As North Jersey casino question looms, pro-Jersey City casino website launches

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With New Jersey residents set to decide whether or not casino gaming will come to North Jersey on November 8, a new website is advocating for a 90-story hotel and casino complex known as Liberty Rising in Jersey City.

A rendering of the potential Liberty Rising hotel and casino by Friedmutter Group Architects.
A rendering of the potential Liberty Rising hotel and casino by Friedmutter Group Architects.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Liberty Rising is a world-class resort with gaming that will bring jobs and economic opportunity to Jersey City and the surrounding region,” according to a website created by Our Turn NJ.

The $4 billion luxury complex, the brainchild of billionaire Reebok founder Paul Fireman, would potentially be located at 100 Caven Point Road – which is south of Liberty State Park and between an industrial area and Liberty National Golf Course.

The website says that the project would not disrupt residential areas near LSP or impact traffic on the Jersey City waterfront and would also provide easy access to the NJ Turnpike and Manhattan.

Photo via http://www.ourturnnj.com/jc.
Photo via http://www.ourturnnj.com/jc.

Furthermore, Our Turn NJ states that the large-scale entertainment center would be 100 percent privately funded, create 9,000 union construction jobs, as well as “6,000 resort operation jobs.”

Back in January, Hudson County View first reported that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, an expected Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said that a local casino would bring “a revenue boon” to the city, creating anywhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.

After a spring visit to Atlantic City, Fulop backtracked on his pro casino stance, stating he would support North Jersey casino gaming – just not in Jersey City, leading to a heated Twitter exchange with state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) back in April.

Lesniak, who is also mulling a run for governor, said then that he’d be all for a facility like Liberty Rising coming to Elizabeth – the largest municipality in his legislative district.

Lesniak, state Sen. President Stephen Sweeney (D-3), Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13), state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11), among many others, are pictured with quotes favorable to expanding gaming outside of Atlantic City on a section of the website titled “Our Support.”

Additional information on the Our Turn NJ website claims that NJ has lost $1.8 billion in gaming revenue since 2006, funding that could have went toward programs for low-income and disabled seniors, such as Meals on Wheels, housing programs and group homes.

Trenton’s Bad Bet, an advocacy group fighting against bringing casinos to North Jersey, announced their formation in July, pointing to the state’s recent struggles with the Transportation Trust Fund as one of several reasons why new casinos would not live up to the hype.

Our Turn NJ, which has a mailing address of 85 Livingston Ave. in Roseland, has recently paid for two TV commercials encouraging voters to support making North Jersey casinos a reality.

Both commercials, released on August 17 and August 22, respectively, have been released on the group’s YouTube channel (which currently doesn’t have any other videos uploaded) and can be seen below.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYoxPHGUgZA[/fve]

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utkY1v5HA-g[/fve]

15 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds great if you want downtown Jersey City to start looking like any part of Atlantic City more than 2 blocks from the ocean. The proposed amendment also forces a large portion of the taxes to be given to Atlantic City, not used in Jersey City. This is a terrible proposal and should be opposed by everyone.

  2. I happen to be one individual, that doesn’t have a special interest in the North Jersey casino referendum.
    But I have a profound interest in the outcome, having been part of the successful 1976 vote, that approved casinos for Atlantic City; and assisting the Legislature and AG’s Office in drafting the Casino Control Act. And one reason we were successful in 1976 after a similar casino referendum failed 60% to 40% in 1974; is that we restricted gaming to only one community; Atlantic City; but the tax benefits would go to programs supporting NJ Seniors and the disabled. Those funds are now suffering losses of over $200 million per year ($1.8 billion since 2006), as a result of AC’s casino revenue declines. And much of this loss has come from New Jersey citizens, who now find it more convenient (especially mid-week) to visit casino in Eastern Pennsylvania or the Slots at Yonkers and Aqueduct.

    With 2 casinos included in the November referendum, It would greatly help the vote if the two communities were restricted, by the Legislature to the Meadowlands and Jersey City, just like Atlantic City was in 1976.
    The other issue that needs to be addressed Legislatively, is the tax rate on slot and table win, because without it; Senior and disabled programs, Atlantic City and the Horse Racing Industry, will have no idea what they might expect; from North Jersey casinos.

