What does it cost to buy a bully? If you want to build a new casino in New Jersey, the answer is one million dollars.
In 2011, Gov. Chris Christie was on the record opposing increased casino competition with Atlantic City, and signed a five-year moratorium on in-state competition to Atlantic City’s casinos in order to give the city the opportunity to recover from the recession.
Christie was protective of the casinos in Atlantic City. One casino owner he took particular interest in was Donald Trump. At the time Christie took office in 2010, Trump's casinos owed nearly $30 million in taxes. In 2011, Christie cut him a big break and settled for $5 million.
In 2013, Christie reaffirmed his opposition after a development firm positioned itself to develop a casino at the Meadowlands Racetrack site.
But in May 2015, Christie changed his tune, stating publicly he would be supportive of the measure. What made the Governor change his mind? At that time Christie was gearing up his presidential run, and that same firm dropped a cool million dollars into Chris Christie’s super PAC.
Ballot Question number one in Tuesday's election asks voters to permit the construction of two additional casinos in New Jersey. If you're thinking that one could land in Sussex County, don't bet on it. There are two competing groups dropping millions of dollars into this effort; the aforementioned group at the Meadowlands, and another group in Jersey City.