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Atlantic City mayor not too happy with Christie's five-year plan

Two years later, Atlantic City mayor is less enthusiastic about Gov. Chris Christie's five-year rebuilding plan

SymClub
Apr 8, 2024
2 min read
Newscasino
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Atlantic City mayor not too happy with Christie's five-year plan

While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pushed hard for online gambling in the Garden State, Lorenzo Langford, Atlantic City's mayor for 11 years, said the governor's plans for his district have not yielded good results so far.

“The numbers don’t lie,” Langford said of gaming revenue reports, which showed gaming revenue fell 6.9 percent in 2011 and another 8 percent in 2012. Oddly, given casinos' reputation for making money with little effort, other city officials also saw declines, while other gaming executives touted increases in non-gaming sales; such as sales and luxury tax exemptions and hotel stays wait. Yeah, but the whole idea is people come in, play and lose. We can sit down and explain this to you if it helps.

The former pit boss is not happy

Langford, himself a former croupier and casino owner at the casino he now indirectly oversees, said he would like to see improvements to AC's disappointing performance. Like everyone else; the problem seems to be that no one agrees on how it should be done.

One of the problems is that a reform package passed by New Jersey lawmakers in 2011 largely bypassed any authority the city had over Atlantic City's 12 casinos, instead placing them in the newly created " "tourist area".

Two years into the five-year plan, Langford was not satisfied with the results. It's not that he doesn't like the concepts; He simply believes that these measures are too late to be effective, and that fierce competition from neighboring areas in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware has hindered potential tourism from landing Atlantic City's casinos. “We’re trying to emulate Las Vegas and rely more on non-gaming operations,” Langford reflected. "We started too late."

Rich and Poor Hoods

Another thing Langford doesn't like is part of the design of Christie's tourist district, which he said "separates poor areas from wealthy areas of Atlantic City." We didn't want to explain to Langford how this worked, but we encouraged him to note that there weren't a lot of poor people walking around in Beverly Hills, Central Park South, and the French Riviera either. Hello.

Regardless, Langford says he wasn't informed of this rather stark disagreement until the plan was publicly announced in 2011, and he wasn't aware that it raised zoning and redevelopment issues to the city manager (duh), while This power lies with the state. Not surprisingly, Langford, a Democrat, and Christie, a Republican, have clashed on issues beyond that, including handling citizen evacuations and shelters during Hurricane Sandy.

More storms appear to be brewing in Atlantic City's political future.

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Source: www.casino.org

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