Currently in the state of New Jersey, people who have been convicted of a drug offence cannot apply for a casino employee license. That may soon change if a bill that recently passed within the state Senate is signed into law. The bill will allow individuals who have graduated drug court to work in the upper level casino jobs of Atlantic City.
Details of the Bill
Individuals who successfully fulfill duties within the Recovery Court program of New Jersey once convicted of a low-level drug offence would be allowed to apply for employee licensing, if the bill moves forward. The bill will allow the Casino Control Commission to approve such licensing and the Division of Gaming Enforcement to issue a registration to such individuals after they are discharged from court.
Senator Chris Brown is a sponsor of the bill, who stated that the change will provide employment opportunities for people who live in the region. The gaming industry is the largest work environment in Atlantic City and without the opportunity, individuals might not be able to find employment that would help in the recovery process.
Brown has attended interventions involving loved ones who have fought substance abuse and he knows how addiction can harm families. The Senator stated that recovering addicts need to know that they have hope for the future and he sees the casino industry as a second chance opportunity for those who complete drug court to find quality employment.
The measure passed within the Senate by a vote of 36 to 1. It now moves on to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk for approval. He must sign the bill before the current legislative session ends, which would be January 31st.
Working Through Barriers
People with a criminal record have to face tough barriers in order to find employment as well as housing and access to public programs. Senator Sandra Cunningham commented on the new legislation stating that it will remove such barriers and open the door for graduates of drug court to explore a career within the casino industry.
The casino industry is in full support of the effort as well, hoping to better support the community in which they operate. Key jobs that would be open to graduates of drug court include hotel operation managers, entertainment, food and beverage and human resources. Additional opportunities will be available in marketing, surveillance, security and gaming floor supervisors.
It is unclear as to if the governor will sign the measure or not. It seems Murphy would be on board for the project, helping residents turn their life around and have a means for gainful employment to continue on the road to recovery.
We will stay tuned to developments regarding this legislation. The governor still has a few weeks to decide if he will sign the measure into law, before the session comes to an end.