News Article

Another Measure To Boost Atlantic City Revenues

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 15, 2013

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Supporters of the legislation testify before the Senate Tourism Committee (photo by Phil Gregory)

New Jersey lawmakers have come with another way they think might bump up revenue at Atlantic City casinos.

The take at Atlantic City casinos has been down for six straight years. Senator Jim Whelan says waiving the tolls for the buses that regularly travel there would help attract more visitors who may be going elsewhere.

 “It’s not a cure all, but it’s one small piece hopefully that can help as we struggle to be competitive in the marketplace of the east coast now.”

Senator Joe Pennacchio was the only lawmaker at a hearing of the Senate Tourism Committee to vote against the legislation.

 “When we have people that are struggling to go to work and have to pay those tolls and you say that busload full of people that are willing to lose their rent checks we’re going to give them a break, that doesn’t seen fair.”

Joe Tyrrell, regional vice president for Caesar’s Entertainment says the loss of state revenue from giving the buses a break on the tolls would be made up by an increase in sales tax and other revenue that additional Atlantic City visitors would generate.

“I think it helps the industry drive new customers that live out of state to New Jersey. Those 50 customers on a bus their average spend is between 50 and 250 dollars. They’re going to spend it in New Jersey. We’d rather them spend it here rather than spend it in other states.”

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