Atlantic City Casino PILOT Hearing Set for April 25 | Local News

ATLANTIC CITY — In about a month, state attorneys will try to convince Atlantic County Assignment Judge Michael J. Blee to reconsider a Feb. 25 decision in the lawsuit against the new pay-in-lieu law. and tax place of the casinos.

A hearing on the reconsideration motion is scheduled for April 25, Atlantic/Cape Vicinage Civil Division Director George Coan said.

“The motion was originally able to be returned this Friday, April 1,” Coan wrote in an email response to questions, “but at the request of counsel, the motion was adjourned and is now scheduled to be heard on April 25. “.

Atlantic County sued the state to stop the amended PILOT Act, which state lawmakers quickly passed in December and signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy days before Christmas, from taking effect.

Murphy’s office repeatedly declined to comment on the matter.

The new law reduced casino payouts from what they would have been if the original PILOT law had been maintained, primarily by removing online sports betting and internet gambling from gross gambling revenue calculations.

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Then-Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney, a Democrat and sponsor of the law, said last December that without the new law, up to four casinos could close.

Former Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Joseph Marczyk ruled Feb. 25 that the new PILOT law violates a 2018 consent order related to an earlier lawsuit by Atlantic County against the original PILOT law.

Under the consent order, the county was to obtain approximately 13% of the PILOT funds calculated under the 2016 law. games.

The amendments will provide the county with $15 million to $26 million less through 2026 than after the consent order under the original law, according to the county.

In his Feb. 25 order, Marczyk did not prohibit the state from implementing the new PILOT law “except to the extent they are subject to penalties and/or damages” to be determined in a hearing before Blee, who took over when Marczyk moved to the Appeals Division.

In a hearing earlier this month, John Lloyd, the state’s attorney, argued that the Legislature has the right to define “gross gaming revenue” as it sees fit, at any time, despite the 2018 consent agreement between the county and the state.

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Lloyd also argued that nowhere in the original PILOT Act or consent order is the given definition of “gross gaming revenue” except to say that it is determined by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. of State.

County Attorney Ron Riccio argued that the consent order was based on the understanding that all gaming revenue — including physical, internet and subsequent sports gaming — would be included in PILOT calculations and had was thus included during the first years of the PILOT. .

JOURNALIST: Michelle Brunetti