Union threatens suit over N.J. aid for casino

Investors in the Revel Casino project in Atlantic City are, well, reveling in New Jersey’s pledge of more than $260 million  for the long stalled resort.  Governor Christie announced what he calls the ‘investment’ earlier this week.  But not everyone is celebrating.

The labor union representing workers at the 11 other Atlantic City casinos has a long-running dispute with Revel, which doesn’t intend to employ union workers.  Unite HERE Local 54 plans to sue to stop the state financing.  Bob McDevitt is president of the local.

“We’re talking about a time when there’s taxpayers sacrificing, and the state’s going to give a quarter of a billion dollars to a casino that hasn’t even opened yet,” said McDevitt.  “We have struggling casinos all over Atlantic City as it is.”

The Revel Casino project was halted two years ago due to lack of funding, but the state investment has jump-started construction.  In return, New Jersey will reap 20 percent of profits from the casino until the bonds are repaid.

Supporters of the project, including Governor Christie, have billed it as the kind of comprehensive resort that will distinguish Atlantic City from competitors in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Delaware.

Revel still needs to raise about $1.15 billion for the project.

State officials did not return calls seeking comment.

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