Steve Wynn pondering North New Jersey Casino

Steve Wynn hasn’t owned a casino in New Jersey since 1987. However, he’s pondering a move back to the Garden State now that lawmakers are considering a North New Jersey casino.

“If the right opportunity were created by the Legislature, we would be interested in New Jersey,” said Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Wynn Las Vegas. “It seems shortsighted to limit the options available for future development of the industry, given that some of the top tier resort companies, such as Wynn, are not operating in Atlantic City.”

New Jersey lawmakers have been patiently waiting to see if Atlantic City can turn around its slide, which began in the mid-2000s. But the last two years have only seen four casinos close and 10,000-plus jobs lost in the city. This has created a push to expand the state’s casino market and better compete with neighbors like New York and Pennsylvania.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Gloucester) are trying to change the state constitution to allow for two North New Jersey casinos. Such a move would potentially create thousands of new jobs and add millions of dollars in revenue.

But as NJ.com reports, the main issue between Sweeney and Prieto remains who should operate these casinos. Sweeney, a big proponent of Atlantic City, thinks that these existing operators should own part of the new casinos. Prieto, on the other hand, would only allow for Atlantic City casinos to own part of one casino.

Prieto is also keen on world-class operators like Wynn taking an interest in North New Jersey.

“You want to be able to have someone who wants to come in and put a first-class entertainment destination and casino,” he said.

Considering Prieto’s position, Wynn would be allowed to come back to the state that first made him rich. But Sweeney doesn’t seem too thrilled with the prospect of Wynn returning when his casinos are “losing money.”

Given that Sweeney is the state’s top legislative member and has the backing of Governor Chris Christie, it’s more likely that his proposal will pass. And if this happens, then it’s a good bet that Steve Wynn won’t have anything to do with the possible North New Jersey casino market.

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