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Budget standoff in New Jersey

Amy Scott Jul 3, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: A budget standoff in the state of New Jersey continues today. All but essential state services are closed. That could leave thousands of government workers without a paycheck. It also spells trouble for one of the state’s biggest industries. Marketplace’s Amy Scott explains.

AMY SCOTT: The state of New Jersey has ordered casinos in Atlantic City to shut down by Wednesday morning. That’s because the agency that regulates them will close as part of the government shutdown.

Gambling and the lottery bring the state a $3 million jackpot every day. Milton Leontiades is former dean of the Rutgers business school. He says a shutdown would ripple throughout the New Jersey economy.

MILTON LEONTIADES: It not only affects the casino industry per se in terms of revenues, but the employees who work at the casinos and the suppliers and vendors that rely on the casinos for their businesses.

Gambling operators have gone to court. They argue the Casino Control Commission counts as an essential service. New Jersey governor Jon Corzine is battling fellow Democrats over his proposal to raise the state sales tax to help close a $4.5 billion budget gap.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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