Casino Control Commission (copy)

The Casino Control Commission, from left to right: Commissioner Sharon Harrington, Chairman James Plousis, Vice Chair Alisa Cooper.

The Casino Control Commission cut costs in 2018, decreasing the agency’s total expenditures by nearly $460,000 and not spending more than $1.7 million of allocated funds.

Since the gaming regulatory agency’s responsibilities were significantly reduced in 2011, the Casino Control Commission has continued to operate with a reduced budget. In 2018, the commission spent $5.7 million, down from $6.2 million the previous year. In the last five years, the commission has cut its expenses by 18.5%.

In 2011, before the state Legislature realigned the responsibilities of the commission and the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, the agency had an annual budget of $21.2 million.

Ocean Casino minority owner qualified

More than a year after Ocean Casino Resort officially opened to the public, one of the men responsible for financing a portion of the original costs was qualified by the commission Wednesday.

Frank M. Ruocco Jr. was approved by state regulators after a lengthy investigation by the DGE. Ruocco’s attorney said his client’s personal and professional background was vetted.

Ruocco, the sole principal of Winding Trail, LLC, was prohibited from collecting any revenue generated at Ocean until his qualification was approved, according to a resolution supporting the licensing of the casino property last year.

Ruocco was cleared of federal charges in 2011 by a jury in Connecticut. Ruocco and his environmental cleanup company were charged with 19 offenses, including conspiracy and multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

— David Danzis

Contact: 609-272-7222

Twitter @ACPressDanzis

Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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