At the Metropolitan Business Citizen Association (MBCA) 30th Anniversary Gala on Tuesday evening, the MBCA awarded the 2021 Community Spirit Award to the Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) in recognition of its commitment to jobs, development and economic impact on the community and region. Bess Sacco, CANJ trustee and vice president & chief counsel, regional operations, Caesars Entertainment, Inc., accepted the award on behalf of the Atlantic City casino industry at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.
“The Atlantic City casino industry is honored and humbled to be recognized by the MBCA for our commitment to this community and region,” said Joe Lupo, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey. “While the pandemic greatly challenged New Jersey’s economy – especially South Jersey – we believe that by working together as an industry and by working with Governor Murphy, Mayor Small, our state and local representatives, CRDA and the Division of Gaming Enforcement, we can rebuild stronger than before. As the largest employer in the region, we are invested in this community and remain focused on the ongoing revitalization of Atlantic City.”
The Atlantic City gaming industry has made significant contributions to the state and local economy over the years. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and recent consolidation of the industry, the New Jersey casino industry generated nearly $300 million in total state tax revenue from gaming operations in 2020. Last year, the industry worked in partnership with AtlantiCare, the Division of Gaming Enforcement and UNITE HERE Local 54 to develop guidelines and establish best practices to safely reopen casinos and get employees back to work. The industry came together to offer vaccinations to all employees and implemented wide-ranging safety measures that included disinfecting enhancements, social distancing, educational signage, rigorous employee screening measures, contact tracing, among other precautions.
“We are proud to honor the Atlantic City casino industry for the significant impact it had our community and the region throughout this unprecedented time,” said Gary Hill, executive director of MBCA. “In the early days of the pandemic, the industry came together to support local food banks and community organizations. The casinos diligently focused on how to safely welcome back employees and guests through the adoption of rigorous health and safety protocols. Thanks to the industry’s leadership over the past nearly two years, we are confident Atlantic City will continue to rebuild and recover.”
The casino industry remains committed to the community it serves. As the backbone of the regional economy, the casino industry supports countless vendors, local businesses, and tens of thousands of hardworking employees. Additionally, every year, Atlantic City casinos and employees volunteer their time and donate millions of dollars to support local charities.