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New Jersey Gambling - Atlantic City Casinos
How New Jersey took to Gambling…
World War II took most of the life away from Atlantic City and it began to decline. Most of the population went away to search for better avenues as interstate highways and commercial channels opened for them. The city that was earlier famous as “Mecca for tourists” began to shrink in tourists, business and its own population. No business flourished and every economy began to sink. To rejuvenate the residents of Atlantic City and get the city to motion, gaming or gambling was introduced. The first attempt failed in 1974. However, supporters claimed of huge economic benefits to voters and claimed to “ rebuild Atlantic City”. Thereafter, Gambling was legalized in 1976.
By definition, gambling is to play in hope of winning by chance or by one’s ability and involves risk of money or valuables. It also involves payment for getting a chance to play or win. In June 1977, the toughest law enacted on gaming came into existence; the Casino Control Act was passed in legislature.
Thereafter, gambling has always received different concerns from various spheres of society. However, studies seem to suggest gaming as an acceptable form of entertainment among U.S. people. Gambling is so famous among young people that they play tournaments of poker and other games. A lot of inspiration is also drawn from TV coverage of celebrity tournaments.
New Jersey Casino Control Act – Rebuilding the state
One would be surprised to know that there exists Casino Revenue fund. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission report of 1998 gives a figure of over $ 300 million per annum as collected towards 8% tax. In 2002, this figure was $342.3 million. This amount is donated for the senior citizens and the disabled. In addition, a 1.25% investment tax goes to redevelopment projects in state. An estimate of above $750 million has already been invested towards this.
The Convention Center in state got a corridor worth $268 millions from the $15 million per annum that comes from casino parking. Convention Center gets its own share for marketing and debt service from Atlantic City Luxury Tax and Tourism Promotion Fee. A Marine life education center and a baseball ground received funds worth $16 million from Regulatory savings of Atlantic City Fund.
New Jersey Casinos - Improving Business and Assets
Casino Control Act required only approved Hotels with minimum 500-guest capacity to build casinos. Atlantic City New Jersey casinos facilitate table games, keno, slot machines and simulcast facilities. There were 1,439 table games (as in 1996), consisting of poker (pai gow poker, Caribbean stud poker, let it ride poker), blackjack, baccarat, craps, roulette, big six, minibaccarat, sic bo, mini-craps pai gow, and three-card poker. Currency denominations are available from $0.05 to $500. Consumer spending on Pari-mutuels changed from $3,890.5 in 2001 to $3,986.8 in 2002 thereby suggesting 2.48% increase. Consumer spending on slot machines changed from $9,340 to $9,535.
Casino hotel properties amount to nearly 80% of the property tax base. Atlantic City property was valued at $ 319 million in 1976 and was valued over $6 billion in 1996.
Gambling in New Jersey has made use of $6 billion to build hotel and casino facilities. It is proposed to spend another $5 billion in coming years.
New Jersey casinos require almost 8,000 items worth $ 2.5 billion annually. Of this, about 3,400 items, be its products or services, are bought from New Jersey businesses. This amount $1.5 billion, therefore, regulates in the state itself. Above this, about $ 250 million worth of material is also bought from women and minorities.
A statute in New Jersey made by Casino Control Act, N.J.Stat.Ann. § 5:12-101 (West 1988) provides that “a loan made forcasino gambling in Atlantic City is legal and enforceable”.
New Jersey Employment and Crime
A lot of New Jersey residents had left for other job centers before gambling was legalized in 1976. Now these casinos give employment to more than 50,000 residents who have an annual payroll above $7.5 billion. The nature of employment is both full time and part time. Those employees who are directly related to casino operations have to be registered and obtain temporary licenses.
In about 19 years, there was a drop in unemployment rate from 12.1% to 8.4% in Atlantic City and from 18.1% to 14.3% in Atlantic City. Apart from several primary jobs, gambling has created several other secondary jobs.
There was a 24% rise in New Jersey’s population in 20 years. However, Welfare assistance, provided from 8% tax on gross revenue, reduced from 6,900 in 1977 to 3,200 in 1997. In addition to this, Family aids to those with dependent kids reduced from 5,300 to 3,000.
Casinos are thought to raise crime and abuse. However, in New Jersey crime rate reduced from 69.9% per 1,000 persons in 1977 to 52.6% in 1996. This took into consideration the fact that in 1996 there were as many as 34 million visitors against only 7 million in 1977.
The crimes have come down because of effective policing and increase in job opportunities. A number of awareness programs and community policing programs, such as patrolling, availability of policemen on streets etc. has made New Jersey safer.
After years of lying low, gambling brought life back to New Jersey. There are more than 20,000 rooms in casino hotels with all modern facilities. Most of the casino hotels provide low price or complimentary meals to their customers.
A lot of people travel to New Jersey by road, the percentage is about 31% of total tourists coming every year.
New Jersey Gaming Regulatory Commission
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission has been regulating and enacting the norms to run casinos. As many as 48,176 firms have casino licensees, while 1,572 were prohibited from running business.
The commission controls the key to all slot machines in New Jersey. These slot machines have a dual-locked compartment. The accounts department of the casino keeps another key.
There are regulators throughout 24 hours in casinos. The Commission reviews various regulations and makes amendments in them. All key employees and casino employees have to register before taking up employment. Some of the qualifications for obtaining licensure are to have sound business knowledge, financial security, honest and good character, responsibility and integrity.
New Jersey has brought revolution in gaming industry with a flexible and stable regulatory body. Now with more fields like that of Internet gambling, this industry is poised to grow.
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