RELEASE: NEW GROUP – TRENTON’S BAD BET – LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO OPPOSE NORTH JERSEY CASINOS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2016
Referendum To Expand Casino Gaming Into North New Jersey is Another Bad Deal Designed to Help Special Interests and Harm Taxpayers
Trenton’s Track Record of Broken Promises Leaves Residents Skeptical
Newark, NJ (July 29, 2016) – A diverse collection of concerned community leaders, unions, businesses and residents today announced the formation of Trenton’s Bad Bet, a group that will work to oppose the New Jersey Casino Referendum that seeks to expand gaming into North Jersey.
“Right now we are focused on generating awareness with voters so they understand what a bad deal this is for taxpayers,” said Bill Cortese, Executive Director of Trenton’s Bad Bet. “We also want to make sure residents have a voice in this process. So far very little information has been shared – a typical play by Trenton politicians when they want to move something through the back door.”
Urging residents to be wary of any promises the state makes about the benefits of new casinos, the coalition points to a long list of instances in which Trenton has failed to deliver. Examples include a nearly bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund shutting down $775 million in State Transportation Department projects and $2.7 billion in New Jersey Transit projects, broken promises to cut property taxes when they have sharply increased over the last decade and a half, and nearly $1 billion in 911 funds designed to support the emergency call operation in New Jersey that has been systematically diverted since 2006 to support non-eligible operating expenses.
“This referendum is another bad deal for New Jersey, designed to help special interests while harming taxpayers. We are making it clear today that we will do everything in our power to ensure these new casinos never come to be,” said Bob McDevitt, of Unite Here Local 54 in Atlantic City, a board member for the group. “Trenton has a track record of making promises it fails to keep, and there’s no reason to believe the benefits touted in this proposal will be any different.”
Members of Trenton’s Bad Bet represent North Jersey, where the casino expansion is being broadly proposed, as well as Central and South Jersey where gaming expansion could impact both quality of life and local economy.
“It is indisputable that expanding gaming within New Jersey will only result in more of what the South Jersey region has already lived through – more casino closures, more jobs lost, less vendor money being spent and higher unemployment. We look forward to working with Trenton’s Bad Bet to urge New Jersey’s electorate to vote no on the ballot question on November 8”, said Debra P. DiLorenzo, chairwoman, No North Jersey Casinos Coalition.
The referendum is cryptic in its details, and doesn’t even identify a possible location for the casinos, raising questions about the level of transparency residents can expect if the initiative moves forward.
“There is no reason to believe that Trenton will be transparent or honest with New Jerseyans with this casino expansion,” said Greg Balderacchi, a board member and New Jersey resident. “Time and time again, we have been misled and tricked into supporting something that is just bad policy. They’re already keeping so much of the information secret – where are they planning to build? Who are the developers? What is the local impact? How can we possibly be asked to vote for this referendum when there’s so much we don’t know?”
For more information about the Trenton’s Bad Bet, or to follow the group’s social channels, make donations, and find other opportunities to get involved, visit the group’s web site: www.TrentonsBadBet.org
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About Trenton’s Bad Bet
Trenton’s Bad Bet is a diverse collection of concerned New Jersey community leaders, unions, businesses, and residents that will work to oppose the New Jersey Casino Referendum that seeks to expand gaming into North Jersey.