NJ budget showdown could lead to casino closure

David Madden
June 22, 2018 - 1:13 pm
Slot machines in the casino.



TRENTON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — As the battle over a new budget in New Jersey rages on, one legislator is hoping to ensure casinos down the Shore don't get dragged into it.

Remember in 2006? Casinos were shuttered for three days when then Gov. John Corzine and fellow Democrats couldn't come to terms, and state employees in those facilities couldn't work. That led to a law giving officials seven days after a budget expiration before casinos get hit.

In 2010, former Gov. Chris Christie signed an executive order labeling those employees essential, protecting the casinos from last year's shutdown. State Sen. Chris Brown (R-Atlantic County) wants Gov. Phil Murphy to do the same now.

"Casinos and racetracks shouldn't be held hostage just because Trenton politicians are unable to work together and agree on a budget," Brown said.

Should the governor not take executive action, Brown is working on legislation to keep those staffers on the job, although Murphy would have to approve that.

"It's unbelievable to me that, as our gaming industry is turning the corner and improving our local economy by putting families back to work, Trenton would force the casinos and the racetrack industry to shut their doors during the busiest time of the year," Brown added.

There is no word from the governor's staff on Brown's request.