The New Jersey state budget impasse that
forced Atlantic City's casinos to shutdown for two days in July
resulted in many visitors canceling their vacation plans to the
beach and casino destination, according to a survey of 1,386
consumers conducted by Harris Interactive.
Overall, the survey
found that only 9% had plans to visit Atlantic City to gamble on
July 5 through 7, the days the budget impasse forced the state to
furlough government casino inspectors, which resulted in the
state's 12 casinos shutting down.
Of those with plans
to visit Atlantic City for gambling on those dates, nearly half
(49%) canceled those plans when the casinos shutdown. Others (23%)
simply went to another casino destination, including 3% that jetted
off to Las Vegas.
But the biggest
beneficiary of Atlantic City's casino shutdown was
The survey found
13% of gamblers that went forward with their travel plans headed to
the casinos in Connecticut, such as Foxwoods and Mohegan
Still, 6% said they
went to Atlantic City anyway, despite the lack of gaming
The majority of
respondents (86%) were aware of the budget impasse and especially
the casino shutdown, which was an unprecedented event in the
history of Atlantic City. But most (78%) blamed lawmakers and the
governor (58%) for the shutdown, rather than the casinos
The survey was
conducted from July 7 to 10 and involved travelers ages 21 and old
in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New
York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia,
Washington and West Virginia.
Atlantic City came
into the crossfire between New Jersey's governor, Jon Corzine, and
the state legislature when a July 1 deadline for approving the
state's budget for the 2007 fiscal year came and went. The governor
then began furloughing nonessential government
Day, the furloughs continued with state parks and beach employees.
Finally, on July 5, the casino inspectors who supervise gaming
activity in Atlantic City were sent home. Casinos, by law, are not
permitted to operate without state supervision.
The casinos finally
reopened 72 hours later after the governor and state lawmakers
reached a budget deal.
contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Michael
Milligan at [email protected].