AC Mayor Marty Small.

  • Atlantic City has received $1.6 million in tax revenue from sports betting in a year and a half.
  • State law prohibits the city from touching the money and uses it to advertise the city instead.
  • The mayor, Marty Small, is asking for the same treatment that other cities receive which is a 1.25% tax revenue off sports betting that can be used by the city as it sees fit.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Atlantic City is looking to receive a piece from their sports betting industry through taxes by the state of New Jersey. The city would like to collect 1.25% from taxes on the wagering of sporting events as other places in the state are allotted that same money.

The cities of East Rutherford and Holmdel, the homes of horse racing tracks in the state, receive this benefit.

While taxes are pulled from the industry in Atlantic City, they go directly toward the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority as that is what the current law dictates. This Authority then takes the money and uses it to advertise the recreational offerings located in the “Las Vegas” of the east coast.

Mayor Says This Law Is Unfair

Mayor Marty Small believes that his city should be able to take their tax revenue percentage and use it for what they would like to. Atlantic City is excluded from various taxes that other cities in the state collect. This is just another one to add to the list.

“Say a person comes to Atlantic City, checks in and buys an alcoholic drink: he pays a luxury tax that we don’t get a penny of,” said Small. “He stays in a hotel from Wednesday through Sunday; that’s a hotel tax we don’t get a penny of. He parks his car for four days in a casino garage; that’s a parking tax we don’t see a penny of. And he bets on sports while he’s here — and we don’t get a penny of that? How is that fair?”

The city has seen its fair share of issues when it comes to corruption within its government. The former mayor, Frank Gilliam Jr, was caught in October stealing funds from a children’s basketball league.

Gilliam Jr. stole $87,000 from the Atlantic City Starz. Not only did he steal from Atlantic City but from Philadelphia as well spanning over five years, from 2013-2018 all for his personal gain.

The current Mayor Marty Small has made a case to receive the 1.25% tax for his city and took it to the state Assembly where he received the City Council’s approval. However, the legislature along with the state Senate President Steve Sweeney dismissed the case citing that the city must get themselves in order before making any such requests.

“You can’t talk about raising taxes or finding new sources of revenue until you really do have your house in order. This city still has a long way to go,” said Sweeney.

To change what is already within a state law will prove difficult. Couple that with the corruption within the city that has made headlines recently, it will be an uphill battle. If the mayor wants to see tax revenue from sports betting go toward benefiting his city, it is clear that state officials want to see him clean house before any progress can take place.

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