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Greater AC Chamber Pres. Joseph Kelly Defends Casino Gaming

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

Atlantic City

(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.


Galloway Township

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.


About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.


7 thoughts on “Greater AC Chamber Pres. Joseph Kelly Defends Casino Gaming

  1. The Pleasantville Press gladly publishes every little lie about the casino industry and magnifies every misstep so it becomes a disaster. I’m surprised they actually published the truth. Kelly is completely correct and should be commended for standing up to this pissant publication.

    Posted by dave202 | February 6, 2009, 11:06 am
  2. Good News! Atlantic City Casinos are cranking up for a big Holiday Weekend! “If this is any indication on things to come, we’ll be fine the rest of this year” said John Jackson Founder of the Atlantic City Hotel Experts LLC. Occupancy rates are expected to be over 97% citywide, the first time since last summer!

    Posted by Atlantic City Hotel Guy! | February 11, 2009, 10:03 pm
  3. I disagree on some issues. Since the casinos came, every neighborhood in A.C. has declined. Over 200 hundred independently and family owned restaurants were forced out of business due to unfair competition from the casinos. Just about every classic hotel was blown up as well as several other buildings and entire blocks that remain dirty vacant lots to this day. Most of the Atlantic Avenue businesses closed. The middle-class was forced out. All the schools have declined. Crime, homelessness, drug dealing, hookers, etc…more than quadrupled. So other than parts of the Boardwalk and the Walk, how is A.C. better than 30 years ago?

    Posted by chris | February 11, 2009, 10:19 pm
  4. Have you visited AC lately, Chris? There are more stores on Atlantic Ave. than ever. Restaurants, which first couldn’t compete with the casino restaurants, have come back big time. The Inlet has been changed from one huge crime area to a pleasant middle class neighborhood. Venice Park is a delight now. Bungalow Park is flourishing. The “projects” are almost completely gone, except for Stanley Holmes. New homes are going up in all areas of town. Crime is way down. Maybe you should visit AC before spouting your ill-informed garbage.

    Posted by dave202 | February 13, 2009, 3:48 pm
  5. Yes Dave, I have been to A.C. recently. Atlantic Ave looks nice where its adjacent to the (heavily CRDA subsidized) Walk but most of the rest of Atlantic Ave is a dilapidated mess. Just 2 blocks north of the Walk on Atlantic Ave I was waiting at the cross walk and within 2 minutes 3 different drug dealers approached me selling crack! Yes, the new (heavily subsidized) homes near Gardners Basin look nice, but isn’t that the same area where the lady with the handicapped son has had her home broken into 10 times! LoL. New homes going up all over town? The only new market rate homes going up are at Snug Harbor & the townhomes the Formica Brothers built. Anything else is heavily subsidized ‘affordable housing’. As for the projects being completely gone, are you blind? There are thousands of section 8 folks and projects in just about every neighborhood…not just Stanley Homes.

    Posted by chris | February 13, 2009, 7:34 pm
  6. I live in AC in Venice Park. We have come a long way, community is much nicer and safer now than it has ever been. AC is in more ways better now.

    Posted by Rich | February 14, 2009, 9:03 pm
  7. You can’t convince the naysayers, Rich. Until the streets are paved with gold, they’re going to say it still looks like shit.

    Posted by dave202 | February 27, 2009, 3:16 pm

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