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Poll: A.C. casinos have 'home field advantage'

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New Jersey gamlbers are still looking to AC first.
New Jersey gamlbers are still looking to AC first. - (File photo)

Although New York is planning four new gaming locations, New Jersey gamblers are still going to look to Atlantic City first, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Monday.

The poll found that 57 percent of New Jersey residents would prefer to travel to A.C. rather than New York, with just 12 percent expressing a preference for the Empire State’s new facilities.

Nevertheless, if Atlantic City’s casinos lose customers to New York on top of losses to other East Coast sites, that won’t be good news.

“Atlantic City casinos have to be happy that they’re not facing wholesale defection,” Dan Cassino, a political scientist at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the poll, said in a news release. “But even the loss of 12 percent of their customers, on top of what they’ve already lost, could be devastating.”

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New York already has casinos upstate, and there are others located in nearby Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

 “The proposals for the new casinos come from heavy hitters, and they want to open as near to New York City as the state will let them,” Cassino said. “They’re expecting a return on their investments, and they’re going to be very aggressive about taking the New York customers away from Atlantic City.”

The poll also found that 41 percent of New Jersey residents say either they or someone in their household has visited a casino in the past year, with 77 percent of those who have been to a casino saying they have been to one in Atlantic City.

FDU polled 907 adults in New Jersey by telephone.

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Eric Strauss

Eric Strauss

Eric Strauss is the digital content editor for NJBIZ. He has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as for a number of websites. You can contact him at erics@njbiz.com or @acerimrat on Twitter.

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