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Atlantic City Casino Group Rallies Against Taxes

21 February 2003

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Associated Press: "About 150 casino industry executives, workers and community leaders turned out this week to protest plans for new taxes on casinos, saying the added burden would stymie growth and threaten jobs.

"The 45-minute rally, emceed by state Sen. William Gormley, featured pastors and politicians taking aim at Gov. James E. McGreevey's proposal to boost the casinos' 8 percent tax -- to 10 percent -- and impose a new 6 percent levy on the freebies given to gamblers by casinos as complimentary gifts.

"The midday event Wednesday, at a Baptist church near City Hall, drew a stacked deck: In addition to casino executives and casino public relations officials, a couple of dozen dealers, slot attendants and pastry chefs -- attending on company time, at the request of their employers -- wore lapel stickers that said `Keep Atlantic City Growing!' and `Save Our Jobs' as they sat quietly in the pews.

"…McGreevey says the proposed tax hikes are a bitter pill necessary to help the state address a projected $5 billion deficit.

"Opponents say the tax hikes would unfairly target an industry that already pays its own special tax. If passed, they would chip away at profits, halt growth and hurt the 45,000 people who work in casinos, as well as vendors who serve casinos and their employees, speakers at the rally said…"

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