FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: John Amodeo or Vince Polistina at 609-677-8266
March 4, 2009
AMODEO AND POLISTINA PLAN TO RECHARGE CASINO INDUSTRY AND REGION
NORTHFIELD – In the absence of federal and state stimulus for the casino industry, Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina are proposing their own plan to support existing hotel and casinos, expedite the completion of planned hotel and casinos, and promote job creation for the Atlantic City region.
“The casino industry is the number one industry in the state, and Trenton has failed to live up to its responsibility to make sure that Atlantic City generates jobs and the revenue to support programs for our senior citizens and the disabled,” said Polistina. “Our plan can lead the industry out of the economic downturn and cement Atlantic City’s position as world class destination resort.”
“We are going to help the industry by investing more money into bricks and mortar infrastructure projects that will directly support the industry and increase economic activity for the whole state. We are going to put more money into advertising so we can promote Atlantic City the way a world class destination ought to be promoted. We are going to reassure investors that Atlantic City is a solid bet. And finally, we are going to extend a lifeline to the senior citizens and disabled who depend on the services funded through the Casino Revenue Fund,” said Amodeo.
The assemblymen’s four-point legislative package proposes to:
· Provide for a five year abatement on the alternative investment tax (AIT) for all properties not yet licensed;
· Change the formulas used to fund projects in order to ensure that more money is spent in the areas affected by the growth of the casino industry. The revised formula would provide for 30 percent of the AIT to be spent in Atlantic City, 30 percent in Atlantic County, 30 percent in South Jersey and 10 percent in North Jersey
· Allow for up to half of the money dedicated to Atlantic City to spent for marketing purposes in conjunction with the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority; and
· Dedicate 0.25% of AIT to the Casino Revenue Fund in order to replace $10 – $15 million in funding for senior and disabled programs lost to declining casino revenues.
“It is not enough for Trenton to say Atlantic City is important to the entire state. We need action to back up those words,” said Polistina. “Our plan meets the competition from other states head on by providing the advertising to steer visitors our way. Our plan also provides the funding to create the amenities visitors expect when the come to a resort destination. Our plan gives hope to existing casinos and can keep projects, like Revel, alive. Our plan will produce results.”
Before the economic downturn, the casino industry employed 41,000 people directly and 21,000 indirectly. Atlantic City casinos purchased $2.2 billion worth of goods and services from New Jersey businesses throughout the state and paid over $400 million a year to support medical assistance for seniors and the disabled.
“Research shows that for every two jobs created in Atlantic City, one is created elsewhere in the state,” said Amodeo. “When Atlantic City does well, the entire state does well. There is no other industry in New Jersey that can pull the entire the state out of the recession. Only the casino industry can do that.”
In conjunction with this legislative package, Amodeo and Polistina renewed their insistence that the Governor issue an executive order declaring that Casino Control Commission employees be deemed ‘essential’ so that there are no doubts about whether the casinos will be able to remain open in the event of a budget stalemate.