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    Chapter 12:

      Section: 5:12-1: Short title; declaration of policy and legislative findings.

1. Short title; Declaration of Policy and Legislative Findings.

a. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Casino Control Act."

b. The Legislature hereby finds and declares to be the public policy of this State, the following:

(1) The tourist, resort and convention industry of this State constitutes a critical component of its economic structure and, if properly developed, controlled and fostered, is capable of providing a substantial contribution to the general welfare, health and prosperity of the State and its inhabitants.

(2) By reason of its location, natural resources and worldwide prominence and reputation, the city of Atlantic City and its resort, tourist and convention industry represent a critically important and valuable asset in the continued viability and economic strength of the tourist, convention and resort industry of the State of New Jersey.

(3) The rehabilitation and redevelopment of existing tourist and convention facilities in Atlantic City, and the fostering and encouragement of new construction and the replacement of lost convention, tourist, entertainment and cultural centers in Atlantic City will offer a unique opportunity for the inhabitants of the entire State to make maximum use of the natural resources available in Atlantic City for the expansion and encouragement of New Jersey's hospitality industry, and to that end, the restoration of Atlantic City as the Playground of the World and the major hospitality center of the Eastern United States is found to be a program of critical concern and importance to the inhabitants of the State of New Jersey.

(4) Legalized casino gaming has been approved by the citizens of New Jersey as a unique tool of urban redevelopment for Atlantic City. In this regard, the introduction of a limited number of casino rooms in major hotel convention complexes, permitted as an additional element in the hospitality industry of Atlantic City, will facilitate the redevelopment of existing blighted areas and the refurbishing and expansion of existing hotel, convention, tourist, and entertainment facilities; encourage the replacement of lost hospitality-oriented facilities; provide for judicious use of open space for leisure time and recreational activities; and attract new investment capital to New Jersey in general and to Atlantic City in particular.

(5) Restricting the issuance of casino licenses to major hotel and convention facilities is designed to assure that the existing nature and tone of the hospitality industry in New Jersey and in Atlantic City is preserved, and that the casino rooms licensed pursuant to the provisions of this act are always offered and maintained as an integral element of such hospitality facilities, rather than as the industry unto themselves that they have become in other jurisdictions.

(6) An integral and essential element of the regulation and control of such casino facilities by the State rests in the public confidence and trust in the credibility and integrity of the regulatory process and of casino operations. To further such public confidence and trust, the regulatory provisions of this act are designed to extend strict State regulation to all persons, locations, practices and associations related to the operation of licensed casino enterprises and all related service industries as herein provided. In addition, licensure of a limited number of casino establishments, with the comprehensive law enforcement supervision attendant thereto, is further designed to contribute to the public confidence and trust in the efficacy and integrity of the regulatory process.

(7) Legalized casino gaming in New Jersey can attain, maintain and retain integrity, public confidence and trust, and remain compatible with the general public interest only under such a system of control and regulation as insures, so far as practicable, the exclusion from participation therein of persons with known criminal records, habits or associations, and the exclusion or removal from any positions of authority or responsibility within casino gaming operations and establishments of any persons known to be so deficient in business probity, either generally or with specific reference to gaming, as to create or enhance the dangers of unsound, unfair or illegal practices, methods and activities in the conduct of gaming or the carrying on of the business and financial arrangements incident thereto.

(8) Since the public has a vital interest in casino operations in Atlantic City and has established an exception to the general policy of the State concerning gaming for private gain, participation in casino operations as a licensee or registrant under this act shall be deemed a revocable privilege conditioned upon the proper and continued qualification of the individual licensee or registrant and upon the discharge of the affirmative responsibility of each such licensee or registrant to provide to the regulatory and investigatory authorities established by this act any assistance and information necessary to assure that the policies declared by this act are achieved. Consistent with this policy, it is the intent of this act to preclude the creation of any property right in any license, registration, certificate or reservation permitted by this act, the accrual of any value to the privilege of participation in gaming operations, or the transfer of any license, registration, certificate, or reservation, and to require that participation in gaming be solely conditioned upon the individual qualifications of the person seeking such privilege.

