Since the recent legalization of gambling in New Jersey, the capital, Atlantic City, has seen more and more tourists. However, the state government is still not happy with the number of tourists occupying the city. In order to attract more visitors and remind people of New Jersey’s old glory, the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) has approved a 10% budget increase for 2019.
A Stagnating Market
Only two NJ casinos marked 2018 as a successful year – Hard Rock and Resorts. Every other casino currently located in Atlantic City has noticed gross gambling revenue drops in the last year. The city authorities are worried for a reason – since the legalization, Atlantic City is putting all its eggs in the tourism basket. If something doesn’t change fast, the number of visitors will drop further leaving all the newly-opened casinos out in the cold.
The 10% increase translated into real money is somewhere around $6.7 million. More than $5 million will be spent on marketing alone. The rest of the money will be used for hiring 45 additional police officers in order to help keep the city more secure in the wake of the influx of tourists and to help with the transition of governing control being returned from the state.
Critics of the CRDA have often pointed out blatantly unjustified expenditures. The agency has already embarrassed itself with the Miss America scandal, while the recent state audit has concluded that the agency wasn’t always spending money in inadequate ways.
However, the fact remains that the CRDA has gone out of its way to ensure more tourists visit “The World’s Famous Playground” this year. CRDA is primarily funded by casinos and resorts by charging $5 for every occupied hotel bed and $3 for every parked car.