Eustace proposes temporary-casino pilot program

EAST RUTHERFORD – A lawmaker is proposing temporary casinos during special events in New Jersey.

Assemblyman Tim Eustace, (D-38), Paramus, announced he will propose so-called “pop-up” casinos to be permitted in the state during events such as the 2014 Super Bowl.

He brought up the idea during today’s Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee hearing here into the prospects of casino gaming outside of Atlantic City.

The hearing was being held at the same time that Gov. Chris Christie was throwing water on any such proposals.

Christie said this morning that Senate President Steve Sweeney would not post for a vote any bills for gaming elsewhere in the state because they are in the second year of a five-year attempt to revitalize gaming in Atlantic City.

But in a release, Eustace touted his idea as a novel way to generate revenue and boost the economy.

“Like a county fair, a carnival or a music festival that takes place in a parking lot and within a week disappears, a pop-up casino could be created in a similar way. With events coming to Northern New Jersey and thousands of tourists descending on our communities we could entertain them on our side of the New York and Pennsylvania border. Once the influx of tourists is gone, so too would the pop-up casino.”

Eustace said he will propose a four-year pilot program that he said would not hurt Atlantic City’s gaming industry.

“Following voter approval of a ballot referendum, the Legislature would then vote to allow these pop-up casinos to take place on an individual basis. As large events stream through over the next four years, it would be decided whether or not to allow the pop-up casino to take place.”

Other supporters of gaming in Northern New Jersey have said something has to be done to stem the tide of customers going out of state for gaming options elsewhere.

Eustace proposes temporary-casino pilot program