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June 06, 2019

Could Atlantic City pass open-container alcohol bill by Fourth of July?

Legislation passed through the state Senate's Law and Public Safety Committee this week

Legislation Food & Drink
Atlantic City open container bill Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Atlantic City moved closer this week to allowing open alcohol containers on its boardwalk and in the surrounding tourist district.

A bill that would allow open containers of alcohol on Atlantic City's boardwalk and its surrounding tourism district passed Thursday through the New Jersey Senate's Law and Public Safety Committee.

If the chairman of the city's Alcohol Beverage Control has his way, the Press of AC reports, the bill could become law by the time summer revelers celebrate July 4.

Tom Forkin, chairman of Atlantic City's Alcohol Beverage Control, said he hopes the bill can make the city feel a bit more like Las Vegas, New Orleans, or Key West.

The bill was introduced in the state Senate on March 4, according to the Press, when Forkin called the idea a "home run for Atlantic City."

New Jersey Sen. Chris Brown, R-2nd, told the Press it "just makes sense to offer" residents and visitors the option to drink in public.

According to the American Addiction Centers' alcohol resource, roughly 6 million Americans live in cities or states that allow open alcohol containers in public.

The bill still needs to pass through both chambers of New Jersey's Legislature before it can be signed into law, but the movement seems to have widespread support. Last March, Atlantic City Council voted in favor of allowing open containers, and the city's police department is also in support of the move, according to Route 40.


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