NJ Legislators Not Keen On Merging Gaming Regulatory Agencies
New Jersey has discussed a proposed bill in the past that wanted to merge the different gaming regulatory agencies in the state in a bid to streamline the process and get things moving a lot faster and smoother with regards to the overall gambling industry in the state.
A Bill was also introduced this year that looked at forming a New Jersey Casino Oversight Consolidation Commission where 9 members would be politically appointed and work on the processing of merging all regulatory agencies.
The Commission would look to merge the Division of Gaming Enforcement, the Casino Revenue Fund Advisory Board, the Casino Control Commission and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
This is not the first time that such a Bill has been introduced in the state. Similar Bills were introduced in 2015 and 2016 but met with little success and it appears that the 2018 Bill will also slowly fade out.
The Office of Legislative Services has to carry out a fiscal review and benefit analysis of the potential merger but so far nothing has been done for all three bills. The Bill generally gets stuck at the state Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee and with the 2018 Bill Sponsor Assemblyman Tim Eustace, D-Bergen no longer in office, it is highly unlikely that the Bill will get the necessary push it requires.
Reasons To Merge Gaming Regulatory Agencies
Eustace said that one of the main reasons why he introduced the Bill was to look at new ways to improve the efficiency of these regulatory agencies, remove redundant activities and reduce overall spending. A strong motivating factor that pushed Eustace to consider the merging of all regulatory agencies was the closing of five casino properties in Atlantic City within a period of 24 months.
Eustace believes that all of these regulatory agencies consumed way too much time when it came to making critical decisions and taking the required action against issues that troubled these five casinos. He believes that a consolidated regulatory agency will help to speed things up and work in favour of the casino industry.
However gaming consultants do not share Eustace’s view and believe that the regulatory agencies in the state have already been streamlined after the Black Friday scandal in 2011. They also don’t agree that a merging will result in any significant benefits when it comes to cost savings and an increase in overall efficiency.