    The Paul Fireman casino could not succeed on the 55% slot tax proposed by Jeff Gural; which is the same as Pennsylvania; so this project would need a tax of 25% or less, to have any chance of success. But if the tax were structured; to provide an annual tax credit, for investments beyond the $1 billion minimum required in the referendum; then the Meadowlands could proceed, within months of a successful referendum, at the higher tax. And that means restoring programs for Seniors and the disabled, while compensating Atlantic City for giving up its NJ monopoly; which is meaningless, as AC has already lost that designation; with Eastern gaming competition in PA, NY, MD, DE, WV and CT.

    Based on Northeast population demographics; I could see a complete Meadowlands facility winning
    $1 billion or more annually which would mean at least $200 million to AC, $200 million to Senior and disabled programs, and some help to NJ Racing and Horse Breeding.

    The substantial Fireman proposal could take 3 to 4 years, to build, and could prompt NY to react and approve casinos for Manhattan. But in the meantime, NJ could benefit from the substantial population in North Jersey, and its convenience to Manhattan, Staten Island and Orange Co. NY. My county study, shows that the Meadowlands would draw from a population of 10 million, plus the millions of annual visitors, traveling businessmen, convention and trade show delegates, staying at Manhattan hotels. Aqueduct and Yonkers are winning $1.3 billion from a population support of a similar 10 million, but don’t enjoy the superior
    access of the Meadowlands.

    Traffic concerns in North Jersey are overstated, where casinos are concerned; as most visitors arrive on week-ends and evenings; and are not subject to a specific time frame, like a Jet or Giant game. In fact casinos would ease the traffic burden for specific events, as many attendees would visit the casino, before or after the game, for a meal or entertainment, to avoid the events traffic jam.

    But for a positive vote this November, I believe the NJ Legislature has to come forward, before the referendum, and severely restrict the communities that could have a license; and also determine the tax rate on slots and tables, so that Seniors and Atlantic City might know what they might anticipate from North Jersey gaming.

  3. While I like the idea of North Jersey casinos, I will be voting no. Why, the slush fund that will be funneled to Atlantic City. F*ck em. Keep the dollars in Hudson County or for statewide initiatives but no special funds for AC. Then, and only then, would I vote yes.

  4. So let me get this straight: we have to subsidize the building of a casino in Jersey City to bail out the heavily subsidized and failed casinos in Atlantic City and the failed politicians in Trenton. Where’s the casino going to be built to bail out the one in Jersey City when that goes down the tubes and what little revenue it’s generated has been misappropriated? At this rate we’re going to have as many casinos as strip malls.

  5. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Make sure you know how to vote in NOvember regarding the casiNO !

    Vote NO!

  6. Do we really want to try and fix Atlantic City Casino’s revenue issue by putting casinos in North New Jersey in order to fund and enable the existing declining casino business to continue down the same path. I believe the problem stems with Atlantic City Casino business inability for the industry to reinvent themselves in order to beat the competition in the neighboring states that have since taken a nice piece of that market share. We live in an era where business, technology, industries change rapidly and the business that can change with the times and adapt are the ones that remain the players. What worked great in business yesterday will not sometime work the same in the future without evolving. The Atlantic City Casinos Ceo’s must look outside the box and learn to reinvent their business in order to stay competitive. The reality is there have been four Casinos closure with 8000 jobs loses in 2014 and 3 casinos in bankruptcy court . You can give them all the money they want, open more casinos up north but if Atlantic City’s Casino Industry doesn’t change, it will continue with the same fate . Here’s the AC Public Revenue Hisory Report: http://gaming.unlv.edu/reports/ac_hist.pdf The new casino will put a nail in the coffin of another.
    Instead of building more casinos in North Jersey, invest in manufacturing legal gambling machines that can be then licenses to the casinos or state lottery to market to stores, business throughout the state. The machine should be networked just like the lottery machines. This would offer scalability in the number of gaming machines spread out through the state . It would offer more of number machines compared to what would be found consolidated into a casino. It would minimize the risk of a single point of revenue lost if one casino location were to close down. It will create more new jobs and additional revenue with this new business. The casinos, business , government and New Jersey will profit from this. Help keep Atlantic City alive. Spread the wealth

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