Matthew Levinson Out as Replacement NJ Casino Regulator Appointed

Matthew Levinson Out as New NJ Casino Regulator AppointedMatthew Levinson (photo) has been the chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission since 2012, during which time he has been responsible for shaping and directing the state’s casino licensing agency. However, it now appears that after Levinson’s five-year tenure came up for renewal in August, Gov. Chris Christie decided to appoint the current chairman of the New Jersey Parole Board, James Plousis, to the position instead.
The announcement was made on Thursday, and while Matthew Levinson has chosen not to respond to the surprise news, his father Dennis Levinson, the Atlantic County Executive, has not been so tight-lipped. According to Dennis Levinson, his son was not reappointed because of an ongoing legal dispute instigated by Atlantic County against the state over money it says it is owed from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program.
PILOT stabilizes the property taxes paid by casinos, with other non-casino property owners subsequently picking up the tab in the form of tax increases. According to Christie, the scheme has helped to rein in the city’s spending following the state’s takeover of Atlantic City, while saving the government more than $100 million.
Meanwhile, Levinson has said that PILOT works in favor of the casinos to the detriment of local residents, and has also heavily criticised the 10.4% share of payments it receives, instead of the 13.5% Atlantic County was initial promised. However, the state revised its promise a few months back after Christie claimed Dennis Levinson and Atlantic County failed to “step up to the plate” in helping the city resolve its financial problems.
Following the announcement that Matthew Levinson would not have his tenure on the Casino Control Commission renewed, his father said that this was “not a big surprise,” and that New Jersey’s government only takes care of you “if you go along with everything they want.”
Elaborating further, Dennis Levinson said: “[Matt] was collateral damage in this, and we expected it. But Matt told me [before the lawsuit was filed] that he would be disappointed in me if I didn’t do what I believed was right for the county.”

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