Atlantic City Casinos Could Get Bailout If Financial Relief Bills Get Approval
New Jersey is one of those states that have preferred to take a cautious approach with regards to COVID-19 and Atlantic City casinos are yet to open. The big concern for many is that the prolonged lockdown could hurt some Atlantic City casinos so much that it would be difficult for them to recover and get back to business.
Atlantic City has pushed hard to get financial relief from the government to bail out its casinos but so far nothing has come of it.
The Assembly Budget Committee of Atlantic City recently approved two bills. They are A4031 and A4032. Their goal is to provide financial assistance to casino operators since they are still facing an indefinite casino closure.
Now that these two bills have passed the first Committee, they still have to pass the State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee. The problem is that there are no upcoming hearing dates for the committee. This means that the bills are stuck until hearings start up again.
The bills were backed by Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald and he points out that the Atlantic City casinos employ thousands of workers. Their closure has resulted in widespread economic disruption as all of these casino employees have not been receiving their salaries for several months. With the casinos bleeding money, the bills would help them recover, along with their employees.
Atlantic City casinos have been closed since March 16 and over 26,000 employees have been out of work for several months now. Though the online market has seen a huge surge of uptake over the same period.
The two bills have the same goal of helping the casinos but they go about it in different ways. One of the bills allows for changes to certain casino-related taxes and fees. This change would be temporary until things go back to normal. This part of the bill can allow the state to lower some fees and taxes so that the casinos would be able to recover. Another part of this bill changes the current law on promotional gaming credits by casino licensees and how much they deduce from the casino’s gross revenues.
The second bill provides a more direct way of help. It would allow the state’s treasurer to give Atlantic City casinos that have paid their taxes a chance at some interest-free loans. These bills can be a major help to the Atlantic City casinos. Supporters of the bills are very enthusiastic about them because they are not bailouts. They are more like a way to restart the casino economy so that they can start earning again.