New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney is open to the idea of expanding casino gambling to north Jersey.
Sweeney told The Record newspaper's editorial board on Wednesday that he's had private discussion with officials in north Jersey for the past year.
The Democrat from southern New Jersey has strongly defended a five-year moratorium on any discussion of casino gambling outside of Atlantic City until at least 2016.
But Sweeney now says there's a "very real possibility" that a statewide referendum on expanded gambling could be placed on the ballot in November 2015.
Sweeney says any plans for northern New Jersey casinos would have to include specifics on how revenue from those sites could help Atlantic City.
Atlantic City casinos have been struggling amid a tough economy and competition.