NJ residents divided on Atlantic City’s future, poll shows
A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll finds that 51 percent of New Jerseyans think that Atlantic City should take care of its own problems, while 44 percent think that the state should step in.
The last time this question was asked, most people said that Atlantic City would benefit from state help. But that was before Gov. Chris Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced a possible state takeover of the city.
Ashley Koning, assistant director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling attributed the decrease in approval of state support to people not wanting government involvement in the economy. She also said that attitudes towards gambling in New Jersey are more apathetic than they used to be.
"These opinions are really different from what we saw decades ago on questions about Atlantic City, when it was seen as something that gave a positive image to New Jersey," she said.
Opinions are also mixed on the addition of casinos in North Jersey, with 49 percent saying that gambling should be restricted to Atlantic City, and 44 percent saying that they're open to having casinos in other parts of the state.
The poll shows 57 percent of respondents said that building casinos in other parts of the state would hurt Atlantic City, while 62 percent said that Atlantic City's best days are behind it.
Regardless of their opinions on where casinos should be built, a majority of respondents said that adding casinos to New Jersey would increase tourism and the economy. Most of them said that they would approve of a new casino as long as it isn't built near their homes.
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