08 Jan ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE DIVINCENZO CALLS ON SENATE PRESIDENT SWEENEY AND ASSEMBLY SPEAKER PRIETO TO REACH CASINO COMPROMISE Casino Issue is too Important for New Jersey’s Future

Essex County, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. called on Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on Friday, January 8th to put aside their differences and reach a compromise on a plan that will bring casinos to Northern New Jersey. Allowing casinos outside of Atlantic City would promote economic development, create jobs and produce additional revenue for the entire State.

“New Jersey is facing a revenue crisis. There’s not enough money to properly maintain our roads, support the Green Acres program, fund the pension system and fund public schools,” DiVincenzo said. “Casino revenue is not the solution to all of the State’s financial problems, but it will provide funding to support Atlantic City and be a new source of recurring revenue for the State that we need right now,” he added.

Developing casinos has tremendous potential for economic development. It could create about $3 billion worth of construction over the short term, provide thousands of construction jobs and result in 10,000 to 15,000 permanent jobs. In addition, the new stream of tax revenue that would be collected can be used to support Atlantic City and strengthen New Jersey’s financial position.

“All of our neighbors – Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Delaware – are light years ahead of New Jersey and we are losing valuable revenue because our residents are traveling across state lines for this entertainment. If we fail to put aside our differences and don’t act now, New Jersey will never be able to compete in this region,” DiVincenzo said.

“The gridlock over the competing plans for casinos in Northern New Jersey is not good for the people of our State. It’s time for both our Senate President and Assembly Speaker to come to the table and work out a compromise instead of turning the casino debate into a political issue,” DiVincenzo said. “This is not a Northern Jersey vs. Southern Jersey issue – it should be about doing what is best for New Jersey,” he added.