Casino expansion backers prep for worst, try to limit damage

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Backers of a proposal to add two new casinos to northern New Jersey, near New York City, concede that voters will likely reject it next month, and now want to try to keep the margin of defeat from being too great.

At a forum Friday in support of the ballot question, many backers acknowledged what polls have shown for months: The measure is probably headed for defeat.

They agreed the best they can do is to attempt to limit the damage.

Bill Pascrell Jr., a lobbyist supporting the measure, says if the proposal is defeated by 20 or more points, it will be much harder politically to get it back on the ballot in two years.

Democratic state Sen. Paul Sarlo says the next referendum should only include one casino at the Meadowlands Racetrack.