AC Mayor Paints Gambling Expansion Doomsday ScenarioMarch 23, 2016 2:03 pm
Atlantic City is currently facing a financial crisis, and things seem likely to deteriorate further after Governor Chris Christie warned AC Mayor Don Guardian to either accept a state takeover of the city’s financial affairs, or else take his chances with the bankruptcy court.
The Atlantic City Mayor had been seeking a loan to bail out the beleaguered gambling resort, but in the absence of any funds, Guardian said he would shut down City Hall, let 900 public workers go unpaid, as well as close all non-essential city services next month until AC’s next quarterly tax payment is received around the start of May.
In the meantime, Don Guardian seems desperate to maintain Atlantic City’s monopoly over New Jersey’s casino industry, and has been doing his utmost to spread fear concerning the potential downside of a gambling expansion to the northern part of the state. According to the mayor, Northern New Jersey residents are deluding themselves if they believe that a casino expansion comes without a heavy price, and the potential plague of ills these citizens are letting themselves in for includes a surge in prostitution and drugs, as well as an increase in traffic congestion in an already congested area.
“If you don’t think prostitution and drugs and other minor crimes won’t come along with it, you’re foolish.. You may want the money, but you don’t want the extra commuting time,” warned the mayor at a recent forum on the issue.
While Don Guardian has shown he is quite prepared to scare voters into rejecting the new casino plan, his comments received an instant rebuke from American Gaming Association (AGA) president Geoff Freeman, who accused the mayor of resorting to an “asinine” argument not based in fact. Freeman also said that casino gaming provided the “lifeblood of his city”, and said that “the positive social impacts of gaming” in markets across the country were well documented.