Atlantic City Reflections


On July 21st, 2010, the New Jersey Gaming, Sports and Entertainment Advisory Commission issued a report calling for creation of a “Clean and Safe Tourism District with State Oversight” in Atlantic City and a new master plan focused on attracting new economic development.

Accepting the report, Governor Chris Christie, who established the Commission in February, called it “a blueprint that will guide our efforts in managing and protecting out gaming, sports and entertainment resources more responsibly.”

When gambling in Atlantic City was first considered and introduced in the 1970s, the roles of the state and local government were a subject of considerable discussion and debate. The Center on the American Governor has explored this issue in interviews conducted with key participants in those deliberations. Full interviews are available in our Video Library but summaries of the portions of the interviews relevant to Atlantic City are available below:

  • Governor Brendan T. Byrne, Governor of the State of New Jersey from 1974 to 1982, discusses Atlantic City in full in his interview conducted on September 13, 2006, available in the Video Library.
  • Governor James J. Florio, Member of Congress from 1975 to 1990 and Governor from 1990 to 1994
  • Governor Richard J. Codey, State Assemblyman from 1974 to 1982, State Senator from 1982 to the present, State Senate President from 2002-2008 and Governor from 2004-2006
  • Steven P. Perskie, State legislator representing Atlantic City from 1972 to 1982, Chief of Staff to Governor Florio from 1989 to 1990 and Chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission from 1990 to 1994
  • Martin Greenberg, State Senator from 1974 to 1979 and General Counsel to Atlantic City Golden Nugget Casino-Hotel from 1979 to 1980
  • John J. Degnan, Counsel, Assistant Counsel or Executive Secretary to Governor Byrne from 1973 to 1978, Attorney General from 1978 to 1981 and gubernatorial candidate in 1981
  • W. Cary Edwards, State Assemblyman from 1978 to 1982, Counsel to Governor Kean from 1982 to 1986, Attorney General from 1986 to 1989, 1993 gubernatorial candidate, and Chair of New Jersey State Commission on Investigation from 1997 to present
  • Edward R. McGlynn, Chief of Staff to Governor Kean from 1986 to 1990 and Commissioner of the NJ Racing Commission from 1995 to present
  • Justice Daniel J. O’Hern, Commissioner of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection from 1976 to 1979, Counsel to Governor Byrne from 1979 to 1981, and Associate Justice of the NJ Supreme Court from 1981 to 2000
  • Chief Justice James R. Zazzali, Attorney General from 1981 to 1982, Associate Justice of the NJ Supreme Court from 2000 to 2006 and Chief Justice from 2006 to 2007
  • Albert Burstein, Assemblyman from 1971 to 1981 and Commissioner of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission from 2004 to 2010
  • James P. Dugan, State Senator from 1970 to 1978
  • Stanley C. Van Ness, Counsel and Assistant Council to Governor Hughes from 1965 to 1970 and Public Advocate and Public Defender from 1974 to 1982
  • Justice Alan Handler, Counsel to Governor Byrne from 1976 to 1977 and Associate Justice of the NJ Supreme Court from 1977 to 1999