ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The campaign against the measure to build two new casinos in northern New Jersey is rolling out four new media ads, even as new polling shows the ballot question is unlikely to pass.
On Monday, the lobbying group Trenton’s Bad Bet released four new TV and radio ads against the proposal, which will be on the November general election ballot.
The referendum asks voters whether to approve new casinos near New York City, but does not specify where or what tax rate they would pay.
The ads all assert that north Jersey casinos would kill 30,000 jobs, citing a study by south Jersey foes of the plan.
The ads come days after a new Stockton University poll found the plan is supported by 27 percent of voters statewide, with 68 percent opposing it.
The poll of land line and cellphone users was conducted with 638 likely New Jersey voters from Sept. 22-29 by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
The poll found that in northern New Jersey, 63 percent oppose the plan, while 74 percent in New Jersey’s eight southernmost counties oppose it.
Other polls have shown similar trouble for the proposal.
“These results should provide some comfort to residents of the Atlantic City region, which has seen the loss of 5,400 casino industry jobs since the start of 2014,” said Sharon Schulman, executive director of the Hughes Center. “Clearly the voters — especially those in South Jersey — do not want to see Atlantic City casino competition within the state.”
Trenton’s Bad Bet is funded in part by the Genting Group, whose profitable Resorts World casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in New York could be hurt by one or more new casinos nearby. The lobbying group’s membership includes the president of the union representing casino workers in Atlantic City, and Atlantic City-area business groups.
It is continuing its ad blitz against north Jersey casinos, even though the main pro-expansion group, OurTurnNJ, has scrapped its lobbying campaign in support of the proposal. Backed by the two men who want to build casinos in East Rutherford and Jersey City, OurTurnNJ said last month it will not spend any more money on the campaign, which it is convinced will be defeated at the polls.
But supporters of the measure in northern New Jersey plan a forum in support of it on Friday to try to revive the measure’s flagging support.
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