The following is a note addressed to Meadowlands Regional Chamber members from President & CEO Jim Kirkos regarding Public Question #1, which would expand casino gaming to North Jersey.
Dear Valued Member,
It is no secret that Atlantic City has lost its monopoly on gaming to the 20 casinos that have been built in all of our neighboring states, and in many cases by the same casino owners who are against North Jersey casinos.
The simple truth is for over 20 years the Atlantic City government never reinvested in its city or adjusted to the declining gaming revenue and new competition. So they find themselves in dire financial condition.
We all want AC to recover–but we also know that its recovery in a new economy will not be based on growth in gaming. It will be based on making AC a resort destination and vibrant business hub. The transition into this new economy can and will replace the jobs lost by the casinos that have closed.
We have been inundated by the Vote ‘No’ campaign with TV commercials, printed material and social media ads making false claims This multi-million dollar campaign is being funded by entities outside of New Jersey–who are trying to protect the very casinos that are competing with AC.
For the last five years, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber has been an advocate for expanding gaming here in the Northern part of the state. As part of our long term economic development vision plan to sustain the region into the year 2040, we believe continued redevelopment of the Meadowlands Sports Complex can power the way as it did back in the mid 70’s and 80’s. Our advocacy is based on the fact that destination development is a means of economic development–because we know how powerful the impacts of visitors, business groups and major events have on the entire regional economy.
Our vision plan calls for the development of a convention center, a world class casino, two major hotels and a restored arena to complement the existing MetLife Stadium, the new Meadowlands Racetrack and American Dream. We believe this new Meadowlands Sports & Entertainment Complex with a diverse array of sports, entertainment and retail options can have an incredible economic impact on all of North Jersey and its communities. The diverse mix of destination assets will be complimentary to each venue–and not competitive–and the millions of new visitors will that are attracted here will ensure success.
Besides the economic benefits a North Jersey casino will bring to the state and our region, the tax revenue generated from a new casino would provide a much needed infusion of capital for our horse racing industry. Over 7,000 New Jersey jobs are directly related to the horse racing industry and the farmers, breeders, veterinarians, racetrack employees and other ancillary employees can only survive in New Jersey with casino gaming subsidies.
Voting YES to expand gaming is good for all of New Jersey. It will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in needed revenues to the state, provide a mechanism to help AC transition into this new economy by rebuilding its destination–and it will save the horse racing industry. We can also reinvigorate the greater Meadowlands region. New Jersey would reclaim two dynamic destinations powering regional economies long into the future. Local, county and state tax revenues, thousands of new jobs and careers and business opportunities for local small business owners are at stake.
The Meadowlands Regional Chamber believes our advocacy makes sense and we hope you do too!
If you do, please help by talking to your colleagues and neighbors to inform them of your support. Have them visit www.NorthStarsNJ.com, a supporting website, so they can learn the facts about why voting YES will help to benefit our state. Don’t be blinded by the negative propaganda that outside forces want us to believe.
The time for positive action is now.
Jim Kirkos, President & CEO, Meadowlands Regional Chamber