New advisory commission will examine the future of gaming in New Jersey

In responses to Atlantic City’s ongoing troubles, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has established an advisory commission to consider the future of gaming in the state.

A report in The Press of Atlantic City noted that Debra P. DiLorenzo, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey, will sit on the commission, which will be led by Jon F. Hanson, a former chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and real estate executive.

“We can no longer let Atlantic City wither in the face of competition, have our arenas and stadiums go underutilized, or have a Sports Authority that is unable to maximize our entertainment investment and resources,” Christie said in a prepared statement cited by The Press.

The governor described the commission as a “blueprint to guide our policy in fixing our sports and entertainment infrastructure in New Jersey, to make all its parts self-sustaining, attractive to wider audiences and revenue positive for the long term.”

He said the panel also will be advising the administration “in real-time, to move quickly to solve critical contractual and other issues we confront in the short term.”

Among the critical issues: 1) improving Atlantic City’s competitiveness and promoting the city as a destination resort; and 2) ensuring that horse racing becomes financially self-sustaining.

The panel also will look at the ongoing financial viability of the Sports and Exposition Authority.

The commission is scheduled to issue its report and recommendations by June 30.