James T. Plousis has been approved by the New Jersey state Senate to become chairman of the state’s Casino Control Commission. Plousis replaces Matt Levinson, whose nomination by Governor Chris Christie was not acted upon by the state Senate. In November Christie withdrew the nomination and substituted Plousis. Levinson’s father, Atlantic City Executive Dennis Levinson, said the withdrawal of his son’s nomination was in retaliation for the county challenging the PILOT program, in which Atlantic City casinos pay a set annual rate in lieu of taxes, with the county not getting an equal share.
Plousis is a former sheriff of Cape May County, as well as a member of the state Parole Board for the past seven years. He promised to uphold the integrity of the gaming industry and work with surrounding communities to draw more tourists to the region. He will serve a five-year term for an agency that has been dramatically cut over the last five years as regulatory reform shifted the power to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.