By Thomas Lacovara, Linwood (Published in Press of Atlantic City on June 10, 2015)
Regarding the June 4 Press article ?Behold The Enemy–Hard Rock unveils Meadowlands plan that would end Atlantic City NJ casino monopoly”: ?
Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, unveiled his plan for a North Jersey casino. ?The headline should have read “Behold the Enemy Within”.
Atlantic City had a 37 year monopoly in the state of New Jersey and most of the nation on casino gambling and they blew it. Gross, ineffective, corrupt, politics in Atlantic City?is the first thing that comes to mind, but the problem is much deeper.
CRDA, (the state’s so-called Casino Re-Development Agency) skimmed off so much money from the Atlantic City casinos they didn’t know what to do with it. ?But instead of using those dollars to relieve overburdened taxes in Atlantic County and repair a crumbling Atlantic City the money went elsewhere with no clear accounting.
Part of the Democratic casino regulation language required a minority quota for the workforce. ?This was totally unnecessary. ?Back in the beginning, the casinos were hiring anyone and everyone. ?This created the unintended consequence of a flood of mostly foreign born from third world countries pouring into Atlantic City and surrounding areas. ?This overburdened the schools and social services in many instances pushed out long ?established local communities in the old Italian, Irish, and Chelsea Heights neighborhoods.
The ?commercial district along both Atlantic and Pacific Avenues looks like a war zone. ? It has become largely pawnshops, strip joints, bail bonds, bars and dilapidated structures. ?Crime has been and will continue to plague Atlantic City and Atlantic County. This has made Atlantic City far more infamous, and notorious then it is famous.
The final result is that Atlantic County has become the unemployment and foreclosure capital of the United States. ?Tax payers are moving out. ?It is a very, very sad tale.
How can you blame North Jersey for wanting to take a shot at our blundered gold mine? ?Our 37 year experiment is a gross failure.?The enemy was always within.