As Atlantic City's casino industry continues to struggle, talk has ramped up in Trenton about allowing casinos in other parts of the state. A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Monday asked New Jerseyans if they favored the idea, and the casino expansion concept came up snake eyes with exactly half of the respondents.

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"Fifty percent say that they don't want expansion and only 42 percent say that gambling should be increased outside of Atlantic City," said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at FDU and an analyst for the poll.  "In 2009, only 24 percent favored expansion."

While the jump in support for casino expansion from 2009 until today is significant, the same percentage of Garden State residents that favor the idea now, backed the concept in 2012.

“New Jersey has a couple of reasons to be skeptical about opening new casinos outside of Atlantic City,” said Cassino in an emailed press release August 1. “Increased competition is only going to hurt Atlantic City more, and casinos just aren’t the revenue source for the state that they were 10 or 15 years ago.”

If New Jersey does decide to allow casinos outside of Atlantic City, the two most talked about locations are the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park Racetrack.

"When we asked if casinos should be licensed at the Meadowlands, 47 percent said yes, 45 percent said no. Forty-three percent support having a casino at Monmouth Park Racetrack and 44 percent oppose," Cassino said.

People who have visited an Atlantic City casino in the past were more likely to say they favored the idea of casinos at both the Meadowlands Racetrack and at Monmouth Park Racetrack.

Legislators in North Jersey have long wanted a casino at the Meadowlands sports complex in East Rutherford. With Atlantic City mired in a revenue plunge of more than seven years, calls for a so-called “northern option” are growing stronger.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.