The Economic Impact of Casino Closings

Atlantic City Mayor Says Non-Gambling Revenue is the Future

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    TK
    AFP/Getty Images
    Atlantic City, UNITED STATES: Trump Taj Mahal and other casino hotels are pictured next to the Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic City, New Jersey, 25 May 2007. Gambling has been legal in Atlantic City, one of the few such cities in the United States, since the first casino opened in 1978. AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

    Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said that although the town has seen its number of casinos shrink from 12 to 10 this year, he's still optimistic. He stressed that the city's economy is moving beyond gaming and his administration is increasing efforts to bolster tourist attractions and lure more conferences.

    "Atlantic City is undergoing a massive economic transition. We know it is painful for those who are losing their casino jobs," said Guardian. "Atlantic City is creating new jobs, building new attractions and diversifying our economy beyond just gaming. We have cranes in the air building more retail and more convention center space. We have major new, non-gaming investment in Atlantic City from private industry and they are seeing results."

    Guardian can't help but admit that it's been a tough year for Atlantic City. Last week, Caesars Entertainment announced the that Showboat Atlantic City will close at the end of the summer, leaving 2,000 people unemployed. That came on the heels of the Revel Casino Hotel threatening to close if it doesn't find a new owner. The Atlantic Club Casino closed in January. Meanwhile, the Pier Shops at Caesars is up for sale at a deep discount.

    Gambling revenue has shrunk in the city from nearly $6 billion in 2006 to below $3 billion in 2013. But Guardian said there's another important indicator of Atlantic City's economy: non-gambling revenues have increased. He also said hotel occupancy is strong year-round and third-party revenues are increasing. Read more at PBJ.com.