Atlantic City's Mayor Says State Takeover Would Punish Resort

  • Gambling town faces state control, loss of casino monopoly
  • Mayor Guardian says proposals would hurt seaside city

A day after New Jersey’s top-ranking lawmaker proposed a takeover of Atlantic City, Mayor Don Guardian said the plan would punish the community as it tries to mend finances torn as gamblers spurn its casinos.

Guardian, speaking to reporters in a casino convention hall, said the junk-rated city has cooperated with state fiscal monitors and is on a path to end deficits that have plagued it for years. He said another proposal that would ask voters to end its monopoly on gambling would further hurt the resort and fall short of sponsors’ economic projections.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Democrat from West Deptford, introduced legislation Tuesday that would place the city’s operations under state control for 15 years. He is also pushing the plan to authorize two casinos in northern New Jersey.

“If they are allowed to do this in Atlantic City, they will be allowed to do it anywhere,” Guardian said of the takeover plan. “It’s a terrible precedent.”

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