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Sen. President Suggests Possibility of Casino in Camden

He also believes Newark and Jersey City may benefit from having casinos in their cities.

State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney suggested the possibility of a casino in Camden to The Press of Atlantic City on Thursday.
State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney suggested the possibility of a casino in Camden to The Press of Atlantic City on Thursday.
State Sen. President Stephen Sweeney says New Jersey should target the state’s most distressed cities for casino expansion, The Press of Atlantic City reports.

Sweeney told that newspaper’s editorial board he believes the casino industry should expand into Camden, Newark or Jersey City.

Politicians have lobbied for a casino to be implemented at the racetrack at the Meadowlands, but Sweeney would rather see casinos in a place that would benefit the most financially, according to the report.

The implementation of a casino in Camden would fall in line with a multi-faceted efforts to improve the city. The state took over the city’s schools in 2013, while a joint venture with the county helped establish the Camden County Metro Division to handle crime in Camden last year.

The city continues to struggle, and any casino presence in Camden would have to overcome the city’s image as one of the most dangerous in America, as well as the advancement of the Pennsylvania casino industry.

Pennsylvania casinos have seen a financial boon since opening. In 2012, the Pennsylvania casino industry overtook Atlantic City as the second largest casino market in the country, behind Nevada, according to USA Today.

The industry in Pennsylvania is worth over $3.2 billion, according to that report, and 12 of the 14 casinos offer both table games and slot machines.

New York state voters approved the construction of seven casinos in New York on Election Day, meaning any casinos put in place in Newark and Jersey City would see their share of competition.

Sweeney also said the tourism district imposed by the state on Atlantic City needs to be given five years promised by Gov. Chris Christie to succeed before constructing casinos elsewhere in the state, according to The Press of Atlantic City. That five year timeframe began in February of 2011.

Mel Sharples February 10, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Agent Itchy is right about this - the Waterfront is an asset and has several compelling places to visit. The problem - and the reason these sites have not helped the economy as much as they should - is that people run in and run out. There is nowhere to eat around those places. There is nowhere to hang out. Baltimore's inner harbor was every bit as bad as present day Camden back when they developed it. But the inner harbor plan called for walkable restaurants and retail, plus revitalizing / building residential housing in the immediate vicinity. Stop building one-stops, start building an actual city. And yeah, I know that sounds real simple but it isn't. But a casino isn't the answer.
John February 11, 2014 at 02:48 AM
Camdens waterfront offers a much nicer view then Philly and that's because Philly is Camden view. What you see in Cherry Hill with the Mall and the shopping , the car dealerships , the life centers is all something you should see on Camden water front. However, the greedy unions and the "you vote for me and I'll take care of you" politicians have done nothing but bury this city in pensions and other entitlements . The strategy of locating the Waste Water Treatment plant right at the 50 yard line of your waterfront is beyond me. I feel it is possible to lure a large firm of some type into Camden by offering some incentives such as a tax abatement or PILOT. No you wouldn't be getting the much needed taxes BUT long term with other complimentary businesses to follow you would at least have the promise of new housing or modern condominiums to share that waterfront . Other buisness would follow and you could begin building a new city with a white collar office park instead of a industrial park. That failed. The big roadblock in all of that is the outragis, out of control crime within the city. Where 72% of all black children are born out of wedlock. A city with a very high dropout rate and very low test scores. A city where people just don't want to go and that's why Cherry Hill has taken over ans Camden County's future. City. They want a casino , let em have it. .We'll look at it as a recycling plant where welfare money gets fed to a slot machine and the money will be recycled right back to the politicions. .
Mel Sharples February 11, 2014 at 07:35 AM
I would argue with the statement that the residents of Camden want a casino. We don't know that, and history tells us that the places these businesses go are usually not welcome by the local population - they were selected because political opposition was weak or non-existent. Look at Fishtown and Chinatown casino plans - there is a reason the pols didn't offer space in Fairmount or the heart of South Philly. Local opposition would have been organized and well-funded. Tax breaks aren't a magic bullet by any stretch, they haven't worked with the Aquarium and Campbell's. The key is to get the people working at those places to live in the city.
Bonnie L. Mason February 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM
The comment from John is interesting and I have to agree with him. Now, please tell me why the same good old boys are constantly re-elected? If the people truly want things to change for the better, we must boot out those who have been in office a long time and vote for someone else. This is true at all government levels; too many perks for Federal government congressmen, too many opportunities for deals at the local levels with unions, etc. No one in the Federal Gov't. should have free medical care; they should have to pay and put up with the same as we do; then they might enact something practical that benefits everyone. Let's return this government to what it is supposed to be; one by the people and for the people (all the people), by reading up on candidates and voting for the best person who truly wants to represent us regardless of party.

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