New TV Ad Against North Jersey Casinos Targets State’s Pension Problems

A group opposing a November referendum that would allow casinos in North Jersey released a new television ad today, widening the scope of the battle in the state.

The latest ad against North Jersey casinos

The rhetoric from the opposition of contentious ballot measure is getting ramped up with the latest ad, which doesn’t even pretend to tackle the merits of casinos being authorized outside of Atlantic City.

To date, the debate has mostly been the pros and cons of casinos in the northern part of New Jersey, especially from business interests in AC and South Jersey. The latest ad from Trenton’s Bad Bet, attacking North Jersey casinos has almost nothing to do with casinos at all.

Instead, the theme of the ad is that politicians in Trenton are bad and that they break promises, so they shouldn’t be trusted on the issue of a casino expansion.

Retired police officer and current Rockaway Township Councilwoman Patty Abrahamsen is featured in the ad. She talks about the state’s problems in administering pensions for law enforcement in the state:

Instead of funding our pensions, they gave big contracts to Wall Street. The North Jersey casinos would be no different.

Politicians would break promises, special interests would get rich and, when the casinos fail, we would pay the price.

Here’s the whole ad:

North Jersey casinos would fail?

The contention of the ad is that the North Jersey casinos would fail.

In fact, the argument advanced by referendum opponents to date revolves around the idea that the two new casinos, if authorized by voters, would cannibalize AC casinos.

A report from June contended that up to four AC casinos could be forced to close their doors if two North Jersey casinos are built. It’s not clear how the contention that North Jersey casinos will fail meshes with the idea that jobs and revenue from AC would also be reduced.

Meanwhile, support for North Jersey, too

Support for the referendum is now coming from a new group, called Our Turn NJ, which is advocating for a massive resort casino to be built in Jersey City.

The estimated $4 billion project is the idea of billionaire Reebok founder Paul Fireman, according to the Hudson Valley View. That group is also trying to make the casino debate less about casinos, and more about other things; namely, revenue from gaming and what it could be earmarked for, should the referendum pass. More from the HVV:

Additional information on the Our Turn NJ website claims that NJ has lost $1.8 billion in gaming revenue since 2006, funding that could have went toward programs for low-income and disabled seniors, such as Meals on Wheels, housing programs and group homes.

Our Turn NJ has developed commercials in support of the referendum:

About the Author

Dustin Gouker

Aside from his role as editor at, Dustin Gouker writes extensively about the legal online gaming and US online poker industries, having played poker recreationally for his entire adult life. He has also covered sports for The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner, among others.