In today’s letters to the Press of Atlantic City Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce President Joseph Kelly defends Atlantic City against a 25 January letter attacking the casino gaming industry.
Facts show casinos a boon for region
The writer of the Jan. 25 letter, “Casinos greedy, driven by profit,” says the casinos “provide little other than low-paying jobs.” That’s an opinion clearly not supported by the facts. The economic benefits provided by the New Jersey casino industry are extraordinary to say the least.
The industry employs approximately 40,000 people directly and 21,000 people indirectly. Most casino jobs include health-care benefits. In its 30-year history, New Jersey’s casino industry has generated more than $17 billion in taxes and fees for New Jersey and Atlantic City.
Only the state income tax, sales and corporate business taxes generate more tax revenue for the state than the casino industry.
In the past 23 years, $1.8 billion in investments and grants has been generated by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which is entirely funded by New Jersey’s casinos.
Furthermore, the casino industry purchases a total of $3.5 billion in goods and services each year, with $2.2 billion going directly to 4,200 New Jersey-based companies in all 21 counties. The casinos also provide millions of dollars in financial donations and in-kind services to hundreds of needy non-profit organizations.
As for the letter writer’s assertion that the casinos are profit-making organizations, since when did that become something ignoble? Profits are what enable casinos, like any other business, to grow and expand.
These are troubling economic times, to be sure. But it’s important to remember that casinos have been this region’s economic engine for three decades. Far from being part of the problem, they represent a big part of the solution.
Greater Atlantic City
Chamber of Commerce
(Image Source – http://www.acchamber.com/images/joe.jpg)
Here is the letter that Mr. Kelly references:
Casinos greedy, driven by profit
The Press’ premise that the casinos were opened “to revive a dying economy” is basically true. But let us not forget that the casinos are profit-making organizations, in business for themselves. They are overly greedy and really provide little other than low-paying jobs.
Their workers live in surrounding areas and they and their children have forced at least three towns to build more schools. Do your readers know that casino-[r]evenue taxes are prohibited from being used for municipal or school costs?
The Press too easily accepts the facts and figures issued by the casinos as gospel. You never explain their pure profit in stories about declining revenue. It’s true profits have lessened, but that doesn’t mean they are losing money.
I applaud President Kelly in taking Mr. Cirillo’s garbage premises to task. I join the President in pointing out the idiocy of Mr. Cirillo. First,
It’s true profits have lessened, but that doesn’t mean they are losing money.
Profits are money. This statement is the second dumbest statement I have encountered today. The winner for “Dumb as Soap” award is Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
The big point not mentioned is that municipal and state government have been guilty of dropping the ball. Tax revenues have exceeded anyone’s faintest ideas of thirty years ago, when casino gaming began. Government has invented many ways to squander tax money over the last thirty years. The failure can be placed at the feet of government for not fulfilling the full promise of casino gaming, i.e. little to non-existent property taxes, top-notch services, and a clean city for starters.
It remains left to younger generations to fulfill the promises of casino gaming while cleansing local and state government of the corrupt advocates of growing government and dishing out patronage jobs with tax dollars.