What Christie said on NJ casinos
Christie was appearing on the Boomer & Carton radio show on WFAN in New York City.
The Associated Press reported that Christie said the vote on North Jersey casinos was a “dumb move.”
Christie was referring to a ballot measure that was soundly defeated by voters in the state. They rejected the idea that the state needed two new casinos outside of AC, which would have likely been built in Jersey City and at Meadowlands Racetrack.
No other context was offered for the comment, or why he thought it was a bad idea for voters to reject it. However, the referendum would have allowed new casinos better poised to compete with casinos in Pennsylvania and New York. It also would have provided an infusion of cash for Atlantic City via a subsidy.
Christie receives little love from the voters in the state already, as his approval rating stands around 20 percent.
Christie and the backstory on North Jersey casinos
The referendum on North Jersey casinos comes with the background of financial troubles in AC. Five casinos have closed in the resort town, which is in the middle of a state takeover.
Once upon a time, Christie actually threatened to campaign against the referendum:
But the governor stressed Thursday that if Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and Prieto don’t support the takeover, “they are running the very real risk of losing my support.”
“And I will campaign across the state against the referendum if this is what happens,” Christie said. “And I’ll make sure it’s defeated.”
Voter sentiment, not likely to change?
A recent poll by Quinnipiac University showed that a referendum on North Jersey casinos may not see support in the future.
A majority of respondents said that casinos had not been good either for the state or for AC. An even bigger majority opposed the expansion of gambling outside of AC.
So while Christie and others might believe that North Jersey casinos are a good answer for the state, it seems unlikely voters will agree with him any time soon.