New Jersey could descend into a cauldron of drugs, prostitution and chaos if voters approve an expansion of New Jersey casino gambling outside of Atlantic City.

That’s what Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian thinks, anyways.

Guardian’s dire warning came as the State of New Jersey refused to loan Atlantic City the money it needs to provide basic services, such as fire and police protection, as soon as their current cash flow runs dry. According to Guardian, the city will have to stop paying its 900 employees without the loan.

While the state is actually willing to loan the money, it comes with the condition that the State take control of all Atlantic City city services. (That situation worked out really well for Flint, Michigan so it’s tough to see why AC isn’t on board.)

Guardian is also troubled by a referendum on casino gambling expansion that’s headed toward NJ voters in November. If passed, it would allow the state to issue two more casino licenses and destroy AC’s nearly 40-year New Jersey gambling monopoly – and that’s Mayor Guardians worst fear.

The Mayor knows that once Atlantic City loses its stranglehold on casino gambling, its incredibly fragile economy will crash extremely hard. At a recent public forum on gambling, Mayor Guardian made clear what he expects a post-AC-gambling monopoly New Jersey to look like saying:

If you don’t think prostitution and drugs and other minor crimes won’t come along with it, you’re being very foolish.

That comment didn’t sit well with American Gaming Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman, who told

Whether or not Northern New Jersey should have casinos is worthy of a healthy debate. But that debate should be based in fact, not driven by asinine comments like those made by Mayor Don Guardian.

The culmination of that debate will come down in November, so brace yourselves Jersey residents.


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