According to outgoing President of the New Jersey Senate, Steve Sweeney, four of Atlantic City’s nine casinos are in danger of closing if the State does not pass a Bill giving them tax breaks. The Bill would change the existing law enabling casinos to make payments in lieu of property taxes in return for not appealing their property taxes. Mr. Sweeney’s claim is something of a departure from the original rationale behind the Bill, that being that it is needed to help the casino sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There are four casinos in jeopardy of closing,” Mr. Sweeney said. “We do not want that to happen.”
Joe Lupo, President of the Casino Association of New Jersey and also President of Atlantic City’s Hard Rock casino, said: “We fully expect to pay our fair share, but we need stability moving forward.”
Without such a bill, Atlantic City’s casinos could be in “grave danger,” he warned.
Atlantic City’s casino executives have long complained that revenues from sports betting and iGaming should be shared with technology platforms, sports books and other partners, even though the casinos currently pay taxes on the full amount. The proposed Bill exempts sports betting and online gambling from calculations as to how much the casinos should pay in lieu of property taxes.
The legislation heads to the full Senate later in December and must then be approved in the State Assembly.