Some members of a state panel discussing the future of casinos in New Jersey said Thursday that the time is right to pass a bill that would consider building casinos in Northern New Jersey.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (R-Essex) said that while struggling casino executives in Atlantic City are expecting state assistance, it was up to lawmakers to look honestly at bringing a casino to Bergen County, according to The Daily Journal.
“No one here wants to do any damage to Atlantic City,” Caputo said. “We don’t want to destroy an industry. They can do that themselves.”
Caputo’s bill would authorize a 13-member panel to examine the issue and report back within a year, the Journal reported.
Such expansion proposals have been “hotly opposed by South Jersey lawmakers who fear it would destroy the already-struggling Atlantic City casino market,” according to the Journal.
One Atlantic County rep asked the Tourism and Gaming Committee to hold off on the inquiry, while a Bergen County rep said the time is right to consider expansion.
Caputo expects the assembly gaming committee to vote on his bill within a month, the Journal reported.