Gov. Christopher Christie will name a “seven-member commission to review the way gaming, sports and entertainment are overseen in New Jersey,” according to a Star-Ledger report. The panel will look at the role of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, Xanadu, the horse racing industry, and Atlantic City tourism.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford) yesterday asked Christie to review the role of the Casino Control Commission, and to consider whether casinos should be controlled by a small group of owners. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s approval of the sale of Tropicana’s Atlantic City casino to a group that includes Carl Icahn might mean that two individuals, Icahn and money manager Leon Black, would control eight out of eleven Atlantic City casinos. Icahn could own four of the casinos – with the Tropicana and the Taj Mahal being the two largest – and Apollo Management, the private equity firm run by Black, owns Harrah’s, which has four casinos in New Jersey.
Also yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) announced that the Legislative Oversight Committee, which she chairs, would hold hearings on the future role of the sports authority later this month.