New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is to host a bipartisan summit of state and local leaders to debate the future of Atlantic City and form a working group to address the challenges that the state’s gambling hub faces.
The event will be held on September 8th and will be attended by a wide range of politicians and professionals from across the state.
It will bring together a mix of state and local policymakers and stakeholders, as well as legislative, county and local government officials alongside labour representatives, non-profit organisations, people with experience of the state’s gaming, sports and entertainment issues, and gambling executives.
“There is no doubt that Atlantic City faces real challenges as the city undergoes revitalization, which is why this summit of key policymakers, local leaders and stakeholders is needed to be an active part of the conversation as to how we can best address these issues that have a broader impact on the broader region and our state as a whole,” Governor Christie said of the summit.
The summit is being held at a time when Atlantic City has suffered with a number of its land-based casinos closing or already shut down, and a number of jobs being lost as a result. The state’s newly-launched iGaming market has also failed to generate transformational revenue to date, while its attempts to introduce sports betting have also failed.
Following the summit the New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission, led by chairman Jon Hanson, will make recommendations on how to best implement any consensus ideas, concepts or reforms that arise from the summit.
Christie added that despite the importance of gaming to the city, the summit would also discuss non-gaming solutions for revitalising Atlantic City's economy.
“We know that the transformation taking hold in Atlantic City is about more than just gaming and gaming-related attractions,” Christie said. “Important signs are evident of the progress taking hold in the non-gaming development and economic activity we are seeing in AC, including businesses opening, attractions being added, and key non-gaming revenue streams rising.”
“All of these factors will be weighed as we consider the best course of progress for Atlantic City moving forward, and I thank these state and local leaders alike for joining me in coming together for this work,” he added.