Asm. Ralph Caputo on His Support for Northern NJ Casinos
Asm. Ralph Caputo (D)- NJ, talks about the current fiscal health of Atlantic City, why he supports the plan to bring new casinos to North Jersey, and the bill he sponsored requiring online gaming companies to identify their casino backers.
"We are pleased to be joined by good friend Assemblyman Ralph Caputo. He is a Democrat. He's the deputy majority whip and chair of the Tourism, Gaming, and Arts Committee. Good to see you, Assemblyman. Good to see you, Steve. Good to see you, Raf. Just to make it clear, at the North Ward Center, you actually -- You grew up not too far away from this. Uh, we've had a few familiar experiences here. You know it well. Unforgettable. Let's put it that way. Well, we're not gonna talk Newark. We're gonna talk Atlantic City, which you also know well. You were an executive in the Atlantic City casino business. Now you are a legislator. And people turn to you for advice in this, so here's the question -- As we tape this program, um, in mid August 2016, there's a $73 million state loan that has to be paid back by Atlantic City by November 3rd. It was a bail-out loan. Are they gonna pay it? Well, they're either gonna pay it or, you know, obviously, the state will move to try to take them over soon. Uh, they had to put up -- they had to put up, as collateral, the Bader Field and the Authority, so I'm sure they're gonna be able to pay it. Mm-hmm. You think so? Yeah, I think so. With the $30 million redirection of the marketing money that went to "Do A.C." and the potential sale of Bader Field or one of the Authorities, I think they'll be able to pay it back. So, whether they can pay or not, do you think it might be a good idea, at some point, for the state to take over? I'm not really -- I don't have that much faith in the state taking over, you know, government -- Taking over Atlantic City government? No. I'm not -- I mean, they haven't had a good experience, either in Newark or anywhere else. Very good record. Right. Yeah, so, I don't know whether they would do a better job. And you got to look for reasons to help rather than say "no." It's been a very painful experience, you know. The whole picture about Atlantic City in terms of the take-over bills and the Municipal Recovery Act, and also the constitutional amendment that proposes North Jersey gaming. It's been a very difficult, challenging time not only for the legislators but, uh, basically, for the people of Atlantic County and the people of the state of New Jersey. So, Assemblyman, let's talk about that. You know the gambling market. Yes, I do. You understand the southern, northern part of the state. You understand nationally. This referendum for gambling in the northern part of the state..."