Atlantic City Gambler May Sue Revel Casino over Its Medical Marijuana Policy
A medical marijuana patient is demanding the right to use his prescription drugs in the Revel Casino in Atlantic City. 23-year old Daniel Price of Atlantic City has told the Star Ledge he has retained a lawyer and wants an answer on whether he can use marijuana on the Revel Casino premises.
Daniel Price says he was smoking inside the Revel Casino when a security guard approached him. According to Price, the security guard told hi he could not smoke marijuana inside the casino. Believing the policy to be discriminatory against people with legitimate medical conditions, Daniel Price retained the services of a lawyer and is considering a lawsuit.
The issue may have to be resolved inside a courtroom. Daniel Price has a prescription for medical marijuana to treat seizures. He also uses the drugs for irritable bowel disease. Though Mr. Price has not said how he wishes to use the marijuana inside the Revel Casino.
Marijuana Policies Not Determined Yet
Atlantic City casinos maintain a policy that all smokers must remain in designated areas. While one might assume a marijuana smoker would fall under the same rules, New Jersey state guidelines encourage patients to use marijuana only inside the privacy of their own homes.
NJ Businesses Set Their Own Policies
According to a spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Health, businesses are allowed to create their own medical marijuana policies. Meanwhile, the NJ Department of Gaming says it encourages the various Atlantic City casino to create their own guidelines.
Open-ended laws can lead to trouble for a casino, since they do not have a state-wide or city-wide regulation to lean on. Executives are required to make decisions based on legal gray areas. While the casino bosses have a legal department to inform their decisions, their lawyers may not be able to anticipate the evolving regulatory situation with ever-changing state and federal statutes. In such situations, the legal experts often play it safe. In all Atlantic City casinos at the present, medical marijuana is prohibited.
Lawyer Says People with Disabilities Must Be Accommodated
Michelle Douglass, the attorney for Daniel Price, says the Revel Casino is required by law to accommodate patrons with disabilities. Under her interpretation of the law, Daniel Price would qualify for such consideration. When she talked to the press, Douglass said the next step might be to file a lawsuit against Revel Casino in the New Jersey Superior Court. When asked about the matter, Revel Casino declined to comment.
If the case goes before a New Jersey state court, the verdict in the case could set policies for all Atlantic City casinos in the coming years.
Delaware Casino Relief Bill Enters State Senate
In Delaware, a bill that would provide $20 million in relief to the state’s three gaming venues entered the legislature on Wednesday. The bill passed the committee stage last month, when the Lottery and Gaming Study Commission voted to give the motion their formal support. If the bill passes, the state of Delaware will forfeit about $20 million in tax revenues per year. The bill would provide a boost to the struggling racetracks and casino operations at Dover Downs, Delaware Park, and Harrington Raceway.
Pennsylvania Racetrack Acquired by Gaming and Leisure Properties
The race courses in Delaware are not the only operations needing a boost. The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, Pennsylvania was purchased for $465 million this week. The new ownership group is Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc.
Meadows Racetrack opened in 2007. Besides offering a 5/8 mile racetrack and 500 seat grandstand, the racing course contains 3,317 gaming machines, 14 poker tables, and 61 table games. Meadows Racetrack also has 11 restaurants and bars surrounding the complex.
Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc. announced it will fund the purchase with a combination of debt and equity. While the purchase represents 9 the property’s 2013 EBITDA, but analysts say a robust local economy and stability of market competition makes the investment a safe one. Washington, Pennsylvania is in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Gaming and Leisure Properties expects to find a third party to handle day-to-day operations, while retaining ownership of the companies.
Before the sale is final, the transaction will need to be approved by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The approval process may not close until 2015.
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