New Jersey Bill Gives Former Addicts Employment Opportunities in Casinos

A law proposed in the New Jersey Senate would give former addicts a second chance for jobs in the state's most significant industry. The bill would make graduates of “recovery court,” also called “drug court,” eligible for employment at Atlantic City casinos.

In New Jersey, residents who go to court for drug-related offenses are often given the option of rehabilitative probation. The program is focused on fighting the state's opioid epidemic and is designed to rehabilitate individuals struggling with addiction to a controlled substance or its analog.

New Jersey law currently prevents individuals convicted of crimes involving controlled substances and their analogs from obtaining employment at a casino. With new casinos opening in Atlantic City and gaming expanding in North Jersey, gaming is expected to bring over 6,000 new jobs to New Jersey over the next two years. 

Bill S2330 was sponsored by Sens. Chris Brown and Jeff Van Drew. Under Brown and Van Drew's proposal, the Casino Control Commission could not deny graduates of recovery court the ability to register as a casino employee.

Additionally, the commission could not deny these individuals access to crucial employment license positions in casinos – jobs currently unavailable to anyone with a criminal drug record. These include pit bosses, security directors, and even gaming floor supervisors.

S2330 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Wagering and Tourism. Brown and Van Drew say it has bipartisan support and they believe it will pass in the Senate as well as the General Assembly.

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