The North Jersey referendum to allow casinos outside of Atlantic City appears to be a failure after Jeff Gural and Paul Fireman decided in late September to withdraw their support of the ‘Our Turn NJ campaign’. Gural and Fireman wanted to develop casinos in East Rutherford and Jersey City but decided to pull out after internal polling showed that only 37 percent of voters in New Jersey were in favor of the North Jersey referendum which goes to the ballot this November.
A recent poll released by Stockton University further confirms that New Jersey voters are not really in favor of allowing casinos outside of Atlantic City. The Stockton poll showed that two out of every three people who were surveyed did not support the referendum to move casinos to North Jersey. The final results from the Stockton poll showed that only 27 percent of those surveyed supported the referendum and 68 percent opposed the move. The results from the survey in South Jersey revealed that 74 percent were not in favor of the North Jersey referendum.
In a statement, Sharon Schulman, executive director of Stockton U.’s Hughes Center said “These results should provide some comfort to residents of the Atlantic City region, which has seen the loss of 5,400 casino industry jobs since the start of 2014. Clearly the voters – especially those in South Jersey – do not want to see Atlantic City casino competition within the state.”
Earlier this year the polls showed that it was a close race between those that opposed the referendum and those that favored the referendum to let casinos operate outside of Atlantic City. However things have not gone well for the ‘Our Turn NJ campaign’ as they have been overpowered by influential groups that included the Genting Group which operates the Resorts World Casino in New York.
The Rutgers poll which was conducted in September also showed that the North Jersey referendum was not very popular with voters as only 35 percent of those polled were in favor of the referendum with 58 percent disapproving of the move to develop casinos in North Jersey. There were some legislators who wanted more specifics to be released on the North Jersey casino development believing that the additional information concerning the possible locations of the casino and the amount of money it would generate in gambling taxes would help voters make up their mind.
However the polls conducted in September showed that voters were not very keen on knowing the location of the North Jersey casinos and said it would have little impact on their decision making process. The polls showed that only 5 percent of those surveyed would change their decision based on the location of the casinos. While there is still a month for the vote to take place, it is now highly unlikely that the North Jersey referendum will be approved.