An effort to add a pair of casinos in New Jersey outside of Atlantic City appears to be all but dead.
That’s good news for eastern Pennsylvania casinos, who likely weren’t excited about the prospect of more regional competition.
North Jersey casinos on life support
The New York Times all but wrote the obituary for a New Jersey referendum that is on the ballot next week in the state.
That measure would have allowed the state to hand out up two gaming licenses, both outside of AC in North Jersey.
However, there seems to be little chance for that effort to pass. More from the NYT:
For those looking for a good bet on election night results, the smart money in New Jersey says a referendum on whether to expand casino gambling in the state is headed for defeat.
“It’s over,” said Raymond J. Lesniak, a Democratic state senator who has long favored such an expansion. “There’s no chance it will win.”
It’s not the first time such a measure has been contemplated, but opponents — mainly South Jersey and New York interests — want to see it defeated so badly that it won’t come up for a vote again. Neither region wants to see an expansion to North Jersey.
Polls continue to show a “no” vote on the referendum leading by a wide margin.
The impact for Pennsylvania
New York casinos were the ones most likely to be impacted if casinos in the norther part of New Jersey had opened up.
But Pennsylvania had reason to be concerned, as well. Sands Bethlehem, for instance, gets a lot of traffic from New York; if a casino opened up between it and New York City, it would be bad for the bottom line.
Philadelphia-area casinos are likely also happy that new competition isn’t coming to the region.
Meanwhile, online gambling on horizon in PA?
There continues to be a chance that the state legislature will pass a bill that will regulate online gambling. But that remains a wild-card, for now, as it’s not clear what the Senate will do on iGaming — if anything — and when. The House just passed a gambling expansion bill that includes online gambling, for the second time this year.
Any action appears on online gambling appears likely to come after the November elections or possibly in 2017, with the the ball in the Senate’s court.
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