03/29/2012 9:52AM

New Jersey committee to discuss casino gambling at Meadowlands

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A New Jersey state assembly committee plans to hold hearings later this year on whether the legislature should approve casino gambling at the Meadowlands, according to members of the committee.

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, both Democrats, said that the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gambling Committee will host the public hearings “later this year,” but no dates were announced. Ramos is the chairman of the committee.

“We need to at least discuss the idea of bringing casino-style gambling to the Meadowlands,” Oliver said in a release. She said that gamblers in New Jersey are more frequently traveling to casinos in Pennsylvania than to casinos in Atlantic City, and that a casino at the Meadowlands could keep more gambling dollars in the state.

The Meadowlands is currently being leased by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to a private partnership led by Jeff Gural, who owns two racetrack-casinos in New York.

Gov. Chris Christie has said that he is opposed to allowing any casino gambling outside of Atlantic City, which has struggled through the recession. Over the past two years, Christie has supported the approval of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to Atlantic City casinos.