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Atlantic City Council joins mayor's call for sports betting tax revenue

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Atlantic City Council (copy)

City Council passed a resolution on Dec. 6 urging lawmakers in Trenton to redirect 1.25% of sports betting taxes back to Atlantic City.

ATLANTIC CITY — The governing body registered its support for the mayor’s crusade to recoup a percentage of sports betting taxes that other municipalities receive but Atlantic City does not.

City Council voted for a resolution Friday urging state lawmakers to redirect 1.25% of sports betting revenue taxes to the city to be used for public safety.

Currently, 1.25% of taxable revenue generated from sportsbooks in Atlantic City and their online partners goes to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority for marketing.

The same law that established the additional tax — it is on top of the set rates for retail and online/mobile sports betting — sends the money directly to the host municipalities of sports gambling facilities at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park racetracks.

Mayor Marty Small Sr., has publicly called out the disparity and even testified before a state Assembly committee, telling lawmakers that the city needed the money to offset massive loses in its rateable base.

“We’re not asking for anything that no one else gets,” Small has previously said. “That’s going to be the fight. I represent the taxpayers. My No. 1 priority, and it always will be, is to stand and fight for them.”

The symbolic vote by City Council is unlikely to sway legislators and decision-makers in Trenton. Both Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Salem, Gloucester, Cumberland, dismissed the idea that Atlantic City should receive tax revenue from gaming when asked about the mayor’s proposal during the New Jersey State League of Municipalities conference last month.

“You can’t talk about raising taxes or finding new sources of revenue until you really do have your house in order,” Sweeney responded last month when asked by The Press about Small’s proposal. “This city still has a long way to go.”

Since the additional sports betting tax law was enacted in 2018, the CRDA has received nearly $1.6 million. During the same timeframe, the host municipalities and counties of the two racetracks have netted $1.97 million.

Contact: 609-272-7222

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Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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