Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ), has welcomed a series of bills currently undergoing legislative scrutiny that set out to bring much needed economic relief to Atlantic City.

The Atlantic City economic stimulus and relief bills S2400 and S2398 were introduced this week in the Senate and A4032 and A4031 in the Assembly:

Said Callender: “The Atlantic City economic stimulus and relief bills are critical to ensure our industry and its thousands of employees have a path forward once we are through this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest health threat of our lifetime. This crisis has caused an unimaginable loss of life and devastated our state and local economy.” 

The association President emphasized the fact that Atlantic City’s casinos and hotels have been closed since March 16, adding that a long road lies ahead for workers once the decision is taken to reopen and start the recovery process.

“This legislation will help stabilize this vital industry, support the safe reopening of our properties, and help us welcome back employees and guests as soon as New Jersey’s stay-at-home order is lifted,” he noted. “This legislation will also help us resume our purchases from New Jersey vendors, as well as the tax payments that are based on casino revenue and employment.”

Callender also underlined the importance of the gaming industry in relation to the significant contributions it has made to the state and local economy over the years. He said: “Until the recent closure of our casinos, the New Jersey casino industry directly employed over 26,000 people, hosted more than 25 million annual visitors, and in 2019, paid nearly $500m in local, county, and state taxes. 

“According to the American Gaming Association, New Jersey’s casino industry annual tax impact to state and local governments is over $1bn, and its total economic impact across the state of New Jersey is $6.45bn. 

“We are proud of our track record of giving back to the communities we serve. We are invested in our city, which is why all of our casinos have been making donations to local organizations. Our industry also proudly supports New Jersey businesses by supporting local vendors, donating millions in financial resources and volunteering with local charities.” 

 He concluded his statement, saying: “We urge legislators to recognize the gaming industry’s significant contributions to New Jersey’s economic recovery and pass this economic relief package as quickly as possible.”