As Assembly Seeks To Advance Interests Of Would-Be Casino Developers, Financial Ties To Prieto Raise Questions

Newark, NJ – Despite having serious challenges that affect millions of citizens that demand immediate attention, such as the infrastructure failings and a budget mess threatening the fiscal state of New Jersey, members of the state assembly under the direction of Speaker Vincent Prieto have decided to expend taxpayer dollars and legislative time to do the bidding of billionaire developers seeking a special interest handout.

Today, the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee will gather to consider a non-binding resolution advanced by gaming expansion interests. According to the Press of Atlantic City, “one of the main critiques of the ballot question was that it did not specify specific tax rates for the new casinos, exact locations and how the tax revenue would be distributed,” yet the resolution fails to provide details continuing to leave New Jersey voters in the dark.

The question New Jersey voters should and will ask is why?

And they will find the answer is that Speaker Vincent Prieto is doing the bidding of deep-pocketed billionaires seeking a bailout by the New Jersey legislature in their effort to advance gaming expansion into north New Jersey. Perhaps less surprising is finding that both developers in favor of the casino referendum are recent political contributors to Prieto, who is acting on their behalf despite the fact studies show gaming outside Atlantic City will result in tens of thousands of lost jobs and billions in economic losses.

Combined, these two developers have donated more than $25,000 to the Assembly Speaker. “It is disappointing, but perhaps not surprising to find these connections which raise real questions about the Speaker’s actions,” said Bill Cortese, executive director of Trenton’s Bad Bet. “It seems like the only thing transparent about this referendum is the support politicians are giving to special interests over New Jersey residents.”

As state taxpayers decide how to vote on the sketchy referendum in November, one thing is clear: would-be developers wasted no time in lining up local politicians for support. But after years of bait-and-switch tactics at taxpayers’ expense, and a long track record of broken promises that have left transportation and pension funds in disarray, New Jersey residents are not warming up to Trenton politicians and their special interest friends.

A recently released Rutgers-Eagleton poll found that 50 percent of voters want casinos to be confined to Atlantic City and 58 percent disapprove of the proposal altogether. Still, with no regard to what the residents actually want, Prieto continues to push forward on behalf of developers, making it clear his loyalties lie with special interests over New Jersey voters.

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 website: www.TrentonsBadBet.org


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.

Committee Contact:
Trenton’s Bad Bet
(201) 870-0548
[email protected]