Meadowlands business leaders propose casinos, hotels as part of new entertainment district

Casinos, hotels, a convention center and a monorail could be on the horizon at New Jersey's Meadowlands.

Casinos, hotels, a convention center and a monorail

Casinos, hotels, a convention center and a monorail could be on the horizon at New Jersey's Meadowlands. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

CARLSTADT - Casinos, hotels, a convention center and a monorail could be on the horizon at New Jersey's Meadowlands.

That's the plan business leaders laid out Tuesday to transform the area into a multivenue entertainment district.

Jim Kirkos, head of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, says the goal isn't to build a new Atlantic City. He and others say the upside is huge, given the millions of people within a short drive.

They also point to the restarting of the American Dream megamall project and the transformation of Meadowlands Racetrack as signs that the complex is on the rebound. Kirkos says the entertainment center will draw up to 40 million visitors a year, and that many will be looking for other things to do. 

There has been more talk recently of allowing casino gambling outside of Atlantic City. On Tuesday, a state senator said he'll push for a constitutional amendment to allow slot machines at the state's horse racing tracks.

Republican Joe Pennacchio's proposal would have a consortium of casinos run the new machines. Profits would be divided among that group, the state government and a fund to bring infrastructure and entertainment enhancements to Atlantic City, where casinos have been struggling.

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