In 1976, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing the Legislature to authorize casino gambling, in Atlantic City. The legislative intent was to use gambling as a unique tool for the urban revitalization of Atlantic City, and to generate revenue to establish new or expanded programs to benefit senior citizens and disabled residents.
As part of the original Casino Control Act enacted in 1977, each casino licensee was required to reinvest 2% of its gross gaming revenue. However, by the beginning of 1984, no casino licensee had yet made any of its required reinvestments. In 1984, the State Legislature established the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), which developed guidelines describing more precisely a casino licensee’s investment obligations consistent with the intent of the original statute. The 1984 law gave each casino a choice to either pay 2.5% of its gaming revenue to the State, or reinvest 1.25% of its gaming revenues through the CRDA in community and economic development projects in Atlantic City and around the State. Without exception, the casinos have chosen reinvestment.
THE ONLY AGENCY OF ITS KIND IN THE NATION, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority facilitates economic and community development in Atlantic City by leveraging its available assets and revenues with private investment capital to support redevelopment projects throughout the City. Supporting these efforts, the CRDA also oversees land use planning and clean and safe initiatives in the Atlantic City Tourism District. Concurrently, the CRDA continues its mission to attract visitors to Atlantic City by presenting world class entertainment events and conventions at Historic Boardwalk Hall, the Atlantic City Convention Center and other local venues.