The games may be afoot in New Jersey

    Gov. Chris Christie wants to move regulatory power from the Casino Control Commission to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, part of the executive branch.

    The Christie administration wants to change who regulates the casinos in Atlantic City.

    The Casino Control Commission has overseen casino operations since gaming in Atlantic City began in 1978. Draft legislation from the Governor’s office would limit the agency to casino licensing and move most of it regulatory duties to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, part of the executive branch.

    Democratic Assemblyman John Burzichelli, chairman of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, does not see Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal as a power grab.

    “There has to be consumer confidence in the games. All that stuff has to be maintained. So I’m not concerned about moving from one area to another area with regard to the executive branch or non-executive branch,” said Burzichelli. “We’ll work all that out through the legislative process.”

    Republican Assemblyman Vince Polistina of Atlantic County said there will be benefits from updating the regulations.

    “We’re going to eliminate some of the duplication of services between the two agencies and ultimately save money which can be put back into marketing Atlantic City and the region,” he said. “Of course, we need to do that in this competitive environment as we see gaming in other jurisdictions around us.”

    Democratic and Republican lawmakers agree changes in the regulatory structure are needed to make Atlantic City more attractive to investors and casino operators.

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