(9) Since casino operations are especially sensitive and in need of public control and supervision, and since it is vital to the interests of the State to prevent entry, directly or indirectly, into such operations or the ancillary industries regulated by this act of persons who have pursued economic gains in an occupational manner or context which are in violation of the criminal or civil public policies of this State, the regulatory and investigatory powers and duties shall be exercised to the fullest extent consistent with law to avoid entry of such persons into the casino operations or the ancillary industries regulated by this act.

(10) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1995, c.18.)

(11) The facilities in which licensed casinos are to be located are of vital law enforcement interest to the State, and it is in the public interest that the regulatory and investigatory powers and duties conferred by this act include the power and duty to review architectural and site plans to assure that the proposal is suitable by law enforcement standards.

(12) Since the economic stability of casino operations is in the public interest and competition in the casino operations in Atlantic City is desirable and necessary to assure the residents of Atlantic City and of this State and other visitors to Atlantic City varied attractions and exceptional facilities, the regulatory and investigatory powers and duties conferred by this act shall include the power and duty to regulate, control and prevent economic concentration in the casino operations and the ancillary industries regulated by this act, and to encourage and preserve competition.

(13) It is in the public interest that the institution of licensed casino establishments in New Jersey be strictly regulated and controlled pursuant to the above findings and pursuant to the provisions of this act, which provisions are designed to engender and maintain public confidence and trust in the regulation of the licensed enterprises, to provide an effective method of rebuilding and redeveloping existing facilities and of encouraging new capital investment in Atlantic City, and to provide a meaningful and permanent contribution to the economic viability of the resort, convention, and tourist industry of New Jersey.

(14) Confidence in casino gaming operations is eroded to the extent the State of New Jersey does not provide a regulatory framework for casino gaming that permits and promotes stability and continuity in casino gaming operations.

(15) Continuity and stability in casino gaming operations cannot be achieved at the risk of permitting persons with unacceptable backgrounds and records of behavior to control casino gaming operations contrary to the vital law enforcement interest of the State.

(16) The aims of continuity and stability and of law enforcement will best be served by a system in which continuous casino operation can be assured under certain circumstances wherein there has been a transfer of property or another interest relating to an operating casino and the transferee has not been fully licensed or qualified, as long as control of the operation under such circumstances may be placed in the possession of a person or persons in whom the public may feel a confidence and a trust.

(17) A system whereby the suspension or revocation of casino operations under certain appropriate circumstances causes the imposition of a conservatorship upon the suspended or revoked casino operation serves both the economic and law enforcement interests involved in casino gaming operations.

(18) As recognized in the July 2010 Report of the Governor's Advisory Commission on New Jersey Gaming, Sports, and Entertainment, and as confirmed in subsequent legislative hearings held throughout the State, legalized casino gaming in New Jersey presently stands at a crossroads, facing critical challenges that jeopardize its important role in the State economy, and it is in the public interest to modernize and streamline the current outdated casino regulatory structure in order to achieve efficiencies and cost savings that are more appropriately directed to marketing and infrastructure improvement efforts while, at the same time, maintaining strict integrity in the regulation of casino operations.

(19) The ability of the legalized casino gaming industry in New Jersey to compete in an ever-expanding national gaming market requires a regulatory system that is sufficiently flexible to encourage persons and entities holding casino gaming licenses outside of New Jersey to participate in casino gaming in Atlantic City, to allow licensees to take full and timely advantage of advancements in technology, particularly in information technology, and business management, and to encourage the efficient utilization of resources between and among affiliated New Jersey licensees operating casinos located in Atlantic City and between and among a New Jersey affiliate and its licensed affiliates in other jurisdictions.

L.1977, c.110, s.1; amended 1978, c.7, s.1; 1981, c.503, s.1; 1987, c.409, s.1; 1987, c.410, s.1; 1991, c.182, s.1; 1995, c.18, s.1; 2011, c.19, s.1.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2013-06-10 16:36:30.

Older versions of 5:12-1 (if available):

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