Would Casinos be Successful in North Jersey?
As New Jersey lawmakers craft a ballot question that would ask voters next year if casino gambling should be allowed in the northern half of the state, one industry expert is betting on the move as an economic boom for New Jersey.
"It could be very successful," said Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine. "There's definitely a market there."
According to Gros, North Jersey gamblers have been traveling across state lines for years to wager in Yonkers, Bethlehem and the Poconos.
"New Jersey's just losing all these gamblers to other states, so it would make sense for them to build a casino in North Jersey," he said. "And then they'd get a lot of New York customers as well."
Legislators have hinted at closed-door discussions surrounding North Jersey betting, but they've been short on the details, including how many casinos would be allowed in the region if the measure were approved by voters.
Gros said he's confident North Jersey could easily support two casinos, and investors wouldn't be shy with getting in the action.
Much of the debate has centered on how the change would affect business in Atlantic City, where four casinos shut down in 2014 alone. The referendum would most likely include some back-end help for the struggling resort town.
"If you can compensate Atlantic City for lost business, I think it's a win-win for the state," Gros said.