Atlantic City jobs at risk - Survey
By staff
More than 12,000 casino and non-casino jobs could be lost, investment in Atlantic City would be hurt, and New Jersey would lose casino tax revenue if Gov. James E. McGreevey's gaming proposals pass, according to an industry-funded report.

Michael Pollock's Gaming Industry Observer reached those conclusions in an 85-page report commissioned by the Atlantic City Regional Chamber of Commerce and funded by Casino Association of New Jersey.

The report states that racetrack slots alone could cost Atlantic City 6.2 million annual visitors and $560 million of gaming revenue, leading to a $141 million loss of business to other Atlantic County firms.

The report is the industry's latest attempt to kill proposals to raise casino-revenue tax to 10% from 8%, impose the 6% sales tax on casino complimentaries, create a 7% lodging tax and possibly allow slot machines at racetracks.

McGreevey's proposals come at a time when Atlantic City is preparing to compete against casino-style gambling in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

The taxes alone could lead to job losses for 1,300 casino employees and 1,700 non-casino employees, the report said. The knock-on effects could cause the loss of 5,239 casino jobs and 6,810 non-casino jobs, as well as $230 million in lost income to other New Jersey businesses.

The combination of racetrack slots and higher casino taxes would result in less tax revenue for the state, the report said. Under present conditions, casinos next year would pay $768 million in total taxes to the state, agencies and municipalities. With the effects of higher casino taxes and competing racetrack slots figured in, casinos next year would pay $65 million less in total taxes.

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