New Jersey legislators are considering a piece of legislation that would allow Atlantic City, the state’s main gaming hub, to benefit further from the state’s thriving sports betting industry. A new proposal tabled at a state Senate committee on Thursday wants to see 1.25% of the tax collected through sports betting that goes to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority fed into local property tax relief.
Make Sports Betting Work for Atlantic City
According to the proposal’s backer, Sen. Troy Singleton, this amounts to some $2 million a year. This proposal also seems to be gathering momentum from other officials, including Atlantic City mayor Marty Small who has made a pointed case for the fact the city has long not been receiving any benefits from legalizing casinos. Now, the same goes for sports betting Small argued. He explained:
“Everyone in this room, and there are about 25 of us, can drive to Atlantic City. Once we park our car, that’s parking tax. We go to the bar and buy a drink, that’s luxury tax. We go into our room, that’s the room tax. We go to a late-night show, that’s luxury tax again. Then we make a sports bet; that’s sports betting tax.”
However, not everyone fully endorses this view. For Sen. Vincent Polistina, any changes in the way tax is directed should come after a careful discussion of the implications. Simply diverting money from one place to another is not advisable, Polistina said.
New Jersey was one of the first states to launch sports betting. It was largely the state that made it possible to have regulated sports betting in the first place as it won a court case in the Supreme Court and effectively defeated PASPA, the federal ban on sports gambling. Since then, a lot has changed.
Changes Coming to New Jersey Casinos and Betting
New York State has also gone ahead with an official launch of its sports betting industry in 2022. Back in New Jersey, a proposal to ban smoking on casino floors has similarly been gaining traction. While the industry has vastly objected to it, there are many legislators who see it as the next best thing for casinos.
With Pennsylvania also planning to shut down its smoking on casino floors, there are few excuses – outside of a potential economic impact – that stakeholders can muster. As to the proposed change in the way tax is collected and distributed in New Jersey, Singleton is confident that this is the best way to talk about affordability – by giving back to taxpayers.