destructive to casino workers as well as their families, creating an economic riptide that will have negative consequences for the city and region.
Over the past week, the casinos were close to being forced to shut down after the legislature and Governor Chris Christie were unable to pass a budget plan in time. Both branches of the state government were able to come to a compromise just before the seven-day period ended.
It is unclear as to if this new bill will have the support it needs to pass into law. Reportedly, some lawmakers feel the bill is not a necessity since who they believe are ‘essential’ employees would not be affected if a state shutdown took place.