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McGreedy? Gov’s gaming plans could cost AC

Apr 22, 2003 3:59 AM

FROM GT STAFF / WIRE REPORTS

An 85-page report commissioned by the Atlantic City Regional Chamber of Commerce states that more than 12,000 casino and non-casino employees could lose their jobs if Gov. James McGreevey’s gaming proposals pass.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that the authors of the Chamber study suggest that racetrack slots alone could cost Atlantic City 6.2 million annual visitors and $560 million of gaming revenue.

Chamber President Joseph Kelly called the report "unprecedented in the depth of its analysis and frightening in the extent of its conclusions."

The study is the latest attempt to thwart McGreevey’s proposal to hike the casino-revenue tax from 8-to-10 percent. McGreevey also wants to impose a six percent sales tax on casino comps, create a seven percent lodging tax and possibly allow slot machines at racetracks.

McGreevey’s proposals come at a time when Atlantic City is preparing to compete against casino-style gambling in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

Big plans for Catskills

The Daily Freeman of Kingston, N.Y., reports that representatives of the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma have unveiled plans for a 950,000-square foot gaming hall and hotel in the Catskills.

If the casino is approved, occupancy could come by 2005. The Ulster County legislature recently renewed a three-year contract with the Modocs that will yield a profit of $15 million per year.

The Catskills Casino Resort, so-named by the Modocs, would include a 155,000-square foot casino, 40,000 square feet of convention space, 600 hotel rooms, a 2,000-seat theater and parking for 3,000 cars and 100 buses.

The casino’s general gambling area would have 3,025 gaming positions. By comparison, Foxwoods in Connecticut has 11,230 gaming positions and neighboring Mohegan Sun has 10,000.

The site would create greater traffic volume for communities along the Route 209 corridor such as Rochester, Marbletown, Hurley and Kingston.

Illinois talking casinos?

Chicago Mayor James Daley has sent signals he may be reversing his anti-gambling stance, but nobody is sure what his true position is.

The Chicago Sun Times reported last fall that Daley was ready to support casino gambling to maintain his planned neighborhood building program. It was felt that gaming would give a sorely needed shot in the arm to Chicago’s convention and tourism industries.

Last week, Daley acknowledged he was discussing with the governor the possibility of a government-owned Chicago casino.

Elvis approved for Biloxi

A Rock-N-Roll styled casino, with an Elvis Presley theme, was approved last week for Biloxi, according to a SunHerald report.

The riverboat that will be the center of gambling activity has been docked just behind the Palace Casino since last summer.

The plan is to spend $15 million on the riverboat casino and $43 million on a hotel, parking garage and museum.

More Tucson blackjack

Desert Diamond Casino’s Nogales Highway location became the third Tucson area casino to offer blackjack.

The Arizona Republic reported that the casino, operated by the Tohono Nation, began offering blackjack at its location in March.

Last November, state voters passed a proposition that allowed 17 tribes to renegotiate their gambling compacts to include blackjack.