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The loss of $3.6 million in casino reinvestment funds to a bad loan for an Elizabeth housing complex is an outrageous, distressing story and - pardon the cynicism - a familiar one in New Jersey.
Is the complimentary cocktail glass half full or half empty?
Is Revel Entertainment Group "a bad corporate neighbor" for appealing its property-tax assessment in Atlantic City?
Folks who think Atlantic City casinos can regulate themselves must be dismayed by word of the sad job they are doing obeying the city's partial smoking ban.
Yes, a new era has begun in Atlantic City. But in one way, what the resort also needs is a return to an old era - a time when everyone in the city acted with a unity of purpose.
Before anyone gets too carried away with visions of a transformed Atlantic City International Airport lifting the region to new economic heights, here's a question: What's the flight plan?
Next week, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority will vote on a new map for the Atlantic City Tourism District.
Ah, the nitty gritty.
As with so much in Atlantic City, the opposition to Bader Field being included in the state-run Tourism District is a bit mystifying.
Transitions are rarely seamless - particularly those involving something as complex as casino regulation or as difficult as creating an Atlantic City Tourism District. Still, the transition period following the Feb. 1 signing of the casino-deregulation and Tourism District bills has seemed particularly foggy when it comes to details.
From San Francisco to New Orleans to Boston, tourist draws have at least this in common: street performers. Some are very good, and some are just very quirky. But they all add up to the kind of vibrant, energizing mix of amusements that attract tourists and, yes, can attract crowds.
Back in 2001, we called online gambling "bad public policy" - a view that made sense then but seems terribly quaint today.
It's not quite Woodstock, but the three-day music festival that Atlantic City officials are bringing to Bader Field this summer could be huge for the resort.
During public debate over the casino-deregulation bill, casino savings from deregulation were generally estimated at about $20 million to $25 million - an amount that was supposed to go toward marketing Atlantic City and paying for infrastructure improvements in the Tourism District.
"You can hear the sigh of relief that just went through all of Atlantic County."
The hallmark of the South African system of apartheid was the doctrine of separate but unequal. It was a system where the dominant indigenous people of color were subjugated and controlled by an imperialistic white minority.
Last week, as he signed legislation aimed at revitalizing an ailing Atlantic City, Gov. Chris Christie stood in the unfinished lobby of the Revel casino and declared there would be a "new Atlantic City." The governor's signing of S11 and S12 came minutes after the New Jersey Economic Development Authority awarded the Revel casino project a $261.4 million Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant.
Gov. Chris Christie chose the atrium of the half-finished Revel casino hotel project to sign landmark legislation Tuesday designed to make Atlantic City a more vibrant destination resort.
And so ... time to get to work.
We can't say we are surprised by Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford's opposition to the legislation creating a state-supervised Tourism District in the resort. Pitting the city's many impoverished residents against the city's tourism industry in general and the casino industry in particular is a time-honored tactic in Atlantic City politics.
Nearly six months after Gov. Chris Christie stood on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and announced his plan for sweeping change in Atlantic City, lawmakers on Monday passed legislation that makes the plan a reality - and dramatically alters the regulatory and governmental climate of the resort.
Nearly 33 years into the casino era, what is there in Atlantic City that remains unique? Gaming is everywhere these days. A number of towns along the Jersey shore have beaches and boardwalks. There are outlet malls and upscale shopping districts in or near all East Coast cities. Fine restaurants offering various culinary experiences abound in most large cities. Convention centers, night clubs and venues to stage live entertainment acts are also common.
Several current and former lawmakers and regulators are warning about the pace and potential effects of a bill that radically changes New Jersey's casino regulatory structure.
This has gotten absurd. If not bizarre.
The enactment of the Casino Control Act, following the November 1976 passage of the constitutional amendment that legalized casinos, was the result of a thorough, 18-month public review. Now, without warning, it is doomsday for casino regulation in New Jersey.
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