A combination of pictures shows US President-elect Donald Trump and Carl Icahn. Icahn bought the Taj Mahal out of bankruptcy court last year, long after Trump had relinquished ownership.
The state Assembly last week cleared legislation to suspend the gambling license of any New Jersey casino that "substantially closed" this year or in the future.
The vote was 60-17 to send the measure to Christie. The Senate cpassed the bill in October in a 29-6 vote.
The suspension would last five years unless the casino reached an agreement with its employees. While not mentioned in the bill, the legislation was a response to Icahn's decision to close the Trump Taj Mahal after its workers struck over benefits. It would prevent him from reopening the Taj Mahal with a non-union staff for five years.
"The last thing we want to see is a casino owner taking advantage of bankruptcy laws and pocketing a license or, even worse, stripping workers of benefits and denying them a fair wage because they couldn't come to the table and strike an agreement," said Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Gloucester), who sponsored the legislation with Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester).
Four other Atlantic City casinos shut down in 2014
"Casino owners shouldn't be manipulating the system and exploiting bankruptcy laws as a way to break unions and take away the rights and benefits of the workers," Sweeney said. "Atlantic City's gaming industry is obviously experiencing the difficult challenges of competition from other states, but the answer is not to engage in practices that punish the workers."
The Division of Gaming Enforcement would decide whether a casino was substantially closed.
Trump on Thursday named Icahn as a special adviser on overhauling federal regulations. Both Icahn and Trump have contended that federal regulations have hindered economic growth. More than 10 million new jobs were created during President Barack Obama's administration.