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In 1974 the voters of New Jersey were asked to amend the State Constitution by allowing Casino gambling to be permitted in Atlantic City and elsewhere. The referendum was defeated by 60% of voters.
On November 2, 1976 the voters were again asked to decide Public Question #1, an amendment to the Constitution authorizing casino gambling in Atlantic City only. The measure was narrowly approved by 56% of voters after some $1.3 million [mainly funded by The Committee to Rebuild Atlantic City] was spent promoting the legislation.
Seniors and persons with disabilities were encouraged to vote allowing gambling in Atlantic City by being advised that up to 15% of the Gross Casino receipts would be placed in a Special Fund for programs that would benefit seniors and persons with disabilities only. In 1977 legislation was signed into law and the Constitution amended permitting casino gambling in Atlantic City and providing 8% of yearly casino gross receipts to be deposited into the newly created Casino Revenue Fund (CRF) to be used solely for senior and persons with disabilities programs. The CRF was to benefit ‘reductions in property taxes, rentals, telephone, gas, electric, and municipal utilities charges for eligible senior citizens and disabled residents of the State’. In 1981 the State Constitution was again amended to emphasize the sole use of CRF and ‘for additional or expanded health services or benefits or transportation services or benefits to eligible senior citizens and disabled residents, as shall be provided by law’.
The Senate created the Casino Revenue Fund Task Force in 1985, with Senator Catherine Costa as Chair, and after she and the committee conducted four public hearings to determine how best to implement, manage and oversee the Casino Revenue Fund, Senator Costa submitted her report in 1986.
In 1992 the Casino Revenue Fund Advisory Commission was legislated to provide recommendations to the Legislature concerning the Casino Revenue Fund utilization. The Commission consists of 15 members, four are ex-officio, one casino industry representative, four members of the legislative and six of which are public members, two each appointed by the Governor, Senate President and Assembly Speaker. Three public members are senior citizens and three are persons with disabilities.
Legislation that created the above noted elsewhere. Current Commission members to be found at Commission Members.Mission and Role of Commission Today [pdf 140k]