Gaming venues in Atlantic City, N.J.,
remained closed Friday, but could reopen over the weekend if New
Jerseys lawmakers are able to quickly approve a long delayed state
budget designed to close a $4 billion deficit and return thousands
of furloughed government employees, including casino inspectors,
back to work.
responsible for supervising the gaming activity in Atlantic City
along with some 80,000 other government employees were furloughed
during the week when the July 1 deadline for approving New Jerseys
budget came and went as the governor and state legislators wrestled
over how best to close deficit.
A budget deal that
includes certain spending cuts and an increase in the states sales
tax from 6% to 7% was finally reached on July 6.
Corzine said Thursday that he anticipates the state legislature
would approve the new budget within 36 hours.
Once the budget is
approved, employees can return to work and we can begin the orderly
process of reopening all facets of government and the private
sector that have been unfortunately forced to shutter, Corzine said
in a statement.
must not happen again, Corzine said. Our budget process and
procedures are flawed, and we have an obligation to fix
In meantime, the
New Jersey Casino Control Commission is standing by.
Once the governor
notifies us that our employees can return to work, we will notify a
group of our inspectors to get into the casinos as quickly as
possible and start the reopening process, Daniel Heneghan, the
commissions spokesman, told TravelWeekly.com. That process should
take more than a few hours.
Assuming the state
legislature approves the new budget by late Saturday, it is
conceivable he said that the casinos could be open that
We have identified
inspectors on our staff who live right in Atlantic City [or nearby]
and they will be the first ones we call, Heneghan said. We will
make sure that we get at least one inspector into each casino as
quickly as possible and that will enable them to start to
It is unclear what
economic impact the shutdown has had on Atlantic Citys casinos, but
officials said the government lost an estimated $1.3 million a day
in tax revenue from the closure.
contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].