Whelan reconsiders legislative response to Icahn casino ownership

State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic City) yesterday told PolitickerNJ.com that he had rethought his initial reaction to the prospect of increasing ownership concentration in New Jersey's gaming industry.

Pending approval by a U.S. Bankruptcy court is the sale of another Atlantic City casino to billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn, who would own four of N.J's 11 casinos,making him thesecond owner in the state with such a power share.

"Everything first of all depends on that decision, andI know I said 'you can't get the genii back in the bottle,' but after thinking about it, thinking about that kind of monopoly, I would like to examine the possibility of a bill that would restrict the number of casinos owned by a single entity or individual," saidWhelan.

The senator, a former mayor of Atlantic City, chairs the Senate Gaming and Tourism Committee. A decade ago he opposedthestate law allowing an individual to own more than three casinos, a measure approved to help Donald Trump in the 1990's. Whelan reconsiders legislative response to Icahn casino ownership