Author`s name Pravda.Ru

No budget in New Jersey; no gambling in Atlantic City

All 12 of the city's casinos were closed at 8 a.m. as the government shutdown entered its fifth day. New Jersey's state parks, beaches, historic areas and motor vehicle offices were also shut, as was the state's lottery system and road construction, MarketWatch reports.

The failure of the state legislature to approve a $31 billion budget submitted by Gov. Jon Corzine began the process of shutting down the government over the weekend. One of the main issues in dispute is Corzine's proposal to raise the state sales tax to 7% from 6%, and how that money would be used.

The stalemate has laid off about 45,000 of 80,000 state employees, closed the state lottery, courts and motor vehicle facilities, and shuttered state beaches, historic sites and parks. About 35,000 workers in crucial services, such as the state police and child welfare, are still on the job, working without pay. The shutdown has now idled 20,000 dealers, cocktail servers and other casino workers.

At issue in the budget showdown is Corzine's proposal to raise the state sales tax from 6% to 7% to wipe out a $4.5 billion deficit. Legislators oppose the move, which would cost the average New Jersey family $275 a year.

Aside from hurricane emergencies on the Gulf Coast, including Hurricane Katrina last year, this is the first time casinos have been forced to close, according to the American Gaming Association.

Atlantic City casinos, which opened in 1978, generated $5 billion in revenue in 2005, second to the Las Vegas Strip's $6 billion, USA Today reports.