A majority of New Jersey residents surveyed in the latest Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll oppose opening casinos outside of Atlantic City.
Poll director Krista Jenkins said 56 percent of those questioned don’t want casinos going up in other parts of the state, while just 37 percent favor the idea.
“So the public seems to be questioning the logic behind allowing the spread of casino gambling,” Jenkins said. “They don’t seem to be sold on the idea of saving the gaming industry in the state by allowing it to spread.”
Residents are divided on whether tax revenue from other casino ventures in the state should go to help stabilize Atlantic City’s finances, she said.
“That’s been one of the ideas, that if you allow casino gambling to expand beyond that area, then you can potentially allow that revenue to be pumped elsewhere, perhaps even Atlantic City,” Jenkins said. “So that’s not one of things people are that supportive of.”
About a third of the respondents said they’d still visit Atlantic City if casinos were built in other parts of the state, while another third said they’d be more likely to head to the new locations.
“As to where they’d go, the destination of choice for many would be the Meadowlands, with 69 percent; followed by 49 who chose Monmouth Park; 41 percent who said Jersey City; and 39 percent who favor Newark,” Jenkins said.
Some lawmakers want a constitutional amendment allowing casino expansion to be put on the November ballot. Others want a thorough examination of the idea, and they believe it might be better to have the voter referendum next year.