The New Jersey Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) to help create jobs and grow the economy in Atlantic City.
The Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Joe Kyrillos to help create jobs and grow the economy in Atlantic City by making it easier for new businesses to set up shop. (©iStock)
The bill, S-366, creates a pilot program modifying certain requirements for licenses issued under small-scale and staged casino facilities, permitting such casinos to be located in renovated or newly constructed buildings located within the Atlantic City Boardwalk zone.
“Nearly 8,000 hardworking New Jerseyans lost their jobs when four larger casinos closed last year,” said Senator Kyrillos. “Now, more than ever, it is essential that we bolster our efforts to get Atlantic City back on its feet and restore the city’s reputation as a worldwide resort, tourist and convention destination. This legislation will create jobs and grow the city’s economy by making it easier for new businesses to set up shop and help revitalize Atlantic City’s tourism industry.”
The Senator’s bill will help boutique casinos grow and thrive in Atlantic City, shoring up the struggling city’s economy following the closure of several large casinos that left many locals out of work. Under the bill, small-scale or staged casino facilities would be required to establish and maintain an approved, superior, first-class hotel, at least one top-notch restaurant, and at least one entertainment venue.
“The revitalization of Atlantic City brings huge benefits and returns for the workforce and taxpayers across New Jersey,” Kyrillos said.
Under the bill, an owner of a small-scale Atlantic City casino must deposit 5 percent of gross revenue annually to a fund controlled by the State Treasurer. To encourage economic growth, those funds can be used by the casino to expand operations. Funds that are not used for this purpose within five years of licensure will be expended to fund infrastructure improvements to better the welfare of Atlantic City.
Additionally, as much of the shore community continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy, S-366 also requires flood-prevention efforts to prepare all new casinos for future storms. Under the bill, any new facility must secure a permit pursuant to the Coastal Area Facility Review Act and adhere to regulations implemented by the Casino Control Commission.
The bill now awaits a vote in the Assembly.